Closer Cooperation with al Qaeda Could Help Iran Weather Its Nuclear Crisis with the West

Iran’s supreme ruler, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, staged another of his top-secret conferences with his top advisers Monday, September 11, to chart his government’s nuclear strategy in the light of the Lebanon war and the diplomacy leading up to the UN Security Council session on possible sanctions.

According to the information reaching DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s Iran sources, there are no grounds for the optimism which has gripped International Atomic Energy Agency circles in Vienna, the European Union and, most of all, for the good cheer spread by the EU foreign affairs executive Javier Solana after his talks with Iran’s nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani.

There is no sign whatsoever of any willingness in Tehran to give way on the key issue of a suspension of uranium enrichment.

Some of the content of the deliberations at that meeting has reached DEBKA-NetWeekly’s exclusive sources, together with names of some of its participants.

Former foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati weighed the balance of international forces ranged for and against Iran’s nuclear program; Larijani reported on where each Security Council and IAEA member stood on the issue; Revolutionary Guards Corp commander General Yahya Rahim-Safavi summed up the effects of the Lebanon War; his assistant Hassan Dehghan evaluated the chances of collaboration between Iran and the organizations associated with al Qaeda in the region and around the world.

However, the keynote speaker was Hassan Abasi, a radical theoretician who heads the Institution for Strategic Research, is a close adherent of the extremist president Mahmoud Ahmadenijad and an influential voice in the formulation of Iranian foreign policy.

He ended up by saying: The president is correct when he describes the West as sinking and Islam as a rising sun.


Tehran sees two American war defeats


Velayati also expanded on what he termed “the two American defeats” – in Iraq, where he describes US president George W. Bush as half-admitting to failure, and Afghanistan where NATO forces are taking heavy casualties in recent weeks. He reported that some of the member-states are contemplating recalling their troops from Afghanistan, despite the constant appeals for reinforcements coming from the Kabul command.

The former foreign minister sneered: “How come the alliance which commands more than two million soldiers is holding back from sending two thousand to boost the beleaguered NATO force there?

He also described the Taliban’s resurgence in all parts of the country, especially in their old stronghold, the southern province of Kandahar. Anti-American and fundamentalist groups and leaders are raising their heads in other provinces too.

Velayati was of the view that fundamentalist elements in the northern regions of neighboring Pakistan too are going from strength to strength and threaten to sweep into power if democratic elections were to be held.

The next speaker was RG second-in-command Hassan Dehghan, who is charge of the Iranian-backed terrorist forces in Iraq and a member of the three-man commission which liaises with Hizballah in Lebanon, including Imad Mughniyeh. He reported the rising strength of the Iraqi insurgency and the chances of toppling the Maliki government.

Our sources add that when Iraqi prime minister Nouri Maliki paid his first visit toTehran this week, Ahmadinejad informed him bluntly that Iran would not permit him or any other administration in Baghdad to survive unless it played ball with Tehran.

Dehghan’s advice was to aggravate the violence in Iraq to such an unbearable pitch that the US president would have to admit publicly to an American defeat and so bring about the downfall of his Republican party in the midterm elections.

As for Lebanon, while the Revolutionary Guards officer did not deny that Hizballah had suffered some nasty knocks, was pushed back from the Israeli border, and is no longer rated a threat to Israel, the last word has not been spoken in Lebanon. Hizballah, with Iran’s help, is still capable of recovering its strength if its leaders keep an eye to the main chance, domestically and internationally.


European wavering on enrichment mocked


The meeting had a good laugh over European wavering. Larijani rubbed his hands with satisfaction as he reported on his long talks with Solana this month, when only two months ago, European leaders declared categorically that there would be no talks until Iran halted its uranium enrichment program.

The fact that they took place was taken to denote a serious crack in Europe’s opposition to Iran’s nuclear activities. Larijani stressed that the rift between Europe and the US was widening and assured the gathering that China and Russia would veto any US-initiated sanction proposals.

In the long term, the theoretician Abassi was of the opinion that the Islamic republic was riding high, but in the short term, he said, Tehran must cast about for allies to overcome the nuclear crisis. He agreed with other speakers that, in the space of months, the Americans may well join Israel in an aerial assault against Iran’s nuclear installations. They will go ahead with this offensive, it was said, if they decide that international diplomacy is powerless to prevent Iran building a bomb.

The theoretician quoted an article by a Canadian radio broadcaster called Michael Coren under the heading “We Should Nuke Iran,” published in the Sept. 2, 2006 issue of the Toronto Sun, in which he urges dropping small nuclear bombs on Iran’s primary nuclear sites to destroy them once and for all beyond Iran’s ability to rebuild them in the near future.

In view of the threat of US-Israeli military action, Abassi proposed urgent steps to establish a working collaboration with al Qaeda. He did not deny that al Qaeda’s cells in Europe and the United States were more powerful than the cells Iran built over several years and which never proved effective. But in Lebanon, for instance, al Qaeda must be helped to deepen its penetration and strengthen its working relations with Hizballah.

Although there is a religious problem between the Salafist Sunni Osama bin Laden and his following, who loathe Shiites no less than America and the Jews, but “unity of purpose” for subduing the West and the United States can lead to united action.

Where Hizballah failed to win over Lebanon’s Sunni Muslims, al Qaeda can easily make up for this shortcoming if Iran provides its cells with the right infrastructure and funding.

Khamenei and his advisers ended their meeting with a decision to look seriously into this proposal.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email