Hatching Terror against US Targets in Iraq and Lebanon
Tehran and Damascus are both gunning for America. Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad‘s talks with Syria’s Bashar Assad and his top officials in Damascus Wednesday, January 19, opened up the subject of reprisals for the US squeeze against both their governments. The far more experienced Hashemi Rafsanjani is due next in Damascus to wind up joint plans to unleash punishment against the Americans in Iraq and Lebanon as well as Israel, should the West refer Tehran’s nuclear program to the UN Security Council for sanctions.
Thursday, a suicide bomber belonging to the Tehran-backed Palestinian Jihad Islami blew himself up at a busy Tel Aviv corner, injuring 25 Israelis. This happened shortly after Ahmadinejad ended his talks with Assad. The two events were clearly connected. To make sure this was noticed, Iranian state TV was the first to name the Palestinian organization responsible for the attack.
Earlier this week, an Iranian Jihad Islami leader, Khalid Battash had this to say: “If the United States continues to fight Iran’s nuclear program and support Israel, the blood of tens of thousands of American troops will be spilt on Iraqi soil.”
The Tehran daily Kayhan wrote: American military action against Iran will make Iraq the graveyard of tens of thousands of US troops.”
Both comments are typical of the bloodthirsty sentiments filling the pages of this week’s Iranian media.
They reflect the ayatollahs’ cool conviction that by ratcheting up the volume of American troop losses in the region, it is in their power to provoke a wave of American popular revulsion to the war that will force Bush to bring all the US troops home. Once the US government succumbs to this demand, Iran believes the American empire will crumble, US intervention in the region will end and the curtain will ring down on the New Middle East conceived in Washington.
Tehran and Damascus are pinning their hopes on an anti-US campaign that will rescue both from American regime-change schemes.
While a big talker, president Ahmadinejad’s powers are limited; he has no decision-making authority on international issues, nor the competence to make binding commitments and sign contracts. His mission to Damascus was tentative: he presented Syria with the outline of a plan urging President Assad to cease surrendering to American dictates. Instead The Syrian ruler was asked to help Iran open up a second anti-American front for the ultimate goal of ousting the United States from the region.
Assad eagerly assented in principle. It is now over to Rafsanjani to present a joint Iranian-Syrian campaign of terror in detail, as compiled by the terror and intelligence experts of the Revolutionary Guards Corps.
Tehran is sure terror will drive America from the Middle East
DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s Iranian and counter-terror sources report that Tehran has perfected a plot for the final removal of Iraq’s most prominent Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, who works with the Americans, and replace him with the Abdulaziz Hakim, the SCIRI leader, who spent most of his life in Iran as a refugee from Saddam Hussein‘s repression. His brother was appointed by Tehran as the first SCIRI head, but was assassinated in Iraq in 2004 by the followers of the firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, who too cherishes the ambition of becoming a senior ayatollah and leader of all Iraqi Shiites.
As DEBKA-Net-Weekly has reported before, Tehran backs most of the violent groups bedeviling Iraq today, with no scruples about supporting even the Sunni insurgent and terrorist factions responsible for the massacres of Shiite civilians and attacks on their mosques.
Neither have the rulers of Iran qualms about aiding Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s murderous vendetta against Shiites with one hand and, with the other, helping Saddam Hussein’s adherents plant roadside bombs and carry out suicide attacks on civilians.
Money and war materiel stream from Iran to the pro-Saddam guerrillas, some through Syria, while both governments offer sanctuary, rest and medical care to the combatants of a whole rainbow of rival terror groups.
No details of Iran’s plan for a terror campaign are known as yet. But the talks between Iranian and Syrian intelligence and sabotage experts in Damascus Thursday indicate more of the same is in store – suicide blasts and bomb cars as well as sabotage against oil installations and pipelines. There will be a heavy focus on the kidnapping of American civilians and troops as hostages.
The Iranians have long practice in this method of terrorizing the Americans.
In 1980, soon after the Islamic revolution, fanatical Iranian students seized the US embassy and held 52 diplomats hostage for 444 days.
In the course of the eight-year Iraq-Iran war, Iranian agents planted in Lebanon and their Hizballah surrogates carried out hostage-taking on an unprecedented scale until the United States quit Lebanon.
Even today, Tehran is practicing a form of abduction. A German and a French citizen were sentenced to 18 months in jail in Tehran, accused of entering Iranian territorial waters near the island of Abou Moussa. The two foreigners are in fact Iran’s hostages for the behavior of the two European governments on the issue of the Islamic republic’s nuclear program.