A special emissary from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) special units with the rank of colonel arrived secretly in Beirut on Feb. 20. He assumed his role in the intensive preparations in progress in Tehran, Damascus and Beirut for revenge attacks against Israel, which is accused of killing Imad Mughniyeh.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s intelligence sources identify the Iranian colonel, who goes by the code name of “Ramadan,” as an outstanding specialist in the planning of terrorist operations.
Tehran is set on staging a spectacular act of violence against an Israel-Jewish target, major enough to spark a world crisis that will distract attention from Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Iran also intends the attack to be a striking example of Iran’s capacity to wreak pain, enough to deter the United States and other Western governments from expanding their sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Some members of Iran’s ruling elite would prefer restraint, fearing that an extravagantly brutal operation would be a boomerang; instead of acting as a deterrent, Russia and China might be driven to supporting harsh sanctions. These advocates of moderation have been silenced; supreme ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has forbidden them to voice their views in public. Badly shaken by the loss of Mughniyeh, the Ayatollah feels his death keenly as a home hit to the very survival of the Iran’s Islamic regime.
This week, Iranian leaders resorted to exceptionally vicious language for their threats to Israel.
Wednesday, Feb. 20, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, never one for cultured speech, outdid himself when he declared: “World powers have created a black and dirty microbe named the Zionist regime and unleashed it like a savage animal on the nations of the region.”
“Billions will rejoice over the Zionist entity’s destruction”
Monday, the Revolutionary Guards chief Mohammad-Ali (Aziz) Jaafari said the Hizballah Umah (community, people) will soon destroy “this cancerous microbe Israel.”
He added: “We have overcome all security impediments and the time has come to start exporting the revolution.”
The gush of Iranian warnings of Israel’s approaching extinction began Sunday, Feb. 17 at a private memorial ceremony in Tehran for the dead Lebanese terrorist.
Gen. Hassam Firouz-Abadi, supreme commander of all Iranian armed forces, including the Revolutionary Guards, declared that Israel would soon be destroyed by the “strong arm of Hizballah Umah.” He sent on to say: “Billions of people the world over will soon rejoice when they hear the news of the Zionist entity’s destruction.”
The general did not elaborate on how this was to happen, but there were indirect allusions to nuclear or radioactive weapons.
Iran’s Vice president Parviz Davoodi, in his message of condolences to Hizballah’s secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah, vowed that Iran and Hizballah would together teach the “Zionist entity” a lesson so harsh that nothing would remain.
Another general, Yahya Rahim-Safavi, until last year, commander of the Revolutionary Guards, accused Israel of an error that would cost it its very existence.
For Iranian leaders, vicious anti-Israel rhetoric is routine. But DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s experts on Iran find the intensity and frequency of their diatribes unusual. Even when Ahmadinejad last year declared Israel should be wiped of the map, he never committed Iran to executing the threat. But this week, two top generals pointed for the first time to the “Hizballah Umah” as the instrument of Israel’s demise.
This concept encompasses Iranian citizens, the Shiites of Lebanon and all Shiites and other Muslims who follow the precepts of the Iranian Islamic regime.
The most comprehensive threat was published in the Revolutionary Guards weekly publication Sobh-e Sadegh (Dawn of Truth) this week.
Various Israeli-Jewish massacre options bandied
An editorial dedicated to the life and death of Imad Mughniyeh quoted Sura 5 (Repent) which says: After the passing of the Month of Haram (in which belligerent activity is prohibited), you must kill the infidels wherever they may be, trap them, torture them and lay ambushes for them.
The Month of Haram ended Wednesday, Feb. 20. The next day, the month Safar began, during which (from the day of the Prophet) it is permissible to renew attacks on pagans and infidels.
The founder of Iran’s Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini defined infidels for his followers as the Jews and the Christians of this day and age, who falsify the Torah and the New Testament and do not live according to the precepts of Moses or Jesus. It is therefore permitted to kill them.
The Sobh-e Sadegh editorial continues: “Hizballah’s eagle of death has been freed from its cage and is soaring towards its prey. It is seeking out prominent Zionist figures across the world to slaughter them. Nasrallah’s words are a message of death for high-placed Zionist personalities around the world. The brave men of Hizballah will soon carry out the prophecy of the Koran.”
DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s intelligence and Tehran sources reveal the following options are being tossed back and forth in the conferences of Iranian and Hizballah terror experts attended by Colonel “Ramadan:”
1. A showpiece operation inside Israel, such as a combined attack on crowd centers. They include bombing attacks in air ports; bombardment from drones of select targets; multiple-casualty hits in population centers, the poisoning of water sources and explosions of office towers.
2. A painful attack outside Israel against a sensitive target, such as a government minister or high-ranking army or police officer on overseas trips.
3. The transfer of unconventional weapons to the Gaza Strip for striking at the heart of Tel Aviv.
4. A long-range Hizballah rocket attack from Lebanon.
5. An attack on Israeli and Jewish locations in Europe and the Persian Gulf. The countries under consideration are Italy, Austria, Spain, Paraguay, Argentina, India, Qatar and Abu Dhabi.