Tehran Plots Second Anti-US War Front Deploying Syria, Hizballah, Palestinians

Iran has drawn up an elaborate war plan of its own to counter the approaching US campaign against Iraq. Syria, Lebanon, the Hizballah and the Palestinians have been enlisted to provoke a massive confrontation with Israel that will serve as a second front and hamstring the US offensive. This is revealed exclusively by debkafile‘s Iranian and Middle East sources, in the wake of a secret visit that Iran’s deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs, Mohammad Sadr, paid to Syria and Lebanon this week.
The Iranian visitor found the door wide open.
Syria’s Bashar Assad shares Tehran’s conviction that the installment of a pro-American regime in Baghdad is extremely dangerous, a direct threat to the Ayatollahs in Tehran, the Baath regime in Damascus, the freedom of operation of the Syria-based Palestinian terror groups and the very existence of the Lebanese Hizballah, Tehran’s primary arm for overseas operations and intelligence.
The Iranian game plan as revealed to debkafile was charted step by step:
A. Iran’s hardline spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei set up a supreme security council to formulate a plan to prevent or foil the American assault on Baghdad. Its members: Revolutionary Guards Commander Lt. Gen. Yahya Rahim-Safavi, international affairs adviser Ali Akhbar Velyati (former foreign minister) and one of the first founders of the Hizballah, Ali Akhbar Mohtashemi-Fur, who has meanwhile joined the reformist faction in the Majlis. Their fundamental conception was that were the United States and Israeli to decide that war on Iraq bears too high a price, Washington would drop its anti-Saddam offensive.
B. To ensure that both these foes felt threatened, the Iranian planners proposed ordering the Hizballah to launch massive pre-emptive assaults against Israel on a scale bound to drag the Israelis into military retaliation against Syria, as well as Lebanon. This action, the Iranian tacticians believe, would lead the Americans to halt their war preparations. Even if they were well into their offensive, the Israel-Syrian war would stop the Americans in their tracks or slow them down. The reasoning in Tehran is that the Americans would not risk the rest of the Arab world – Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Morocco and some of the Gulf Emirates – rushing to the aid of Syria and Lebanon against Israel, and sending the entire region up in flames.
C. In the middle of last week, Khamenei approved the plan for immediate execution.
D. The security council in Tehran thereupon dispatched deputy foreign minister Sadr to Syria and Lebanon to bring its plan to fruition without delay.
debkafile‘s military and intelligence sources report that the Iranian envoy began the week in Damascus in conferences with President Assad, the Syrian defense minister and army corps commanders including military intelligence and air force. He also met the heads of the Palestinian terrorist groups operating out of Damascus. Tuesday, September 3, Sadr arrived in Lebanon for a marathon round of talks with Hizballah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah and two senior lieutenants, Hashem Saffi-e-din and Naim Kassem.
All these talks were termed by our sources operational-tactical, covering also Iran’s plan for coordinating the field action among the various Syrian and Lebanese military and terrorist forces. Upon Sadr’s request and with Assad’s permission, a delegation of Palestinian leaders and operations officers based in Damascus was secretly invited to Beirut Tuesday to discuss Palestinian integration in the war plan formulated in Tehran with Qadr Nureddin, the Hizballah’s south Lebanon commander. In particular, they talked about roping in the inmates of the large Palestinian refugee camp of Ein Hilwa – both for military operations against Israel and for a cycle of terrorist strikes against American targets around the Middle East.
According to our sources, the Hizballah greeted their new directives from Tehran with enthusiasm and are preparing very shortly to launch a fresh wave of anti-Israel military operations to begin in the region of Ajar, a border village straddling the Lebanese-Israeli border. The Lebanese terrorist group will claim it is thwarting Israeli moves to interfere with Lebanon’s exploitation project for the Wazzani River sources. From this drummed up pretext, the Lebanese Shiite group will branch the action out into a massive assault.
E. debkafile‘s intelligence and counter-terror sources reveal too that Iran has scheduled the opening of a “Palestinian workshop” for Wednesday, September 4, in Tehran, to which Palestinians and Lebanese, most actively engaged in terrorism, have been invited. The event will proceed for three days behind closed doors and entail studies of innovative suicidal terror techniques, hinging on Islamic tenets. Iranian intelligence experts will hold lectures on novel methods of target selection and the vulnerabilities of the United States and Israel to terrorism. The chief lecturer at the “Palestinian workshop” will be Abdallah Safi-Id-a-Din, one of the top operations aides of the Iranian-Lebanese master terrorist Imad Murghniyeh, who this year switched his center of operations to south Lebanon.

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