Tehran Seeks Ways to Capitalize on Olmert’s Nuclear Admission
debkafile‘s Iranian sources report the Islamic Republic plans an extensive campaign to justify its nuclear program, based on Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert’s statement in Berlin Monday, Dec. 11, listing Israel with the world’s nuclear powers. Tehran also hopes to rebut the universal revulsion stirred by the Holocaust denial conference president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad staged this week.
(” Israel doesn’t threaten any country,” said Olmert. “Iran openly, explicitly and publicly threatens to wipe Israel off the map. Can you see this on the same level when you are aspiring to have a nuclear weapon like the US, France, Israel and Russia?”)
Tehran’s first step was a call Wednesday, Dec. 13, on the UN Security Council and the Organization of the Islamic Conference to combat “Israeli threats.” It was issued by the foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini in Tehran.
The prime minister had meanwhile amended his statement by saying: “Israel has said many times it will not be the first country to introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East. That was our position – nothing has changed.”
But the Iranian spokesman said: “His confession shows the real threat to security and stability in the Middle East and it shows this regime’s evil plans to carry out threats against Islamic countries, a terror strategy and continued occupation.”
debkafile reports: This initial rejoinder was part of the campaign charted by Iran’s National Security Council which its director Ali Larijani convened Tuesday, Dec. 12. In the meantime, Hizballah leaders in Beirut and Hamas in Gaza were asked to chip in with support. Tehran expects a quick return on the $370m pledged to Palestinian radical group in the coming months.
Tehran will attempt to twist Olmert’s statement round in its UN Security Council showdown over sanctions for defying the resolution banning uranium enrichment, and claim its entitlement to “self defense.”
Revolutionary Iran first began campaigning against Israel’s nuclear program 18 years ago. After a humiliating eight-year war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq under the shadow of his nuclear potential, Tehran decided to develop its own atom bomb. Predicting that as its foremost target (“Little Satan” in Khomeini’s words), the Jewish state would also be its foremost obstacle, a campaign of Israel’s negation – political, moral, ethnic and ideological – was devised at an early stage. The Dec. 2006 Holocaust denial conference was its natural culmination.
Iran will now try to blow up Olmert’s words as part and parcel of Israel’s “massacre” of Shiites in Lebanon, continuing assaults on the Palestinians and “existential threat” to Iran. The “Israeli menace” to regional security will be turned round to deflect the unease felt by the Shiite regime’s Sunni Muslim neighbors over its nuclear program.
In Riyadh on Dec. 10, six oil-rich Gulf nations announced they will seek nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. While expressing concern over Iran’s refusal to suspend uranium enrichment in furtherance of its nuclear ambitions, the GCC also demanded that Israel be forced to sign the Non-Proliferation Treat and expose its nuclear installations to inspection.
While such reports are routinely published in Israel, Tehran’s media censor references by Gulf nations to its nuclear activities. This time, the GCC’s decision to seek nuclear energy for peaceful purposes was highlighted, an attempt to harness it as an engine to promote Iran’s purportedly peaceful program while enlisting the Muslim world to combat Israel’s capabilities.
The Iranians have called up a small echo.
In Cairo, Mohammed Sobeih, the Arab League’s assistant secretary general in charge of Palestinian affairs said Wednesday, Dec. 13, that the 22-member organization must exert pressure on Israel through the International Atomic Energy Agency to open its nuclear facilities to inspection.
No word of approval was forthcoming on Iran’s program. That remains elusive despite Tehran’s efforts.
President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt anyway raises Israel’s nuclear capabilities in talks with Olmert, vice premier Shimon Peres and every Israeli leader he meets. So does King Abdullah of Jordan.
Hoping for better results, Tehran is deploying “ideological agents” in Muslim nations outside the Middle East, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Azerbaijan, and parts of Africa, with files loaded with anti-Semitic poison, accusing “international Zionism” and its aspiration for world domination – as cited in the fabricated “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” – as the object of Israel’s nuclear bomb.
Iran’s clerical rulers have directed the country’s preachers to deliver extra-inflammatory sermons condemning the Jewish state as a nuclear threat in the mosques next Friday.
Iranian diplomats will also busily propagate this message in Arab and Islamic capitals, Latin America – especially Caracas – South Africa and the Third World nations.
About a year ago, Israel tried posting a message to Tehran to deter its quest for an N-bomb to “wipe Israel off the map.” Even if subjected to an Iranian nuclear attack, said the message, Jerusalem retained a second-strike capability in the form of German-made Dolphin submarines armed with nuclear warheads which could reach Iran.
According to debkafile‘s sources in Tehran, this caution had little effect. Heads of the Islamic regime calculated that a nuclear strike would hurt Iran but not threaten its survival, whereas a single Iranian nuclear bomb would fatally paralyze the tiny Zionist state.
This hypothesis was first enunciated ten years ago by the former Iranian president Hashem Rafsanjani at a sermon in Tehran.