Politics: Iran: Ahmadi-Nejad's regime steams & nukes its way toward world domination via Islamofascist religious ideology
The deadline Iran gave itself to make a major announcement on its nuke project in the l+t of the UN Security Council's Resolution, has come and gone. Iran has produced only a 20-page technical document of non-compliance to the UN requirement that it stop processing unranium. UNSC member countries say they will study the item further but see no breakthru offered. Thus, the UN now proceeds to its own deadline for compliance, Aug31,2k6. But don't expect much from Iran, UN, US, or UK.
In regard to this development, Christian Science Monistor in an editorial attempts to deal sagaciously with the inevitably doubts arising in regard to Iran's intentions on nukes (in the backgournd now, however, there's always the full stark evidence of the Iranian imperialistic goal to establish itself as a new Muslim caliphate–-this time, not Ottoman Sunni, but Shi'ite and mullocratic--with Iran at the hub. The nukes under development will underwrite Iran's first outr+t colony in Hizbullite Lebanon, and will undermine the development of a democratic order there.
Sadly, CSM shrinks into timidity and fails to make the link between Iran's nuclear development and Iran's imperial establishment of its first outr+t colony. Washington Times also fails to make the connection, trying to keep the two simultaneous developments in separate mental compartments.
It must be added, while Iran spends millions in Lebanon, it is squeezing its own poor and clamping down on Iran's own dissident voices, a clampdown that includes a new campaign against bloggers. The goal is total control over information and opinion within the country.
MidEast > Iran:
While many Iranians want the regime overthrown, there are those dissidents or former dissidents who caution that anti-regime action will only make the represssion more totalitarian. Such is the view brawt in recent days to the USA by Iranian dissident and former Revolutionary Guard, Akbar Ganji on his visit to "Irangeles," saying US intervention would bring more oppression to Iranian people. But some Iran exiles and Iranian Americans in California suspect that Ganji has reverted and is now peddlingt disinformation. That's the impression that emerges from the reports by Teresa Watanabe in Los Angeles Times (Aug13,2k6).
With the prospect of Iran playing the games of diplomatic discouse at the UNSC, the full unveiling of its colony for what it is, snugly embedded in Lebanon among that country's Shi'ites, blocking its own populace from communicating outside the regime's purview, capable of sending agents into Canada among returning dual citizens from Southern Lebanon and into the USA itself, and now giving the appearance of responding to the appeal of its client (oil) and ally (diplomacy, munitions) China (AP, Aug16,2k6). Indeed, on the same day, mullahs at the top gathered themselves to respond to the Chinese appeal that they return to the bargaining table, and announced Iran 'will discuss nuclear halt' (BBC; Aug16,2k6). Noting the seamlessness of this stagecraft, we should also note the date Aug16,2k6, and its correspondence to other dates regarding Iranian shipments to its colony (below).
Undoubtedly, we are witnessing the first of many protracted steps of blather on Iran's stealthy way toward nuclearization, steps that very, very likely will lead nowhere new on the nukes-for-Iran question. Certainly, China does not want Iran preoccupied with the exhausting fronts of its campaign for a New Persian Empire of Shia Islamic provenance; that would endanger the contracts Iran is expected to fulfill in pumping and shipping oil along a vulnerable trade route thru seas, an ocean, and some straits to the Far East. For that reason alone and also to shift now to covering its activities in Hizbullah-land, Iran would do well for its own purposes to make a great show of possibly coming around to the position of the UN Resolution on its project of uranium enrichment, but in the end deliver nothing but palaver.
Previously Iran used the Hizbullah War for 34 days to distract the world from its nuclear project, now it will use the UNSC talks on uranium and nukes to distract the world from its aggressive activities to rebuild, refortify and re-weaponize the Hizbullah colonials. Consider these reports:
Aug13,2k6: Turks force plane to land, full of Iranian Revolutionary Guards headed to Lebanon. Earlier a similar plane full of mid-range missiles was forced to return to Iran. Ardeshird (Aug13,2k6) Hat Tip: RCI .
Aug14,2k6: David A. Fulghum and Douglas Barrie, "Iranian Advisers Influence Course of Lebanon/Israel Conflict," Aviation week and Space Technology (Aug14,2k6). HT: RCI.
Aug17,2k6: Iranian planes grounded in Turkey for weapons search - Turkish Daily Press (Aug17,2k6); HT: RCI.
ANKARA - Turkey has grounded two Syria-bound Iranian planes over the past month to search for weapons following Israeli intelligence that Iran is supplying rockets to Hezbollah, officials and media reports said Thursday.
Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Namik Tan said two Iranian cargo planes were forced to land in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir "in line with international rules" to search for rockets and other military equipment.
"It was a routine procedure," Tan told a press conference.
He was commenting on a report in the mass-circulation Hurriyet daily, which said that two Iranian planes flying to Syria were forced to land in Diyarbakir on July 27 and August 8 following an Israeli tip-off that they were carrying rockets destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon.
No military equipment was discovered in either of the aircraft, the newspaper said.
Ankara sought to keep the incidents secret out of concern that diplomatic relations with Iran might suffer, it added.
Turkey is one of Israel's few Muslim friends in the region. But it also has close ties with the Palestinians and Lebanon and has in recent years significantly mended fences with one-time foes Iran and Syria.
Altho there's no knowing how long he will last, in public at least, the man at the helm of Iran gives a public-face to the apocalypticism unique to Persian Shia Islam which may be playing a key role in the multifront campaign to gain the leadership of Muslims worldwide and establish Iran at the hub of a new world empire. The man, whose name in English is widely rendered Ahmadinejad, should better be spelled Ahmadi-Nejad to bring out the crucial term "Ahmadi" which plays a large role in the Presidenct's apocalypticism. I'll stick to latter orthography. Patrick Pool, writing in FrontPage Magazine, "Ahmadinejad’s Apocalyptic Faith," (August 17,2k6) gives some details. Poole's point of departure for his piece is dissatisfaction with the interview Ahmadi-Nejad gave to Mike Wallace on CBS's news show 60 Minutes, the 6-page text of which Poole has examined. Says analyst Poole:
[Wallace and Ahmadi-Nejad] talked about Hezbollah, nuclear weapons, Israel and President Bush, but the one question that ties all of these together in Ahmadinejad’s mind is his religious faith. It is the prism through which he views all of these other policy issues, which is why it is of singular importance to understand the ideology that drives this man. This was apparently lost on Mike Wallace.
No one can accuse Ahmadinejad of being circumspect about the religious views that shape his worldview. He speaks on those views quite frequently, but they are a taboo subject for Westerners unaccustomed to thinking that is self-consciously religious. The reactionary response is to dismiss it as mental instability or label it as “fundamentalist”, but facing the reality of a nuclear Iran, such a reaction is not only short-sighted and narrow minded, but possibly suicidal.
Ahmadinejad’s worldview is shaped by the radical Hojjatieh Shiism that is best represented by Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, the Iranian President’s ideological mentor and marja-e taqlid (object of emulation), of the popular Haqqani religious school located in Qom. The affection seems to be mutual: in the 2k5 Iranian presidential campaign, Ayatollah Yazdi issued a fatwa calling on his supporters to vote for Ahmadinejad.
The Hojjatieh movement is considered to be so radical that it was banned in 1983 by the Ayatollah Khomeini and is still opposed by the majority of the Iranian clerics, including the Supreme Leader of the Supreme National Security Council, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei. That should be telling in and of itself. That opposition notwithstanding, it is believed that several adherents of the Hojjatieh sect are in Cabinet-level positions in Ahmadinejad’s government.
Most Shiites await the return of the 12th Shiite Imam, Muhammad ibn Hasan, the last direct male descendent of the Prophet Mohammed’s son-in-law Ali, who disappeared in 874AD and is believed to be in an invisible, deathless state of existene, or “occultation”, awaiting his return. Though it is discounted even by the most extremist clerics, a popular belief in Iran holds that the 12th Imam, also called the Mahdi or the sahib-e zaman (“the Ruler of Time”), lives at the bottom of a well in Jamkaran, just outside of Qom. Devotees drop written requests into the well to communicate with the Mahdi. His reappearance will usher in a new era of peace as Islam vanquishes all of its enemies. The Sunnis, who reject the successors of Ali, believe that the Mahdi has yet to be born.
But rooted in the Shiite ideology of martyrdom and violence, the Hojjatieh sect adds messianic and apocalyptic elements to an already volatile theology. They believe that chaos and bloodshed must precede the return of the 12th Imam, called the Mahdi. But unlike the biblical apocalypse, where the return of Jesus is preceded by waves of divinely decreed natural disasters, the summoning of the Mahdi through chaos and violence is wholly in the realm of human action. The Hojjatieh faith puts inordinate stress on the human ability to direct divinely appointed events. By creating the apocalyptic chaos, the Hojjatiehs believe it is entirely in the power of believers to affect the Mahdi’s reappearance, the institution of Islamic government worldwide, and the destruction of all competing faiths.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has clearly indicated that he is a true believer in this faith. It has been reported that he has told confidants that he anticipates the immanent return of the Mahdi. When he previously served as Mayor of Tehran, he advocated for widening the roads to accommodate the Mahdi’s triumphal entry into the city. One of his first acts of office as President was to dedicate approximately $20 million to the restoration and improvement of the mosque at Jamkaran, where the Mahdi is claimed to dwell.
This personal belief directs his official policies as President. He has publicly said, “Our revolution’s main mission is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam, the Mahdi. We should define our economic, cultural and political policies on the policy of the Imam Mahdi’s return.”
However, Ahmadinejad’s messianism doesn’t stop with the Mahdi. In fact, he has made it clear that he believes he has personally received a divine appointment to herald the imminent arrival of the Mahdi, tacitly acknowledging his own role in setting aright the problems of the world.
His belief in a personal divine appointment was best confirmed after his speech to the United Nations last September, which was laden with references to the Mahdi. Upon his return to Iran, he met with Ayatollah Javadi-Amoli, where the two discussed an alleged paranormal occurrence while Ahmadinejad spoke.... (Radio free Europe (Nov29,2k5)
Poole's entire article is very much worth reading in its entirety in order to understand events in the Middle East and at the UN in the last two months and the last few days. [All the underscores and bolds in the quotation from poole is mine. - P] It stresses the role of the pisteutic factor in the Iranian President's belief system, while it recurringly points out how that important movitation is not utterly in control of Iranian policy and action.
An article even more detailed as to the non-pisteutic factor in Ahmadi-Neb's motivation comes from Oxford Analytica via Forebes.
Iran's President Likely To Lose Favor (Aug17,2k6).
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad on Aug15,2k6 said his country would not back down on the nuclear issue and praised Hezbollah's resistance to Israel. His popular support comes from his appeals to social justice and Iranian nationalism. It also reflects working-class anger at the corruption of the administration of Akbar Hasemi Rafsanjani, president from 1989 to 1997, and disillusionment with the culturally elitist administration of Mohammed Khatami, president from 1997 to 2005.
Ahmadi-Nejad's appeal thus depends on his ability to portray himself as the defender of the Iranian nation against the West in the nuclear dispute, and on his administration's ability to create economic opportunities for underprivileged Iranians.
Ahmadi-Nejad was elected president in Jun2k5. One year into his presidency, his popularity is still high, based on a combination of appealing to Iranians' nationalist sentiments in the field of foreign policy, while promising massive government expenditure to provide economic opportunities for Iran's young population.
Ahmadi-Nejad has portrayed himself as the straight-talking champion of economically disadvantaged Iranians. He has set out to spend Iran's burgeoning oil revenues on its poorer provinces. In March, Iran's parliament, the Majlis, approved his budget for 2006-07, which saw a 25% increase in expenditure.
However, the economic news since his election has largely been bad:
--The stock market went into freefall following the elections.
--In a bid to increase investment, Ahmadi-Nejad reduced interest rates in April, causing Iranian investors to withdraw their deposits from Iranian banks and buy gold coins.
--Despite an announcement by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in July that 80% of shares in state-owned companies would be privatized, investor confidence remains low, and the privatization program continues to struggle.
In the nuclear confrontation with the West, Ahmadi-Nejad has carefully cultivated his image as the champion of Iran's "inalienable right" to enrichment technology, which the United States and the West are seeking to deny.
His declaration in October that Israel should be "wiped off the map" was aimed not only at bolstering his support among conservatives in Tehran, but also assuaging Arab fears of rising Iranian power:
--By portraying Iran as the champion of the Muslim world against Israel, he sought to address anxiety among Iran's Arab Sunni neighbors about growing Iranian/Shia power by rallying them behind Iran against Israel.
--Another manifestation of this policy was his letter to U.S. President George W. Bush in May, in which he portrayed himself as the global advocate of the rights of Palestinians and the entire developing world. [Poole adds the ins+t that the letter to Bush fulfilled the obligation ofinviting an infidel to convert to Islam before destoying him.]
In the recent war between Israel and Hezbollah, Ahmadi-Nejad and the entire Iranian leadership have stood firmly behind Hezbollah. However, the Iranian public seems wary of a confrontation with Israel and is questioning the wisdom of spending the nation's oil revenues in Lebanon when they are needed at home. Should Iran become embroiled in a further outbreak of fighting, Lebanon may become a domestic political liability.
Ahmadi-Nejad's populist domestic and foreign policies have won him few friends among Iran's political and intellectual elites:
--He has come up against opposition from the conservative-dominated Majlis.
--He is resented by pragmatists because of his leftist economic policies and reformists for his right-wing political agenda.
--Both oppose his radical foreign policy.
--He has purged the state apparatus.
Ahmadi-Nejad's popularity is likely to decline in 2007:
--Increases in government expenditures will ensure that inflation continues to hover in the high double-digits. Underprivileged Iranians will become increasingly disillusioned by the disparity between their income and rising consumer prices.
--It seems unlikely that the nuclear standoff with the West will lead to either military action or punitive sanctions against Iran in the near future because of divisions within the United Nations Security Council. Unproductive diplomatic skirmishing or possibly substantive negotiations are more likely. In either case, Ahmadi-Nejad's ability to exploit the issue for domestic political gain is likely to diminish.
--Furthermore, he is likely to be increasingly marginalized in the foreign policy arena.
In the shorter term, Ahmadi-Nejad's declining popularity may affect the outcome of the elections for the Assembly of Experts, slated for November. Support for far-right candidates among his supporters may weaken at the expense of candidates critical of the president.
If the nuclear confrontation with the West does not escalate, Ahmadi-Nejad's ability to project himself as Iran's national champion will diminish. His populist economic policies are unlikely to reduce inflation and unemployment, and they could make life more difficult for the working-class Iranians he claims to represent. He may increasingly be seen as a liability by Khamenei, who may move to sideline him.
To read an extended version of this article, log on to Oxford Analytica's Web site. Oxford Analytica is an independent strategic-consulting firm drawing on a network of more than 1,000 scholar experts at Oxford and other leading universities and research institutions around the world.Now we must turn to what has transpired among the state leaderships of the world's Sunni Muslim-dominated societies in the last while of effort to establish the Hizbullah colony under Iran, and Israel's anti-Hizbullah War. However much the Hizbullah War may have stirred temporarily Arab and Muslim rejoicing among the masses, Sunni-dominated Arab states instead saw threates to civic order and societal instablity in the Hizbullah adventurism.
The best way perhaps to introduce this counterpoint to the Hizbullah-land colony of Iran is to follow MEMRI's translations from the Arab press in recent weeks -- Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London UK), Al Ahram (Egypt), Al-Gumhuriyya (Egypt), Al-Ayyam (Palestine), Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), Arab Times (Kuwait), Teshreen (Syria), Al-Thawra (Syria).
I can only provide the intro to the translations here.
The war between Israel and Hizbullah has revealed profound disagreement in the Arab world between countries that support Hizbullah and those that oppose it, headed by Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The disagreement was reflected in the Arab media, which published articles supporting Hizbullah along with harsh criticism and accusations against it.Needless to say, this statement of Sunni Muslim views could not satisfy Lebanese minorities like Christians, Druze, and Baha'is. Indeed, a different but equally strong view was articulated by Nasrollah Safir, Archbishop of Lebanon's Maronite Christians: Today, despite the Israeli bombing, the chief threat to Lebanon comes from Hizbullah - Regime Change Iran (Aug15,2k6).
One of the accusations leveled against Hizbullah was that the organization does not serve the interests of the Lebanese people, but acts in the service of Syria and Iran, thereby jeopardizing Arab interests. Many articles argued that Syria and Iran had manufactured the crisis in order to draw world attention away from the Iranian nuclear issue and away from the results of the investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Al-Hariri. It was also claimed that Iran was working to destroy the Arab countries from within by encouraging armed militias to rebel against the Arab regimes.
Supporters of Hizbullah in Syria and Lebanon rejected the claim that Hizbullah was serving Syrian and Iranian agendas. They countered that it is Israel that is acting in the service of the West, which aims to redraw the map of the Middle East.
The resistance to Hizbullah comes not just from Sunni states and press, from a prominent Lebanese Arab Christian archbishop and his laity, but also from some Shi'a clerics and laity in Iraq who see past Iran's machinations to their root in imperialist lust, a lust that would kill of Iraq's Sunnis and make a Shia-dominated Iraq another colony of Iran.(See: Amit R. Paley and Saad al-Izzi, "Two of Iraq's Shiite Parties Denounce Iran -- Allegations Reveal Divisions Within Sect Usually Aligned With Powerful Neighbor," WaPo, Aug19,2k6).
Regime Change Iran carries an important article from Dow Jones Newswires (not afterword accessible), "Arab Nations Pushing For New Peace Process with Israel" (Aug19,2k6).
Worried the Lebanon war has given a boost to Iran and militants in the region, three U.S. allies in the Mideast are spearheading an Arab effort to present a plan for reviving the stalled peace process and talks with Israel.What, incredibly, this entire article lacks is any sense of the inter-relationship between the threat in the Iranian colony, the threat of Iranian nuclear weaponization, and the Iranian imperialist ideology which threatens even without the glosses of the Hojjatieh sect and Iranian President Ahmadi-Neejad's personal sense of an apocalyptic vocatio.n. I feel all these matters matter to the Sunni royals and other political leaders.
Details remain sketchy, and already Israel has expressed skepticism, saying it doubts any plan the countries put forward would take into account its security needs. But the decision by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan to make the commitment now is a clear sign of how worried the countries are by current tensions and especially by Iran's new influence.
So far, the U.S. hasn't talked about a wider peace effort in the wake of the Lebanon crisis, instead focusing its efforts on ensuring the Iranian and Syrian- backed Hezbollah is reined in.
But leaders of the three moderate Arab governments want to seize the opportunity in the war's ashes to restart negotiations with Israel for peace on the Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese fronts.
Even before the cease-fire took effect Monday, the three nations along with Arab League chief Amr Moussa warned that the fighting could permanently kill chances for any peace plan and fuel militants across the Middle East.
Hesham Youseef, Moussa's top aide, told Associated Press on Thursday that the Arab countries are putting together a peace plan to present to the UN Security Council next month because they believe "we should build on the international concerns on what is going on in the whole area."
"Big crises sometimes create opportunities to find comprehensive solutions for difficult problems," he said, noting that the 1991 Gulf war led to Arabs and Israelis launching the Madrid peace talks, months after the war that expelled Saddam Hussein from Kuwait.
"The war in 1973 also led to peace," he said, referring to diplomacy after that Arab-Israeli conflict that eventually resulted in the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.
Arab foreign ministers are to gather in Cairo on Sunday to pave the way for an Arab summit in Saudia Arabia planned for later this month. A new peace initiative will likely be high on the agenda, along with a Saudi plan to gather money to help rebuild Lebanon - and counter a flood of money from Iran to Hezbollah to finance reconstruction projects.
In meetings with Israeli and Lebanese officials last weekend, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana spoke of the need to consolidate the Lebanon cease- fire, then work toward a comprehensive Middle East peace agreement.
Solana's "feeling is that we now need a big push, otherwise we shall see more fires breaking out in the future," a EU official told Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to make statements to the press.
Israel's defense minister, Amir Peretz, said last week that resumption of a dialogue with Syria and the Palestinians was possible. "Every war creates an opportunity for a new political process," he said.
But the chances of any real movement remain unclear.
Israel's UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman said Friday he had serious doubts that any Arab initiative "has a great chance of being a fair one that would take Israel's security concerns into consideration."
He said the 2003 road map plan put forward by the Bush administration remained "the only viable option."
The road map calls for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, though it has been stalled, with both sides failing to take steps to implement it.
Before anything else can happen, Israel says the international community must execute the terms of the cease-fire outlined in UN resolution 1701, to ensure that Hezbollah is disarmed and that the flow of Syrian and Iranian arms and equipment to the guerrillas is halted.
"We think that anything that would take attention away from 1701 would play into the hands of Iran and Syria," said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev.
The Bush administration, highly critical of Hezbollah, Syria and Iran, is also likely to push for full implementation of the cease-fire deal before anything else. And that process is tricky and could be lengthy.
It is still not known how a new Arab peace effort would differ from past ones. In 2001, Saudi Arabia put forward a plan that would call for peace between Israel and all Arab nations once it returns the Golan Heights, West Bank and other Arab lands seized in past wars. The Arab League endorsed the plan, but Israel rejected it.
Youssef said the new Arab peace effort would build on both the road map and the 2001 plan. "We will not start from scratch. We just want to refocus on the real issue - a just and comprehensive peace," he said.
The Arab countries' motivation is clear: With Hezbollah and its backers Syria and Iran declaring victory in the nearly month-long war that left most of south Lebanon in ruins, many see a looming struggle over the future of the Middle East.
Moderate Arab nations fear that letting the situation stagnate without restarting the peace process could increase the appeal of radical Muslim groups and allow Iran and Syria to keep using Hezbollah in proxy wars, in turn breeding more militancy.
The split between Syria and other Arab states has only grown deeper since the Lebanon cease-fire. Syrian President Bashar Assad jabbed fellow Arabs with a speech on Tuesday, saying the war had revealed the "half men" in the region - prompting sizzling denunciations of Assad in Arab media.
"We are facing a new reality established by the Israeli war on Lebanon. It is an aftershock, but probably even more powerful than the earthquake itself and even more painful," Abdul-Rahman al-Rashid, who is close to the Saudi royal family, wrote Wednesday in the Saudi-owned Asharq Al Awsat.