November 20, 2017

Iran Watch – October 12, 2007

[spoiler title=”Tehran’s Ruling Clerics Scramble for Survival”]
By Alireza Jafarzadeh
Source : FoxNews
As expected, the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad brought a briefcase full of denials to New York last month. When asked about providing training and weapons to militias in Iraq, he said, “Why would we want to do that?” Commenting on Iran’s long-term, clandestine nuclear program, he claimed, “all our nuclear activities have been completely peaceful and transparent.” Most viewers shook their heads in disbelief that he could utter such blatant lies from a Columbia University podium.

As the evidence continues to mount about Iran’s violent intervention in Iraq, export of terrorism and systematic lies to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Ahmadinejad and the Islamic fundamentalist regime are pushed further into a dark corner of global isolation.

In Iraq, proof of Iran’s imbedded terrorist network continues to grow. On September 20, U.S. troops seized a Qods Force commander Mahmoud Farhadi in northern Iraq and charged that he had been operating as an agent in Iraq for 10 years.

Captured during a raid at the Palace Hotel in Sulaimaniyah, Farhadi was posing as an Iranian businessman traveling as part of a trade delegation to Iraq. In truth, he is a Brigadier General in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp and active in Iraq as a commander of elite Qods Force operations for years.

In April 2003, the main Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) revealed that Gen. Farhadi had been stationed in the Iraqi city of Karbala at the time, just as the Iranian regime was setting up its terrorist network in Iraq to take advantage of the chaos following the U.S.-led invasion. Farhadi had been commissioned to coordinate Tehran’s proxy militant group known as the Badr Corps and oversee the Qods Force’s penetration of Iraq when the war broke in March 2003. He entered Iraq and led his forces all the way to Baghdad at the time.

Farhadi was a major catch for coalition forces. The Iranian regime had hand picked him to lead its first clandestine operations in Iraq as he was one of its most experienced commanders, having served throughout the Iran-Iraq War and subsequently as one of the military’s top intelligence directors. Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, the top commander of day-to-day operations in Iraq, called Farhadi a “significant” player who had been involved in supporting Iraqi militias with money, weapons and training.

Farhadi’s arrest is only the latest in the coalition forces’ efforts to capture Iranian military personnel in Iraq.

On October 7, 2007, the U.S. made another chilling announcement about the Qods Force’s presence in Iraq. Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq, said that Tehran’s ambassador to Baghdad, Hassan Kazemi-Qomi, was a member of the Qods Force. This is the Iranian official who sat down with U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker to discuss how Iran can help the U.S. bring security to Iraq.

Petraeus did not divulge the source of his information about Qomi, but in my column,Iran’s Terror War against the U.S. in Iraq, I revealed Qomi’s identity as “a senior Qods Force commander,” based on intelligence from my MEK sources in Iran.

So much for Ahmadinejad’s denials that Tehran has infiltrated Iraq.

Sending a member of the Qods Force – the unit responsible for Iraq’s deadly roadside bombs and most of its terrorist forces – to the diplomacy table is quintessential Tehran behavior. With every denial of an Iranian presence in Iraq, Ahmadinejad smiled behind the knowledge that his IRGC cronies are directly supporting most of the terrorist violence.

Threats of more United Nations sanctions against Iran are also pressing the fundamentalist mullahs into a corner. After years of black-and-white evidence of outright lies and deception in the IAEA reports, Iran continues to claim that it is only interested in nuclear energy, not a nuclear bomb. But Western nations including the United States, France, Britain and Germany, are pressing for tougher action to halt Iran’s uranium enrichment cascades.

Pointing to Iran’s refusal to respond to the IAEA’s questions and its attempts to hide some of its biggest nuclear facilities, these countries wave the facts at Iran’s leaders and demand that they obey international law. Fed up with Iran’s bloody intervention in Iraq and refusal to halt nuclear enrichment, France’s new president has warned that Iran was baiting the world for military strikes.

The Iranian leadership should be reminded that it can no longer fool all of the people all of the time. We know that it is building IEDs and training Iraqi militias how to use them. We know it considers U.S.-Iran talks about Iraq a joke because it sends a terrorist to the table. And we know it has been pursuing a nuclear weapon for years in a desperate attempt to gain leverage in the region and pursue its hegemonic goals.

We also know that escalating civil unrest throughout Iran threatens the regime’s survival, and that the regime’s response is to try to eradicate the organized opposition, the MEK, and to crush the populace into submission through oppressive laws, arrests and an unprecedented number of public executions.

On Monday, October 8, 2007, Iranian students protesting against Ahmadinejad’s visit to Tehran University clashed with security forces on campus and chanted “death to the dictator” ahead of scheduled speech of the regime’s president. “Why only Columbia. We have questions too?” read banners held by the enraged students.

With threats advancing upon them from every side, Tehran’s ruling clerics are scrambling for survival. The United States should hit the mullahs where it hurts them the most: remove the politically-driven and ill- advised terror tag from the main Iranian opposition, the MEK as that label has acted a barrier to democratic change in Iran. Failure to do so, would help the Ayatollahs to get the bomb and turn Iraq into a sister Islamic Republic.

Alireza Jafarzadeh is a FOX News Channel Foreign Affairs Analyst and the author of “The Iran Threat: President Ahmadinejad and the Coming Nuclear Crisis” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).

Jafarzadeh has revealed Iran’s terrorist network in Iraq and its terror training camps since 2003. He first disclosed the existence of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility and the Arak heavy water facility in August 2002.

Prior to becoming a contributor for FOX, and until August 2003, Jafarzadeh acted for a dozen years as the chief congressional liaison and media spokesman for the U.S. representative office of Iran’s parliament in exile, the National Council of Resistance of Iran. [/spoiler] [spoiler title=”British lawmakers urge EU to act against rights abuses in Iran”]

Iran Focus

London, Oct. 10 – Some 150 British Parliamentarians have signed a statement calling on the government of Gordon Brown to bring Iran before the United Nations Security Council over its systematic abuse of its citizens rights, it was announced on Wednesday.

The announcement was made on the occasion of World Day Against the Death Penalty at a press conference in the House of Commons by more than half a dozen Members of Parliament and British Peers.

“From torture to public executions, the Iranian regime, even by its own brutal standards, has surpassed itself in recent months”, said Brian Binley MP from Britain’s opposition Conservative Party.

“There are 600 political prisoners under threat of execution this morning in Iran. One hundred and fifty fellow Parliamentarians and I expect and demand from our Government and the UK’s representatives at the UN in New York to draw attention to these executions”, said Andrew MacKinlay MP from Brown’s ruling Labour Party.

Gruesome footage of police brutality and public executions in Iran were shown at the conference which was organised by the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom, a cross-party group of several dozen MPs and Lords led by Labour Peer, Lord Corbett of Castle Vale. Officials from the committee said that the footage had been smuggled out of Iran by supporters of the main opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI).

The PMOI was banned in the UK by then-Home Secretary Jack Straw MP in 2001. The British ban was used as the basis of the group’s inclusion in the European Union’s terrorist list in mid-2002, in what the EU’s then-Spanish leadership called “a goodwill gesture to Tehran”.

In December 2006, the European Court of First Instance annulled the EU’s decision to place the group in the list and described the freeze on its financial assets as “unlawful”. In a controversial move, however, the EU announced in June 2007 that it would maintain the group in the blacklist.

In the UK, the group’s proscription is currently under review by the Proscribed Organisations Appeals Commission (POAC) which is expected to announce its verdict in the coming weeks.

“There is a need for fundamental change in Iran to rid us of a regime which is a threat to world peace”, said Rt. Hon. Lord Waddington, a former Home Secretary under Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader, Lord Dholakia, urged the EU to adopt economic sanctions against the regime.
“There can be no meaningful dialogue with the present regime in Tehran”, said Conservative Member of Parliament, Roger Gale.

Gale, one of 35 MPs and Peers who have launched a legal challenge seeking the removal of the ban on the PMOI in the UK, termed the group’s blacklisting “illegal”. His remarks were echoed by Labour Peer, Baroness Turner of Camden, who said that rather than banning the PMOI, the UK government should view Tehran’s rulers as “terrorists”.

The statement signed by the 150 Parliamentarians called on the British government and the EU to refer Tehran’s human rights dossier to the Security Council for “adoption of binding measures” against the regime.

View Source Here [/spoiler] [spoiler title=”Students clash as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faces protest at campus speech”] Kayvon Biouki in Tehran
Iranian students staged a noisy protest against President Ahmadinejad yesterday when he arrived at Tehran University to give a speech marking the start of the academic year.

In scenes rarely witnessed in Iran, scores of students chanted anti-Ahmadinejad slogans, clashed with pro-government militia and made public a highly critical letter addressed to the Iranian leader.

The authorities responded by firing teargas canisters into the campus, just as the Iranian leader was leaving.

“It looked like a boxing ring in there, but instead of two fighters there were 2,000 opponents on each side of the ring,” said a female student.

All entrances to Tehran University, a sprawling campus in the heart of the capital, were guarded by police and undercover security agents who kept out potential demonstrators.

The protesters gathered outside, with some chanting slogans comparing the Iranian leader to the late Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. “Ahmadinejad is Pinochet! Iran will not become Chile,” they cried. Others chanted: “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is supporter of corruption and prejudice.”

Some made references to Mr Ahmadinejad’s speech last month at Columbia University in New York, where the Iranian leader said that people “should be free to speak their mind” at university.

“Why only in Columbia? We have questions too!” read one banner.

The demonstration was organised by Tahkim Vahdat, the student union organisation. Many of its leaders were arrested this year and three remain behind bars.

The group issued a letter to the Iranian leader with a list of 20 questions, challenging his rule and authority.

“We have given our letter of protest to the media last night and we have asked questions from Ahmadinejad that we think every Iranian would want to know the answer to,” said Nikoo Nesbati, a spokesman for the student union.

“By not letting us in the university, they achieved nothing because the conflict started even without us. We are not the only citizens of Iran, there are also another 70 million who need to have an answer,” he said.

The Iranian authorities made sure that the anti-government protesters were not the only voices heard yesterday. They were challenged by members of the Basij, a religious militia who countered with their own chants: “Shame on you hypocrites! Leave the university!”

When the two sides did clash punches were thrown but there were no serious injuries and the police and campus security officers took control.

State television reported Mr Ahmadinejad’s speech at the university, quoting him as saying that “students should feel responsible in the international arena . . . Today’s world needs them.”

But it made no mention of the hostile response that the Iranian head of state received from some students.

President’s words

“In a university environment we must allow people to speak their mind, to allow everyone to talk so that the truth is eventually revealed by all.”
September 24, 2007, addressing Columbia University

“We believe that accurate dissemination of news and information is necessary for political growth and awareness as well as effective interaction among nations in today’s world.”
January 17, 2006, on lifting a ban on CNN in Iran

“The United Nations must have the possibility to enable all governments, civil society organisations and NGOs from all over the world to freely travel to its headquarters without the selective hindrances of the host country.”
September 14, 2005, at United Nations General Assembly

View Source Here [/spoiler]