Tag Archives: Iran

IRAN’S PROXIES TO CREATE “ISLAMIC REPUBLICS”

Obama’s Dollars flow to expand Islamist ideology of Iran and its proxies.

Iran has created an Islamist empire through its loyal proxies in dozens of countries. More recently, these Iranian Islamist proxies have become empowered and emboldened to an unprecedented level. Their leaders are publicly announcing their desire to create Islamist states, which are modeled after the Islamic Republic of Iran.

For example, this week, the Deputy Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Naim Qassem, pointed out in an interview, to a state-owned Iranian outlet, that he truly believes that “Islam is the solution to all of man’s problems, in all places and at all times.” As a result, he contends that it is a “doctrinal and cultural imperative” to overthrow the secular state in Lebanon and set up an Islamic Shiite political system. He also desires the new state to precisely resemble the one created by Ayatollah Rooh Allah Khomeini, the autocrat founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran who tried to establish a political establishment similar to that of Muhammad over 1400 years ago.

Hezbollah is not the only ideological Islamist proxy that is coming out with such blatant announcements. Others of Iran’s proxies−including Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), Badr Organization, Liwa Abu Fadl al-Abbas (LAFA), Kataib Al Imam Ali−have publicly reasserted their mission of creating a state similar to that of Khomenei’s.

Leaders of Hezbollah and other Shiite Islamist groups funded by Iran have made their allegiances to Iran by believing in the concept of “Absolute Wilayat al-Faqih” (Guardianship of the Jurist) which was coined by Ayatollah Khomeini. The concept of  “Absolute Wilayat al-Faqih” follows that all domestic, social, economic, political and foreign policy maters are in the hand of one person (who is elected by Allah: The Supreme Leader). This is similar to how things were ruled in Muhammad’s era. The Supreme leader has the right to enact, suspend, and abolish any laws based on his discretion, Shari law and Islamic Jurisprudence.

These Islamist groups would also desire to implement Khomenei’s Islamist rules that non-Muslims can not run for high political positions, women should follow the same dress code and Hijab across the country, men ought to grow beards, drinking and listening to music should be banned, stoning of women and executions of homosexuals, political prisoners, and juveniles, to name a few, will become law.

But more importantly, another related question to address is why are Iran’s Islamist groups publicly announcing their mission of creating Islamist state at this particular time?

Well, the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been on a shopping spree across Europe to reap benefits from the nuclear deal and business deals worth billions of dollars.

Behind closed doors, while human rights demonstrators were protesting the Iranian presidential visit, more than 30 business agreements were signed, with various industries, including petrochemicals, construction, cars, planes, transportation, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, health care, etc. The car manufacturer, Peugeot Citroën, signed nearly a half billion dollars with Iran Khodro and Total made a contract to buy 150,000 to 200,000 barrels of oil everyday from Tehran.

Unfortunately, some European politicians are eagerly welcoming Iranian diplomats. To show their special welcome, some of these politicians even took further steps undermining their own cultural values; for example, the French took the wine off the menu list, Italy covered their nude statues, red carpet was repeatedly rolled out for Mr. Rouhani, and he was invited to most crucial locations in Europe, such as Les Invalides, to speak with business and political leaders.

So, where are these billions of dollars heading? The lifting of the economic sanctions by the United Nations Security Council has empowered the Islamic Republic and billions of dollars are being directed towards Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and supporting Iran’s Islamist proxies−designated as terrorist groups−across the world.

The mullahs are telling the world that they are open for “business.” But, one should not fall in the trap of the hypocrite moderate image that the mullahs and President Rouhani are projecting to the world. To survive and support its Islamist Empire of proxies, the Islamic republic has become moderate only in “doing business” with the rest of the world and enjoying the rewards of capitalism. Nevertheless, Iran’s domestic reality and regional policies do not show any signs of moderation.

The Islamic Republic has executed more than 800 people in 2015, breaking the world record in execution per capita. Iranian journalists, human rights defenders, and bloggers are frequently being imprisoned for expressing their opinion. Even Iran’s foreign policy has not shown any signs of moderation. Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Quds force are operating in Syria and Iraq, helping Assad’s forces, which are involved in wars against humanity, and assisting Shiite militias across the region financially, militarily and advisory.

The mission of Iran’s Islamist proxies−establishing Islamic Republics modeled after Iran−is not a far-fetched ambition. We should not forget that to spread its Islamist ideology, Iran masterfully created political realities, powerful foreign armed forces, and an empire of proxies from these militia groups that were once considered trivial. The socialist politicians should also be cognizant of the fact that helping Iran by any means to receive more dollars, will be contributing directly to advancing Iran’s and its proxies Islamist, hegemonic ambitions, as well as anti-Western and anti-Semitic sentiments.

Iran has won Lebanon

 Hezbollah fighters, holding up Lebanese flags and the yellow flag of the militant Shiite Muslim group, parade through the southern suburbs of Beirut in November 2009. (AFP)

Hezbollah’s chief Hassan Nasrallah declared his victory in Lebanon in his last speech and he’s right. Hezbollah won Lebanon and no one seems to care.
March 14 dissolved long before its leaders nominated March 8 figures for presidency. Political opponents to the Party of God and its hegemony over Lebanon lost the battle a long time ago, when they compromised values for political gains. The state is increasingly weakened by the void in its institutions, corruption of its spearheads, and petty individual interests.

Regional powers are busy in Syria and Yemen while the international community seems to have given up on Lebanon. As long as Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria is not challenged by the international community, it means only one thing for Lebanon; that Iran has been given a free hand to take over. The release of a criminal and terrorist of Michel Samaha’s caliber is nothing but a sign of who runs the show, and how weak we are to even protest it.

Iran won Lebanon! And Iran can do anything it wants in Lebanon without any political opposition or challenges. And now Iran can focus to win what it needs in Syria, while everyone is busy making business deals with the “new Iran.” Lebanon, on the other hand, is going to pay a very high price for all these deals and compromises, more so as Iran, Russia and the Assad regime are scoring more gains in Syria.

Iran’s plan for Lebanon

To protect Hezbollah’s arms, Iran will do anything; whatever it takes and no matter how many people and lives are sacrificed. The arms are above all. The sacredness of these arms was justified by fighting Israeli aggression and occupation, and is justified today by fighting terrorism and takfiris. However, the real purpose and ultimate goal of Hezbollah’s arms is their mere existence.

Hezbollah’s arms are a symbol of its power and authority over Lebanon and the Lebanese. So without them, Hezbollah has nothing, and Iran will lose influence in Lebanon and the region. Even if they’re not in use, arms are the backbone of this power. With the changing dynamics in the region, Iran’s deal with the West and the escalating Sunni-Shiite conflict in the region, Hezbollah wants to make sure nothing changes the status quo of its arsenal. Today, there is no one to challenge Hezbollah’s arms in Lebanon. To guarantee that for the longest time possible, Hezbollah will need more void and the disintegration of state institutions, which will intensify and become worse.

The Sunni community will have to remain headless. Former PM Saad Hariri has been out of the country for years, and there’s no one else to challenge his popularity yet. The Saudi money stopped coming to the Sunni community, through Hariri’s institutions, as it used to, which left them in urgent need of leadership and financial support.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah is taking advantage of the situation by recruitingmore Sunnis into the Resistance Brigade [Saraya al-Moqawama]. For a mere $400 a month, Sunnis are joining the Brigade – not to fight in Syria – but only to receive training and stay on hold until further notice.

This “further notice” is probably a local moment, similar to the May 7 events of 2008, or the Black Shirts of 2010. “What the Sunnis are used for, however, are reconnaissance missions in Syria, as they have access to rebel areas and make good informants,” a Sunni activist in the Bekaa told NOW a few months ago. “They offer some money, but more than that, they offer weapons, and, most of all, protection and the illusion that they are powerful.”

In any case, Hezbollah prefers this community to stay leaderless because it simply gives them more power and sway over Lebanon, its state, and its communities.

But the most significant part of this plan is the Shiites in Lebanon. They are the ones providing fighters for the war and protecting the party and its weapons. The supporters will die for Hezbollah and Iran, but they won’t die for Lebanon. This loyalty and dedication needs to endure. Without it, Hezbollah loses a lot, but it requires a lot as well; that is, money, for services, media, and compensations. The money is coming, despite the recent US sanctions. But the challenges are elsewhere.

Containing discontent

Hezbollah’s support-base is increasingly complaining. It started with the parents of the kids who died fighting in Syria, but it seems even the fighters themselves are complaining now.
Sources in the southern suburbs tell NOW that the increasing number of young men coming back in coffins – and sometimes not even coming back – without any benefit or victory felt, has intensified discontent. “When Hezbollah was resisting Israeli occupation, its victories were felt by the people. For example, they could go back to their occupied towns and villages in the South. Today, their victories have no practical repercussion on the community, but their losses do; it the death of our children, brothers and fathers,” she said.

On a different level, many businessmen in Lebanon are panicking after the US Treasury sanctions started targeting more people. Hezbollah’s economic support-base has never been targeted as it is today. Any businessman dealing with any of Hezbollah’s institutions is today reconsidering their deals – even if it is the selling of office supplies or catering services. This is not going to hurt Hezbollah significantly, but it will certainly increase the level of discontent by a community suffering more and more of isolation.

Hezbollah is trying to fight this discontent by increasing the funding for propaganda and services. For example, Iran is trying to take advantage of the severe financial crisis in Lebanon’s media sector – mainly due to the ceasing of Saudi funding for Lebanon’s media – to increase its support to its own media. For instance, recent reports show that Iran is spending millions of US dollars on media institutions, mostly located around the Iranian embassy in Beirut. Houthis, Iraqis and Hezbollah share a lot of these spaces and editorial operations. While Lebanese media – newspapers and TV channels – are closing or downsizing, Iranian-funded media outlets are prospering, expanding and hiring more than ever.

The whole point is to expand the propaganda rhetoric in order to contain the increasing discontent. Despite the challenges, the Party of God is steadily moving to take whatever is left of Lebanon. If no one stops it, Lebanon will be a state-within-Hezbollah’s-state, not the other way around. And we are not far from it.

Hanin Ghaddar is the managing editor of NOW and a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council. She tweets @haningdr.

The threat of a Super-EMP

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The threat is thanks to North Korea, but Iran is reported to have a base just south of the Chinese border.

James Hyde co-authored this two-part article. For part one, click here.

It’s a staggering prediction, something reminiscent of a post-apocalyptic, mega-disaster movie that has the winnowing characters scavenging for anything they can in a desperate search for water and food. But this is no movie, and it isn’t fiction. This frightening estimate has the consensus of the U.S. government, well-known, pro-electric-grid “protectionists” screaming into the winds of congressional resistance, and a number of think tanks that follow this issue closely.

Peter Pry, a former CIA analyst and executive director of the congressionally chartered EMP Commission shared the estimate withNewsmax:

“‘Within 12 months of an EMP attack or a massive solar flare between two-thirds to 90 percent of the U.S. population would perish’ from lack of electricity, Pry said, quoting the conclusions from the EMP Commission’s two public reports.”

That’s well beyond a stunning and chilling augury, one that should make Congress take the threat so seriously that it puts aside all else and acts immediately to protect our electric grid. But so far—and we’ve known about the effects of this weapon since the Starfish Prime nuclear test in 1962—it hasn’t generated the kind of legislation that would help prevent an extinction-level event.

In this, the second of two articles about the threat, we discuss how the threat comes from the detonation of a Super-EMP device 300 miles in our exo-atmosphere and right over the center of the United States. Because a Super-EMP is an EMP “device” as opposed to a conventional nuclear weapon, the nuclear yield is far less, while its load of gamma rays is far greater. That is what makes it so utterly destructive. The damage caused by the E1 pulse to our electric infrastructure is complete, long lasting (a decade or more) and incalculable cost-wise. It’s the aftermath of the impact that would open the door wide to the grim reaper carrying an enormous, razor-sharp scythe, especially for city and suburban dwellers.

The gamma rays focused on the center of the country radiate out horizontally, not into the ground. They then form a circular impact on the nation’s entire electric grid depending on its altitude (300 miles up seems optimum).  The E1 wave is an extremely fast electrical pulse that will take out objects dependent upon electrical conductivity, such as many cars (save for those manufactured before 1974), most of the technological gadgets to which we are addicted, and, unfortunately, far too many military assets that will be useless after the attack. Importantly, greater damage is done to such targets when they are powered on at the time the pulse hits the earth.

The truly existential threat of a Super-EMP attack on the U.S. comes courtesy of North Korea, a disgruntled and paranoid rogue state that has been trading nuclear secrets with Iran in a mutual pact to destroy us. As we pointed out in Part One of these two articles, Iran has pulled a brilliant end run around Obama, Kerry and the P5+1, and is reported to have a base just south of the Chinese border.

Kim Jong Un harbors schizophrenic delusions, chief among them is his belief that an imminent attack is coming from the U.S. and South Korea. Kim, likely with Iran nuclear physicists standing beside him, tested what may have been a hydrogen-based Super-EMP on January 6 of this year. Evidence of its highly efficient and destructive power came in just three words from North Korean news broadcasts. Their experts contend that they will destroy us, “all at once.”

All at once? The phrase struck us like an epiphanic sledge hammer when we read the story on Breitbart:

“In a commentary feature on its website, North Korea’s state media outlet boasted that its nation’s scientists are in ‘high spirits’ to detonate nuclear weapons capable of destroying America ‘all at once.’”

No nuclear or any other kind of attack could destroy the entire country “all at once” except a Super-EMP with the core component being hydrogen. A thermonuclear bomb is 1,000 times more powerful than the strongest conventional nuclear weapon. But the North Koreans were not acting on their own and the yield from the test was minimized.

At first, the reports from those testing air samples in the area claimed that it wasn’t a hydrogen bomb test. However, retesting had scientists saying that there was evidence of elements decidedly hydrogen in origin, but it was not a major thermonuclear bomb. So what was tested?

We realized when that question arose that the test hadn’t been of a full-blown hydrogen bomb, but a far smaller thermonuclear device that would serve as a Super-EMP weapon possibly developed by the North Koreans and the Iranians working together.

That degree of evil-axis cooperation brings a wintry chill up and down the spines of those of us who have studied this threat in depth. Those doing all they can to get Congress to take action on this issue include: R. James Woolsey, ex-CIA director, and Peter Vincent Pry, who established theEMP Task Force, a site where you’ll find a map detailing the EMP threat from North Korea.

The video highlights how North Korea’s KSM-3 satellite  (already circling the globe) which has, “the capability to deliver a small nuclear warhead to intercontinental ranges–against any nation on Earth.” It’s small enough to put into a faux satellite. The KSM-3 already passes over the U.S. from south to north, instead of west to east. That’s due in part to the absence of a strong missile defense system protecting our southern flank.

There are many other experts worthy of mention, in particular, Frank Gaffney, author of Guilty Knowledge, a book that highlights the U.S. government’s knowledge of the vulnerability of the grid, but willfully neglects to address the threat.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-A.Z.), a member of Congress has been tireless in his efforts to pass a number of bills to fix the problem. He has carried the torch to illuminate the issue in Congress numerous times, including his introduction of HR 2417, the Secure High-Voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage Act (Shield Act), which has stalled in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The cost to protect the grid is modest at $20 to $30 billion. But there’s an added problem. Some 3,200 utility companies who would have to cooperate are risk averse to pass the cost onto ratepayers. If they did so, the actual cost would be $3.30 per month, according to Testimony of George H. Baker before the Joint Hearing on “The EMP Threat: The State of Preparedness against the Threat of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Event” May 13, 2015. Considering the nature of the threat, that’s a tiny price for a huge problem. A story published by The Hill explains the difficulty of getting serious legislative action to the president’s desk.

A Super-EMP attack or a cyberattack that takes out the grid is extremely serious. It’s made all the more so because the North Koreans are about to test launch another missile. They could very easily be launching a new satellite, this one carrying a Super-EMP device, in which case, if it is detonated over the center of the country, it could leave us in the dark “all at once” for as long as a decade or more.

James Hyde began his journalism career as managing editor of Financial Computing and Analytical Instruments and Computers magazines. He later became managing editor of United States Banker magazine, and won a Jesse H. Neal Award in 1986. Since then he has written one book and two syndicated columns that were circulated worldwide. He is a political analyst and has worked for a number of major political figures.

Amil Imani is an Iranian-American writer, poet, satirist, novelist, essayist, literary translator, public speaker and political analyst who has been writing and speaking out about the danger of radical Islam internationally. He has become a formidable voice in the USA against the danger of global jihad and Islamization of America. He maintains a website at http://www.amilimani.com. and wrote the book Obama Meets Ahmadinejad and a new thriller Operation Persian Gulf

Amil Imani can be reached at Amil@amilimaniinitiative.com.James Hyde can be reached at James@amilimaniinitiative.com