Iran’s President Confirms Frightening Foreign Policy Objective
Iran does not officially recognize the State of Israel. Eight years of a relatively moderate presidency allowed other nations to ignore that fact, despite ample proof that the Iranians were covertly working to destroy Israel. Now, however, the president is once again a radical, and he is proving himself anything but timid about voicing the most extreme views.
At an October 26 conference called “The World Without Zionism,” to a group of 4,000 radical students, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took the opportunity to express a chilling truth—one that has long represented the desires of his country’s most exalted leaders. He said, “The Islamic world will not let its historic enemy [Israel] live in its heartland” and that “leaders of the Muslim nation who recognize Israel will burn in the flames of anger of their own people.”
He then referred to Ayatollah Khomeini, who led the violent and radical Iranian Revolution of 1979: “As the imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map.” (memri’s translation of exerpts of the speech can be found here.)
Iran’s diplomats immediately tried to undo the damage caused by the remarks. The Iranian Embassy in Moscow claimed that Ahmadinejad “did not have any intention to speak in sharp terms and engage in a conflict.”
But the president silenced the diplomats immediately. On October 28, he attended “Jerusalem Day” celebrations—an annual observance that draws scads of Iranians into the streets to protest Jewish occupation of Islam’s third-holiest site. This year’s event was one of the most well-attended since it began in 1979—the year of the Iranian Revolution. Amid a throng of 200,000 chanting “death to America” and “death to Israel” and burning and trampling American and Israeli flags, Ahmadinejad flatly dismissed Westerners who criticized his remarks: “They become upset when they hear any voice of truth-seeking. They think they are the absolute rulers of the world.”
While Ahmadinejad’s comments prompted shock and indignation from nations worldwide, the truth is that they represent nothing new.
Intelligence continually emerges on how the mullahs in Tehran have plotted to take over Israel for many years. To lay the groundwork, they have drawn from their standard arsenal of espionage, arms smuggling and terrorism—feverishly, furtively working to subvert the Jewish government and position themselves to assume control.
Iranian subversion has been one of the principle causes of the dismal failure of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process that has chewed up so much diplomatic effort over the past 12 years. The Islamic Republic has placed guns in the hands of terrorists, paid Palestinians to blow themselves up among Israeli civilians, fomented hatred and campaigned for war. As far back as the August 1998Trumpet, editor in chief Gerald Flurry stated, “Iran has virtually destroyed the peace process single-handedly. Still, the world continues to talk about peace. Iran and radical Islam don’t want peace, and words won’t deter them.” When has Iran ever been held accountable for this disaster?
Mr. Flurry then called attention to this stunning declaration by intelligence analyst Joseph de Courcy in the Islamic Affairs Analyst: “Subscribers should be in absolutely no doubt about this. From Iran’s support for subversion in Bahrain, through its improving ties with Egypt, its support for Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Islamist revolutionaries in Khartoum, to its close strategic alliance with Moscow, everything has the same ultimate purpose: the liberation of Jerusalem from under the Zionist yoke.”
With post-Arafat Palestinian politics in disarray, the power best organized to fill the leadership gap has ties to Iran. And increasingly apparent is the fact that Tehran has the muscle, and the will, to take its campaign to “push Israel into the sea” to another level of horror.
The Palestinians, of themselves, appear too weak and disorganized to launch a strike of any great consequence against the Jewish State. But with Iran’s help, it would be a whole different matter.
Iran founded and funds to this day Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah. A continuing close relationship with this group—financial as well as ideological—has provided Iran’s mullahs inroads not only into Lebanon, but also Israel. Hezbollah’s charter identifies the Jewish state as one of its chief enemies, saying, “Our primary assumption in our fight against Israel states that the Zionist entity has been aggressive from its inception, and built on lands wrested from their owners, at the expense of the rights of the Muslim people. Therefore our struggle will end only when this entity is obliterated.” One of Hezbollah’s greatest victories was its battling the Israeli presence in southern Lebanon, which, after 15 years, culminated in Israel retreating to its own border in May of 2000.
Hezbollah’s founding document also makes clear its fundamental opposition to anything resembling a peace process. Hezbollah operatives, funded by Iran, have been responsible for hundreds of attacks that have sabotaged peace efforts over the past 20 years.
What is alarming, then, is how well this blood-stained “party of God” has positioned itself to influence Palestinian politics in the post-Arafat period.
An Israeli intelligence report authored in October 2004 showed that Hezbollah has been actively trying to infiltrate the Jewish state from within ever since Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon. At that moment, as reported by IsraelNationalNews.com on Dec. 9, 2004, “Hezbollah and Iran realized the ‘explosive potential’ available in the Israeli-Arab population. Full-fledged citizens with complete mobility throughout the country, the Arabs of Israel were seen as a perfect way of enhancing Hezbollah’s ability to strike out at Israel.” In addition to collecting intelligence from Israel’s Arab citizens, Iran and Hezbollah began using them to establish and expand terror cells, to smuggle weapons, and to provide logistical and operative aid to other terror groups, all within Israel’s borders. An Israeli Arab arrested in November 2004 for spying for Iran offered an unsettling peek at the truth of the report. Voice of Israel radio said Iranian intelligence had given him a number of assignments, including recruiting terrorists and distributing money to the families of suicide bombers.
In December, more proof turned up. “Israeli security officials said Iran has expanded its office in Beirut established to recruit Palestinians and Israelis for espionage and other operations against the Jewish state. The officials said that Iran has allocated new funds for a range of operations in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip” (Middle East Newsline, Dec. 10, 2004).
In a chilling story in the Dec. 13, 2004, Weekly Standard, Aaron Mannes documented further infiltration into Israel by Hezbollah and, by extension, Iran. “Iran and Hezbollah have provided funds, weapons and training to Palestinian terrorists. Many of the intifada’s most successful tactics were learned from Hezbollah. But all this assistance came at a price. According to Israeli intelligence, Iran is now ‘in control of terrorism in Israel.’”
The evidence is copious. Hezbollah has established close relationships with the majority of small leftist Palestinian organizations. The umbrella group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which includes several radical Palestinian Islamic factions, is under heavy Iranian influence and cooperates with Hezbollah. Alarmingly, Hamas, a terrorist group whose political support among Palestinians is rapidly growing, is actually coming under Hezbollah control. Mannes reports that “Hamas’s political leadership is now exclusively Syria-based, and Hezbollah operatives in Lebanon direct Hamas operations” (ibid.)—certainly a point to remember when following ongoing developments in Palestinian politics.
If Hezbollah—or, perhaps more plausibly, a Hezbollah-controlled Hamas—does end up playing a large role on the new Palestinian political scene, it will amount to an Iranian takeover. “[I]n politics the advantage goes to the organized, and Hezbollah and its patrons have been preparing for this moment for some time” (ibid.).
Given these facts, it’s not difficult to see how Iran could swell Palestinian politics with enough power to throw Israel into even greater chaos in the time ahead.