Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya / Global Research & Fars News Agency & Asia Times – 2007-02-19 23:30:14
Terrorist Attacks in Iran and Iraq
Point to the Involvement of the US and Britain
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya / Global Research
The US and Britain, which allege to be pioneers in the campaign against terrorism, are themselves actually defending the terrorists, training them and providing them with the needed media and financial supports and facilities.”
— Soltan-Ali Mir, Iranian Interior Ministry)
(February 19, 2007) — Both the Iranian government and provincial officials in southeastern Iran have accused the United States and Britain of attempting to create instability in Iran and the Middle East. Since the invasion of Iraq by the United States and Britain, Iran has experienced an increasing number of explosions (or “terrorist attacks”) in Iranian border provinces and areas.
These provinces, which are subject to a new waves of attacks by previously unknown groups, border Anglo-American occupied Iraq to the West and Pakistan and Afghanistan in the East.
Pakistan is within the Anglo-American orbit and has close intelligence links with the United States and Britain, while Afghanistan is under military occupation, and Iraq has had cases where Coalition troops have been caught red handed attempting to commit acts of terrorism which have been portrayed by the media as sectarian Iraqi violence or the work of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
The Pakistani ambassador in Iran has also been summoned by the Iranian Foreign Ministry in regards to the attacks in Zahedan, southeastern Iran — attacks which do not seem possible without the cooperation or knowledge of the Pakistani government and Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI).
The methodology of terror attacks in the Middle East and around the world is beginning to show a disturbing trend and pattern which is closely related to Anglo-American interests. These “terrorist attacks” directly serve the interests of the US, Britain and Israel. The pattern of terrorist attacks in Iraq, Iran, and even Lebanon, are remarkably similar.
A study of terrorist incidents and their political outcomes and results will show that on the home front, the United States and its partners have benefited domestically from public outrage which in turn has justified and legitimized their policies. In the Middle East, the incitement of violence and acts of carnage has allowed the United States and Britain to linger in their internationally illegal occupation of Iraq, while spreading sedition amongst the peoples of Iraq and the Middle East.
Creating divisions amongst the different sectarian, religious, and ethno-cultural groups of the Middle East is part of the Anglo-American strategy to balkanize and control the region. The violence in Iraq and the tensions in Lebanon are the direct work of the United States and its partners, which aim to redraw the map of the Middle East in various aspects and ways.
While a link is evident that Iran, under the Khatami Administration, helped the United States and Britain in establishing the puppet Iraqi government during the questionabe Iraqi elections, it is apparent that Washington D.C. and Tehran are no longer on the same wave length in regard to Iraq and clearly no longer cooperating with each other.
At first sight, the Iranian charges of US and British involvement and weaponry seems like a symmetric move that parallels the US charge that Iran and Syria are arming and supporting anti-American militias in Iraq with Iranian weaponry to kill Coalition troops.
Deeper examination suggests that Iran has been accusing the United States and Britain since 2003 for trying to destabilize Iranian border zones. The charge of US and British weaponry is most likely a possible political rebuttal to the US claims of Iranian weaponry targeting Coalition troops, but the events in question seem to bear the fingerprints of the Anglo-American alliance, as documented by several press reports.
Iran to Present Evidence of
Foreign Involvement in Recent Blasts
Fars News Agency
TEHERAN (February 17, 2007) — Iran on Saturday invited international bodies to send envoys to Tehran to witness documents and other corroborative evidence showing involvement of foreign countries in recent terrorist blasts in the country’s southeastern provincial capital city of Zahedan.
Director General for the political affairs of Sistan and Balouchestan governorate Soltan-Ali Mir told FNA that the US and Britain are behind the recent terrorist attacks in the city of Zahedan, adding, “Washington and London are facing serious challenges as their interests in the Middle-East region have been endangered. Since the Islamic Republic is the main center of anti-US struggles, they are seeking to trouble Iran through a series of challenges, including terrorist attacks and unrests.”
Asked to elaborate on the documents proving involvement of the US and Britain in recent incidents in Iran’s Sistan and Balouchestan province, he said, “The weapons that the terrorists have used are US and British made. Moreover, the arrested terrorist agents have meantime, confessed that they have been trained by English-speaking people.”
The official invited representatives of the United Nations, Human Rights watch and other international bodies to dispatch envoys to Iran to observe the available documents and proofs substantiating involvement of the Untied States and Britain in the recent terrorist attacks, including the blast and shootout on Wednesday.
“The US and Britain, which allege to be pioneers in the campaign against terrorism, are themselves actually defending the terrorists, training them and providing them with the needed media and financial supports and facilities,” he added.
Soltan-Ali Mir further pointed out that the US and Britain intend to create a series of incidents in his province similar to what they have already done in Iraq.
“They intend to kill the Shiites and leave the footstep at the door of the Sunnis or vice versa. Some of the arrestees confessed that they had plans to assassinate religious and tribal leaders of the Sunnis and put the blame on the Shiites in a bid to foment ethnic and religious conflicts,” he stated.
The official also noted Iran’s good and friendly relations with the neighboring countries, and said that Iranian and Pakistani officials will soon attend meetings to improve security at the borders.
Meanwhile, he called on the security officials of Iran’s eastern neighbors to take the required precautions to secure their joint borders with Iran, saying that it is now the Islamic Republic which is paying a heavy price for securing the borders and that neighboring countries should enhance their efforts to prevent terrorists from trafficking across the border.
Terrorist Plot for Assassinating
Sunni Leaders Disclosed
Fars News Agency
TEHERAN (February 17, 2007) — Gang members arrested following a terrorist blast in southeast Iran disclosed a wide-scale plot hatched by the US for fomenting religious and ethnic conflicts in Iran through assassinating Sunni and tribal leaders.
An informed security source told FNA that the agents in charge of the recent terrorist attack on a bus full of passengers in Iran’s southeastern provincial capital city of Zahedan are mercenaries of the intelligence services of foreign countries and that they have undergone intensive trainings to carry out sabotage operations.
A bomb blast tore through a bus in Zahedan, southeast Iran at 06:10 (2:40 GMT) on Wednesday, killing 12 people and wounding 24 others.
The bus belonged to the Zahedan branch of the Islamic Republic’s Mobilized Forces (Baseej), and the passengers were all members of the ground force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
“One of the arrested terrorists has confessed that he has been trained by English-speaking individuals,” the source said, adding that the trainings have most probably been translated by the members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO).
Referring to the reason underlying the terrorist operation on Wednesday, he said, “According to the confessions made by the arrestees, the US is deeply displeased with the Iranians’ massive rallies on February 11, where the Iranian Shiites and Sunnites hand in hand chanted slogans against the US and in support of unity and the country’s policies, and thus, they have decided to sow seeds of discord between the Iranian Shiites and Sunnites through running several operations of sabotage in Sistan and Balouchestan province.”
The source also stated that arrestees have confessed that they intended to martyr a large number of Shiite and Sunnite citizens through frequent blasts in the province followed by several other terrorist operations for assassinating Molavis (Leaders of the Sunnis) and leaders of the different tribes in Sistan and Balouchestan in a bid to sow strong discord in the province and even in the whole country.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Centre for Research on Globalization. www.globalresearch.ca
© Copyright Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, GlobalResearch.ca, 2007
Tehran Insider Tells of US Black Ops
An Asia Times Online Special Correspondent
TEHRAN (February 20, 2007) — A former Iranian ambassador and Islamic Republic insider has provided intriguing details to Asia Times Online about US covert operations inside Iran aimed at destabilizing the country and toppling the regime — or preparing for an American attack.
“The Iranian government knows and is aware of such infiltration. It means that the Iranian government has identified them [the covert operatives] but for some reason does not want to show [this],” said the former diplomat on condition of anonymity.
Speaking in Tehran, the ex-Foreign Ministry official said the agents being used by the US “were originally Iranians and not Americans” possibly recruited in the United States or through US embassies in Dubai and Ankara. He also warned that such actions will engender “some reactions”.
“Both sides will certainly do something,” he said in a reference to Iran’s capability to stir trouble up in neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan for the occupying US troops there.
Veteran US journalist Seymour Hersh wrote in a much-discussed recent article in The New Yorker magazine that the administration of President George W Bush has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack as the crisis with Iran over its nuclear program escalates.
Hersh wrote that “teams of American combat troops have been ordered into Iran, under cover, to collect targeting data and to establish contact with anti-government ethnic-minority groups”. The template seems identical to the period that preceded US air strikes against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan during which a covert Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) campaign distributed millions of dollars to tribal allies.
“The Iranian accusations are true,” said Richard Sale, intelligence correspondent for United Press International, referring to charges that the US is using the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK) organization and other groups to carry out cross-border operations. “But it is being done on such a small scale — a series of pinpricks — it would seem to have no strategic value at all.”
There has been a marked spike in unrest in Kurdistan, Khuzestan and Balochistan, three of Iran’s provinces with a high concentration of ethnic Kurdish, Arab and Balochi minorities respectively.
With the exception of the immediate post-revolutionary period, when the Kurds rebelled against the central government and were suppressed violently, ethnic minorities have received better treatment, more autonomy and less ethnic discrimination than under the shah.
“The president hasn’t notified the Congress that American troops are operating inside Iran,” said Sam Gardiner, a retired US Army colonel who specializes in war-game scenarios. “So it’s a very serious question about the constitutional framework under which we are now conducting military operations in Iran.”
Camp Warhorse is the major US military base in the strategic Iraqi province of Diyala that borders Iran. Last month, Asia Times Online asked the US official in charge of all overt and covert operations emanating from there whether the military and the MEK colluded on an operational level. He denied any such knowledge.
“They have a gated community up there,” came the genial reply. “Not really guarded – it’s more gated. They bake really good bread,” he added, smiling.
But that is contrary to what Hersh was told by his sources, According to him, US combat troops are already inside Iran and, in the event of air strikes, would be in position to mark critical targets with laser beams to ensure bombing accuracy and excite sectarian tensions between the population and the central government.
As of early winter, Hersh’s source claims that the units were also working with minority groups in Iran, including the Azeris in the north, the Balochis in the southeast, and the Kurds in the northwest.
Last week, speaking on the sidelines of a Palestinian solidarity conference, Major-General Yehyia Rahim Safavi, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander, sent a warning to the US and British intelligence services he accuses of using Iraq and Kuwait to infiltrate Iran. “I tell them that their agents can be our agents too, and they should not waste their money so casually.”
On April 9, Iran claimed to have shot down an unmanned surveillance plane in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, according to a report in the semi-official Jumhuri Eslami newspaper. US media have also reported that the US military has been secretly flying surveillance drones over Iran since 2004, using radar, video, still photography and air filters to monitor Iranian military formations and track Iran’s air-defense system. The US denied having lost a drone.
This new mission for the combat troops is a product of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s long-standing interest in expanding the role of the military in covert operations, which was made official policy in the Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review, published in February.
Such activities, if conducted by CIA operatives, would need a Presidential Finding and would have to be reported to key members of Congress.
The confirmation that the US is carrying out covert activities inside Iran makes more sense out of a series of suspicious events that have occurred along Iran’s borders this year.
In early January, a military airplane belonging to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards went down close to the Iraqi border. The plane was carrying 11 of the Guard’s top commanders, including General Ahmad Kazemi, the commander of the IRGC’s ground forces, and Brigadier-General Nabiollah Shahmoradi, who was deputy commander for intelligence.
Although a spokesman blamed bad weather and dilapidated engines for the crash, the private intelligence company Stratfor noted that there are several reasons to suspect foul play, not least of which was that any aircraft carrying so many of Iran’s elite military luminaries would undergo “thorough tests for technical issues before flight”.
Later, Iran’s defense minister accused Britain and the US of bringing the plane down through “electronic jamming”.
“Given all intelligence information that we have gathered, we can say that agents of the United States, Britain and Israel are seeking to destabilize Iran through a coordinated plan,” Minister of Interior Mustafa Pour-Mohammadi said.
This sentiment was echoed on websites such as AmericanIntelligence.us, where one reader commented, “We couldn’t have made a better hit on the IRGC’s leadership if planned … sure it was just an accident?”
Then, in late January, a previously unknown Sunni Muslim group called Jundallah (Soldier of Allah) captured nine Iranian soldiers in the remote badlands of Sistan-Balochistan province that borders Afghanistan and Pakistan. And in mid-February, another airplane crashed just inside Iraq after taking off from Azerbaijan and transiting Iranian airspace.
The Iranian Mehr news agency reported that the “passengers on board were possibly of Israeli origin”. It added that US troops have restricted access to the site to Iraqi Kurdish officials and that Western media were reporting the passengers aboard as having been German.
The Iranian government has not sat idly by and just taken these breaches of sovereignty. Early this month, an unidentified source in the Interior Ministry was quoted by the hardline Kayhan newspaper as saying that the leader and 11 members of the Jundallah group had been killed by Iranian troops.
Then last Friday, Iranian missile batteries shelled Iranian Kurdish rebel positions inside Iraqi territory. They were targeting a militant group called PJAK that seeks more autonomy for Iran’s Kurdish population and has been operating out of Iraq since 1999.
The former Iranian ambassador argues that in the event that US pressure on Iran continues, “the end of the tunnel” for President Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s administration is “weaponization of the [nuclear] technology … and a military strike”.
“The Americans are pushing Iran to become a nuclear state. Iran just wants to be a supplier of nuclear fuel. But [with their threats] they are pushing it further.”
(Copyright 2006 Asia Times Online Ltd.
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