Archive for the ‘Iran / Israel War’ category

Evidence mounts that soon-to-be flush Iran already spurring new attacks on Israel

August 28, 2015

Evidence mounts that soon-to-be flush Iran already spurring new attacks on Israel, Fox News, August 27, 2015

An unsettling surge in terrorism by Iranian proxies has many Israelis convinced the release to Tehran of tens of billions of dollars in frozen funds is already putting the Jewish state in danger.

In recent days, rockets have rained down on Israel from Gaza in the south and the Golan Heights to the north, Israeli forces foiled a bomb plot at the tomb of biblical patriarch Joseph, and Gaza-based terrorist groups that also have a presence in the West Bank have openly appealed for aid on Iranian television. Israeli officials fear the terrorist activity is spiking as groups audition for funding from Tehran, which is set to receive the long-frozen funds as part of its deal to allow limited nuclear inspections. They say the international focus on Iran’s nuclear ambitions has left its more conventional methods of attacking regional adversaries unaddressed.

“The nuclear context is just one aspect of the negative Iranian activities in the region,” Emmanuel Nahshon, senior Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman, told FoxNews.com. “We can see the demonstration of this on a daily basis in Syria, in Yemen, and in Iraq. We see it also when we see the [Iranian] support of Hezbollah and other groups who operate against Israel.”

Last month, National Security Adviser Susan Rice admitted that some of the money due to be released as part of the deal negotiated by the U.S. led P5+1 “would go to the Iranian military and could potentially be used for the kinds of bad behavior that we have seen in the region.”

Aside from the soon-to-be-released billions, Iran’s finances will also be strengthened by the easing of trade embargoes that have seen a horde of major international business – many from P5+1 countries – rushing to sign lucrative deals with the ayatollahs. Earlier this week, British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond scoffed at the fears of Israel and many Arab countries in the Middle East, saying the deal would “slowly rebuild their sense that Iran is not a threat to them.” Less than 24 hours later, the spokesman for Iran’s top parliament member said, “Our positions against [Israel] have not changed at all; Israel should be annihilated.”

If that remains Iran’s intention, terror groups Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are showing a renewed eagerness to continue as its proxies. Four rockets apparently fired by the PIJ from Syria into northern Israel last week – two into the Golan Heights and two more into the Upper Galilee – were the first such attacks since the start of Syria’s bloody civil war more than four years ago. Israel responded with targeted missile strikes, including one which hit a car killing “five or six PIJ terrorists.”

On Aug. 18, Iranian state TV broadcast images of a new, 2.5-mile tunnel leading from Gaza into Israel. Dug by the Fatah-linked terror group the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, and seemingly competing with arch-rivals Hamas for a share of the imminently unfrozen Iranian funds, the terrorists made an unabashed appeal for more cash. In a segment translated by Palestinian Media Watch, the terror group’s representatives said, “This is why we are asking [for money]… especially [from] Iran, which is a known long-time supporter of the resistance and the Palestinian cause.”

On Tuesday, Israeli officials revealed that a joint Israeli internal security and military operation thwarted a potentially lethal bomb attack planned by the Islamic Jihad on visitors to Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem in the Palestinian-controlled West Bank, the resting place of the biblical figure revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.

The pace of attacks, as well as the diversity of their perpetrators, has prompted speculation that terrorist groups are competing for Iranian funding, and trying to show they are capable of giving Tehran bang for its buck. The terrorist groups however operate on budgets that are tiny given the scale of Iran’s financing capability.

“The amount that Iran gives Hezbollah is not very much – around $200 million – not even 1 percent of Iran’s budget last year,” Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian-born Israeli expert on the region who writes at www.middleastanalyst.com, told FoxNews.com. “If you want to stop Iranian support of Hezbollah you would need to have inspectors on the ground in Syria and Lebanon, the most dangerous of places, checking Hezbollah’s arsenal, bank accounts, bases, and Syrian bases which Hezbollah uses. I don’t see any UN force, or anyone else volunteering to do that.”

The Iran deal and the Israeli veto

August 24, 2015

The Iran deal and the Israeli veto, Power LinePaul Mirengoff, August 23, 2015

(How long can Israel wait? Please see also, Thinking About the Unthinkable: An Israel-Iran Nuclear War and WHY IRAN IS NUCLEAR NOW. — DM)

CNN’s report thus raises this obvious question: Will Israel attack Iran now that the U.S. and its European allies are about to enter a deal that effectively grants Iran the right to become a nuclear power?

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This weekend, CNN reported that in recent years, Israeli leaders planned three attacks on military targets in Iran. CNN bases this story on an audio recording with former Defense Minister (and one-time Prime Minister) Ehud Barak. The recording was leaked to an Israeli television station.

Why didn’t Israel carry through with the planned attacks? In the first case (2010), Israeli military leaders reportedly nixed the idea. The head of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) simply didn’t believe the planned attack was “operational.”

In the second case (2011), the IDF signed off on an attack. However, two key ministers had doubts that could not be overcome.

In the third case (2012), the attack didn’t come off because of scheduling issues. Supposedly, the planned strike conflicted with a joint military exercise with the United States. The Israeli didn’t want to embarrass Washington by attacking Iran just as it was set to engage in the joint military exercise because this would give the appearance that the Americans were involved. (The explanation in CNN’s report for why the attack wasn’t rescheduled is garbled).

In all three instances, Prime Minister Netanyahu wanted to attack. In all three instances, Barak, who is not a member of Netanyahu’s party, concurred.

In none of these instances does it appear that President Obama’s obvious opposition to an Israeli attack on Iran was the dealbreaker, if CNN’s report is to be believed (though Obama’s views may have contributed to the two ministers getting cold feet in 2011).

CNN’s report thus raises this obvious question: Will Israel attack Iran now that the U.S. and its European allies are about to enter a deal that effectively grants Iran the right to become a nuclear power?

One might think not. The deal has the support of European governments eager to allow their businessmen to take advantage of Iranian markets. Here in the U.S., the deal is unpopular, but Obama considers it the main element of his foreign policy legacy.

There will be hell to pay if Israel upsets these expectations by attacking Iran.

But the more we learn about the farcical nature of this deal, the more Israel’s calculus may tilt in favor of an Israeli attack — if not in 2015 or 2016, then in 2017 when Obama is no longer president. After all, the hell Israel would pay if it attacks Iran must be weighed against the threat of a nuclear Iran. CNN’s report, if accurate, adds plausibility to the view that Israel sees the latter as more hellacious.

In a very real sense, then, the key people evaluating Obama’s deal aren’t U.S. Senators and Representatives, but rather Israeli generals, intelligence chiefs, and ministers. They are the ones who, effectively, can nullify the deal.

It seems to be that with every revelation of a major Obama/IAEA concession to the mullahs, the prospect that Israel will exercise its veto increases.

Thinking About the Unthinkable: An Israel-Iran Nuclear War

August 23, 2015

Thinking About the Unthinkable: An Israel-Iran Nuclear War, Amerian Thinker, John Bosma, August 23, 2015

(We live in “interesting times.” — DM)

The signing of a Munich-class agreement with Iran that hands it more than it ever hoped to pull off represents a shocking, craven American capitulation to an apocalyptic crazy state: a North Korea with oil. Nothing in Western history remotely approaches it, not even Neville Chamberlain’s storied appeasement of another antisemitic negotiating partner.

But it also augurs the possibility of a nuclear war coming far sooner than one could have imagined under conventional wisdom worst-case scenarios. Following the US’s betrayal of Israel and its de facto detente with Iran, we cannot expect Israel to copy longstanding US doctrines of no-first-nuclear-use and preferences for conventional-weapons-only war plans. After all, both were premised (especially after the USSR’s 1991 collapse) on decades of US nuclear and conventional supremacy. If there ever were an unassailable case for a small, frighteningly vulnerable nation to pre-emptively use nuclear weapons to shock, economically paralyze, and decapitate am enemy sworn to its destruction, Israel has arrived at that circumstance.

Why? Because Israel has no choice, given the radical new alignment against it that now includes the US, given reported Obama threats in 2014 to shoot down Israeli attack planes, his disclosure of Israel’s nuclear secrets and its Central Asian strike-force recovery bases, and above all his agreement to help Iran protect its enrichment facilities from terrorists and cyberwarfare – i.e., from the very special-operations and cyber forces that Israel would use in desperate attempts to halt Iran’s bomb. Thus Israel is being forced, more rapidly and irreversibly than we appreciate, into a bet-the-nation decision where it has only one forceful, game-changing choice — early nuclear pre-emption – to wrest back control of its survival and to dictate the aftermath of such a survival strike.

Would this involve many nuclear weapons? No – probably fewer than 10-15, although their yields must be sufficiently large to maximize ground shock. Would it produce Iranian civilian casualties? Yes but not as many as one might suppose, as it would avoid cities. Most casualties would be radiological, like Chernobyl, rather than thermal and blast casualties. Would it spur a larger catalytic nuclear war? No. Would it subsequently impel Russia, China and new proliferators to normalize nuclear weapons in their own war planning? Or would the massive global panic over the first nuclear use in anger in 70 years, one that would draw saturation media coverage, panic their publics into urgent demands for ballistic missile self-defense systems? Probably the latter.

The Iranian elite’s ideology and controlling political psychology is inherently preferential towards nukes and direct population targeting as a way to implement Shi’ite messianism and end-times extremism. Iran is a newly nuclear apocalyptic Shi’ite regime that ranks as the most blatantly genocidal government since the Khmer Rouge’s Sorbonne-educated leaders took over Cambodia in April, 1975. Senior Iranian officials have periodically tied nuclear war to the return of the Twelfth Imam or Mahdi, which Iran’s previous president anticipated within several years. This reflects not just the triumphalist enthusiasm of a new arriviste nuclear power that just won more at the table than it dared to dream. It also reflects a self-amplifying, autarchic end-days theology that is immune to both reality testing and to Western liberal/progressive tenets about prim and proper nuclear behavior.

Admittedly, Iranian leaders have lately resorted to envisioning Israel’s collapse in more restrained terms through Palestinian demographic takeover of the Israeli state and asymmetric warfare. Still there remains a lurid history of Iranian officials urging the elimination of Israel and its people, of allocating their nukes to Israeli territory to maximize Jewish fatalities, of Iranian officials leading crowds in chants of “Death to Israel!” Iran’s government also released a video game allowing players to target various kinds of Iranian ballistic missiles against Israeli cities – this as part of intensive propaganda drumming up hatred of Jews. A more recent video game envisions a massive Iranian ground army marching to liberate Jerusalem. In all, Iran’s official stoking of genocidal Jew hatred is far beyond what Hitler’s government dared to advocate before the 1939 outbreak of World War 2.

The deliberate American silence over Iran’s genocidal intentionality sends an unmistakable signal to Israel that the US no longer recognizes a primordial, civilizational moral obligation to protect it from the most explicit threats imaginable. It is truly on its own, with the US in an all-but-overt alliance with its worst enemy. The shock to Israel’s leaders of this abrupt American lurch into tacitly accepting this Iranian intentionality cannot be understated. Iran is violating the core tenets of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, a US initiative after the Tokyo and Nuremberg war-crimes trials to codify genocide as a crime against humanity. Now the US is silent.

But this shift is also recent. Every US government prior to President Obama would have foresworn nuclear talks with such a psychopathic regime or would have walked out in a rage upon such utterances. Yet Iran’s genocidal threats have had no discernible effect on Obama’s canine eagerness for a deal. It’s as if 75 years ago a US president had cheerfully engaged in peace talks with Hitler and his SS entourage despite learning the details of the Nazis’ secret Wannsee Conference where Hitler signed off on the Final Solution for the Jews. But whereas Hitler had the sense in that era to keep that conclave secret, Iran’s Wannsee intentionality toward Israel and world Jewry has for years been flamboyantly rude-and-crude and in-your-face. That this Iranian advocacy of a second Holocaust drew no objection from the US negotiators of this deal should make moral pariahs out of every one of them – including our president and Secretary of State.

These two factors alone, especially the abrupt evaporation of the US’s ultimate existential bargain with Israel through Obama’s de facto alliance with the mullahs, would drive Israel to the one attack option it can unilaterally use without running short of munitions and experiencing the massive US coercion embedded in that dependence. But there are other reasons why early Israeli nuclear pre-emption is not only justified but almost mandatory.

First, it is too late to stop Iran’s bomb-making momentum with conventional weapons or sanctions. That nation’s science and technology base is robust and improving. It has learned to domestically produce high-performance gas centrifuges whose uranium gas output is such that smaller numbers of them are needed for breakout. The US spent decades and many billions at labs like Oak Ridge National Laboratory on composites, software-controlled magnetic bearings, gas flow separations, thermal controls and ultra-precision manufacturing for these thin-wall, very-high-speed devices. Yet Iran has come up the centrifuge learning curve with surprising speed. Its metallurgists are familiar with a novel aluminum forging method that may yield nanophase aluminum shells so strong that they approach the centrifugal strength usually associated with more demanding composite-shell gas centrifuges. Also, Iran’s bomb engineering and physics can tap the sophisticated bomb designs and re-entry vehicle (RV) skills of North Korea, which is reducing the weight and mass of its H-bombs to fit on ballistic missiles and whose collaboration with Iran reportedly included Iranian technicians at North Korean bomb tests.

Other technology sources in the Nuclear Bombs R Us cartel for wannabe proliferators set up by rogue nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan of Pakistan include China, Russia and Pakistan. Worst of all, under the US-Iran deal, Iran’s ballistic missiles can improve their reliability, accuracy, throw-weight and their post-boost RV-release thrusters.

Second, Iran’s underground nuclear targets are likely harder than American and Israeli hard-target munition (HTM) developers have assumed. Why? Because Iranian engineers have perfected the world’s toughest concrete, developing mixtures using geopolymers, quartz powders (called fume) and metal and ceramic fibers. The result is hardness levels reportedly up to 50,000-60,000 psi in experimental samples. This means that even shallow “cut and cover” hard targets like the Natanz centrifuge enrichment plant, an armored complex in an excavated pit that is then covered, can resist destruction by the US’s most lethal hard-target bomb: the 30,000-lb “Massive Ordnance Penetrator.” Only the B-2 and the B-52 can carry the MOP. Yet while the MOP can penetrate ~200 ft into 5000-psi targets, it only reaches 25 feet into 10,000-psi concrete – and Iranian cement for new or up-armored underground bunkers has likely progressed well beyond that.

US and Israeli HTM alternatives include staged-warhead penetrators and – high on the wish list – novel energetic chemistries with orders-of-magnitude more power than current HTMs. Tactical HTMs with up to four sequential warheads use precursor warheads to blast an initial opening for larger follow-through charges to destroy tanks, fortifications and bridge piers. But these impact at slow speeds compared to what’s needed to kill deep hard targets. The latter need superhard casings (probably single-crystal metals) and packaging to keep their sequenced charges intact during violent impacts of thousands of feet/second (fps). One benchmark is the Department of Energy’s Sandia lab’s success years ago in firing a simulated hard-target RV into rock at 4400 fps. Similarly, reactive-material (RM) munitions and next-generation HEDM (high-energy-density material) explosives and energetic chemistries with orders-of-magnitude more power look promising for the future. But these require years of iterative fly-redesign-fly testing to assure they’ll survive impact with their deep targets.

Bottom line: with even the US’s best non-nuclear HTMs marginal against Iran’s critical deep targets, Israel’s HTMs probably wouldn’t do the job either, being lower in kinetic energy on target. Alternatives like using HTMs to destroy entrances to such targets and ventilation shafts may work – but unless Iranian military power and recovery are set back months or years, this damage would be repaired or worked round. Moreover, nuclear facilities tunneled into mountains would be almost impossible to destroy with conventionals.

Still, the brains behind Iran’s nuclear bomb, missile and WMD is concentrated in soft targets like the Iranian universities run by the IRGC (Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps), custodian of the bomb program). These can be hit by conventionals under a Peenemunde targeting strategy to kill as many weapon scientists and technicians as possible. (This recalls Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s directive for British bombers to target the residential housing on the small Baltic island where Hitler had sited his V-2 rocket program.) Alternatively, conventional or nuclear EMP (electromagnetic pulse) or HPM (high-power microwave) weapons could destroy for months all the computers and communications that support university-hosted bomb work. This would keep these scientists and surrounding urban populations alive.

Third, Obama’s decision to provide Iran “training courses and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to prevent, protect and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage, to nuclear facilities and systems as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems” is the clearest indicator that this accord is aimed squarely at Israel. Why? It eliminates the sole option Israel has left now that it lacks the US-supplied conventional HTMs to destroy unexpectedly hard deep targets, forcing it at best into a slow-motion conventionals-only campaign. This would expose it to brutal political and military blowback by Iran and its Chinese, Russian and European suppliers – and by an enraged American president. In essence, it appears that the Obama regime has under the accord deliberately stripped Israel of every option except nuclear pre-emption – which Obama, in typically liberal-progressive fashion, assumes would never happen. Ergo, Israel would be forced to accommodate Iranian military supremacy.

Fourth, what may drive an early Israeli nuclear attack are two considerations: (a) Russian S-300 ATBM/SAMs (anti-tactical ballistic missile/surface-to-air missile) in Iranian hands; and (b) Hezb’allah’s thousands of missiles. Russia’s agreement to supply Iran four batteries of its fearsome S-300 by late August for defending priority targets would make it very difficult for Israel to mount the complex precision bombing strategies needed for tough targets. The S-300, the world’s best, can knock down high-speed aircraft from near ground level to almost 100,000 feet. It can also engage some ballistic missiles.

Meanwhile, Hezb’allah’s arsenal of more than 60,000 rockets (by some estimates) is a much greater threat to Israel, especially its air force, than is appreciated. Hezb’allah has retrofitted an unknown fraction of these missiles, whose range now covers almost all of Israel, with GPS and precision guidance, allowing them to hit critical targets. Unfortunately, Israel’s Iron Dome and David’s Sling interceptors were designed on the assumption that most incoming missiles would be inaccurate and so the interceptors could be saved only for those approaching critical targets. The result? Hezb’allah rocket campaigns targeting Israeli airbases and other military targets could quickly run Israel out of interceptors. Iran could easily order such a campaign to throw Israel off balance as it focuses on the deadly US-abetted nuclear threat from Iran.

An Israeli nuclear pre-emption is thus eminently thinkable. Every other option has been stripped away by Obama’s decision, concealed from Israel, Congress and our allies until it was too late to challenge, to let Iranian bomb-making R&D run free and to harden Iran’s bomb-making infrastructure against Israel – while imposing lethal restrictions on Israeli countermeasures and forswearing any US and allied military attacks, such as B-2’s and B-52’s dropping MOP bombs.

The die is now cast. Nuclear pre-emption becomes attractive to a nation in extremis, where Israel is now:

…Israel needs to impart a powerful, disorganizing shock to the Iranian regime that accomplishes realistic military objectives: digging out its expensive underground enrichment plants, destroying its Arak plutonium reactor and maybe Bushehr in the bargain, killing its bomb and missile professionals, scientists and technicians, IRGC bases, its oil production sites, oil export terminals and the leaders of the regime where they can be found.

…its initial strike must move very fast and be conclusive within 1-2 hours, like the Israeli air attack opening the 1967 Six-Day War. The goal is to so stun the regime that Israel controls the first and subsequent phases of the war and its ending. This means that Israel must hit enough critical targets with maximum shock – and be willing to revisit or expand its targets – so as to control blowback and retaliation from Iran’s allies. In essence, this involves a very fast-paced Israeli redesign of the Middle East in the course of a nuclear war for survival.

…what is poorly appreciated is that nuclear weapons from 10 to 300 kilotons (KT) – depending on accuracy – can destroy deep hard targets to 200+ meters depth by ground coupling if they penetrate merely 3 meters into the ground (Effects of Nuclear Earth Penetrators and Other Weapons: National Research Council / National Academy Press, 2005, pp. 30-51). Israel could lower bomb yields or achieve deeper target kills by its reported tests of two-plane nuclear attacks in which the first plane drops a conventional HTM like a GBU-28 to open up a channel; the second plane drops its tactical nuclear bomb into that ‘soft’ channel for greater depth before bursting. This unavoidably would produce fallout on cities downwind. Fortunately, the same medical countermeasures used for radiological accidents (Chernobyl accidents, etc.)  – potassium iodide pills (available domestically from www.ki4u.com) – can be airdropped for use by exposed urbanites.

…the more important objective, however, is decapitation and economic paralysis by EMP and HPM effects that destroy all electronic, electrical and electromechanical devices on Iranian territory. While a high-altitude nuclear burst would affect most of Iran’s territory, it may not be necessary if smaller, lower-altitude weapons are used.

…A small number of nuclear weapons (10-15?) may suffice: one each for known underground hard targets, with one held in reserve pending bomb-damage assessments; several low-yield bombs for above-ground bomb-related depots; and low-yield neutron weapons to hit IRGC and regime targets while avoiding blast and fallout. Reactors can be hit with conventional HPM pulse weapons to burn out electrical, electronic and electromechanical systems for later reactor destruction by Special Forces. A targeting priority (using antipersonnel conventionals) would be university-hosted bomb/missile scientists.

…Israeli F-15s and F-16s provide the most accurate delivery for the initial phase – assuming that the S-300 batteries can be decoyed, jammed or destroyed (where Israeli air force experience is unmatched). The small stock of Jericho-2 ballistic missiles probably would be held in reserve. They can’t be used against buried targets unless their re-entry vehicles (RVs) are fitted with penetrator casings and decelerators like ribbon parachutes (used to slow down US test RVs for shallow-water recovery at Pacific atolls) to avoid disintegrating on impact. (Both methods require flight-testing, which is detectable.) Israel’s Dolphin subs in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean can launch nuclear or (probably) conventional cruise missiles with cluster munitions for IRGC targets.

The final issue is how Israeli and US leaders would operate in these conditions. An Israeli decision to go nuclear would be the most tightly held decision in history, given the prospect of out-of-control blowback by our current president if that was leaked. Still, Israel sees itself being driven into a Second Holocaust corner, possibly within weeks as the S-300s begin deploying around Iran’s nuclear targets. Once it decides nukes are its only way out, it would simulate and map out all possible event chains and surprises once it launches. Unavoidably, it would also have to decide what to do if it learns the US is feeding its pre-launch mobilization information to Iran, using its electronic listening posts and missile-defense radars in the region. It may have to jam or destroy those US sites.

For the US, however, this no-warning nuclear war would land like a thunderbolt on an unprepared White House that would likely panic and lash out as Obama’s loudly touted “legacy” goes up in smoke. The characteristic signatures of nuclear bursts would be captured and geolocated by US satellite. The commander of NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) under Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs would call the White House on the famous red phone. (As one of the few civilians who sat through a red phone alert at NORAD in July 1982, after a Soviet missile sub launched two test missiles off the Kamchatk Peninsulaa, I can testify it is a frightening experience for which nothing prepares you.) Given the psychology of our current president and his emotional investment in his Iran deal, what might follow could challenge the military chain of command with orders that previously were unthinkable.

Now retired, John Bosma draws on a 40-year background in nuclear war-gaming and strategic arms control (SALT 1 and 2, Soviet arms-racing and SALT violations, US force upgrades) at Boeing Aerospace (1977-1980); congressional staff and White House experience (1981-1983) in organizing the “Star Wars” ballistic missile defense (BMD) program and proposing its “defense-enforced strategic reductions” arms-control model adopted by the Reagan State Department; military space journalism (1984-1987); and technology scouting in conventional strategic warfare, rapid (1-2 hours) posture change in space, novel BMD engagement geometries with miniature air-launched interceptors, counter-WMD/terrorism, naval BMD and undersea warfare. Clients included DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the Missile Defense Agency, the Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD) Advanced Systems and Concepts Office, the Navy and the  He follows Israeli forces and BMD and has studied Iran’s nuclear R&D programs. All of his work is open-source

 

Jihad, Iranian-style

August 21, 2015

Jihad, Iranian-style, Israel Hayom, Ruthie Blum, August 21, 2015

The new twist in the controversy surrounding the nuclear agreement is an argument over the veracity of a report on a side deal giving Iran the right to inspect its own nuclear facilities for potential violations. The idea is so preposterous that it must be true, judging by the rest of the top-secret document on which the U.S. Congress is going to vote in September.

But as the debate heats up over whether the deal furthers or hinders Iran’s nuclear weapon capabilities, an equally serious issue keeps being marginalized. This is the more immediate and tangible danger posed by Iran’s terrorist proxies, and the sudden financial and ideological boost the deal is providing them.

The reason it is crucial to keep an eye on their activities is that they constitute Iran’s global army — the boots on the ground, so to speak — who perform the legwork necessary for the ultimate aim of regional and global jihadist hegemony. Their role is to set the stage for that time in the not-so-distant future when Iran’s power and reach are so extensive that its leaders won’t need to waste their nuclear warheads by firing them.

This is where Israel comes in. As the only democracy in the Middle East, an ally of the West and a Jewish state, it has key strategic value. It is like the central card in a house of cards, whose removal topples the whole structure.

It is also tiny and surrounded by rogue states with an endless supply of Muslim would-be “martyrs” willing to die in the “holy” endeavor to take it down.

On Thursday, Israel received its latest message to this effect, when four rockets, launched from Syria, landed in the Upper Galilee and the Golan Heights. The Iran-backed Islamic Jihad terrorist organization was behind the attack, which spurred Israel to retaliate.

Also on Thursday, Israel deployed anti-missile Iron Dome batteries in the south of the country, in the areas between Ashkelon and Ashdod, as well as in Beersheba. This was in response to threats of rocket fire by Iran-baked terrorists in Gaza — whose excuse was the worsening condition of hunger-striking Palestinian terror suspect Mohammed Allan.

A review of recent Iranian rhetoric and activity, released by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, puts all of the above in context.<

Last month, the General Assembly of Islamic Resistance Ulema (scholars) held a weekend conference titled “Unity for Palestine.”

At the gathering, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said, “We believe with certainty that Israel, this cancerous tumor, is headed for extinction, and that Palestine and Jerusalem will be returned to their people. It is only a matter of time and is linked to the will, action, jihad, and sacrifices of the Ummah [Islamic nation], according to the principle: If you achieve victory for Allah, Allah will lead you to achieve victory.”

From Iran, Ayatollah Mohsen Araki, secretary general of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, agreed.

“Annihilation of the Zionist regime is a sure thing and Quranic pledge,” he said, adding that it is important to unify “Muslims in countering the regime of Zionism and the arrogant world.”

Muhammad Hasan Zamani, a former Iranian cultural attache in Egypt who heads the Department of International Islamic Madrasas (educational institutions) for the General Assembly of Islamic Resistance Ulema, reiterated this position.

“Israel must be erased from the map of the world,” he said. “These are the golden words Imam Khomeini, may God have mercy on him, uttered.”

Sheikh Abdel Halim Qadhi, a professor at Zahedan University in Iran, said, “The holy Quran makes it known that Jews are the enemies of Islam and the Muslims and their holy places and rites. … Jihad is the most powerful and only way to liberate Palestine and defend Jerusalem. … God loves those who fight in his way.”

Earlier this month, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei published “Palestine,” a 416-page tome devoted to the issue of Israel’s inevitable demise, with a blurb on its back cover calling the author the “flagbearer of jihad to liberate Jerusalem.”

This week, Khamenei gave an abbreviated version of this on Twitter: “We spare no opportunity to support anyone #FightingTheZionists,” he wrote.

At the same time, a clip produced by the Islamic Revolution Design House, a media outlet associated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, began to circulate on YouTube. The minute-and-a-half animated video depicts an Islamist invasion of Jerusalem.

The brief silent film shows soldiers from the Revolutionary Guards, Shia Badr, Hezbollah, Hamas and Qassam Brigades, clad in military gear and keffiyehs, marching to and standing on a hill overlooking the Temple Mount, as thousands upon thousands of additional terrorists amass.

An inscription in Farsi on a black screen at the end says: “Israel must be erased from the annals of history, and the youth will definitely see that day when it comes.”

Lest anyone imagine the mullahs pulling the strings in Iran don’t mean business, all one has to do is observe how they are executing their grand plan, part of which is the nuclear deal with the “Great Satan” and the other P5+1 countries. Among these is Russia, which confirmed on Wednesday that it will supply Iran with four upgraded batteries of S-300 surface-to-air missiles as soon as the deal is finalized.

Such missiles give Iran the extra benefit of being able to stave off attack. At that point, will it really matter if Iran is in charge of its own inspections?

Netanyahu: ‘You Rush to Embrace Iran, They Fire Rockets at Us’

August 21, 2015

Netanyahu: ‘You Rush to Embrace Iran, They Fire Rockets at Us’, Israel National News, August 21, 2015

The attack ordered by Iran comes after a report in April, when  Iranian officials reportedly told the Syrian regime to strike Israel and open a war front on the Golan Heights.

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PM warns ‘we’ll harm those who try to harm us,’ slams world powers for nuclear deal after ‘Iranian commander ordered rocket strike.’

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu released a statement on Friday, shortly after the IDF airstrike that took out the Islamic Jihad terror cell backed by Iran that launched four rockets into Israel from Syria the day before.

“I said this week that those who try to harm us – we will harm them. And that’s what we did,” said the prime minister.

“The IDF struck the cell that conducted the (rocket) fire, and the Syrian forces that enabled it. We don’t intend to escalate the incidents, but our policy remains as it was,” he said. At least 14 targets were hit by the IDF overnight, including a strike on an army post which Syria said killed one soldier.

Turning his attention to the IDF reports that Iranian military sources funded and directed the Islamic Jihad cell, Netanyahu condemned the world powers that sealed a nuclear deal with Iran just last month and are now advancing economic trade and diplomatic ties.

“The countries that rush to embrace Iran need to know that an Iranian commander is the one who gave the cover and direction to the cell that fired on Israel,” he said.

As noted by Netanyahu, the one who gave the order for the rocket strike was said to be the head of the Palestinian department in Iran’s Al-Quds force, the covert foreign operations unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

Netanyahu on Friday ordered the Foreign Ministry to send an official letter to Western governments, saying Israel has “reliable information that this attack was carried out by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, ordered directly by the Iranian terrorist Said Izadhi of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.”

“This is further clear indication of Iran’s increasing involvement in attacks against Israel in particular and against regional targets in general. The ink on the nuclear agreement has not yet dried, and this attack shows clearly how Iran plans to act the moment after the international sanctions are removed.”

The attack ordered by Iran comes after a report in April, when  Iranian officials reportedly told the Syrian regime to strike Israel and open a war front on the Golan Heights.

The four rockets fired on Galilee came from the new Iranian terror front on the Golan

August 20, 2015

The four rockets fired on Galilee came from the new Iranian terror front on the Golan, DEBKAfile, August 20, 2015

Netanyahu_northern_border_B_18.8.15Israel leaders at Northern Command HQ this week

According to our military sources, it is this Iranian-backed network which Thursday, Aug. 20, fired a salvo of four rockets from the Golan into upper Galilee and the Golan. The impact set off brush fires but caused no casualties. A red alert had sent most people running to shelters.

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Israel’s top government and military went on a high level of preparedness Tuesday, Aug. 18 in expectation of the first terrorist attack to be orchestrated by Iran from Syrian or Lebanese borders. That is what brought Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkott on a tour of inspection to the Golan and Northern Command headquarters. Netanyahu said then that Israel is ready for any scenario and would “harm anyone trying to harm us.”

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that these events were sparked by the knowledge reaching Israeli intelligence that Iranian Al Qods and Hizballah officers were building a new terrorist network for mounting large-scale terrorist attacks on Israel from the Syrian border opposite the Golan.

The officers had handed out anti-tank and anti-air rockets to the terrorists, raising Israeli suspicions that one of their plans was to seize an Israeli location or part of one and try and hold out against an Israeli counter-offensive of tanks and assault helicopters.

Our counter-terrorism sources disclose that three radical terrorist movements staff the new network:

One is the hard-line rejectionist Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine – General Command (PFLP-GC).

Another is the Golan-based Syrian Druze group known as Liberators of the Golan. It is headed by the notorious Samir Kuntar, a Lebanese Druze who has set up a Golan terror ring based in the Druze village of Al-Khadar opposite the Israeli border fence.

Also harnessed to Iran’s new Golan terror organization is the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) which is made up of radical Christian terrorists. This old timer violent group, which is run by Syrian intelligence, took part in the 1982-3 Hizballah bombing massacres at the US Embassy and Marine headquarters in Beirut.

The first SSNP activists have arrived in the Quneitra district of the Golan.

According to our military sources, it is this Iranian-backed network which Thursday, Aug. 20, fired a salvo of four rockets from the Golan into upper Galilee and the Golan. The impact set off brush fires but caused no casualties. A red alert had sent most people running to shelters.

This was an unusually long-range attack: Previous launches from within Syria, whether deliberate or stray fire from the civil war there, hit the Israeli-held Golan without reaching the Israeli interior. It is now up to Israel to decide how and when to respond to an act of war orchestrated by Tehran, after the prime minister’s warning Tuesday had no deterrent effect.

International inspections of Iran’s nuke sites are a sick joke

August 20, 2015

International inspections of Iran’s nuke sites are a sick joke, Dan Miller’s Blog, August 19, 2015

(The views expressed in this post — which for the most part consists of links to and quotations from recent articles posted at Warsclerotic — are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of Warsclerotic or its other editors. — DM)

 

Over the past few days, Iranian officials have confirmed that international inspections of its nuke sites will be severely limited if permitted at all. This post provides excerpts from recent articles quoting them. 

Iran’s nuke sites

The restrictions noted in this post are in addition to previously disclosed prohibitions on access by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors to military sites, which Iran itself will inspect instead. Even The Daily Beast has mentioned this problem in reliance on an Associated Press article which states,

All IAEA member countries must give the agency some insight into their nuclear programs. Some are required to do no more than give a yearly accounting of the nuclear material they possess. But nations— like Iran — suspected of possible proliferation are under greater scrutiny that can include stringent inspections. [Emphasis added.]

The agreement in question diverges from normal procedures by allowing Tehran to employ its own experts and equipment in the search for evidence of activities it has consistently denied — trying to develop nuclear weapons. [Emphasis added.]

Olli Heinonen, who was in charge of the Iran probe as deputy IAEA director general from 2005 to 2010, said he could think of no similar concession with any other country.

Recent disclosures

According to an article by Adam Kredo at Washington Free BeaconNo international inspectors will be admitted to Iran unless approved by Iranian intelligence officials.

A senior Iranian official declared on Monday that international nuclear inspectors would only be permitted into the country once they receive approval from the Islamic Republic’s Intelligence Ministry, putting another roadblock between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran’s contested nuclear sites.

Sayyed Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister and one of the top negotiators in talks that led to the recently inked nuclear deal, told the country’s state-controlled press that Iran’s intelligence apparatus must approve of any inspector who is issued a visa to enter Iran. [Emphasis added.]

Acording to an article at DEBKAfileNo international inspectors will be given access to military sites unless they first submit acceptable evidence of prohibited nuke activities there.

International nuclear inspectors will only be permitted into the country after offering proofs of suspicious activity at the sites to be inspected, Iran’s Defense Minister Brig. Gen Hossein Dehqan said Tuesday. DEBKAfile: This condition is not contained either in the nuclear deal Iran signed with the six world powers last month or in its contract with the IAEA. How will the international watchdog obtain proofs if it is denied visits for inspections? [Emphasis added.]

According to another article by Adam Kredo at Washington Free Beaconthe head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was threatened with “harm” should he tell U.S. officials about the Iran – IAEA secret deal(s)

Iranian leaders prevented a top International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) official from disclosing to U.S. officials the nature of secret side deals with the Islamic Republic by threatening harm to him, according to regional reports. [Emphasis added.]

Yukiya Amano, IAEA director general, purportedly remained silent about the nature of certain side deals during briefings with top U.S. officials because he feared such disclosures would lead to retaliation by Iran, according to the spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI).

Amano was in Washington recently to brief members of Congress and others about the recently inked nuclear accord. However, he did not discuss the nature of side deals with Iran that the United States is not permitted to know about.

Iran apparently threatened Amano in a letter meant to ensure he did not reveal specific information about the nature of nuclear inspections going forward, according to Iranian AEOI spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi.

“In a letter to Yukiya Amano, we underlined that if the secrets of the agreement (roadmap between Iran and the IAEA) are revealed, we will lose our trust in the Agency; and despite the US Congress’s pressures, he didn’t give any information to them,” Kamalvandi was quoted as saying Monday during a meeting with Iranian lawmakers, according to Tehran’s state-controlled Fars News Agency.

“Had he done so, he himself would have been harmed,” the official added. [Emphasis added.]

If these analyses are correct, and they appear to be, there will be no meaningful “anytime anywhere” international inspections of Iranian military sites. Although Obama has repeatedly said that the current nuke “deal” is not based on trust, that appears to its only basis, an absurd one.

Iran’s missiles

Acording to another DEBKAfile article, Iran’s missile research and development are continuing despite (or perhaps because of) the August 2015 “deal.”

Shortly before US Secretary of State John Kerry was due in Qatar Monday, Aug. 3, Iran’s highest authorities led by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Sunday launched a public campaign to support Tehran’s noncompliance with the Vienna nuclear accord and UN Security Council Resolution 2231 of July 20, on its ballistic missile program. The campaign was designed by a team from Khamenei’s office, high-ranking ayatollahs and the top echelons of the Revolutionary Guards, including its chief, Gen. Ali Jafari. [Emphasis added.]

. . . .

The Security Council Resolution, which unanimously endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Vienna nuclear accord) signed by Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, called on Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic technology until the date eight years after the JCPOA Adoption Day.” [Emphasis added.]

Tehran retorted that none of its ballistic missiles were designed to deliver nuclear weapons, and so this provision was void. Shortly after its passage, the foreign ministry in Tehran issued an assurance that “…the country’s ballistic missile program and capability is untouched and unrestricted by Resolution 2231.”

On July 30, Ali Akbar Velayati, Khamenei’s senior adviser on international affairs and member of the Expediency Council, told reporters, “The recent UNSC Resolution on Iran’s defensive capabilities, specially (sic) its missiles, is unacceptable to Iran.”

According to an August 16th article at the Iranian media site Tasnim, there is no impediment to continuation of Iran’s missile program.

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi underlined that there are not any obstacles to the country’s missile program. [Emphasis added.]

“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s missile activities, as planned inside the country, will not face any obstacles,” the senior officer stressed on Sunday.

The general also reiterated that Iran’s missile tests are going to be carried out in a timely manner according to the plans endorsed by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

Iran – North Korea nuke nexis

Nuke cooperation between Iran and North Korea was not considered during the P5+1 “negotiations.” The text of the current “deal” is silent on the subject. Kerry’s State Department has limited media contact with Douglas Frantz, his Assistant Secretary in charge of the Bureau of Public Affairs, to avoid releasing information on the Iran – North Korea nuke nexus. Mr. Frantz, formerly a highly respected journalist, had written extensively on North Korea’s nuclear program.

An honest accounting would quite likely reveal something that many press reports have alleged, but U.S. administration officials have never publicly confirmed: A history of nuclear weapons collaboration between Iran and nuclear-proliferating North Korea.

. . . .

Drawing on “previously secret reports, international officials, independent experts, Iranian exiles and intelligence sources in Europe and the Middle East,” Frantz wrote that “North Korean military scientists recently were monitored entering Iranian nuclear facilities. They are assisting in the design of a nuclear warhead, according to people inside Iran and foreign intelligence officials.”

. . . .

Perhaps Frantz should recycle that article to Secretary of State John Kerry, who while testifying to a congressional panel last month was asked about its allegations by Rep. Christopher Smith, and ducked the question.

. . . .

[I]t appears that as a State Department advocate of a free and well-informed press, Frantz himself is not free to answer questions from the press about his own reporting on North Korea’s help to Iran in designing a nuclear warhead. The State Department has refused my repeated requests to interview Frantz on this subject. Last year, an official at State’s Bureau of Public Affairs responded to my request with an email saying, “Unfortunately Assistant Secretary Frantz is not available to discuss issues related to Iran’s nuclear program.” [Emphasis added.]

. . . .

Of course, the real problem for the Obama administration is that an officially confirmed story of Iran-North Korea collaboration on nuclear warheads could spell further trouble for winning congressional approval of this nuclear deal.

Conclusions

Assuming (a highly dubious assumption) that Kerry and Obama’s other P5+1 “negotiators” wanted to limit Iran’s Uranium enrichment to peaceful purposes, to terminate its nuke weaponization and to restrict its missile development and use they failed. It might have been entertaining to have watched Obama instruct Kerry on how to negotiate for magic carpets in a Persian market. The Persians saw Obama’s P5+1 “negotiators” as suckers and took all of their cash. They then took whatever honor they may once have had.

With international inspections permitted, if at all, only at Iran’s whim, and international sanctions “snap back” a fantasy, Iran has been given a bright green light to do whatever it pleases. What pleases Iran should not please even Obama, who envisions a new era of Middle East stability as a major fruit of His victory in getting the July 2015 “deal.”

Iran plans to “stabilize” Israel first. Israel is the only free and democratic nation in the Middle East; America was once her most reliable ally. No longer, but perhaps one fine day she will be again.

A conference of religious scholars features speaker after speaker calling Israel’s annihilation inevitable and promising that a “new phase” in that effort is about to begin. [Emphasis added]

While some in the United States and among its Western allies may hope that a nuclear weapons deal with Iran might steer the Islamic Republic in a new, more responsible direction, hardliners draw new lines and issue new threats.

On Monday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei took to social media to attack the United States and Israel. “We spare no opportunity to support anyone #FightingTheZionists,” wrote the ayatollah, whose regime supplies Hizballah and Hamas with rockets and other weapons of terror.

Here’s a recent video from Iranian television showing how Iran plans to eliminate Israel.

The July 2015 “deal” remains a mystery shrouded in secrecy and deception. Obama has tried to mislead the the American public and the Congress. He has threatened members who have voiced opposition and characterized them as disloyal. Congress should kill the “deal.” Those members whose ultimate loyalty is to America rather than to Obama will vote to do so and then to override his veto.


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