Monday, November 29, 2010

29-Nov-10: Finally the neighbors are caught washing some of their dirty laundry

For years, we Israelis have been subjected to the terrorist threats and attacks of the jihadist regime of the Mullahs of Teheran and their agents in Hamas and Hizbullah. The Iranian ambitions always extended beyond this tiny country, and now - finally - its extent is front-page news throughout the world today.
Secret American intelligence assessments have concluded that Iran has obtained a cache of advanced missiles, based on a Russian design, that are much more powerful than anything Washington has publicly conceded that Tehran has in its arsenal, diplomatic cables show. Iran obtained 19 of the missiles from North Korea, according to a cable dated Feb. 24 of this year. The cable is a detailed, highly classified account of a meeting between top Russian officials and an American delegation led by Vann H. Van Diepen, an official with the State Department’s nonproliferation division who, as a national intelligence officer several years ago, played a crucial role in the 2007 assessment of Iran’s nuclear capacity. The missiles could for the first time give Iran the capacity to strike at capitals in Western Europe or easily reach Moscow, and American officials warned that their advanced propulsion could speed Iran’s development of intercontinental ballistic missiles. [Source: The New York Times] 
Iran's Moslem cousins have known this and more for a long time. They, more than almost anyone except perhaps the Israeli government, have been anxiously lobbying for the power of the jihadists in Teheran to be curtailed - one way or (ahem) another. The British newspaper The Guardian, known in our circles for its vitriolic and unceasing attacks on and demonization of Israel and Israelis, published some insights today into how Arab political leaders view the Iranians when the flashlights are off and the cameras are not rolling. It's a revelation. You can get a sense of what follows from the header: Arab states scorn 'evil' Iran: US embassy cables reveal Tehran's reputation as a meddling, lying troublemaker intent on building nuclear weapons
  • King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia urged Iran's foreign minister to "spare us your evil" in a meeting that reflected profound Arab hostility to the Islamic Republic.
  • The Saudis and smaller Gulf states, plus Egypt, Jordan and others, complained bitterly about Tehran's nuclear ambitions, its involvement in Iraq and its support for Hezbollah and Hamas.
  • The Teheran regime has "no business meddling in Arab matters", the Saudi monarch is quoted telling Manouchehr Mottaki, Iran's foreign minister. 
  • "Iran's goal is to cause problems," the Saudi king says. "There is no doubt something unstable about them... May God prevent us from falling victim to their evil... The bottom line is that they cannot be trusted." 
  • The leadership of the United Arab Emirates feared being "46 seconds from Iran as measured by the flight time of a ballistic missile".
  • Abu Dhabi's crown prince and deputy commander of the UAE armed forces, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, called Iran an "existential threat" and feared "getting caught in the crossfire if Iran is provoked by the US or Israel". 
  • Bin Zayed said the US should send in ground forces if air strikes were not enough to "take out" Iranian nuclear targets. 
  • The UAE the foreign minister says Iran is "a huge problem that goes far beyond nuclear capabilities. Iranian support for terrorism is broader than just Hamas and Hezbollah. Iran has influence in Afghanistan, Yemen, Kuwait, Bahrain, the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and Africa."
  • Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa says Iran is "the source of much of the trouble in both Iraq and Afghanistan" and argued forcefully for taking action to terminate their nuclear programme "by whatever means necessary. That programme must be stopped. The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it."
  • Sultan Qaboos bin Said al-Said of Oman called Iran "a big country with muscles and we must deal with it." 
  • A senior Omani minister singled out Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar as the three Gulf countries that would probably want the US to attack Iran.
  • Kuwait's military intelligence chief says the Iranian jihadists are supporting terrorist groups in the Gulf and extremists in Yemen. 
  • Yemen and Saudi Arabia repeatedly accuse Iran of supplying weapons and money to the Houthi rebels in Yemen's Saada region.
  • Qatar, the wealthiest country in the Gulf region, is an outspoken critic of Iran in private while maintaining cordial public relations with it - and with the US.
  • The Qatari prime minister, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, says "Iran is clever and makes its opponents dizzy... Iran will make no deal. Iran wants nuclear weapons... They lie to us, and we lie to them".
  • Jordan and Egypt are also deeply hostile to Iran. Egypt's intelligence head Omar Suleiman calls Iran "a significant threat to Egypt … supporting jihad and spoiling peace".
  • Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak calls the Iranian president Ahmadinejad an extremist who "does not think rationally... Iran is always stirring trouble". 
  • Mubarak has "a visceral hatred for the Islamic Republic [of Iran], referring repeatedly to Iranians as 'liars', and denouncing them for seeking to destabilise Egypt and the region. He sees the Syrians and Qataris as sycophants to Tehran and liars themselves."
And since we're suddenly being exceptionally candid with each other, some further insights from the NY Times by way of those Wikileaks:
  • The Saudis are the chief financier of terrorist groups including al-Qaeda.
  • Qatar, described as "a generous host to the U.S. military" by the NY Times, was the "worst in the region" at counter-terrorism efforts (says a State Department cable from December 2009). 
  • Qatar's security service was "hesitant to act against known terrorists out of concern for appearing to be aligned with the United States and provoking reprisals."
  • The US has tried, and failed, to prevent Syria from supplying arms to the Hizbollah terrorists in Lebanon. Hizbollah's weapons stockpile and particularly rockets and missiles has swelled hugely since the 2006 war with Israel. 
  • Just one week after Syrian President al-Assad promised a senior State Department official that he would not send “new” arms to Hezbollah, the United States found that Syria was providing increasingly sophisticated weapons to the terrorists.
  • And finally (at this stage) from The Guardian again: The Iranian Red Cross (technically its Red Crescent society) smuggled Iranian weapons and Iranian agents into Lebanon during the 2006 war with Israel. 
Welcome to the neighborhood. The double-talk and the deception about who is doing the terrorism, about the scale of their terrorist weaponry and about the size of the danger - well, how shall we put this? It's all far worse than the news channels and the politicians have been telling us for years. But not nearly as bad as it's going to get.

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