|Iran's defence minister: a man of peace if you|
ignore his track record [Image Source]
All of the bullet points below come from an article published today in the propaganda-rich Iranian English-language media. The article is entitled "Iranian DM: Palestinian Resistance’s Missile Power 1,000 Times Stronger Now" and is largely a collection of quotes the defense minister of the Islamic Republic, Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan.
- He "hailed the Palestinian resistance groups" for "fighting back Israeli aggressions"...
- "and said the Palestinians' missile power has grown 1,000 times more than what it was before" - without actual specifying when "before" happened.
- “The operational power of the Resistance against the Zionist regime is a thousand times more than what it was before... Based on the same, the Resistance's missile response power can be understood better now."
- Referring to unspecified terror organizations, he asserted that "The resistance forces have fired over 150 missiles against the occupied territories in the last 4 days and after the assassination of a number of resistance commanders by the Zionist regime in Gaza and the West Bank”.
- But that's not all: "Palestinians have not displayed their actual missile capability yet."
- Referring to the terrorist group that most of the media reports emanating from Western sources consider to be opposed to the Hamas regime, the article quotes the "secretary general of the Islamic Jihad Movement" (named as Ramadan Abdullah Mohammad Shalah) warning that "Palestinian resistance fighters will not lay down their arms until all occupied Palestinian territories are liberated." The Wikipedia entry for Shalah fleshes out some of the background: classified as a Specially Designated Terrorist under US law since November 1995; indicted on Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) charges of involvement in racketeering activities, bombings, murders, extortion, and money laundering.
Hezbollah’s early acts of terrorism are also believed to have taken place under Dehqan’s watch... The appointment of Dehqan, an irregular warfare expert, as defense minister, is a sign that the Islamic Republic of Iran will not likely cease to train and back violent non-state actors. [Source]
How concerned should this make us feel? Not very, according to the mullah-controlled Iranian mouthpiece news agency with the famously-odd name, PressTV:
Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan says Tehran supports global peace, stability, security and tranquility and has never pursued tension anywhere in the world... [He] also said that the atmosphere of power and unity that prevails in the country plus the political epic registered in the June 14 presidential election led the world to sit at the negotiating table with Iran. [PressTV, September 23, 2013]
"I say explicitly to those delusional people who say the military option is on the table that they should change their glasses... Our nation regards the language of threat as rude and offensive" [Aljazeera.com, "On 35th anniversary of revolution, Iranian president says Tehran will press on 'forever' with peaceful atomic research"; February 11, 2014]All a great relief, naturally. And it fits well with those official denials from Iran that it is not connected in any way with the huge arsenal of rockets and other offensive weaponry seized this past Wednesday by IDF naval commandos on a ship called the Klos C sailing to Gaza and intercepted in the Red Sea between Eritrea and Sudan. The arsensal is reported to have included "40 M-302 missiles,181 122-mm mortars, and 400,000 7.62 caliber bullets". Those M-302 missiles have a range of up to 200 kilometers (125 miles) and a payload of up to 170 kilograms (375 pounds) and were found hidden in shipping containers concealed by sacks of concrete with Iranian markings [Source: Times of Israel].
No more inbound Gazan rockets have been detected since Friday morning (it's now Saturday night, a little after midnight). All things considered, a welcome pause.