Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Top Iran Officials Recommend Preemptive Strike Against Israel

With a special thank you to WR for the heads up

Last update - 12:05 22/10/2008
Top Iran officials recommend preemptive strike against Israel
By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent

Senior Tehran officials are recommending a preemptive strike against Israel to prevent an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear reactors, a senior Islamic Republic official told foreign diplomats two weeks ago in London. The official, Dr. Seyed G. Safavi, said recent threats by Israeli authorities strengthened this position, but that as of yet, a preemptive strike has not been integrated into Iranian policy. Safavi is head of the Research Institute of Strategic Studies in Tehran, and an adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The institute is directly affiliated with Khamenei's office and with the Revolutionary Guards, and advises both on foreign policy issues.

Safavi is also the brother of Yahya Rahim Safavi, who was the head of the Revolutionary Guards until a year ago and now is an adviser to Khamenei, and holds significant influence on security matters in the Iranian government. An Israeli political official said senior Jerusalem officials were shown Safavi's remarks, which are considered highly sensitive. The source said the briefing in London dealt with a number of issues, primarily a potential Israeli attack on an Iranian reactor. Safavi said a small, experienced group of officials is lobbying for a preemptive strike against Israel. "The recent Israeli declarations and harsh rhetoric on a strike against Iran put ammunition in these individuals' hands," he said. Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz said in June that Israel would be forced to strike the Iranian nuclear reactor if Tehran continues to pursue its uranium enrichment program. Safavi said Tehran recently drafted a new policy for responding to an Israeli or American attack on its nuclear facilities.

While the previous policy called for attacks against Israel and American interests in the Middle East and beyond, the new policy is to target Israel alone. He added that many Revolutionary Guard leaders want to respond to a U.S. attack on Iranian soil by striking Israel, as they believe Israel would be partner to any U.S. action. Safavi said that Iran's nuclear program is intended for peaceful purposes only, and that Khamenei recently released a fatwa against the use of weapons of mass destruction, though the contents of that religious ruling have not yet been publicized. Regarding dialogue with the United States and the West, Safavi said Iran's decision would be influenced by the results of the U.S. presidential elections next month, as well as by the Iranian presidential elections in June and the economic situation in the Islamic Republic. Safavi also said that a victory by U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama would pave the way for dialogue with Washington, while a John McCain presidency would bolster Iran's extreme right, which opposes dialogue. If conditions are favorable following the U.S. election, he said, Iran could draw back from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's declaration that "the nuclear case is closed," and put it back on the agenda.

Safavi said he believed that U.S. sanctions on Iran have run their course, and that there would be no point in strengthening them. Tehran would therefore demand "firm and significant" U.S. measures in return for stopping uranium enrichment. He also said Ahmadinejad is not guaranteed victory in the June 2009 elections, particularly given the dire economic situation in Iran. Still, Iranian experts believe his only real competition is former president Mohammad Khatami, who has not yet joined the race. Safavi said the inflation rate in Iran is similar to that before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but that unrest among civilians today is not as strong. This is because the current government uses oil revenues to help the poor, he said.
A note from Radarsite: This is certainly not the first time Israel has faced the possibility -- and the actuality -- of a preemptive military strike from its friendly Muslim neighbors. Thus the existential threat to the only democracy in the entire Middle East escalates. And as demonstrated in those passages above which Radarsite has highlighted, Iran is trying to manipulate the American elections as well, by playing the Obama card: America, they are warning us, if you elect Obama we just might, might, put our nuclear weapons programs on hold. But if you are foolish enough to elect McCain then expect the worst, expect all hell to break out.
I wonder, if I were an Obama supporter, how would this make me feel? Perhaps a little wary? Perhaps a slight tinge of shame for supporting a candidate whom our enemies endorse? Of course not. Obama supporters are totally immune to this type of honest examination.

In some ways, an Iranian preemptive strike against Israel would make sense. In 1941 the Japanese decided -- quite rightly -- that the only chance they stood of defeating the United States militarily was with a surprise preemptive strike, a strike so devastating that it would at once 'level the playing field'. And as we all know it almost worked. There is however one major difference between the critical situation today in the Middle East and that of America and Japan in the 1940s. In that bygone era, the world was shocked by the immorality of Japan's Sneak Attack, an act of treachery for which most of the civilized world never forgave Japan.
But today the Middle East has long ago moved far beyond such moral qualms. Morality has no place at this table. With the possible exception of those liberal Israel Governments, whose delusional attempts to incorporate morality into the equation when dealing with their Muslim enemies have only served to put the Israeli people in more immediate danger.
If this presidential election of ours were ruled by straightforward rational considerations, the mere fact that a fanatical terrorist regime like Iran endorsed one of our presidential candidates would be enough to discredit him and disqualify him.
But, alas, we are not living in rational times. And it seems all we can do is watch this monumental drama play itself out and hope, somehow, hope for the best. Or -- God give the Israelis the moral courage to reach the right decision. - rg


  1. The Iranians seem desperate to attack. Their first attempt failed when the Somalis captured their dirty bomb, so now they will have to try a direct attack.

    The Revolutionary Guard is the best that Iran has, yet they couldn't beat Saddam's army. An attack on Israel wouldn't be a sneak attack, the Israelis would know first as the Iranians would have to go through Syria and/or Jordan to get to the nation. But Israel's retaliation against Iran would be devestating. Not just on their nuclear plants, but on their cities.

    I hope that this is just more of the rhetoric that Iran does, but fear it isn't.

  2. I'm thinking a preemptive strike against Israel from Iran is probably what Biden was referring to when he said Obama would be tested.

    "Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy." by Biden

    I also believe the Obama/Biden team will do nothing to help Israel, and this is what Biden was talking about when he said Obama would need the support of his followers to stand with him, because it would not seem apparent that how he was reacting would seem right.

    "And he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you - not financially to help him - we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right." by Biden

    I believe Joe Biden believes Obama meant what he said when he said the following:

    In “Audacity of Hope” he writes: “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” The quote comes from page 261 of the paperback edition of “The Audacity of Hope.

    We will have to see how fast Obama pulls the troops out of Iraq, and I can only wonder what will happen if Iran attacks Israel, while over 100,000 American boots are on the ground in Iraq who may or may not be given the orders to react.

  3. And this is the element that Kenyan Kid wants to sit down and talk with. I guess it would be on the return bombing layover stop in Dubai. Now that I think about it. I don't know if they have an aircraft that could deliver a bomb without stopping. The last plane they had could cross a time one was personally flown out of Iran by the Shah. He was buried with the keys.
    I guess they'd have to go to Syria and pick up Saddam's items.
    As for the Revolutionary Guard, AlQuds, they're getting fat on their success (like the old Chekists or KGB) and have subcontrted thier work load to Hezbollah.
    (Remember, Castro spread his Fidelistas to Africa and South America.)
    This doesn't mean that they'll subvert their ardor to venality, but prudent operatives would do well to be exploiting it.
    It was the decadence of Rome when revealed that killed the empire. Not all bad examples have to be llaid at the feet of the West. We observe our corruption developing and have unfortunately become inured to it.
    When it bursts upon a strictly censored society it can be volatile. Think Shah!
    Time that Langly Prep get's over its Kerry Keening, political correctitude, discipline the political infighters, and go to PsyOps. Maybe a class at Fort Bragg without the PhDs (Piled higher and Deepers). A few NCO's wiith videocams will do.
    Our enemies are using it. Our domestic political enemies are using it.
    Sure beats a couple of over-hyped, ADD depressives meeting in Dubai.

  4. I wonder if this will be the "generated crisis" that Sen. Biden referred to in the media. I believe that we will face Iran sooner than later more than likely becuase of the actions of our friends in Israel. I don't think that anyone is ever prepared for this kind of confrontation however, only one of our candidates has ever "commanded" anything.

  5. Thank you all. I love reading your comments, and I almost always learn something from them.

    I'd also like to give a special thank you to Shawmut, who I'm afraid I have always read avidly but have not responded to enough.
    If anyone wonders why his comments are always so informative and fascinating, I'd suggest they click on his name and read his short and modest bio.
    Shawmut -- and too Findalis -- are a part of our readership who share impressive resumes in the field of intelligence and/or foreign affairs. I am proud to call them friends.

  6. Zapatero withdrew from Iraq, a political concession to make Spain safier from alqaeda terror. This move was hailed by Bin Laden as a "positive initiative", "reciprocal treatment is part of justice". Guess what, Spain al-Andalus is still part of their umma-project.

  7. I also think it might be the generated crisis that Biden was talking about but I suspect that if Biden is pleading with their own supporters supposedly “behind closed doors,” that Obama may have to come to Israel’s defense and we all know that his supporters wouldn’t like that!

  8. Good point Anonymous.
    Somewhere a while ago I wrote an article about the arrests that were made in Spain of another Al Qaeda cell who were planning another terror attack -- I think it was about 9 months after the Atocha Train Station Bombings, that is, after the change of government. They had targeted 8 or 10 famous Spanish landmarks, and one of them was -- you guessed it, the Atocha Train Station.

  9. If Iran acts I would expect an attack to be timed to the inauguration ceremony for the new U.S. President; when the U.S. would be least able to quickly respond. I would also expect Iran to issue an Ultimatum - stay out or we will attack you throughout the gulf, close the straits of Hormuz, unleash a ground offensive into Iraq, and send thousands of terrorists against you everywhere in the world.

    The first warning will be the mobilization of Iranian troops on the Iraq border.

    Unfortunately, the US military is aware that due to Iran's numerical ground superiority they would unable to stop them; especially if Iran unleashes a missile barrage taking out US air bases in the area. It would take days, potentially weeks, before the US could mobilize enough forces to counterattack.

    How would the US respond? Is the US ready to commit to a much bigger war in the Mideast?

  10. Humbled. But always glad to be of note. To be in the company of people of such perceptions is refreshing.

  11. has anyone noted that the NATO's naval deployment in the Indian Ocean is most of the warships in Nato. all but three Nato's Aircraft Carrier battle group's are now in the
    Indian Ocean or the Persian Gulf, this is not only the USA but the UK's Aircraft Carrier battle group's and the france's

  12. I didn't understand the concluding part of your article, could you please explain it more?