Friday, January 30, 2015

Iran: Unafraid And Undeterred

This first post comes from Caroline Glick - a highly germane editorial which leads directly into the next article from the Times Of Israel which reveals how dangerously close to a nuclear weapon Iran will be upon finalization of the U.S. lead 'deal'. 

Israel’s reported strike January 18 on a joint Iranian-Hezbollah convoy driving on the Syrian Golan Heights was one of the most strategically significant events to have occurred in Israel’s neighborhood in recent months. Its significance lies both in what it accomplished operationally and what it exposed.

From what been published to date about the identities of those killed in the strike, it is clear that in one fell swoop the air force decapitated the Iranian and Hezbollah operational command in Syria.

The head of Hezbollah’s operations in Syria, the head of its liaison with Iran, and Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of Hezbollah’s longtime operational commander Imad Mughniyeh who was killed by Israel in Damascus in 2008, were killed. The younger Mughniyeh reportedly served as commander of Hezbollah forces along the Syrian-Israeli border.

Iranian losses included three generals. Brig.- Gen. Mohammed Alladadi was the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps liaison officer to Hezbollah and to Syrian intelligence. He was also in charge of weapons shipments from Iran to Hezbollah. Gen. Ali Tabatabai was the IRGC commander in the Golan Heights and, according to Shapira, an additional general, known only as Assadi, “was, in all likelihood, the commander of Iranian expeditionary forces in Lebanon.”

The fact that the men were willing to risk exposure by traveling together along the border with Israel indicates how critical the front is for the regime in Tehran. It also indicates that in all likelihood, they were planning an imminent attack against Israel.

According to Ehud Yaari, Channel 2’s Arab Affairs commentator, Iran and Hezbollah seek to widen Hezbollah’s front against Israel from Lebanon to Syria. They wish to establish missile bases on the northern Hermon, and are expanding Hezbollah’s strategic depth from Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley to the outskirts of Damascus.

IRAN’S PRESENCE on the Golan Heights is of course just one of the many strategic advances it has made in expanding its territorial reach. Over the past two weeks, Iranian-controlled Houthi militias have consolidated their control over Yemen, with their overthrow of the US-allied government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

With the conquest of Yemen, Iran now controls the Gulf of Aden. Together with the Straits of Hormuz, Iran now controls the region’s two maritime outlets to the open sea.

From the Golan Heights to Gaza, from Yemen and Iraq to Latin America to Nantanz and Arak, Iran is boldly advancing its nuclear and imperialist agenda. As Charles Krauthammer noted last Friday, the nations of the Middle East allied with the US are sounding the alarm.

Due to the US administration’s commitment to turning a blind eye to Iran’s advances and the destabilizing role it plays everywhere it gains power, Israel can do little more than carry out precision attacks against high value targets. The flipside of the administration’s refusal to see the dangers, and so enable Iran’s territorial expansion and its nuclear progress, is its determination to ensure that Israel does nothing to prevent those dangers from growing – whether along its borders or at Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Israel: U.S. Deal Will Leave Iran With 6,500 Centrifuges Spinning, Months from A Bomb

Ratcheting up a confrontation with the Obama administration still further, officials in the Netanyahu government reportedly claimed Friday night that the US has already agreed in principle to a deal that would leave Iran capable of enriching enough uranium for a nuclear bomb within “mere months.”

Israel Channel 10 TV news said the deal taking shape would allow Iran to continue enriching uranium in “over 7,000″ centrifuges. It quoted unnamed Jerusalem sources saying the terms of the deal would leave Iran “closer than was thought” to nuclear weapons, “mere months from producing enough material for a bomb,” and that the US has agreed to 80% of Iran’s demands.

A similar report on Channel 2 news said the US was ready for Iran to keep enriching uranium in 6,500 of its 9,000 centrifuges. It also said that the US was proposing “a time limit” on the deal — possibly of 10 or 15 years — after which “Iran will be free to continue a nuclear industry.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was said to have indicated to confidants that he feels he has “no choice” but to speak out against the imminent deal, including at a controversial address scheduled for March 3 to Congress, Channel 10 said. Netanyahu does not intend to speak against President Barack Obama, or to give a partisan address, or to focus overly on sanctions, but rather to talk strongly against the deal, the report said.

Visiting soldiers wounded in a Wednesday cross-border missile attack by Hezbollah in which two Israeli troops were killed, Netanyahu earlier Friday held Iran responsible and said Tehran was waging a “sustained” battle against Israel and opening new fronts.
He spoke amid several overt indications of growing Iranian involvement in Hezbollah actions against Israel. The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Mohammad Ali Jafari, warned Friday for instance that Israel should expect heavier responses from Hezbollah after a January 18 attack, allegedly by Israel, killed 12 armed fighters, including a number of Hezbollah members and an Iranian general, in the Quneitra area of the Syrian Golan Heights. “Hezbollah’s recent attack on Israel was a response with the lowest degree of severity and we hope that they take the lesson not to repeat such mistakes (in future),” Jafari said, according to Iran’s Fars news agency.

On Friday afternoon, Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah warned that his movement was not afraid of war with Israel.The Beirut rally where his speech was broadcast was attended by Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of Iran’s influential parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy.

Charging that the Iranian regime is “working towards Israel’s destruction,” Dermer said the deal being discussed with Iran did not seek to dismantle Tehran’s nuclear weapons capabilities, but would “leave Iran as a nuclear-threshold state… I would hope that everyone would appreciate what it means to us to see that the deal that is emerging would pose a threat to the survival of Israel,” he said.
“Let me be clear that the prime minister’s visit to Washington is intended for one purpose — to speak about Iran, that openly threatens the survival of the Jewish state,” Dermer said. “The survival of Israel is not a partisan issue. It is an issue for all Americans because those who seek Israel’s destruction also threaten America.”

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