France’s contradictory stance continues to stupify

It would appear that the Obama administration is de-listing Iran as a state-sponsor of terror in order to reach a deal on nuclear weapons development. The administration is also intent on de-listing terrorist group Hezbollah, according to sources, leading to the bizarre situation where a clearly radical terrorist Islamic group is being described by this “basket-case” administration as a legitimate organization. 

This is one of those rare situations where even though Iranian Shi’a backed militias and Hezbollah are fighting against ISIL the adage “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” is not applicable. Remember Iran and Hezbollah support the Assad regime in Syria – the lack of support from the West to rebels fighting Assad since 2011 facilitated the rise of ISIL. Not content with that extremely poor outcome it now seems that Iran and Hezbollah can look forward to being given a freer rein in the pursuit of their equally extreme agendas in return for their support in fighting ISIL and so that Obama can claim an ego driven victory as he fiddles and waits to exit the White House after eight disastrous years of foreign policy decisions. Decisions which Europe is starting to pay dearly for and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

That would seem like enough bad news for Israel this week but amazingly less that three months after the Hebdo attacks and other outrages perpetuated by radical Islamists in France the deluded French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called for a relaunch of the Middle East peace process based on a two-state solution.

“Only the creation of viable sovereign Palestinian state… will ensure peace and prosperity in the Middle East,” he said in a statement that called for negotiations to resume to achieve “a comprehensive and lasting peace accord.” The words “comprehensive” and “lasting” and “peace” do not exist in the Iranian or Hezbollah / Hamas / Fatah lexicon when discussing Israel and Fabius knows that. 
Netanyahu won a closely-fought election on Tuesday, during the election campaign, Netanyahu specifically stated that he would not accept the establishment of a Palestinian state. This is a key part of the two-state solution backed by the EU and France in December 2014. Netanyahu had previously accepted this concept in 2009 before the Palestinian Authority demonstrated that their intention was and still is a policy of no compromise dismantling and destruction of the Israeli state.  
Palestinian Authority leaders reacted negatively to Netanyahu’s victory, expressing fear that the Israeli leader would thwart efforts to establish a Palestinian state. Now France sticks in its nose with a sweeping and unrealistic statement which once again shows those that seek to undermine Western society and Israel that they still have sponsors at the highest level of European politics. 
With Iran being courted by the US and seemingly allowed to continue towards the objective of possessing nuclear weapons, with Obama openly hostile to Netanyahu and Israeli interests, with ISIL attacking Lebanon and Hamas vowing a fresh spate of attacks on Israel does it seem realistic to ask Israelis to allow the creation of an openly hostile and extremist nation on its doorstep?
France once again adds its voice to a debate where in the past it has always been found to be lacking and where its follow through has always lagged behind its rhetoric. Does guilt play a part? It was the drawing of borders in the Middle East by France and Great Britain after World War 1, with total disregard for ethnic or historical precedent (solely based on self interest), that has allowed subsequent generations to inherit the Middle East problem. 
France has domestic problems that it should focus its attention on before confusing the international debate on issues where it has nothing constructive to add. The liberal agenda in France has always been perceived to hold sway to such an extent that the nation is uncompetitive and which policies, showing a complete disregard for its citizens, have led to a sustained and steady rise of far-right wing support in France. 
The EU and France in particular with a well worn and clearly “unfit for purpose” policy of appeasement towards radical Islam need to accept that concessions such as these will buy no good will or long term strategy alterations from those that seek to undermine all that the West and France holds dear. The rest of Europe should not pay the price for France’s lack of control of immigration since the 1960’s where policy is now being dictated by a sizeable section of voters whose ideals are fundamentally at odds with traditional European values. 
France does not speak for Europe, the current French government does not represent the views of its citizens, liberal France in its appeasement of radical Islam is as dangerous as the threat it seeks to appease. Fix your own house France before looking to cast aspersions on the state of others.

Graham Penrose

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Iran as a planner and supporter of global terror

Since the declaration of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, the government of Iran has been accused by members of the international community for funding, providing equipment, weapons, training and giving sanctuary to terrorists. The United States State Department describes Iran as an “active state sponsor of terrorism.”US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice elaborated stating, “Iran has been the country that has been in many ways a kind of central banker for terrorism in important regions like Lebanon through Hezbollah in the Middle East, in the Palestinian Territories, and we have deep concerns about what Iran is doing in the south of Iraq. 
World attention on Iran centers on the threats to international security posed by the country’s nuclear program. As Iran persistent to become a nuclear power, the regime in Tehran also employs an aggressive foreign policy that relies heavily on the deployment of clandestine assets abroad to collect intelligence and support foreign operations. The world’s most active state sponsor of terrorism, Tehran relies on terrorism to further Iranian foreign policy interests. Today, Iran feels itself under increasing pressure from the international community by both diplomatic and economic sanctions.
From the Stunt virus to the assassination of Iranian scientists and the defection of Iranian agents, Iran feels increasingly targeted by Western intelligence services in general and Israel and the United States in particular. Hezbollah and Iran each have their own reasons for executing terrorist attacks targeting Israeli or other Western targets. Iran seeks to avenge attacks on its scientists and sanctions targeting its nuclear program, and Hezbollah seeks to avenge Mughniyeh’s death. This convergence of interests strengthens their long-standing and intimate relationship, making their combined operational capabilities that much more dangerous.
In the past, major acts of Iranian state sponsorship of terrorism have ultimately been linked back to the most senior elements of the Iranian leadership. When such cases have led to major law enforcement investigations and prosecutions, the links have been made public. For example, in June 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers housing complex that was home to American, Saudi, French, and British service members in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province—the last time Iranian agents carried out an attack targeting both U.S. and Saudi interests. In that case, Iranian agents teamed up with Saudi and Lebanese Hezbollah operatives to carry out the attack. According to the testimony of a former CIA official, arrangements for the Khobar Towers attack began around 1994, including planning meetings likely held in Tehran and operational meetings held at the Iranian embassy in Damascus, Syria. It was in 1994, according to this account, that the criminal Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khomeini, gave the order for the attack on the Khobar Towers complex.


In April 2008, Gen. David Petraeus testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the flow of sophisticated Iranian arms to Shia militants in Iraq. The military’s understanding of Iran’s support for such groups crystallized, Petraeus explained, with the capture of a number of prominent Shia militants and several members of the Qods Force operating in Iraq as well. In case it was not already clear to General Petraeus that Qods Force Chief Gen. Qasem Soleimani was calling the shots for Iran in Iraq, the head of the Qods Force reportedly sent the commander of coalition forces a message in early 2008 to make the point. Conveyed by a senior Iraqi leader, the message came just as Iraqi and coalition forces initiated Operation Charge of the Knights, a concerted effort to target Iraqi Shia militias in Baghdad and Basra. Iran’s use of terrorism as a tool of foreign policy, however, goes back as far as the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Writing in 1986, the CIA assessment which is now de-classified report titled “Iranian Support for International Terrorism” that while Iran’s support for terrorism was meant to further its national interest, it also stemmed from the clerical regime’s perception “that it has a religious duty to export its Islamic revolution and to wage, by whatever means, a constant struggle against the perceived oppressor states. According to CIA reporting in the late 1980s, “Iranian leaders view terrorism as an important instrument of foreign policy that they use both to advance national goals and to export the regime’s Islamic revolutionary ideals. Tehran’s capability to carry out global terror attacks rests on its ability to call upon a group of Middle East–based terror groups willing to act at Iran’s behest, a network that would almost certainly be called upon to execute the kind of asymmetric terror attacks that can be carried out with reasonable deniability and therefore make a targeted response more difficult.

Muhammad Hejazi, the deputy head of Iran’s armed forces, hinted that Tehran could order proxy militant groups in Gaza and Lebanon to fire rockets into Israel. He even implied such a strike could be used preemptively, before an attack on Iran. “We are no longer willing to wait for enemy action to be launched against us,” he told Iran’s Fars News Agency. “Our strategy now is that we will make use of all means to protect our national interests.”16 Hezbollah leaders have also stated they would stand by Iran and any other entity that has stood up to the “Zionist regime.

Of all the terrorist groups that Tehran has sponsored over the past twenty-eight years, none is more important to Iran than Hezbollah. Iran helped to create Hezbollah in the early 1980s, funding, training, and indoctrinating new members of the fledgling movement. This support created a completely loyal proxy group ready to engage in terrorist activities at Iran’s behest. As one senior Hezbollah official noted in the early 1980s, “Our relation with the Islamic revolution is one of a junior to a senior of a soldier to his commander.
In Africa, where Hezbollah’s support networks are well entrenched, the group need not rely on Iranian operational support as much as it does elsewhere. It is said that said, the sponsor and its proxy do cooperate closely on two key agenda in Africa: proselytizing and recruitment, and arms smuggling. Committed to its constitutional directive to export the Islamic Revolution, the Revolutionary Guard proactively recruits Shia in Africa by the efforts of Iranian and Lebanese missionaries proselytizing across the continent. As early as 1985, the CIA was aware that Iran had long been known to “promote subversive activity” in far-flung countries with Shia populations, including Nigeria. Three years later, a CIA report acknowledged the phenomenon was far more widespread than just in Nigeria. Moreover, the agency highlighted Hezbollah’s participation in efforts to spread Iran’s Islamic revolutionary vision in Africa.


Iraqi Shia extremists feature prominently in Iran’s arsenal of regional proxies. On their own, and in cooperation with the Qods Force, local Hezbollah affiliates and groups like the Iraqi Dawa Party have engaged in terrorism and political violence in support of their own and Iranian interests. In time, evidence of Hezbollah’s presence in Iraq would be plentiful. Indeed, Hezbollah would create an outfit, Unit 3800, dedicated to aiding the Shia insurgency in Iraq. Iraq became a core issue for Hezbollah, however, not because it had anything to do with Lebanon but because gaining influence over Iraq and hegemony in the region is of primary concern to its Iranian sponsors. Of course, Iran has long sought to push the United States out of the Gulf region. “Iranian-sponsored terrorism is the greatest threat to U.S. personnel and facilities in the Middle East.” So read the opening statement of a CIA memo written in mid-February 1985 on terrorism in the Middle East. So it was that Hezbollah, at Iran’s behest, helped develop a sophisticated training program for Shia militants from Iraq. Some training occurred in Iraq, reportedly at the Deir and Kutaiban camps east of Basra near the Iranian border. In Iran, Hezbollah and Qods Force instructors ran a well-organized training program in which Daqduq was directly involved, “helping Qods Force in training Iraqis inside Iran.”

Over time, Hezbollah operatives trained enough Iraqi Shia militants—in Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon—to significantly improve the Special Groups’ paramilitary capabilities. Hezbollah provided the Iraqi insurgents “with the training, tactics and technology to conduct kidnappings, small unit tactical operations, and employ sophisticated improvised explosive devices, incorporating lessons learned from operations in Southern Lebanon,” according to an April 2010 Pentagon report. Indeed, it would not take long before Hezbollah operatives would begin directing Iraqi militants in the execution of exactly such operations.
Also Washington reported in The Jerusalem Post that : Iran continues to arm and finance a terrorist network that extends from South Asia to the Horn of Africa, from Iraq to Yemen, and across the Palestinian territories, the US State Department reported on Wednesday, acknowledging US willingness to nevertheless engage directly in talks with the state over its nuclear program. Much of the report, released annually by the State Department to outline threats of terrorism around the world, focuses on Iran’s expansive efforts to fund and funnel arms to Islamist organizations, including Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah, which is based in Lebanon but operates worldwide.“Iran has historically provided weapons, training, and funding to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups,” the report details, “although Hamas’s ties to Tehran have been strained due to the Syrian civil war.” In its efforts to bolster Hezbollah, Iran considers Syria “a crucial causeway in its weapons supply route” and has taken an active role in supporting embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad, the US report claims.
Consider that Iran’s intelligence penetration of South America has expanded significantly since the AMIA bombing. Testifying before Congress in the weeks following that 1994 attack, the State Department’s coordinator for counterterrorism expressed concern that Iranian embassies in the region were stacked with larger than necessary numbers of diplomats, some of whom were believed to be intelligence agents and terrorist operatives:“We are sharing information in our possession with other States about Iranian diplomats, Iranian terrorist leaders who are posing as diplomats, so that nations will refuse to give them accreditation, or if they are already accredited, to expel them. We have had some success in that respect, but we have not always succeeded.

Acknowledgements: Akam Assadi