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December 7, 2016 / 7 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Ayatollah’

Why Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei Is Supremely Confident

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

One year after they signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, popularly known as the Iran deal, the Iranians are secretly attempting to procure illicit nuclear technology and equipment. So says Germany’s domestic intelligence agency.

It appears the mullahs are supremely confident that America and the West will do nothing to enforce the agreement.

Looking back on the Iran nuclear deal and the singular role Iran’s American lobby, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), played in the formulation and promotion of the agreement, it’s clear that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s past experience with President Obama has given him good reason to believe the current U.S. administration will continue to play ball.

Iran designated NIAC as the Iranian lobby in the U.S. and coordinated its efforts with government agencies in Tehran. To its American audience, NIAC, founded in 2002 by Iranian Trita Parsi, presented itself as “the largest grassroots Iranian-American organization advancing the interests of the Iranian-American community.” But only our government seemed to believe this. When polled, Iranian Americans felt that NIAC was a lobby for the ayatollah’s Islamic Republic.

From its inception, years before the Obama presidency, DC-based NIAC and its allies advocated that the U.S. offer broad “economic, security, and diplomatic concessions” to Iran; “embark on a policy of unconditional dialogue and sanctions relief” to normalize relations; and in the interest of regional stability, encourage an Iranian “sphere of influence.”

Much of what we know about NIAC’s activities comes from internal documents of a 2008 defamation lawsuit NIAC filed against an Iranian U.S. journalist who had called NIAC and Parsi “key players in the lobby enterprise of Tehran’s ayatollahs in the United States.”

Court evidence exposed NIAC’s central role in promoting Iran’s geopolitical interests. Parsi, NIAC’s first and only president, has ties to Tehran and maintains a long-term working relationship with Iranian Foreign Minister and chief nuclear negotiator Mohammad Javad Zarif. The court dismissed the case in 2013 and found that Parsi’s work for NIAC was “not inconsistent with the idea that he was first and foremost an advocate for the [Iranian] regime.”

Parsi dangled “access to Iranian markets” before various business interests. Perhaps Boeing was one of them? He advocated “respecting” the Islamic Republic, insisting that Iran and the U.S. shared common goals. A 2008 NIAC document stated that, in one month, NIAC met with more than 50 Democratic and Republican members of Congress.

In articles and a book, Parsi urged the U.S. to distance itself from Israel, “the sole force behind…the sanctions against Iran,” and launched a campaign to minimize the importance of Iran’s systemic anti-Semitism, which he called irrelevant.

The 2008 election of Obama gave the Iranian lobby an ally in the White House. Had Khamenei been able to personally select a U.S. president, he could not have chosen one more aligned with his goals than Obama. Both were convinced that the U.S. was the source of problems around the globe and both were committed to U.S. disengagement from the Middle East.

During his 2008 presidential campaign, Obama used a secret back channel to Tehran via William Miller, former U.S. ambassador to Iran, to assure Khamenei that he would like Obama’s policies.

Throughout his first term, Obama displayed his eagerness to engage with Iran, sending letters to Khamenei and repeating NIAC’s talking points regarding Iran’s important potential leadership role and the need for rapprochement.

In his second term, no longer restrained by reelection realities, the American president pushed detente with the terror state and a nuclear deal in keeping with NIAC’s lobbying goals. The Obama administration defined the Iran situation as a choice between “a nuclear deal or war,” a dichotomy straight out of NIAC’s (and Iran’s) playbook.

In December 2014, Obama told National Public Radio that Iran’s “legitimate aspirations” should be respected. He speculated that the Islamic Republic “could be a very successful regional power.” Interviewed in The Atlantic, Obama claimed the regime’s anti-Semitism is just an “organizing tool” used “at the margins” and didn’t override Tehran’s other strategic interests. Again, NIAC messaging. Convinced that Israel was an impediment to rapprochement with Iran, Obama put “daylight” between Washington and Jerusalem, a recommendation promoted by Parsi.

Throughout the Obama presidency, NIAC continued to proselytize State Department, Department of Defense, White House, and CIA personnel; briefed former secretary of state Hillary Clinton; and met with Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. Two former NIAC staffers are important advisers to the president and the State Department on Iran policy.

The Iranians used their influence to manipulate a malleable, inexperienced American president – a man predisposed to the idea of Iranian Middle East hegemony – to capitulate to the world’s most prolific state sponsor of terror. They realized Obama was desperate for a nuclear deal to jump-start his transformative foreign policy legacy, and used this vulnerability.

In David Samuels’s New York Times Magazine interview in May, Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, bragged about creating an “echo chamber” within the media and organizations outside of the White House to sell the Iran nuclear deal to the public. He failed to mention that it was Iran – through NIAC – that created an “echo chamber” within the Obama administration to promote the deal in the first place.

Khamenei took the measure of our president and played Obama like a fiddle, with NIAC as its bow. He’s now reaping the benefits of this sophisticated shell game.

JNS

Ziva Dahl

Ayatollah Khamenei Sends Secret ‘Love Letter’ to Obama

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

Iranian  Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has sent a “secret letter” in response to President Barack Obama’s letter on its nuclear program and suggested Iran can be an American ally n the war against the Islamic State (ISIS).

Obama sent Khamenei a letter last October concerning languishing negotiations to restrict and inspect Iran’s nuclear development, which it insists is for peaceful purposes and which virtually everyone else except Russia, Syria and China admit is to obtain a nuclear warhead and aim it at Israel.

The American-led war on the ISIS has given Khamenei an opportunity to reply to the letter with an overture to help Washington defeat the terrorist army that controls large parts of Syria and Iraq and is recruiting eager jihadists throughout the world.

Khamenei’s letter was “respectful” but non-committal, The Wall Street Journal reported, quoting a diplomat.

Judging from Khamenei’s comments, he is not about to cave in to Western demands but is using as bait Iran’s fear of the ISIS. He knows, better than most Western leaders, that if the ISIS takes control of Iraq and Syria, Jordan is next in line, followed by other Middle East countries, including Iran.

Israel also would like to see the ISIS disappear, but Khamenei hasn’t sent any love letters to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, probably because the Prime Minister has not courted him.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Head of Iran’s Top Clerical Body Dies

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

After lying in coma for months, 83-year-old Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani has died, Iranian media reported Tuesday.

The ailing ayatollah was the head of Iran’s top clerical body, the only entity which has the authority to elect and dismiss the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic, whose position is higher than that of the country’s president.

Kani’s death leaves a gap at the top at a time in which the Supreme Leader himself is also in poor health. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei underwent prostate surgery last month but has remained frail ever since.

It is Khamenei who formulate’s Iran’s nuclear policy and he who makes all final decisions regarding any limits the country might accept on its future nuclear development.

He also wields a great deal of authority in deciding where and how to deploy the nation’s elite Iranian Revolutionary Guards, who are currently fighting alongside Syrian government forces defending President Bashar al-Assad.

Iran also generously patronizes the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorist organization, as well as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas terrorist groups, both in Gaza and in Judea and Samaria.

There have been only two Supreme Leaders in Iran since the country’s Islamic Revolution took place in 1979.

Hana Levi Julian

Iranians Wonder, Is the Supreme Leader Fading?

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

Iranian media has been showing photos of a very frail Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iranians are wondering whether their Supreme Leader is fading.

It is the Supreme Leader who makes the sole decision about the Islamic Republic’s nuclear development policies.

Last month Iran’s the country’s top leader made a surprise announcement that he was asking for the country’s prayers because he was due to have surgery.

The operation on his prostate, according to his spokespeople, was to last “only 30 minutes” and was carried out “under local anesthesia.”

Nevertheless, the Supreme Leader has looked pale and frail in media images ever since, with every leader in his government seen visiting his bedside.

Questions are being bandied about over who will succeed him – and analysts say the questions are becoming more serious as the days pass.

Iran has had only two Supreme Leaders since the 1979 revolution, and any instability due to a vacuum at the top could mean a national security issue.

The Supreme Leader is elected by the Assembly of Experts, which is primarily comprised of religious officials. The country’s elite Revolutionary Guards, however, are also expected to influence any choice for Khamenei’s successor, when the issue becomes relevant.

When the Assembly met in early September, Khamenei called for unity. “There are differences in taste on political issues, on political issues small and large,” he said. “But these differences cannot destroy the unity of the country or empathy within the country. Everyone should be together.”

Hana Levi Julian

Supreme Leader Goes under Surgical Operation

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei underwent what official state media called routine prostate surgery at a Tehran hospital on Monday morning.

“I have a surgery and I am now leaving for the hospital,” he said.

“There is no reason to worry; this, of course, does not mean that I don’t need people’s prayers, but God willing, there is no point to worry as it is a normal operation,” he added.

“God willing everything will go on well.”

The truth is we really are worried, but not about the surgery.

 

Jewish Press News Briefs

Khamenei: Islam Forbids Male-Female Chat Messages

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Islam forbids men and women chatting with each other on social networks, Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, the Egyptian daily Al Ahram reported.

He issued a “Fatwa” religious decree that explained chatting between the sexes is immoral. The Islamic Republic has placed severe restrictions on use of the Internet and social networks, and it tried to close them down during the mass protests in 2009 against the fraudulent re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president.

Iran recently blocked a WeChat message that is used on smartphones.

Jewish Press News Briefs

The Day Mandela Went to Shul and Preached against Aliyah

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

One of the first things that Nelson Mandela did after being elected president of South Africa in 1994 was visit a synagogue and preach against aliyah at Cape Town’s Green and Sea Point Hebrew Congregation on the Shabbat after his election.

Here is an excerpt from JTA’s report:

“The congregants heard Mandela make an appeal from the pulpit for Jewish expatriates to return to South Africa.

“Pointedly excluding aliyah by saying he understands the Jewish community’s commitment to Israel, Mandela said, ‘We want those who left (for other countries) because of insecurity to come back and to help us to build our country.’

“He added that those who do not return should contribute their money and skills to South Africa.

“Mandela thanked the Jewish community for its contribution toward the development of South Africa and assured Jews they have nothing to fear from a government of national unity.

“He said he felt an affinity with the Jewish community, since it was a Jewish firm that gave him an apprenticeship in the early days of his law career, when discrimination was rife.

“He also said that he had befriended his Jewish defense counsel during the treason trial which led to his imprisonment in the 1950s and that he was still in contact with the lawyer.

“He stated that he recognizes the right to existence of the State of Israel, along with the right of Palestinians to live in their own homeland.

“He noted that he considered it significant that Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat last week signed an agreement in Cairo implementing Palestinian self-rule — the same week that South Africa elected its new leadership.

“At the reception following the service, some of the younger members of the congregation raised clenched fists in solidarity with the ANC, while the shul choir led in the singing of the country’s new national anthem, “Nkosi Sikelel’ IAfrika.”

Mandela often said Israel should be a “secure“ state, but on the other hand, his citing the Palestinian-Israel conflict as dating back to 1948 clearing showed his definition of “secure” as twisted.

He wrote Thomas Friedman of The New York Times in 1991, “You incorrectly think that the problem of Palestine began in 1967…. You seem to be surprised to hear that there are still problems of 1948 to be solved, the most important component of which is the right to return of Palestinian refugees. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not just an issue of military occupation and Israel is not a country that was established ‘normally’ and happened to occupy another country in 1967.

“Palestinians are not struggling for a ‘state’ but for freedom, liberation and equality, just like we were struggling for freedom in South Africa.”

Arabs in Judea and Samaria, who did not refer themselves as “Palestinians,” never ”struggled” for freedom under the Ottoman Empire, under the British Mandate and under the Jordanian occupation.

It was only when Jews re-established the modern State of Israel that they “struggled,” not for freedom but rather for the annihilation of Israel.

That explains how Mandela, more blind than the blindest American Secretary of State, could proclaim that Iran had no aggressive aims towards Israel. “We are indebted to the Islamic Revolution,” he one said while laying a wreath at the grave of the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose idea of freedom meant a world free of Israel.

Mandela not only called Israel an “apartheid state” but also asserted that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was not a terrorist group.

He publicly supported violence against Israel during a visit to Yasser Arafat in Gaza in 1999, when he declared. “All men and women with vision choose peace rather than confrontation, except in cases where we cannot proceed, where we cannot move forward. Then if the only alternative is violence, we will use violence.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/archives-the-day-mandela-went-to-shul-and-preached-against-aliyah/2013/12/10/

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