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November 28, 2015 / 16 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’

Iranian Election Results Good for Israel?

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Although Iran has elected Hassan Rouhani to be the next Iranian President, Iran still remains a threat to Israel via its nuclear program and support for terror.

The controversial Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly denied the Holocaust and called for Israel to be wiped off the map as of next August will no longer be the Iranian President. Hassan Rouhani has recently won the 2013 Iranian elections presidential elections. The question arises, how does this change of power effect the State of Israel?

Although Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei still has ultimate authority when it comes to Iran’s foreign relations, the Iranian President nevertheless does hold significant power influencing decision-making and running the executive branch of the Iranian government. The change of leadership in Iran could provide momentum for less confrontational relations between Iran and the west, in addition to permitting more freedom within Iran itself.

Iranians voted for Hassan Rouhani because they believe that the internal human rights situation will improve under a non-hardliner and also think that a less confrontational leader will ease the horrible economic situation within Iran. Nevertheless, in a political system where non-Islamists are barred from running for office, Rouhani does support the present rule of the mullahs in Iran. Even though his domestic policies are more liberal, his foreign policy ideas parallel those of Ahmadinejad. Rouhani told the Arabic daily Al Sharq Al Aswat that the campaign against Iran “is being fueled and directed first and foremost by Israel, in order to divert international attention not only from its own clandestine and dangerous nuclear weapons program but also from its destabilizing and inhuman policies and practices in Palestine and the Middle East.” He has praised Assad’s regime as the “only country in the region to resist Israeli expansionist policies and practices,” reaffirmed Iranian support for the Palestinian cause, and he believes that Iran has the right to have a nuclear program.


Iranian and Israeli flag

According an Iranian UWI source who is a supporter of the Iranian opposition named Pedram, even though Rouhani believes Iran has the right to nuclear weapons, he is more likely than Ahmadinejad was to reach an accommodation with the west, provided Ayatollah Khameini will permit him. Pedram emphasized that Ayatollah Khameini gives Islamist reformers limited wiggle-room. Under Rouhani’s leadership, denying the Holocaust is likely to cease being a prominent aspect of Iranian presidential speeches. Regardless, Israel can expect that Rouhani will make anti-Israel statements, just like his predecessor did and the initiation of Iranian-Israeli diplomatic relations is not on the table. Also, neither the Iranian governmental support for Assad’s regime nor Palestinian terror groups nor Iran’s nuclear program is likely to wane under Rouhani, unless the Iranian government continues to be under pressure and gives in for pragmatic reasons.

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So Called Moderate Rohani Wins Iranian Vote

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

Hassan Rohani won outright majority of the votes and was declared President-elect of the Islamic Republic of Iran, IRNA reported.

Just under 37 million Iranians voted in Friday’s elections, out of some 50 million eligible voters—close to a 75 percent turnout—with about one million votes disqualified. Hassan Rohani won 18,613,629 votes, or just around 51 percent, which means there won’t be a runoff election.

According to a Reuters reporter stationed in Dubai, it appears the elections were surprisingly free and fair – of course, after a very large number of candidates had been shaved off the ballots by the ruling ayatollahs before the vote began.

The British Foreign Office said in a statement that it hoped President Elect Rohani would use his victory to engage with international concerns over Iran’s nuclear program.

“We note the announcement that Hassan Rouhani has won the Iranian presidential elections,” the statement said. “We call on him to use the opportunity to set Iran on a different course for the future: addressing international concerns about Iran’s nuclear programme, taking forward a constructive relationship with the international community, and improving the political and human rights situation for the people of Iran.”

Rouhani has been a member of the Assembly of Experts since 1999, member of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Expediency Council since 1991, member of the Supreme National Security Council since 1989, and head of the Center for Strategic Research since 1992.

Rouhani was secretary of the Supreme National Security Council for 16 years. His career at the Council began under President Hashemi Rafsanjani and continued under his successor, President Khatami. He served as Iran’s top nuclear negotiator from October, 2003 to August, 2005. That period began with international revelations about Iran’s nuclear energy program and adoption of a strongly-worded resolution by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Rouhani and his team based their efforts on dialogue and confidence building. They managed to prevent further accusations against Iran, by suspending some parts of Iran’s nuclear activities voluntarily. While preventing Iran’s case from being reported to the UN Security Council, Iran still succeeded in completing its nuclear fuel cycle. But Rouhani was not liked by incoming president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president, who made him resign from his post as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council after 16 years of leading it.

Just based on his public record, it is clear that the historic differences between Rouhani and his predecessor Ahmadinejad have never been over substance – they both insist on Iran’s right to a fully developed nuclear program, both for peaceful and ends as for weapons production. Rouhani is simply more patient and better at duplicity.

This could mean a change for the worse in terms of Israel’s worries about the Iranian bomb, because Rouhani could turn out to be a lot more accommodating to the European and American negotiators, which would isolate Israel in its hawkish position against Iran’s nuclear program.

Rouhani is known as a friend of Iran’s Green Movement, but he also enjoys close ties to Iran’s ruling ayatollahs.

According to Reuters, Iranian voters gave Rouhani what amounted to a landslide victory – 51 percent in a very crowded race, because they are weary of years of economic isolation and tightening political restrictions. They’ve greeted his victory with a mix of euphoria and relief that eight years under hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were finally over.

But, clearly, Israel is not about to let down its guard.

Red Cross Bares Its Heart and Soul, Honors PA Terrorists

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

The International Red Cross together with the Palestinian Red Crescent in Jenin planted 150 trees bearing the names of “veteran prisoners” who were convicted and jailed for murdering Israelis.

Most foreign and local media call them “militants,” reserving the word terrorists for those who kill people for political gain in a media outlet’s home country.

The Palestinian Authority now has helped the Red Cross add another word to the Orwellian Middle East dictionary: “Veteran prisoners.”

The official Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported last week that the Red Cross and Red Crescent “planted 150 fruit trees that carry the names of the veteran prisoners jailed in the occupation prisons.” The article was translated and published on Sunday by the Palestinian Media Watch.

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida told its readers that the two organizations “conducted a ceremony called ‘My Honor is My Freedom’ in the village of Zububa to mark the 150th anniversary of their founding. Fruit trees were planted at the entrance to the village, where the racist annexation and expansion wall that has swallowed up thousands of acres [of land] was built.”

The Red Cross has a very cozy relationship with the Palestinian Authority, where the Red Crescent has long been a member of the international organization. Israel’s Magen David rescue services were not accepted by the International Federation of Red Cross until 2005, but on a condition: Magen David has to agree not to operate in Judea and Samaria or areas in Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinian Authority.

Displaying the Jewish Star of David, the translation of the term Magen David and the symbol used on its ambulances, would suggest that the Red Cross, God forbid, acknowledges that Jews can live in Judea and Samaria and all of Jerusalem.

The Red Cross, in its devotion to protecting the rights of prisoners under the Geneva Convention, dutifully makes sure that Israel opens its jails to relatives of jailed Palestinian Authority terrorists.

It took an entirely different attitude during the five heart-wrenching years that Hamas held Gilad Shalit hostage after kidnapping him in a terrorist attack in 2006 that left two other soldiers murdered. The Red Cross went through the motions of demanding his release but did not place any pressure on the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority to work for his freedom.

Shalit’s father Gilad said during his son’s captivity, “We demand that the Red Cross’ approach be more active and decisive. I would like to believe that they would give us a sign of life from Gilad. We are conducting ongoing dialogue with the Red Cross but it has not been much help. I did not hear them condemn Hamas on its crime against Gilad. The Red Cross has been a complete failure in this affair.”

It took the Red Cross almost five years until it made a belatedly public appeal for his release. When Shalit was released, the Red Cross did not even examine him.

The Red Cross also took no action against the Red Crescent and the Palestinian Authority’s assisting terrorism in the early part of this century, during the advanced stage of the Intifada that is also called the “Second Intifada” and the “Oslo War.”

IDF occasionally foiled terrorist attacks by inspecting Red Crescent ambulances before allowing them to continue from Judea and Samaria into urban Israel. More than once, soldiers discovered explosives and weapons under the beds of supposedly pregnant women, a gross violation of international law.

This did not stop the Red Cross from honoring the “prisoners.”

If anyone questions that they really are terrorists, check out the background of such “veteran prisoners” as Karim and Maher Younes, Issa Abd Rabbo, Osama Al-Silawi, Mohammed Turkeman, Nasser Abu Surour and Mahmoud Abu Surour, Zaid Younes, Ibrahim Al-Taqtuq, Ikram Mansour, Ahmed Ka’abna, Nael and Fakhri Barghouti and Samir Kuntar, Jamal Hweil, Jamal Tirawi and Jum’a Adam.

The name “Kuntar” should ring a bell.

Born in Lebanon, he joined the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) with the stated goal of killing Jews.

At the age of 16, he helped kidnap an Israeli family from Nahariya, on the northeast Mediterranean Coast. He murdered four people, including a 4-year-old daughter, in the presence of her father, who also was killed. He was cited as a hero by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Israeli Air Force Shoots Down Hezbollah Drone

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

The Israeli Air Force shot down a drone approximately five nautical miles off the Haifa coast as it flew towards the Mediterranean Coast at a height of approximately 6,000 feet. No one has claimed responsibility for the attempted infiltration, but it is assumed that Hezbollah or an affiliated terrorist group tried to penetrate Israeli air space.

A gag order on the IAF interception with a missile fired from an F-16 jet was lifted approximately three hours after the drone was blown up in mid-air.

“Israel is prepared to deal with any threat posed from Syria or Lebanon in the air, land or sea,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said after the IDF announced the incident.

Last November, a drone managed to penetrate Israeli airspace and was downed only after it reached the southern Hevron Hills, approximately 15 miles northeast of Be’er Sheva.

The drone was identified over the Gaza coast. Security officials did not release additional information, and it was speculated – without any confirmation – that the drone may have been headed towards the Dimona nuclear facility but that the IDF electronically took over the drone and directed it over a relatively unpopulated area.

The infiltration also may simply have been an attempt by Hezbollah to test Israel’s ability to detect low-flying drones.

Thursday’s drone may be an attempt by Hezbollah to draw attention away from its involvement in Syria, where heavy casualties have been reported the past several days. Hezbollah’s intense fighting alongside loyalists to Syrian President Bashar Assad further endangers the spread of the civil war into Lebanon, dominated by pro-Assad and Hezbollah parties against fiercely anti-Syria parties.

Hezbollah is largely financed by Iran, and Ahmadinejad, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and Syrian President Bashar Assad desperately need each other. Once one of the links in the “evil of axis” falls, all of the regimes’ leaders will be in danger.

Iran Launches Two Uranium Facilities while Talking with West

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurated two uranium processing facilities on Tuesday at the same Western diplomats are trying to jawbone him into surrendering work on uranium enrichment.

Marking “National Day of Nuclear Technology,” Ahmadinejad, via video, launched the production plants in the central province of Yazd.

Two days earlier, European Union Policy Chief Catherine Ashton admitted that Iran and the six world powers “remain far apart” from advancing in negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program.

Western diplomats stubbornly insist it is worthwhile to continue talks with Iran, with one diplomat, speaking anonymously, going so far as to state, “There is enough substance for these negotiations to continue.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Israel on Sunday, negotiations cannot continue forever, but, as usual, no deadline was stated. nor is it clear what the United States would do if a deadline were not met.

Meanwhile, more concerns have been raised supporting Israel’s years-old contention that Iran has been actively working towards producing a nuclear weapon.

Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told a nuclear nonproliferation in Washington that Iran’s refusal to allow nuclear inspectors into the Parchin military base raised serious suspicions.  “We have credible information that Iran continued its activities beyond 2003,” he said. American intelligence previously has claimed that Iran suspended work on nuclear development in that year, while Israel insisted no such halt occurred.

Iran Blinks First, But Could Still Produce Nuclear Weapon in 2013

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is limiting his country’s nuclear program to fit Israel’s demands, at least for the time being, the Wall Street Journal reported.

According to senior U.S., European and Israeli officials, Khamenei’s decision was designed to avoid a crisis during Iran’s election year.

Khamenei wants the June vote to produce a new leader closer to his positions than President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and to avoid the kind of unrest that marked Iran’s 2009 elections.

According to the Journal, Khamenei is “placing the Obama administration and its allies in a delicate strategic position, possibly constraining their response to Iran’s nuclear program.”

Iran’s nuclear program was supposed to hit its point of no return in 2013, enriching a sufficient amount of uranium to enable it to produce a nuclear weapon. In such a case, Israel and its allies were mulling the possibility and the timing of using military force.

A senior U.S. official working on Iran reported that “based on the latest IAEA report, Iran appears to be limiting its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium by converting a significant portion of it to oxide. But that could change at any moment.”

The officials still expect Khamenei’s moves to be a delay, rather than a change of policy. Iran’s actions still appear to be in line with accelerating the pace towards creating weapons-grade fuel. They point out the IAEA’s report that Iran has installed thousands of new centrifuges at the Fordow underground military facility in Qom,. The site is a huge, fortified bunker, possibly immune to U.S. or Israeli air strikes.

With the new centrifuges, Iran is capable of tripling the pace of enriching uranium. If Khamenei decides to step over Israel’s red line sometime this year, Iran could move rapidly to produce the weapons-grade fuel for a bomb.

“There is a good point to be made that Iran has accepted 250 kilograms as the red line, but they are doing this very cleverly,” said Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. Iran’s moves would “enable Iran to cross the red line clandestinely in a matter of weeks,” he said.

IDF Intelligence Chief: Terror Organizations on the Rise

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Head of the Military Intelligence Directorate Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi spoke at the 13th annual Herzliya Conference on Thursday, where he delivered a comprehensive review of the strategic changes currently shaping the Middle East and the threats that such changes pose to Israel’s national security. THE IRANIAN THREAT

Maj. Gen. Kochavi related to the Iranian nuclear program, and was explicit in describing the great threat that Iran poses to the security of the State of Israel, describing it as Israel’s “primary threat”.

“We estimate that they will continue to advance their nuclear program,” he said, explaining that “Iran does not see a high chance of a military attack by the international community on [their] nuclear facilities.”

Maj. Gen. Kochavi said that the Iranian government is in possession of the necessary infrastructure to procure nuclear weapons. “Right now [Iran] has ten thousand spinning centrifuges and another five thousand have been installed,” he said, adding that “should the [President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] decide to move forward towards a bomb, they already have enough material for five or six bombs.”

Despite the progress of Iran’s nuclear program, Maj. Gen. Kochavi said, the international community still has the power to stop them. “The [international] pressure on Iran is intensifying and the economic sanctions are influencing Iran in the most significant way,” he said, adding that such sanctions will become an ever-more influential factor in the decision making in Iran. CHANGING MIDDLE EAST

The intelligence chief stated the IDF’s Intelligence Directorate has identified three central pillars around which the most significant changes influencing the region revolve: the economic situation, social upheaval and Islamization.

“The social upheaval is here to stay,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said, referring to the massive political and social changes that have occurred throughout the Middle East in recent years. “It will continue to seethe and bubble and remain the central determining factor in the Middle East,” he said.

He explained that the social upheaval has removed many of the Middle East’s traditional power structures from authority, leaving room for radical Islam to take over. “[The upheaval] is becoming more violent every day, and it is creating a vacuum which is being filled with Islamist and Jihadist political factions,” he warned.

The Head of Military Intelligence said that while political turmoil abounds, governance has vanished and borders are being breached, leaving Israel surrounded by increasingly lawless areas. The lack of control, he says, is leading to the unfettered passage of weapons and munitions. “For the first time in decades Israel has four active borders which could open up from terror attacks,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said. THE RISE OF TERROR IN SYRIA

Maj. Gen. Kochavi related to the sustained political turmoil in Syria, saying that there too radical Islamism has risen up to fill the void left by political instability. “For some of the [new terror] organizations, Israel is not the focus, but the moment they accomplish their Plan A – the fall of Assad, for instance – they will turn their energy towards Israel,” he said.

Elaborating on the situation in Syria, Maj. Gen. Kochavi said that “it is necessary to think of Syria not as a complete state, but as Assad’s state and the rebels’ state – which includes two thirds of Syria’s populated area.” He added that there are rebel enclaves camped all along the border in the Golan Heights from where they lead the day to day fighting.

“11 of 17 crossings [from Syria into the demilitarized UNDOF zone] are in the hands of the rebels, which enables the passage of refugees, weapons and even Jihadist elements,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said.

The Head of Military Intelligence went on to say that Hezbollah, a traditional ally of Assad, is concerned that should he lose power, Iran may lose free passage through Syria to arm the Lebanese terror organization – a concern which has caused them to become involved in the conflict.

“Assad is intensifying cooperation with Hezbollah and Iran, which maintain a presence in Syria, and are the primary supports of his regime,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said. “The damage of Syria’s demise would be very grave for them. Iran would lose its only Arab ally which borders Israel and thus lose the capability to open fire on Israel from Syria,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/idf-intelligence-chief-terror-organizations-on-the-rise/2013/03/15/

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