In a speech to the highest military commanders in the province of Alborz, Iran’s Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi called America, England, and Israel “the sinister triangle of terrorism and warmongering of the world.” He criticized the recent anti-Iranian comments by the U.S. and UK secretaries of defense (during their recent trips to the region), stating that their continuous trips to the region and their inflammatory statements had but one purpose: to promote their “deceitful plans to plunder the region of its wealth.”
He further stated: “Faith in God and our nation’s resistance have been the main pillars of our success to defeat their conspiracies. … If America and England do not change their behavior and do not make fundamental changes to their policies, they would suffer a fate worse than Hitler and Saddam.”
Ahmad Vahidi became the Revolutionary Guards’ chief intelligence commander early on in the Revolution. He received orders from Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, to take the fight to the Americans and Israelis. It was then that he started the organization of the Guards’ units to expand the Islamic Revolution ideology in the region. This effort resulted in the establishment of Hezbollah in Lebanon and ties to many other terrorist groups, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) and Islamic Jihad. The Guards also expanded their program to train and arm terrorists with major operations of recruitment and training out of mosques in Lebanon. They furthered their support and collaboration with terrorists, such as Imad Mughniyeh, who was involved in every terrorist attack ordered by Iran (Imad Mughniyeh was killed on February 12, 2008, by a car bomb).
Ahmad Vahidi was at the helm when the order went out for the simultaneous truck bombings against the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut and the French paratroopers, which killed 241 Marines and 58 French soldiers. Four years after this suicide bombing, Iran’s then-minister of the Revolutionary Guards, Mohsen Rafiqdoost, boasted that both the explosives and the ideology, which in “one blast sent to hell 400 officers, NCOs, and soldiers at the Marines headquarters,” were provided by Iran. Emboldened by the lack of response from the U.S., the Guards’ intelligence units then carried out kidnappings targeting Americans, Israelis, and others with the help of their proxies. Many were tortured and killed, including CIA Agent William Buckley (kidnapped by Hezbollah while serving as the Beirut station chief/political officer at the U.S. Embassy), U.S. Navy diver Robert Stethem (murdered on the hijacked TWA Flight 847), and William Richard Higgins (a U.S. Marine Corps colonel captured while serving on a UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon).
Ahmad Vahidi later became the first chief commander of the Quds Force directly in charge of worldwide terrorism against America, Israel, and the West. He established ties with al-Qaeda and expanded his network of terrorism, which was then fully established through the auspices of Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. This collaboration resulted in several major terrorist attacks, including:
The 1988 Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie (I reported Iran’s involvement to the CIA while working as an agent in Europe)
The 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, which killed 29 and injured 242
The Jewish community center bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994, which killed 85 and injured hundreds
The Khobar Towers bombing in 1996, which killed 19 U.S. servicemen and one Saudi and injured 372 others