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Obama’s Grand Delusion about Iran

A clearer, tougher policy is required — urgently.

by
'Reza Kahlili'

Bio

May 1, 2009 - 12:00 am
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President Obama must be clear and concise with his policy toward Tehran. An Iran with nukes must never be allowed. The mullahs must abandon their enrichment activity and allow full International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections of all suspected sites. And they must stop supporting terrorism. Only then should they be welcomed by the world community.

If the mullahs continue to defy U.N. Security Council resolutions, there must be serious consequences. It could start with a naval blockade of Iran’s refined oil imports, which account for almost half of its domestic consumption. If that does not persuade them, then taking out the mullahs’ nuclear installations would be a better solution than facing a nuclear-armed Iran. Hesitation with Iran will only result in an inevitable nuclear confrontation with dire consequences, not only for Iranians but the region and the world.

The mullahs’ lobbyists in the U.S. have been trying hard to influence the Obama administration with their delusional picture of the leaders of Iran. The mullahs say a softer tone will earn their love and that their problems are not with America but with Israel.

In a recent New York Times column, Roger Cohen defended the mullahs against claims that they are a messianic apocalyptic cult. He said the regime is “the same ‘messianic apocalyptic cult’ that has survived 30 years, ushered the country from the penury of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war … cooperated with America on Afghanistan before being consigned to ‘the axis of evil,’ and kept its country at peace in the 21st century.”

Apparently, Mr. Cohen has been living in a cave for the past 30 years, during which the Iranian regime was busy with the bombing of the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, the torture and killing of American hostages such as CIA agent William Buckley in 1985, the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988, and the bombings of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994 and the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996. Other atrocities include:

  • the massacre of as many as 30,000 political prisoners in 1988
  • the stabbing and mutilation in France of Shahpour Bakhtiar in 1991 — the last prime minister under the shah — and the ensuing release of a French hostage by Hezbollah in exchange for the French turning a blind eye to the killing
  • the Mafia-style assassination of the Kurdish opposition leaders in Germany in 1992 (Mykonos Trial)
  • the serial killings of Iranian dissident intellectuals in 1998
  • the 1998 stabbing and mutilation of the leader of Iran’s National Party and his wife (Dariush and Parvaneh Forouhar) while tied to the chair in their home facing Mecca
  • the killing of the students in their uprising of July 1999
  • the 2003 rape, torture, and killing of Zahra Kazemi, an Iranian/Canadian reporter in Tehran
  • and the recent imprisonment of Roxana Saberi , a U.S. journalist on trumped-up charges of espionage.
  • some of the highest-ranking Iranian authorities are currently either on Interpol’s most-wanted list or have arrest warrants issued for them by several courts around the world for their terrorist activities.

Mr. Cohen also claimed after a short visit to Iran that life was not that bad for the Iranian Jews under the Islamic rule of the mullahs. I guess Mr. Cohen did not get the chance to talk with the Jews who were blindfolded and taken in front of an execution squad and told they were going to die unless they signed a confession letter admitting they spied for Israel. He probably didn’t have the opportunity to talk to those Jews who, out of fear, converted to Islam but still had their passports confiscated every time they came back from a trip outside of Iran and had to put up with hair-raising questioning sessions in the Revolutionary Courts about their travels.

Mr. Cohen, a short visit to Iran does not make you an expert. I have lived it and seen it. I was a member of the Revolutionary Guards and chose to spy for America, thus putting my life and the lives of my family on the line to help America see the truth about the mullahs and the true aspirations of the great people of Iran.

It’s time to learn from past mistakes and understand the seriousness of the situation. A nuclear-capable Iran will create uncertainty, havoc, and total imbalance in world order. If one thinks the proliferation of arms by Iran to Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Iraqi militants, the Taliban, Sudan’s radical regime, and many terrorist groups around the world is a problem now, wait until dirty bombs show up everywhere.

The mullahs will sit at the negotiating table and shake hands, but as they have done for the past 30 years, they will sting you in the end just like a scorpion, for it is their nature to help Islam conquer the world. The Quran is their best guidance: deceive your enemies until such time as you are powerful enough to destroy them.

“Today Iran, with the grace of God, is controlling the entire nuclear fuel cycle,” President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on state television of the nuclear fuel facility in Isfahan, which is capable of producing 10 tons of nuclear fuel annually. Once fully operational, it could produce sufficient plutonium for two nuclear weapons a year.

Iranian officials have also announced an increase in the number of centrifuges at Iran’s uranium enrichment facility in Natanz (7,000, up from 6,000) and indicated their progress in testing a more advanced type of centrifuge.

It is estimated that Iran currently possesses over 26 kilograms of U-235 in its stockpile of low-enriched uranium and produces close to two kilograms more a month. The amount needed for a first-generation atomic bomb is 21.6 kilograms, and the time needed for the conversion of low-enriched uranium to weapons grade uranium is estimated to be two to six months. This is while the Revolutionary Guards, with the help of North Korea, are working on long-range ballistic missiles in tests that are concealed by its space project. As long as America continues to step back from its red line, both Iran and North Korea will take a more offensive posture in their policies.

Learn the lessons of history, Mr. President. If you don’t, the world is in peril.

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Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the author of the award winning book, A Time to Betray. He serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI).
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