Former CIA Agent in Iran Comes In from the Heat

As Iran pursued its nuclear ambitions over the past few years, it needed to keep U.S. forces on the defensive in Iraq so Washington would not think of invading Iran. Tehran’s strategy was to use the mullahs’ connection to the Shiite clergies and population in Iraq that had been built up years before the U.S invasion. The Guards had established Badr brigades that had been expanded into a division with Iraqi recruits during the Iran-Iraq war and had helped Ayatollah Hakim in establishing the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, currently one of Iraq’s most powerful political parties. Its goal is to put as much pressure on U.S. forces through terror attacks as it can so the U.S. administration won’t think of expanding the Iraq war, giving Iran time to accelerate its nuclear research and development. Tehran knows full well it is in a race, and if it is able to perfect the technology, the West will have no choice but to live with a nuclear Iran. It also believes that after the current President Bush, the next U.S. administration (if led by a Democrat) will most likely reduce forces and slowly move out, leaving it for the Iraqis to sort things out, which ultimately will result in Iran’s domination of the region, with catastrophic consequences for the Free World. This has already happened with Hezbollah. Iran armed and trained Hezbollah into a political force in Lebanon which controls events on the ground, limiting the power of the Lebanese government and even confronting Israel as we saw in the 2006 Lebanon war.

Iran’s current defense minister, Mostafa Najjar, was in charge of the Revolutionary Guards forces in Lebanon that facilitated the attack on the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut on Oct. 23, 1983, killing 241 U.S. servicemen with the largest non-nuclear bomb in history. The current deputy defense minister, Ahmad Vahidi, was the commander of the Quds Forces and the chief intelligence officer of the Guards, in charge of the terrorist activities outside of Iran. He had received authorization for taking the fight to the U.S forces and Israel’s interests around the world directly from Imam Khomeini, the supreme leader at the time. The operations in Lebanon were coordinated by these two men.

Four years after that bombing, Iran’s then-minister of the Revolutionary Guards, Mohsen Rafiqdoost, boasted that, “Both the TNT and the ideology, which in one blast sent 400 U.S. officers to hell, were provided by Iran.” Vahidi is currently on Interpol’s Most Wanted List for the attack on the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994. That attack killed 87 and injured more than 100.

There is also strong evidence of the Quds Forces’ involvement in the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 U.S. servicemen and wounded 372 more on June 25, 1996. The attack was carried out by the Iranian-backed Saudi Hezbollah, but led back to the leadership in Tehran. In 2001, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft said the attack was inspired, supported, and supervised by elements in the Iranian government.

The most radical Islamists control the government in Iran. The Revolutionary Guards’ reach is all-encompassing: they control the vital industries in Iran, serve as ministers in President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s cabinet, are members of the Parliament, control events in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian Territory through their Quds Force, and expand their terror network throughout the world, all the while making inroads in nuclear enrichment and missile-delivery technology.

It is not an exaggeration to claim that the radicals belonging to the secretive society called “Hojjatieh,” who are devoted to the 12th Imam, have taken control of all vital positions in Iran. Ayatollah Janati, the head of the Guardian Council in charge of interpreting the constitution, supervising elections, and approving of candidates running for public office, has been very vocal about his opposition to the West: “We are anti-American and we are America’s enemy,” and “Non-Muslims are animals roaming the planet.” They believe that the 12th Imam supports their agenda of obtaining nuclear weapons and destroying Israel in order to start the chaos necessary for the final destruction of what they see as American imperialism and Israeli Zionism.

The Revolutionary Guards, with the help of North Korea, are making advancements in their ballistic missile program by expanding the reach of its Shahab missiles and the successful launch of its long range Kavoshgar 1 missile on February 4, 2008. These missiles are capable of reaching Europe. At the same time, they are moving full speed ahead with their nuclear enrichment activity by installing the new IR-2 centrifuges which can enrich uranium at a faster speed than the P1 model. Iran has installed 3,000 P1 centrifuges with the goal of expanding that number to 50,000 within five years. It is estimated that it will take 1,200 of the new centrifuges to produce enough material for one nuclear weapon in one year as opposed to 3000 units of the P1 model that does the same job. The Guards always believed in a dual process in their operations for their military projects, so if one failed or was sabotaged, the other would carry on. They are doing just that. There is word that in the mountainous region of Mazandaran province, in the north of Iran, the Guards are pursuing nuclear arms underground.

Mostafa Najjar, the current defense minister, is overseeing the enrichment process and the missile-delivery advancements, and his deputy, Ahmad Vahidi, is overseeing the proliferation of arms and missiles to terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas in coordination with Syria.

Today, trying to fool the world, the current supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, has publicly declared that pursuit and acquisition of atomic bombs are against Islam. But it was Khamenei himself, along with Hashemi Rafsanjani, Rezaei, and others in the leadership, who ordered the start of research and development of nuclear technology in the mid-80s.

Khamenei put out a statement to the world in 2008 that God would punish Iranians if they did not support the country's disputed nuclear program, and any stop in the continuation of the nuclear work would be against God's will. Ahmadinejad, in a recent 2008 speech, told the audience that the “enemy” (referring to the U.S. and Israel) and their superficial power are on a path to destruction, and that the countdown to their total destruction has begun.

The rulers in Iran believe it is their duty to prepare the circumstances for the reappearance of the 12th Imam. "Our Revolution's main mission is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam, Imam Mahdi," Ahmadinejad said during a speech in 2005 to leaders from across the country. Shiites believe the reappearance of the 12th Imam will bring justice and peace to the world by establishing Islam throughout the world. They believe he will reappear when the world has fallen into chaos. It is believed the chaos will start in Afghanistan and then move into Iraq, where there will be blood and destruction everywhere (already in the works) and from there to the world with burning dark clouds (nuclear war). The 12th Imam will then come to destroy the “Dajjal,” the False Messiah, free the world from oppression and aggression, and then bring justice where it will be heaven on earth for many years to come. It is said Jesus will reappear at the same time and fight alongside Mahdi.

Members of the Iranian leadership say they have a “signed contract” with the 12th Imam and are doggedly pursuing nuclear weapons to bring on that catastrophe. Iran’s president, Ahmadinejad, has said that Israel must be destroyed (2005 "World without Zionism" speech, “Israel must be wiped off the map”). This is no idle threat.

If the mullahs’ true intention is to provide electricity through nuclear energy for the Iranians (which they claim) -- the same Iranians whose women, students, teachers, writers and union workers are being flogged, beaten, tortured and stoned to death, the same Iranians who are denied a free election or freedom of speech -- then why wouldn’t they accept the comprehensive incentive package offered by the world leaders in full, scrap the enrichment process, and bring peace and prosperity to their nation?

The reason is that their belief in Islam’s conquest of the world through the coming of the 12th Imam mandates their actions, and -- just as a suicide bomber -- they are not even interested in their own survival and cannot be diverted from their chosen path. The question is: Can the world afford to sit idly by and wait for Armageddon?

Next Page: transcript of "Reza Khalili's" interview with Roger L. Simon