La Herradura (Spain), 28 Nov. (IPS) Iran’s recent announcements on the “seriousness of foreign threats”, discovering and dismantling espionage networks working for Israel, testing successfully new missiles, militarization of the country, increasing security measures in Tehran and other major cities etc translates more the fear of the ruling ayatollahs of a possible social explosion than a possible threat from the United States, Israel, or the two together, according to veteran political analysts.
“Threats exist. I want you to have complete preparedness and vigilance against these threats”, General Hassan Firouzabadi, the Armed Forces Joint Staff Chief quoted Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i as having told the Armed Forces senior commanders.
Mr. Khameneh’i says his regime is facing serious military-political menacesfrom outside, meaning Israel and the United States
In a closed doors meeting last week with commanders from both the Revolutionary Guards and the regular army, the four star General added that Mr. Khameneh’i, who is the supreme Commander of all Iranian Armed forces, told the officers to be “very vigilant”, explaining that as the end of George Bush’s presidency approaches fast, so the possibility of an American “foolish adventure” (against Iran) also increases.
“What General Firouzabadi said in quoting Mr. Khameneh’i shows that the regime’s highest decision-makers have reached the conclusion that the Nation is facing serious military-political menaces”, observed Mr. Hoseyn Bastani, the Editor of the independent, pro reform Rooz internet newspaper based in Paris and London.
In the following days, Iran said it had tested successfully new missiles named Sajjil, which, with a range of over 2.000 kilometres, are fully capable of reaching the Jewish State that the fanatic President Mahmoud Ahmadi Nezhad has wowed to erase from the surface of the earth.
“We can launch one Sajjil every five minutes”, Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad said on 16 November, warning Iran’s enemies, especially Israel, not to “even think of attacking Iran’s nuclear sites”. At the same time, the Navy said two new small submarines have been added to its arsenal.
All seems quiete in Mr. Bush's White House
Few days later, the Head of the Intelligence Ministry’s counter-espionage department announced that Mr. Ali Ashtari, an Iranian expert in sophisticated communications, computer and telephony systems who had been arrested more than a year ago for espionage for Israel, had been hanged in prison on 17 November, “after having confessed to all charges”.
One day after, General Mohammad Ali Ja’fari, the Commander in Chief of the Revolutionary Guards revealed that the Guard’s counter-espionage Unit had “discovered and dismantled” an Israeli spy ring and arrested most of its agents, three of them belonging to the Basij (volunteers corps) and confiscated sophisticated communication tools that Mossad had provided them.
The morning after, Mr. Sa’id Mortazavi, the Public Prosecutor of both Tehran and the Islamic Revolution courts confirmed the general’s revelations and gave more details, telling journalists that the agents, all Iranians, had received “intensive training in sabotage, information gathering, driving cars and motorcycles and bombing in Hertzelya and Ketselya near Tel Aviv”.
The news of testing new weapons, militarisation of the country, increasing security measures, discovering of several espionage networks working for Israel etc. shows the rulers are affraid from a possible social explosion.
“The network had been traced as soon as the first of the agents came back to Iran and thereafter, the whole of the ring’s activities had been under close surveillance by Revolutionary Guards counter-espionage operative”, said Mr. Mortazavi, better known as the “butcher of the press”, naming Eli, Sali, Peter, Khosro and Zaki (sic) as some of the Mossad agents who were in contact with the Iranians.
Earlier, Brigadier General Qolamali Rashid, the acting Chief of Joint Staff of the Armed Forces had warned that “lower oil prices, possibility of adventurism by Israel and Al Qa’eda and domestic social developments can create situations similar to those of 18 Tir, meaning we must be very vigilant”. He was referring to the students uprising of 9 July 1999, a six day revolt that was brutally crushed by the Revolutionary Guards, Police and Intelligence Ministry’s anti-riot units after receiving orders from Ayatollah Khameneh’i.
“It seems that all the recent military maneuvers covering the whole of the country, the creation and putting in service new security patrols, launching new missiles, increasing militarization of the nation’s political atmosphere etc. are all related to this fear of a new revolt on a popular scale”, wrote Mr. Bastani on 25 November.
Reminding that despite assertions from top decision-makers concerning the imminence of threats, one does not see any unusual actions from the outgoing Bush Administration, Mr. Bastani says “it is possible that the prime responsible of the regime reaches their conclusions from that special media which feeds them, i e, those confidential bulletins which gathers certain type of information and make pre-planned theories and analysis made and aimed at influencing the decision of the regime’s highest authorities”. ENDS IRAN SITUATION 281108