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Volume XI, No. 2,870 • July 24, 2012

IRAN | More About: Iran Nuclear, Hezbollah, Iran Sanctions, P5+1, Bulgaria Terror Attack


Washington Post, July 20, 2012

The bombing of a bus in Bulgaria filled with Israeli tourists [last] Wednesday underlines the grim fact that Iran is waging a war of terrorism. Using the territory of countries across the world, working sometimes through proxies like Lebanon’s Hezbollah and sometimes with its own forces, Tehran has been intentionally targeting not just diplomats of enemies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia but also civilians.

The Bulgaria bombing, in which five Israelis [and one Bulgarian—Ed.] were killed, was the ninth plot pinned on Iran this year and the third this month: Similar attacks in Kenya and Cyprus were foiled. In February, an Israeli diplomat’s wife was injured in a car bombing in New Delhi, and other attacks failed in Georgia and Thailand. Last October, the Justice Department charged two Iranians in a plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington by bombing a Georgetown restaurant.…

The string of attacks offers a stark answer to the question of whether the regime of Ayatollah Khamenei is prepared to compromise with the West. Three rounds of negotiations this year between Tehran and a six-nation coalition have been “nonstarters,” as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton acknowledged [last] week. The Obama administration nevertheless appears interested in keeping diplomacy going, if only to deter or delay Israel from launching an attack on the Iranian nuclear facilities.…

The international response to Iran’s terrorism should be far more vigorous than it has been so far. Despite strong evidence linking Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to the attacks, even some countries whose territories were invaded by the terrorists have hung back. India’s ambassador to the United Nations condemned the assassinations of senior Syrian officials in Damascus this week, but New Delhi has yet to hold Iran accountable for the February bombing, which took place blocks from the prime minister’s residence.

If Iran suffers no consequences from its acts of terrorism, they will continue. Israel has said that it will retaliate in a manner of its choosing. But more “shadow war” should not be the only response. The Security Council should review the abundant evidence of involvement by the Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah in this year’s attacks and punish both those groups as well as the Iranian government.…

Yoram Schweitzer

[Israeli] Institute for National Security Studies, July 24, 2012

The deadly terrorist attack in Burgas, Bulgaria, which killed five Israeli tourists and one Bulgarian citizen, is part of a combined, planned, and ongoing terror campaign waged by Iran and Hizbollah in the international arena over the last year against Israeli and Jewish targets.…

Iran’s recent direct involvement in Hizbollah activity was given public expression by an admission by leaders of the Lebanese organization whereby Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei is the highest religious authority who approves actions with strategic significance, including terrorist attacks abroad. With the seal of approval of Islamic law, commanding officers in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards operating in Lebanon and Iran are entrusted with…coordinating the operational side of these missions. Alongside Hizbollah’s apparatus for terrorist attacks abroad, Iran itself has joined in directly operating the terrorist campaign against Israel by means of their own agents and local proxies in various countries.

In 2012 there were attempted attacks by Iran in Azerbaijan, Turkey, India, Thailand, and Kenya. However, except for one attack in New Delhi in February 2012, in which the wife of an Israeli diplomat was wounded, all the attempts were intercepted. Perhaps this record propelled the Iranians to take meticulous care in the Burgas attack in order to guarantee success, so as to rehabilitate their wounded prestige and ensure that their violent message for Israel would be heard loud and clear by the country’s leaders. Moreover, the message is not limited to Israel, but is also meant to signal the leaders of the international coalition committed to sanctions against Iran, that Iran is again capable of using the international terrorism weapon as it did for over a decade and a half after the rise of the regime of the ayatollahs.

At this stage it is hard to determine definitively what Iranian strategy underpins its deliberate provocation via Hizbollah against Israel. Presumably the critical situation in Iran—with its nuclear scientists harmed on Iranian soil and its nuclear industry under cyber attack, with clear threats of impending military attack knocking at its doors and the movement of American battleships in the Gulf threatening Iran’s hegemony there, with the economic siege tightening its grip as part of the international sanctions campaign—is partly responsible for tipping the decision by Iranian leaders to embark on an international campaign of terrorism. This weapon allows it to send threatening messages while at the same time preserving plausible deniability.

Furthermore, it may be that Iran decided to act to end the calm on the Israeli-Lebanese front that has been maintained over the past six years, since the end of the Second Lebanon War.… Iran [may be] determined to draw Israel into a harsh reaction against Hizbollah in Lebanon in response to terrorist attacks abroad. This could drag Israel into an all-out war in Lebanon, which would take a heavy toll on Hizbollah but also on Israel and divert it from preparations for what is seen in Tehran as Israel’s immediate intention to attack Iran, and perhaps even intended to divert attention away from what is happening in the backyard of its ally, Syria.…

Information gained from the Hizbollah operative detained in Limassol after the recent discovery of the plot to launch another terrorist attack by a Hizbollah cell against Israeli targets in Cyprus may shed light on Iran’s true intentions. According to media reports, he was in possession of intelligence about Israeli tourists and an Israeli plane landing on the island. Should it become clear that the intention of the cell was to harm tourists, perhaps even in tandem with the attack in Bulgaria, and certainly if an attack against an Israeli airplane was planned that would have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Israelis, this would have constituted a casus belli and Israel would have been forced to respond very harshly against Hizbollah in Lebanon and perhaps also against Iran.…

Alana Goodman

Contentions, July 20, 2012

White House officials held a day-long meeting yesterday with the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a group that advocates for policies supported by the Iranian regime, including opposition to sanctions and acceptance of Iran’s uranium enrichment program.… According to a posting on NIAC’s website:

“In a demonstration of the Obama administration’s eagerness to build and sustain relations with the Iranian-American community, top officials yesterday hosted the first ever Iranian-American Community Leader’s Roundtable at the White House.… The officials on hand were eager to listen to the interests and concerns of the Iranian-American community and to determine ways to better serve and inform the Iranian-American community about important policies and programs. All of the officials made clear that there would be a sustained effort to engage with Iranian Americans going forward.…”

The fact that this meeting took place the day after five Israeli tourists were killed in what is believed to be an Iranian suicide attack in Bulgaria is a slap in the face to the pro-Israel community.

[Last] Wednesday, NIAC’s leader Trita Parsi suggested that Israel intentionally provoked the suicide bombing so it would have justification to attack Iran’s nuclear program: “U.S. officials have privately expressed concern that one of the purposes of [alleged—Ed.] Israeli attacks in Iran has been to generate an Iranian response that could serve as a casus belli for Israel. That way, Israel could target Iran’s nuclear facilities without paying the heavy political cost of starting a preventive war.…”

The next day, Parsi’s organization went to the White House and met with high-ranking officials who were reportedly “eager to listen” to their “interests and concerns.” NIAC’s interests and concerns include advocating for pro-regime policies, opposing serious efforts to halt Iran’s enrichment program, and—apparently—blaming Israel for inciting Iranian terrorist attacks.…

Irwin Cotler

Jerusalem Post, July 19, 2012

[Today], Iran and six major powers—the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany (the P5+1)—[are] hold[ing] yet another “technical” meeting in Turkey—in the words of the leading EU negotiator—also yet again—to “look further at how existing gaps in positions could be narrowed and how the process could be moved forward.” These technical discussions follow three sets of “substantive negotiations” in Istanbul, Baghdad and Moscow, between Iran and the P5+1.…

While one may hope that the narrowed focus of these talks will somehow produce a dramatically different result than the previous sets of both substantive and technical negotiations, experience demonstrates that such negotiations benefit Iran alone and are part of a comprehensive Iranian strategy. Simply put, while negotiations continue, uranium enrichment is accelerated, the centrifuges spin, and Tehran approaches “breakthrough” capacity for nuclear weaponization.…

That this, in fact, may be Iranian strategy was revealed by the Iranians themselves on the eve of the Baghdad negotiations on May 14, where Hamidreza Taraghi, an adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and close to the Iranian negotiating team, summed up the Tehran’s “successes” during negotiations as follows:

First, Western countries did not want Iran to have a nuclear power plant, but its Bushehr reactor was now connected to the national grid. Second, the West had opposed Iran having heavy water facilities, but the country now has one in Arak. Third, the West had said no to any enrichment, “But here we are, enriching as much as we need for our nuclear energy program.…” Fourth, since January, and on the eve of the resumed substantive negotiations in Istanbul in April, dozens more advanced centrifuges were installed in the Fordo mountain bunker complex, near Qum, built to withstand a heavy attack. Fifth, Taraghi also said that in the Istanbul talks, Iran had managed to convince the West of the importance of a religious edict, or fatwa, against the possession of nuclear weapons.

In a word, Taraghi and other Iranian officials concluded that their policy “forced the United States to accept Iranian enrichment,” and in effect, the related nuclear program. Earlier this year, Iranian negotiator Hassan Rowhani elaborated on this strategy: “While we were talking with the Europeans in Tehran, we were installing equipment in parts of the facility in Isfahan.” Rowhani added, “In fact, by creating a calm environment, we were able to complete the work on Isfahan.”

Indeed, just as with Isfahan, Iranians completed their work on the secret Fordo plant—uncovered by the West in 2009—but where the groundwork for this facility was laid as early as 2006 according to the International Atomic Energy Agency—and at a time when Iran was offering to return to negotiations.…

One [should not] overlook the underlying intersecting dynamics that underpin the Iranian weaponization program and the overall toxic convergence of the Iranian four-fold threat: nuclear; state-sanctioned incitement to genocide; state-sponsorship of international terrorism—and indeed, Iranian footprints appear yet again in [last] week’s attack on Israelis in Bulgaria—possibly through its proxy, Hezbollah; and massive domestic repression of human rights. Simply put, this four-fold threat constitutes a clear and present danger to international peace and security, to Middle East and regional stability, and increasingly, and alarmingly so, to the Iranian people themselves.…

[Iran’s] underlying intersection dynamics, which include:

First, there is the standing violation by Iran of international legal prohibitions respecting the development of a nuclear weaponization program. In particular, Tehran continues to violate a series of UN Security Council resolutions involving repeated demands for complete and comprehensive suspension of its enrichment related, reprocessing and heavy water activities—as well as repeatedly violating its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by denying the IAEA permission to openly inspect their facilities. Second, there is compelling evidence—particularly that which has emerged from the international nuclear monitor—the IAEA—that Tehran’s nuclear program is, in fact, a nuclear weaponization program.… Third, while the comprehensive economic sanctions—themselves authorized by UN Security Council resolutions—are having an important effect…the Iranian government is already finding ways to circumvent some of their more detrimental effects.… Fourth, even countries in the pro-Western camp are continuing their trade with Iran.… Fifth, while the P5+1 has affirmed that an Iranian nuclear weapon is “unacceptable”—that the objective is preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon as distinct from containing a nuclear Iran—and that no option “is off the table,” the protracted negotiations and the Iranian 3D strategy exploiting these negotiations—have undercut these declared positions of the P5+1. Sixth, while there is increasing reference—and indeed indulgence—of the purported fatwa issued by Khamenei prohibiting a nuclear weaponization program as “sinful” and “contrary to Islam”—which some commentators have taken as conclusive in and of itself that Iran’s intentions are peaceful and its nuclear program civil in intent and consequence—this ignores not only the findings of the “military dimensions” of Iran’s nuclear program, as determined, inter alia, by the IAEA, but the permissibility within Islam itself to deceive the enemy where it serves a higher interest—including the specific authority in Islam for the supreme leader to do exactly that.

One should recall the report by the IAEA itself in 2009 to the effect that Khamenei as early as 1984 had endorsed a decision by the then-leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to launch a secret nuclear weapons program… [as] “according to Khamenei, this was the only way to secure the very essence of the Islamic Revolution from the schemes of its enemies…and to prepare it for the emergence of Imam Mahdi.”

Accordingly, the crucial question, then, is how to prevent what the P5+1 has deemed “unacceptable”—a nuclear Iran—given that the Iranian 3Ds have thus far prevailed? How do we ensure that these P5+1 negotiations succeed in halting the nuclear weaponization program.…

There are a series of specific undertakings that Iran must be called upon to do, and be verified as doing.…

1. Iran must undertake to abide by, and fully implement, its obligations under Security Council resolutions and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.… Simply put, there is no Iranian “right to enrich,” the most recent of the Iranian negotiating mantras.

2. Iran must—as a threshold requirement—verifiably suspend its uranium enrichment program, so as to counter the Iranian strategy of delay, or buying time for a nuclear breakthrough.…

3. Iran must ship its supply of enriched uranium out of the country.…

4. Iran must verifiably close—and dismantle—its nuclear enrichment plant at Fordow, embedded in a mountain near Qom, which the Iranians had initially denied had even existed.…

5. Iran must suspend its heavy water production facilities at Arak. It is sometimes forgotten that heavy water is an essential component for producing plutonium, which is the nuclear component North Korea used to build its own nuclear weapon.…

6. Iran must allow IAEA inspectors immediate and unfettered access to any suspected nuclear sites.…

7. It should not be forgotten that Iranian authorities had announced—even boasted—in 2009 and 2010 of their intention to build 10 additional uranium enrichment facilities. The IAEA still has not received any substantive response to its request for information about this nuclear archipelago.…

8. Again, one should not ignore that Iran’s nuclear weaponization program [has over the past several years] continued to advance against the backdrop of the 3Ds of denial, deception, and delay.… Therefore, the need for [careful, ongoing] inspection—and verification—is crucial.…

9. Iranian authorities need to grant the IAEA access to the Parchin military complex near Tehran. As the IAEA has reported, Iran has conducted high explosive testing—possibly in conjunction with nuclear materials—at the complex.…

10. Iran needs to allow the IAEA to install devices on centrifuges for the monitoring of uranium enrichment levels. Simply put, Iran could move to weapons grade uranium even if it is using only low enriched uranium, by increasing both the number and the speed of the centrifuges.

11. As [U.S.] Senators Joe Lieberman, John McCain and Lindsey Graham put it in their recent Wall Street Journal article, there needs to be an additional agreement respecting “intrusive inspections based on the Additional Protocol under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to ensure the Iranians aren’t lying or cheating about the full scope of their program, as they have in the past.”

12. Negotiations should not ignore, marginalize or be allowed to sanitize Iran’s massive domestic repression, or provide cover for their continuance.…

13. Nor should the negotiators ignore Iran’s ongoing state-sanctioned incitement to hate and genocide, a standing violation of the Genocide Convention. Simply put, Iran has already committed the crime of incitement to genocide prohibited under international law and should be called to account.…

In summary, given the Iranian 3D pattern of denial, deception and delay, the whole while uranium continues to be enriched and centrifuges continue to spin—and while the nuclear weaponization program is on the verge of a “breakthrough”—only a verifiable abandonment by Iran of its nuclear weapons pursuits will suffice.

For that objective to be secured, negotiations must not be a cover for the 3Ds, but a password to full Iranian compliance with their international obligations, and a benchmark for international peace and security.

(Irwin Cotler is a member of the Canadian Parliament
and a former minister of justice and attorney-general of Canada.

On Topic

Iran's Latest Missile Exercise: A Message of Force Projection Jerusalem Center For Public Affairs, July 17, 2012
Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall
Iran's Latest Missile Exercise: A Message of Force Projection
Oil Sanctions Against Iran Will Not Be Enough , Tue Jul 24 14:09:18 EDT 2012
Washington Post, July 8, 2012 Michael Singh
Oil Sanctions Against Iran Will Not Be Enough
Toppling Iran's Unsteady Regime Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2012
Emanuele Ottolenghi
Toppling Iran's Unsteady Regime
A Response to Waltz: Why Iran Shouldn't Get the Bomb Diplomat, July 20, 2012
Robert A. Manning
A Response to Waltz: Why Iran Shouldn't Get the Bomb


Prof. Frederick Krantz, Director Prof. Frederick Krantz, Director (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research)

Prof. Harold Waller Prof. Harold Waller (McGill University)

Prof. Ira Robinson, Associate Chairman Prof. Ira Robinson, Associate Chairman (Department of Religion, Concordia University)

Baruch Cohen, Research Chairman Baruch Cohen, Research Chairman (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research)

Rob Coles (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research) Rob Coles (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research)

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