Yet another confirmation has surfaced from Iranian sources that Revolutionary Guard Maj. Gen. Hassan Moghadam, the “father” of the nation’s missile program, was killed in an Israeli inspired terror attack. Prof. Muhammad Sahimi reports that in the eulogy he delivered for the senior commander, who was killed two days ago in a massive explosion of a Shehab III missile at a base outside Tehran, Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, who was himself an air force commander, spoke reverently of the “martyr:”
“We did not know you well, but those who knew killed you.”
Prof. Sahimi says that these words are interpreted within Iran as an admission that “foreign forces” killed him. Putting this together with claims by my own Israeli source, a “western source” quoted by Time Magazine, and the Guardian’s attribution to a former Iranian government source that the attack was the handiwork of Israel in collaboration with the Mujahadeen al-Khalq–and you have almost ironclad confirmation of my original report of two days ago.
In this added report by Radio Free Europe’s Iran correspondent, she quotes another section of the Mayor’s eulogy which calls Moghadam a “martyr,” another allusion to his killing at the hands of Iran’s enemies:
“Martyrdom was Hassan’s right, but the news of it was shocking.”
Earlier today, the BBC’s Julian Marshall interviewed me for NewsHour (not PBS Newshour), which you may listen to here. Originally I was on at 20 minutes after the hour. So you may still be able to catch the interview on the radio as well.
One statement I made during the interview bears repeating: from the point of view of Israeli intelligence they hit a Daily Double. They destroyed a missile, the Shehab III, which is capable of hitting Israel, and is allegedly to be fitted for nuclear warheads as well. They eliminated an arch nemesis responsible not only for the Iranian missile program, but also for supplying missiles to all of Iran’s proxies, who are destined to take revenge on Iran’s behalf should Israel ever attack it. For the Mossad, it was an exceedingly good day (at least in their view).
But the truth is, as I’ve said repeatedly, this black ops strategy will be ineffectual, just as a frontal military assault on Iran’s nuclear facilities would be futile. The Mossad (and likely the CIA) are collaborating on a policy which is designed as a “filler.” The U.S. and Israel know that with all their bellyaching about the Iranian menace to civilization, they’d look like fools unless they did something. They refuse to put together an offer that would be attractive enough to Iran to get it to divert from its current path. Which leaves the west with no choice but to engage in various forms of sabotage in an effort to plug the wholes in the dyke that is Iran’s possible headlong rush toward nuclear status.
A word to the Obama administration and Congress: if you remove the MEK from the U.S. terror list, then you’ll be giving these murderers a license to kill. Though of course in this event they’ll become “our” killers. Which will distinguish them from their killers, Al Qaeda and the like. Someone will have to explain to me the difference between hard-core terrorists who murder on our behalf and those who murder on behalf of radical Islam. To me, they’re birds of a feather.
And remember as well what happened to the Afghan mujadadeen who we funded and supplied with missiles against the Soviets. Now they are our most fierce enemies (eg. the Haqqani network). There will come a time when the Ayatallohs may longer rule Iran. Then there will be a battle to determine the nation’s destiny. The funding, weapons and expertise we offer these monsters will then be turned on the very reformers who are now trying to turn Iran into a democratic country. What will we say to Iran then?
I’m utterly charmed by the MEK’s disavowals of involvement in the attack. They even obliquely alluded to me in this letter to the NY Times. The only reason they’re not doing what Ehud Barak did in crowing that there should be many more such attacks, is that it tends to discredit their well-heeled U.S. campaign to be removed from the Treasury Department’s terror list. In an interview I did today, the interviewer noted an important point: if MEK is removed from the terror watch list then the CIA can collaborate with it in the same way the Mossad does. Though I’m no expert on such matters, I’d imagine the former is precluded from doing so with any groups on the list. That’s why former CIA directors like Jim Woolsey are so hot to get MEK off and taking oodles of cash to lobby on behalf of delisting. One also has to wonder where the hundreds of thousands they’re spending on getting U.S. pundits behind their cause is coming from. I’d bet at least some of it is from the Mossad.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.