He who really wants to stone others… does not choose a large stone”.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced in a speech marking “Jerusalem Day” in Tehran on Friday, that Israel is a “cancerous tumor that will soon disappear”, and that “the region's countries will soon end the existence of Zionist usurpers on the Palestinian territory”.
Less than two days later, Mohsen Rezaei, the Expediency Council secretary, former Revolutionary Guards commander and a former candidate for the presidency, proclaimed that the Middle East region is now witnessing “the last quarter of the game”, which outcome will be determined by the clashes taking place in Syria. He added “If this country (Syria) falls into the hands of the Americans, the Islamic awakening movement will be transformed into an American one, but if Syria preserves its policy, the Islamic awakening will become more rooted in Islam”. Then, he explained: “if Syria remains independent and does not fall into the hands of the Americans and the (Western) occupiers, the Islamic awakening in the region will head towards Islam.”
Moreover, to make sure that there is no ambiguity in the official position of Tehran, the Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, General Hassan Firouzabadi was quoted as saying that “the United States, Britain and the Zionists are using “al-Qaeda” and “Takfiri” groups to rekindle the civil war in Syria... But they should know that one day, they will become the target of these groups themselves”. General Ataallah Salehi, the commander of the Iranian army, had said earlier in a statement that Iran “can crush Israel within 11 days, if it was attacked.”
All of the above suggests the existence of “political logic” behind this verbal escalation.
The aim of the above-mentioned might be to create a state of confusion inside Israel. It is clear that the public dispute, which occurred last week between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres after the latter said that Israel cannot attack Iran without American cooperation, partially indicates a difference, at least, in the tactical perception of the authority’s vision in Tel Aviv regarding the conditions of “coexistence” with Iran as a major regional power and a neighbor.
Moreover, the Iranian leadership may be arrogant or domineering, and possibly adventurous, but it is certainly not stupid.
Tehran is aware of Washington’s methods in politics. If we must remember anything, we should remember that a number of Iranian foreign ministers during the reign of the Islamic Republic (specifically, Sadegh Ghotbzadeh, Ali Akbar Velayati, Kamal Kharrazi and the current minister, Ali Akbar Salehi) have studied and lived in the United States so they understand well the American approach, but first and foremost, they understand the political, financial and military size of the United States. All of them are fuuly aware that the cost and gains – not the principles – are top priority for Washington when dealing with whichever international case.
Furthermore, the “Khomeinite” Iran has frequently dealt with the “Great Satan”, and we can even say that it has benefited from this cooperation, since the “Iran-Contra” (Irangate) affair, till - to date - the handover of Iraqi land and people to what can be described as the grand regional Iranian project that provoked sectarian and chauvinist reactions both extreme and harsh… but in the opposite direction.
In addition, unlike the prevailing impression that the natural reaction to the “Wali al-Faqih” project is embodied by the Jihadist and Sunni Salafist factions, we find that some radical Sunni factions get their money from Iran, and thus from the wrong side. This confusing situation in the Sunni Islamic circles today, seems obvious and dangerous in more than one place... including but not limited to Egypt and the Gaza Strip.
Furthermore, this confusion that takes sometimes a radical escalating character, is today increasingly infiltrating Syria after the collapse of the regime’s protecting walls and its security roof. Besides, this infiltration has become an excuse, which is always ready and welcome for Western powers that were originally reluctant to change the regime of Bashar al Assad - the guarantor of a permanent truce with Israel - to refrain from providing expedient aid to the Syrian revolution. Of course, this should be added to the Russian and Chinese positions, which are taking their internal conflicts with “political Islam” as pretexts to cover their great support for Iran... as a means of blackmailing the America’s uni-polar political dominance and depleting it.
We must consider here, some Russian and Chinese politicians and diplomats speeches - as well as some Western politicians from time to time - about the dangers of “political Islam” in Syria if the Assad regime was overthrown by force.
First, such speeches ignore the fact that the Syrian regime rely on the support of Iran that boasts that it represents “political Islam”. Mohsen Rezaei’s words mentioned in the first paragraph of this article, are clear, explicit and do not need to be explained.
Second, Moscow and Beijing are ignoring the fact that the longer the crisis with the Syrian regime lasts, the stronger “Political Islam” will be and the more its radicalism, credibility and desire for revenge will increase. Add to this that a long, pain and gradual collapse of the Syrian polity, or Syrian state, that will open the doors for each and every marginal extremist radical faction to sneak into the internal arena the exercise their bloody and destructive lust.
Third, the Syrian regime has long made the lie of “protection of minorities from the extremism gargantuan” a title for its dubious political legitimacy. After its deceptiveness was revealed in Lebanon, where not even one minority had been spared it from torture, here it is practicing its propaganda inside Syria pushing Syrian minorities toward worthless suicide battles.
The only outcome from this “grey case” is, as stated yesterday by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of Hezbollah the “loss of control”... Yes the “loss of control”... Or this is what we are expected to believe.
Nasrallah said yesterday, in a vindicatory - threatening context, that Hezbollah does not control the movements of groups that are ideologically and politically linked to it, alluding to kidnappings, blocking roads and banditry of various kinds. This was in reference to Al-Miqdad clan’s abduction of Syrian and Turkish citizens in Lebanon in response to the kidnapping of one of the clan’s members in Syria. The dangerous part in the speech of Nasrallah, who was well aware of the consequences of his words, saying “understand it as you like”, was that the “party” has created in the Lebanese street – and Shi’ite street in particular – a dominance and superiority mood; and here and now he is trying to deny his and his party’s responsibility, at least the moral one, in what has been caused by this mood and its consequences.
The problem is with the “renunciation” where “responsibility” must be beared. How can we be convinced that Hezbollah, which is a security and military force that has missiles directed towards specific targets in Israel, and has a broad loyal religious mass... is unable to control a local clan?!
And by the way, the “loss of control” issue is also occurring on the Israeli side... can we really believe Israel’s explicit opinion about Syria and its security or its loud threats against Iran?