While members of the Iranian clergy threaten the US with war, Washington seeks a diplomatic agreement with Iran.
Ali Shirazi, an Iranian cleric and an aide to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, vowed to “raise the flag of Islam over the White House.”
He made the statement while voicing threats against Israel, saying that Iran plans to revenge the death of its soldiers and the deaths of the Hezbollah terrorists who were reportedly killed in an Israel Air force (IAF) airstrike in the Golan Heights in January. The Iranians were plotting a terror attack against Israel.
Shirazi made the remarks during a ceremony for Iranian soldiers who died in Syria and Iraq. His comments were posted to the official Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRCG) website and reported by the Arab Al Arabiya news site.
Shirazi promised, “The resistance front led by Iran will retaliate from the global arrogance of killing [Iranians] and Hezbollah men…. we will raise the flag of Islam over the White House.”
The statement echoes another made by Islamic State (ISIS) press officer Abu Mosa during a battle with Syrian soldiers, in which he stated: “I say to America that the Islamic Caliphate has been established and we will not stop. Don’t be cowards and attack us with drones. Instead send your soldiers, the ones we humiliated in Iraq. We will humiliate them everywhere, God willing. And we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House.”
Mosa was reportedly killed in an airstrike only a few weeks after his video was released.
Israel on High Alert after Killing Iranian and Hezbollah Commanders; Iron Dome Deployed in Northern Israel.
Following and Israeli Air Force operation that killed Iranian and Hezbollah commanders, Israel is on high alert for retaliatory attacks from Hezbollah.
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) reportedly attacked a target within Syria on Sunday. Their target – a cell of senior Hezbollah operatives, including Jihad Mughniyeh, commander of Hezbollah operations in the Golan Heights and son of Hezbollah chief Imad Mughniyeh, who was allegedly assassinated by Israel’s Mossad in Syria in 2008.
Also killed was Colonel Ali Reza al-Tabatabai, the Iranian commander of the Radwan force of the Revolutionary Guards in Lebanon, according to The Times of Israel. At least six Hezbollah operatives were killed in the attack.
Reports indicate that the Hezbollah cell was planning mass terror attacks against Israel to be launched from the Golan, and has already acted against Israeli military targets.
UPDATE: Media reports on Monday evening say the terror alert level on Israel’s border with Syria has been raised. Several “Iron Dome” missile defense batteries have been deployed along the Syrian border, in anticipation of Hezbollah-backed troops in Syria, according to Sky News.
Where did Israel get its intelligence on the Hezbollah terror cell? Sources have speculated that Syrian rebels may have fed Israel with the necessary information.
The Shi’ite Hezbollah was operating in the Quneitra region, which is controlled by the Sunni al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra front, and as both are bitter enemies, Hezbollah was actually operating out of enemy territory. The al-Nusra Front may have provided Israel the intelligence needed, possibly through a third party, and by doing so helped eliminate their own enemy.
This attack is perceived as a huge military and intelligence success by Israel, and a serious loss for Hezbollah.
Israel has gone on high alert since the attack, anticipating a retaliatory attack by Hezbollah.
Arab news sources reported on Monday that Hezbollah has confirmed the attack and has even publicized the names and some personal information about its casualties. Hezbollah has vowed to avenge the attack and Israeli military sources estimate that Hezbollah cannot afford not to respond to the attack, leaving Israel with another major terror threat by Hezbollah.
The Lebanese daily A-Safir quotes a Hezbollah source as saying that the group “will not rush to decide what steps should be taken.”
Why Did Israel Attack?
Former Chief of IDF intelligence Major-General Amos Yadlin spoke on Israel’s IDF Radio on Monday and estimated that the attack was not against Hezbollah but a move to eliminate any terror threats emanating from the Golan, as Israel does not want to be threatened in another theater.
Hezbollah prefers to operate out of , he explained, because there is a governmental vacuum in Syria, which enables them with a wider range of freedom.
On the other hand, Hezbollah tries to portray itself as the protector of Lebanon against Israeli aggression, and has claimed several times that it does not operate out of other countries. Yesterday’s attack has exposed Hezbollah as a terror organization with international operations. This revelation may cost them domestically and they may lose some support in Lebanon, because the Lebanese do not want to incur Israel’s wrath pouring down on them in Lebanon when Israel attacks in retaliation for a Hezbollah attack executed elsewhere around the globe.
Where Can Hezbollah Hit Israel?
Where can Hezbollah hit Israel? Yadlin estimates that Hezbollah will have to sit with their Iranian “masters” and decide on the scope and intensity of the attack, and whether or not they want to drag the region into another round of violence.
Hezbollah is deeply involved in Syria’s civil war, fighting on Assad’s side, and has incurred heavy losses during the fighting. Hezbollah’s ability to act against Israel at this time and open another front is contested. Some intelligence officers claim that Hezbollah is too involved in the fighting in Syria to attack Israel. Others point out that Hezbollah’s rocket systems, its primary threat against Israel, have not been hindered by the Syrian fighting, and can be used to attack Israel with full force.
Hezbollah can launch an attack against Israel form Lebanon or from the Golan. Such an attack can be a “low-scale” pinpoint terror attack, which would convey a message without eliciting a harsh response from Israel.
They can attack Israeli or Jewish targets abroad. For instance, on July 18, 2012, a Hezbollah terrorist blew himself up on a bus full of Israeli tourists at Burgas Airport, Bulgaria. The explosion killed the Bulgarian bus driver and five Israelis, and injured another 34 Israelis. The attack was ostensibly in retaliation for Israel’s targeting of Mughniyeh.
Israel’s National Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau issued travel warnings in September, which included a stern warning that Israelis may become targets for terrorists around the world.
Europe and the US are on high alert in the wake of a spat of Islamic terror attacks across the Continent, and so a Hezbollah attack in Europe at this time is less likely.
Hezbollah Threatens Israel Repeatedly.
Ibrahim al-Amin, the editor of Al-Akhbar, a pro-Hezbollah newspaper, wrote on Monday that the Shi’ite terror group “will launch between 4,000-5,000 rockets at Israel and will destroy hundreds of targets per day.”
“The enemy’s leadership made a decision to carry out a crime,” Al-Akhbar wrote. “They did this in a direct manner, eyeing a specific target that was engaged in fighting in the Quneitra region. This is more proof that Israel is involved in the fighting in Syria. This is work that is not based on emotion or petty score-settling.”
“In any event, the weapons at Hezbollah’s disposal are there to be used, and not to be stored,” the newspaper wrote. “The response needs to match what it is that the enemy wanted to achieve.”
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah threatened Israel in an interview with Al-Mayadeen television last Thursday, saying that his organization would retaliate for what he alleges are repeated IDF strikes on Syria.
“The repeated bombings that struck several targets in Syria are a major violation, and we consider that any strike against Syria is a strike against the whole of the resistance axis, not just against Syria,” Nasrallah told the Beirut-based Arab news television.
Iranian Tweets for ‘Elimination of Israel’ should Alarm U.S.
Iran’s Supreme Leader continues to call for Israel’s elimination as the Western powers move closer to compromising with Iran on its nuclear program.
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, tweeted on Sunday an infographic titled “9 Questions About Elimination of Israel,” explaining why and how the State of Israel should be destroyed.
Answering “why should the Zionist regime be eliminated,” Khamenei answers: “During 66 years of life so far, the fake Zionist regime has tried to realize its goals by the means of infanticide, homicide, violence & iron fist while boasts about it blatantly.”
He suggests that the best way to eliminate the “Zionist regime” is through an international referendum including only “the original people of Palestine” and their descendants. “Naturally, the Jewish immigrants who have been persuaded into emigration to Palestine” would have no say, Khamenei states.
Khamenei claims that “the elimination of Israel does not mean the massacre of Jewish people in the region.” However, the fate of the Jews in Israel would be determined by the government of the “original Palestinians” who would decide if they may stay or return to their home countries, i.e. post-Holocaust Europe.
Khamenei’s latest tweet follows his tweets from Saturday in which he called for Israel’s destruction, suggesting it can be accomplished by arming Arabs in the “West Bank.”
It is of significance to note that the ayatollah is also the supreme authority over the development of Iran’s nuclear bomb.
Can a Genocidal Leader be a Partner in Nuclear Talks?
The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), which fights anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, issued a strong condemnation of Khamenei’s seditious messages: “With the release of the Ayatollah’s genocidal calls for the destruction of the Jewish State (first posted in July 2014 and reposted on November 9), Israel is right to take the Ayatollah at his word. Americans have every right to ask: Is this a leader who can be trusted in any negotiations whether over nuclear centrifuges or fighting ISIS?”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is urging U.S. President Obama to denounce the Ayatollah’s continuing genocidal calls for the destruction of the Jewish State. “The only true path to change Iran’s behavior short of regime change is the re-imposing of tough sanctions and the demand that its nuclearization program be dismantled,” said Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, Dean and Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Khamenei’s latest tweet was published on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass, one of the most infamous pogroms in Nazi Germany in 1938, and the SWC believes “it is appropriate for leaders to remember that when tyrants threaten, the world should listen. The world wouldn’t take Hitler’s threats seriously in the 1930’s and the Nazi Holocaust and WWII were soon unleashed.”
Netanyahu: ‘There is no Moderation in Iran’
As the November 24 deadline for ending the talks between Iran and the Western powers nears, and as Washington seems intent on making concessions in order to reach a deal with Tehran, the level of apprehension in Jerusalem heightens.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated Monday evening that: “There are reports that the P5+1 countries (Western powers) are close to a deal with Iran on Iran’s nuclear program. I’ve instructed my office to send a letter to the foreign ministers of the P5+1 countries. In that letter I bring, verbatim, the words of Iran’s ruler Ayatollah Khamenei. The leader of this country that is depicted by some as moderate, the Islamic State of Iran, has said in the last 48 hours: one, that he calls for the annihilation of Israel – his words, not mine; two, he gives nine ways and reasons of how and why Israel should be annihilated – his words, not mine. He’s publicly calling for the annihilation of Israel as he is negotiating a nuclear deal with the P5+1 countries. There is no moderation in Iran. It is unrepentant, unreformed, it calls for Israel’s eradication, it promotes international terrorism, and as the IAEA (international Atomic Energy Agency) report just said, it continues to deceive the international community about its nuclear weapons program. This terrorist regime in Iran must not be allowed to become a nuclear threshold power. And I call on the P5+1 countries – don’t rush into a deal that would let Iran rush to the