The Right Conservative News Site | Right Side News

Switch to desktop Register Login

Iranian Leaders Pushing for Preemptive Strike on Israel

October 25, 2008
Iran-Backed Group Justifies Today's Jerusalem Terror Attack 
TheIsraelProject.org
Iranian government leaders are proposing a preemptive military strike against Israel, a senior Iranian official said this week. [1] The threat comes as Iran continues to train and arm terrorist groups that specifically target Israel. Just today (Thurs.) Iran-backed Hamas spoke out to justify the killing of an 86-year-old Israeli man by a Palestinian terrorist. [2]

Dr. Seyed G. Safavi, an adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and director of a research institute associated with Iran's Revolutionary Guards, made a statement in London yesterday (Oct. 22), saying that a small group of experienced Iranian leaders are pushing for an attack on Israel in response to threats by Israeli officials to strike Iran's nuclear facilities. Safavi also said the Islamic Republic plans to target Israel in retaliation for an American or Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. [3]

In addition to saying they want Israel "wiped off the map," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other senior officials continuously state that they seek Israel's elimination. [4] Iran, the world's chief sponsor of terrorism, has attacked Israel through its proxy Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. With Iranian training and funding, Hezbollah waged war against Israel in July 2006, firing thousands of rockets into northern Israel to provide cover for infiltrating the Israeli side of the border and kidnapping and killing Israelis.

Iran also has had a role in attacks on Israel by Hamas in Gaza, which is trained and funded by Iran. Although Israel has experienced a decrease in rocket attacks since it entered a cease-fire with Hamas in June 2008, Hamas violated the agreement on Tuesday with another rocket attack [5]. Hamas also responded to today's terror attack in Jerusalem by saying that it was a "natural response" to "Israeli aggression." In the incident, a 20-year-old Palestinian, Mohammed al-Badan, stabbed Abraham Ozeri to death and seriously wounded a policeman. [6]

Iran's Qods Force, an elite unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) - a branch of the Iranian military - has had a long history of supporting terrorist organizations that target Israel. Iran has provided funding, material support, training and intelligence services to its three main proxies, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command (PFLP-GC).[7]  

These terrorist groups, which share the same basic ideological goals as Iran's leadership, are in many ways extensions of Iran's military network. They act as proxies for Tehran by attacking Israeli targets while providing reasonable deniability for the Iranian government on the international stage.[8]

Iranian funding of Hezbollah

  • Iran has provided Hezbollah with weapons, funding, guidance, and intelligence,[9] transferring $100 million - $200 million to Hezbollah annually, [10] in addition to an estimated $300 million after the war with Israel in 2006. [11]
  • The Qods force has trained more than 3,000 Hezbollah fighters in the use of anti-aircraft missiles, anti-tank missiles, surface-to-surface missiles and rockets, and unmanned aerial vehicles at camps inside Iran, and actively operates training facilities in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.[12]
  • Iranian aid to Hezbollah actually increased after Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 as Hezbollah expanded its military force in preparation for conflict. These preparations culminated in Hezbollah's illegal cross-border attack on an Israeli border patrol in July 2006, sparking the 34-day Hezbollah-Israel war.[13]
  • A member of Hezbollah involved in the July 2006 abduction of Israeli soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser admitted being trained in Iran along with 40-50 other Hezbollah members.[14]
  • In 2002, Israel seized the Karine A, a Palestinian Authority naval vessel containing 50 tons of advanced weaponry, including Katyusha rockets, rifles, mortar shells, mines and a variety of anti-tank missiles.  Iran and Hezbollah had jointly loaded the material, routed for Palestinian Naval Police in Gaza.[15]
  • During the Hezbollah-Israel 2006 war, intelligence sources, Iranian agents assisted in firing a land-to-sea missile that almost sank an Israeli warship.[16]
  • Iran has been aggressively rearming Hezbollah since the end of the 2006 war.[17] It is estimated that Hezbollah now has roughly 30,000 rockets in its possession - more than twice as many as it had before the 2006 war.[18] The newly replenished arsenal includes about 10,000 long distance rockets.[19] Hezbollah has 500 Iranian "Zilzal" guided missiles with ranges of 77, 136 and 186 miles,[20] and an additional 4,000-6,000 Iranian "Fajr 3" and "Fajr 5" rockets with ranges of 27 and 46 miles respectively.[21]
  • Most Iranian missile supplies reach Hezbollah in Lebanon by sea or overland routes via Syria,[22] though Iran is also transporting arms to Hezbollah by air using both civilian and military aircraft.[23] Some of the longer range missiles, capable of reaching southern Israel from Beirut, are clandestinely transported through Turkey.[24] Last May, the Turkish army found a concealed weapons shipment, including rockets, missiles, guns and ammunition, en route from Iran to Syria intended for Hezbollah.[25]

Iranian funding of Hamas

  • Iran has openly admitted its support for Hamas, an Islamic Palestinian group committed to the destruction of Israel and the replacement of the Palestinian Authority with an Islamic state on "every inch of Palestine."[26] 
  • Iran's financial support of Hamas is estimated at $20 million -$30 million annually.[27]
  • In April 2006, Iran pledged $50 million in aid to Hamas.[28] In November 2006, Iran, more than doubled its pledge, donating $120 million to Hamas.[29]
  • Since Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, 150 Hamas terrorist operatives have completed training "courses" in Iran and another 150 were there as of July 2008. An additional 600 Hamas operatives have received similar instruction in Syria by Iranian-trained instructors.[30]
  • Hamas operatives undergo training in tactical warfare and weapons operation. They acquire skills for launching rockets, detonating improvised explosive devices, sniper tactics, and other terrorist and guerrilla warfare techniques, similar to those commonly used by Hezbollah.[31]
  • In 2008, Iran assisted Hamas in upgrading its mortar collection for attacks on the communities bordering Gaza.[32]
  • In the past two-and-a-half years, dozens of Iranian-manufactured Grad rockets and mortar shells have been launched from Gaza at areas in Israel's western Negev region and the city of Ashkelon.[33]
  • In a meeting with Hamas Political Bureau Chief Khaled Mashaal in May 2008, Iran promised to provide Hamas with long-range missiles. Both Iran and Hamas claimed that they would amass arms regardless of any peace negotiations between Israel and Syria.[34]

Iranian funding of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)

  • Iran is directly involved in providing financing, guidance and military training to PIJ, [35] a Palestinian terrorist organization committed to Israel's destruction and the establishment of an Islamic Palestinian state.
  • PIJ is funded almost exclusively by Iran[36] and receives most of its material support from the Qods force.[37]
  • PIJ officials live in Syria but keep a permanent representative in Iran, and travel there frequently to strengthen its ties with the Islamic Republic.[38]
  • In 2001, Ayatollah Ali Khomeini pledged to increase Iran's funding of PIJ by 70 percent to recruit young Palestinians for suicide attacks in Israel.[39]
  • PIJ has carried out 422 bombings, shootings, and stabbings, killing 134 Israelis and wounding 880.[40]
  • A Palestinian intelligence official revealed that Iran promised a $10,000 reward if PIJ launched an attack from the West Bank to Tel Aviv.[41]
  • In 2003, PIJ became one of the first terrorist organizations to use women as suicide bombers.[42]

Iranian funding of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command (PFLP-GC)

  • The PFLP-GC is a secular, pan-Arab Palestinian organization with a strong military focus that rejects any political settlement with Israel.[43] The PFLP-GC began receiving funds from Iran after it was expelled from Libya in 1989.[44] 
  • The PFLP-GC's relationship with Iran has been primarily for purposes of transferring arms to Hamas and the PIJ,[45] though it also operates Iranian training camps in Syria and Lebanon.[46]
  • In September 2006 the U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted Saderat, one of Iran's largest banks, citing the transfer of funds to the PFLP-GC, among other terrorist organizations.[47]

Other Iran-financed attacks against Israeli civilians:

  • In April 2003, Iranian money designated for charity paid for a terror attack at a train station in the Tel Aviv suburb of Kfar Saba. The attack killed one Israeli and injured 15 others.[48]
  • In January 2003, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard funded a suicide attack in Tel Aviv through Fatah, the Palestinian Authority's military arm. Fatah perpetrated the attack in the central bus station of Tel Aviv, killing 22 Israeli and foreign civilians.[49]
  • In April 2008, the Israel Defense Forces arrested Iranian-trained terrorist and would-be suicide bomber Ala Abu Madif, in southern Gaza. Madif had been involved in missile launches into Israel's western Negev region and was planning to carry out a suicide bombing at the Kissufim crossing between Israel and Gaza. In Iran, Madif underwent physical training, navigation, weapons training (including light and heavy weapons operation, anti-tank weapons, hand grenades), target practice, assembly and operation of explosive devices and indoctrination lessons defining Israel and the U.S. as the sources of evil.[50] [51]

Footnotes 

[1] Ravid, Barak, "Top Iran officials recommend preemptive strike against Israel," Haaretz, Oct. 22, 2008, http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1030279.html 

[2] Lis, Jonathan; Shragai, Nadav, "Hamas: Jerusalem stabbing is natural response to Israeli aggression," Haaretz, Oct. 23, 2008,  http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1030839.html 

[3] Ravid, Barak, "Top Iran officials recommend preemptive strike against Israel," Haaretz, Oct. 22, 2008, http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1030279.html 

[4] Teitelbaum, Joshua, "What Iranian Leaders Really Say About Doing Away With Israel," Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 2008,  http://www.jcpa.org/text/ahmadinejad2-words.pdf 

[5]  Xiaoyan, Ma, "Feature: Life with and without rockets' boom," Xinhua, Oct. 22, 2008,  http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-10/22/content_10235813.htm 

[6] Lis, Jonathan; Shragai, Nadav, "Hamas: Jerusalem stabbing is natural response to Israeli aggression," Haaretz, Oct. 23, 2008,  http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1030839.html 

[7] U.S. Department of State, "Designation of Iranian Entities and Individuals for Proliferation Activities and Support for Terrorism," Oct. 25, 2007, retrieved July 6, 2008, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2007/oct/94193.htm

[8] O'Brien, James M., "Exporting Jihad: Iran's use of non-state armed groups" The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy & The Jebsen Center for Counter-Terrorism Studies, presented at 47th Annual International Studies Association, March 22, 2006

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Partlow, Joshua, "U.S.: Iran, Hezbollah Training Iraqi Militants," The Washington Post, July 2, 2007 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/02/AR2007070200174.html?hpid=topnews

[12] "Hezbollah as a strategic arm of Iran," Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies, September 8, 2006, http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/html/iran_hezbollah_e1b.htm

[13] "Hezbollah as a strategic arm of Iran," Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies, Sept. 8, 2006, http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/html/iran_hezbollah_e1b.htm

[14] Ibid.

[15] "Seizing of the Palestinians weapons ship Karine A," Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jan. 4, 2002, retrieved July 9, 2008,   

[16] Schiff, Ze'ev, "Israel's war with Iran," Council on Foreign Relations, November/December 2006, http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20061101faessay85603/ze-ev-schiff/israel-s-war-with-iran.html

[17] Charlaff, Joe, "Hezbollah rearming could have far reaching consequences for US," HS Today, April 9, 2008, http://www.hstoday.us/content/view/2825/152/

[18] Ibid.

[19] Rotella, Sebastian, "In Lebanon, Hezbollah arms stockpile, bigger, deadlier," The Los Angeles Times, May 4, 2008, http://articles.latimes.com/2008/may/04/world/fg-hezbollah4

[20] Ibid.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Charlaff, Joe, "Hezbollah rearming could have far reaching consequences for US," HS Today, April 9, 2008, http://www.hstoday.us/content/view/2825/152/

[23] Rotella, Sebastian, "In Lebanon, Hezbollah arms stockpile, bigger, deadlier," The Los Angeles Times, May 4, 2008, http://articles.latimes.com/2008/may/04/world/fg-hezbollah4

[24] Ravid, David, "Iran Rearming Hezbollah via Turkey, MI says," Haaretz, March 6, 2008, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/960878.html

[25] Rotella, Sebastian, "In Lebanon, Hezbollah arms stockpile, bigger, deadlier," The Los Angeles Times, May 4, 2008, http://articles.latimes.com/2008/may/04/world/fg-hezbollah4

[26] "Hamas Backgrounder," Council on Foreign Relations, June 8, 2007, retrieved July 10, 2008, http://www.cfr.org/publication/8968/#2

[27] Hamas," Council on Foreign Relations Web site, retrieved July 7, 2008, http://www.cfr.org/publication/8968/

[28] Hamas Gets $50 M Boost From Iran," CBS News, April 16, 2006 http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/04/16/world/main1501210.shtml

[29] "Iran increase Palestinian aid to 120 million dollars," Agence France-Press, Nov. 18, 2006. 

[30] Hamas," Council on Foreign Relations Web site, retrieved July 7, 2008, http://www.cfr.org/publication/8968/

[31] Hamas," Council on Foreign Relations Web site, retrieved July 7, 2008, http://www.cfr.org/publication/8968/

[32] Greenberg, Hanan, "Security source: Usage of mortars-to avoid a response," Ynet News, http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3542070,00.html (Translated from Hebrew)

[33] Hamas," Council on Foreign Relations Web site, retrieved July 7, 2008, http://www.cfr.org/publication/8968/

[34] Dahar, Kaid, "Iran promises to supply Hamas with long-range missiles," MSN News, May 25, 2008, http://news.msn.co.il/news/StatePoliticalMilitary/Military/200805/20080525074131.htm (Translated from Hebrew)

[35] "Iranian activities in support of the Palestinian intifada," Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jan. 23, 2003, retrieved July 8, 2008

[36] "The Islamic Jihad," YnetNews, Dec. 22, 2007, retrieved July 8, 2008, http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3484933,00.html

[37] "List: Sanctioned Iranian Groups, People," The Associated Press via SFGate, Oct. 25, 2007, retrieved Sept. 3, 2008,  http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2007/10/25/national/w134555D43.DTL 

[38] "Iranian activities in support of the Palestinian intifada," Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jan. 23, 2003, retrieved July 8, 2008,   

[39] Ibid.

[40] "The Islamic Jihad," Ynet, Dec. 22, 2007, retrieved July 8, 2008, http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3484933,00.html

[41] Mahnaimi, Uzi, "Tehran ‘bounty' for attack on Israel," TimesOnline, Oct. 30, 2005, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article584462.ece

[42] Ibid.

[43] "The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command (PFLP-GC)," CDI Terrorism Project, November 13, 2002, retrieved July 8, 2008, http://www.cdi.org/terrorism/pflp-gc.cfm

[44] Ibid.

[45] "Iran and Syria as strategic support for Palestinian Terrorism," Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sept. 30, 2002, retrieved July 8, 2008, http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/MFAArchive/2000_2009/2002/9/Iran%20and%20Syria%20as%20Strategic%20Support%20for%20Palestinia

[46] Levitt, Matthew A., "Iranian State Sponsorship of Terror: Threatening U.S. Security, Global Stability, and Regional Peace," The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Feb. 16, 2005, www.washingtoninstitute.org/html/pdf/Iran-Testimony-2-16-05.pdf, pg. 5

[47] "U.S. blacklists major Iranian bank," BBC News, Sept. 8, 2006, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/5329326.stm

[48] "Support and encouragement of Palestinian terror in the ‘territories' by Iran and her proxies," The Center for Intelligence, Information, and Terror. January 2004, http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/html/final/sp/iran/financing.htm (Translated from Hebrew)

[49] "Support and encouragement of Palestinian terror in the ‘territories' by Iran and her proxies," The Center for Intelligence, Information, and Terror. January 2004, http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/html/final/sp/iran/financing.htm (Translated from Hebrew)

[50] "Iranian-trained terrorist arrested in Gaza," Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, May 19, 2008, retrieved July 13, 2008,  http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Terrorism+and+Islamic+Fundamentalism-/Iranian-trained%20terrorist%20arrested%20in%20Gaza%2019-May-2008 

[51] Azoulay, Yuval, "IDF: Iran-trained militant arrested in Gaza raid last month," Haaretz, May 19, 2008 http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/984920.html

You are now being logged in using your Facebook credentials