|Southwest Asia News Digest
Iran Assassinations: LaRouche Says, Look to Israeli Hand
Nov. 29 (EIRNS)Today two Iranian nuclear scientists were attacked, one of whom was killed, while on their way to work. Bombs were magnetically attached to each of their cars as they were moving, by "men on motorcycles," detonating within seconds. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad quickly blamed the attacks on foreign powers, saying that "undoubtedly the hand of the Zionist regime and Western governments is involved." Iran's nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, warned the West not to "play with fire." "There is a limit to the Iranian nation's patience and if we run out of patience the enemy will suffer adverse consequences. Of course we still maintain our patience."
Lyndon LaRouche responded: "The Iranian operation was Israeli, or somebody doing it for themit makes no difference. It's obvious. You've got a nut there in Israel, the Prime Minister, who's running the government, so what do you expect? Everybody was warned that this guy is a nut; and he's acting like a nut. And he's talking like a nut. He may be a nut! Who's kidding whom? That's the timing of the thing. It has to be assumed that: It's the first likelihood. [The Israelis] would be the first to cheer for it. Either they did it themselves, or they got somebody else to do them a favor."
Both Dr. Majid Shahriari, who was killed, and Dr. Fereydoun Abbasi (hit simultaneously, but not killed), were from the nuclear engineering department at Shahid Behesti University in Tehran, and both had strong connections with ruling regime. Shahriari taught at the Iranian Army's Supreme National Defense University, and was "in charge of one of the great projects" at Iran's Atomic Energy Agency, according to Salehi. Abbasi is "one of the few specialists who can separate isotopes," according to an AFP wire.
On the timing, it should be noted that, on Nov. 27, Iran announced that it had completed loading fuel into its nuclear plant in the city of Bushehr, and that it would start operation in January.
An Arab source who has been closely following developments inside Iran described it as a "full-scale clandestine war," which, he said, the British are also deeply involved in. "The British Empire still considers Iran as part of its possessions. They have all the assets that have the capability for sabotage and assassinations, from groups on the ground like the Jundallah, to exile networksthroughout the Gulf and some headquartered in Londonwhom they've been tracking and recruiting forever. Israel and anyone else conducting these kinds of operations would have backup from British intelligence." He cited other recent incidents, including the bombing of a newly opened petrochemical plant.
Parliamentary Opposition to Ahmadinejad Moves with Impeachment Petition
Nov. 23 (EIRNS)Conservatives in Iran are moving inside the Majlis (parliament) to impeach Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejadthe first time impeachment has been discussed since the creation of the Islamic Republic in 1979. A U.S. source who has carefully watched the Iranian opposition that challenged Ahmadinejad in the 2009 election, confirms that the petition is circulating, and commented that one of the ironies about the Iran situation is that a grouping of Shi'ite clericsincluding Conservativesopposes Ahmadinejad's policies, including the brutal attacks against unarmed civilians during demonstrations by the Basij militia and the Revolutionary Guard. The role of Shi'ite clerics in reforming Iran goes back for more than a century to the 1906-11 fight for a constitution, the U.S. expert noted. (Iran today is 89% Shi'ite, and the religious hierarchy is Shi'ite.)
According to a report by Iranian journalist Farnaz Fassihi in the Wall Street Journal today, members of the Majlis have launched a new petition to bring a debate on the impeachment of the President out in the open. Fassihi reports that the parliament had planned to impeach Ahmadinejad, but "refrained under orders from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, exposing a deepening division within the regime." The Majlis, like the government, is under the majority control of the Conservatives, but in recent months, leading Conservatives such as Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani have been very critical of Ahmadinejad. Larijani's brother, Justice Sadegh Larijani, head of the Judiciary, has criticized Ahmadinejad for usurping the power of parliament. Ali Larijani has begun to look at Ahmadinejad as a "liability," reports Fassihi.
Despite Ayatollah Khamenei's intervention, the impeachment effort took on new life on Nov. 22, when "four prominent lawmakers" laid out the charges against the President that were contained in a report released in the Conservative press the day before.
The lawmakers accused Ahmadinejad "and his government of 14 counts of violating the law, often by acting without the approval of the legislature. Charges include illegally importing gasoline and oil, failing to provide budgetary transparency and withdrawing millions of dollars from Iran's foreign reserve fund without getting parliament's approval," wrote Fassihi.
Perle Calls for Regime Change in Iran
Nov. 22 (EIRNS)Neoconservative warhawk Richard Perle was the keynote speaker today, at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, at an event on U.S. policy on Iran. Though expressing views much more restrained than his 1996-2003 lobbying for the war on Iraq, Perle is still demanding U.S. support regime change in Tehran. Perle made sweeping, unsupported claims about the threat supposedly emanating from Iran (reminiscent of those made about Iraq before the 2003 invasion), on the alleged impossibility of negotiating with the regime, and on the "massive dissatisfaction" in the Iranian population with the regime, making the country, therefore, ripe for a U.S.-supported uprising against the government.
The two speakers who followed Perle, Barry Blechman of the Stimson Center, and Anthony Cordesman from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, cut his feet out from under him, but that is not detering Perle and others from the Dick Cheney preventive war cabal, who are counting on circles in the Republican Party to back a new Iran war.
Yitzak Rabin's Son Launches 'Israeli Peace Initiative'
Nov. 26 (EIRNS)Echoing his father's call for the "peace of the brave" in 1993, Yuval Rabin, son of slain former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin, along with businessman Koby Huberman, have unveiled an "Israeli Peace Initiative" (IPI) as a "new approach [that] is therefore needed to ensure that the [peace] process reaches its destination while the impact of the spoilers is gradually minimized." Rabin and Huberman's article appears in Bitter Lemons International, a forum that advocates a Palestinian state, and equal rights for Palestinians in Israel, the Occupied Territories, and in the Diaspora. Titled "The IPI, a Pragmatic 'Yes' to the Arab Peace Initiative," argues that "Whether Israelis and Palestinians resume talks for another 90 days, and definitely if talks fail, it's time to face the inevitable conclusion: Permanent status agreements are unlikely to be achieved through bilateral negotiations without a regional context, either as a cementing element or as fallback."
Without saying the obviousthat Obama's peace talk efforts are a disasterthey announce that a "detailed IPI text will be published soon in English, Hebrew, and Arabic."
The initiative will propose "a viable Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and one-on-one land swaps, Jerusalem as the home of two capitals, and special arrangements in the Jerusalem "Holy Basin," an agreed solution for the refugees inside the Palestinian state (with symbolic exceptions), mutual recognition of the genuine national identities of the two states as the outcome of negotiations and not as a prerequisite, reiteration of the principles underlying Israel's 1948 Declaration of Independence regarding civic equality for its Arab citizens, and long-term security arrangements with international components."
There are also detailed "end-of-conflict scenarios" for Syria and Lebanon, and "regional security mechanisms" and "a vision for regional economic development, and parallel evolution toward regional recognition and normal ties."
Rabin and Huberman identify themselves as "businessmen" who want normal regional ties.
"The ideas in the IPI are not what we Israelis have been dreaming and hoping for, as they represent a major shift from our collective ideology," they write. "Accordingly, Israeli society will find them difficult to digest. But we believe Israeli society can face up to these challenges...." Having been in regional discussion for 18 months, they call upon "brave regional and international leaders" to join their effort.