|This article appears in the March 22, 2002 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Iran's Leaders Cite LaRouche
by Our Special Correspondent
Analysis Of September 11
When President George Bush declared, in his State of the Union message on Jan. 29, that Iraq, Iran, and North Korea were members of an "axis of evil," he was escalating the "war against terrorism" first launched in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, essentially identifying the next among targetted nations. In Baghdad, Tehran, and Pyongyang, political leaders immediately rejected the charges; mass demonstrations, particularly in Iran, showed that it was not just the leadership, but vast layers of the population, who protested.
The most politically significant response came from Tehran. Unlike Iraq and North Korea, which have been high on the list of Washington's "rogue states," Iran seemed to have been accorded a slightly less belligerent status, at least in some U.S. policy quarters. Especially in the context of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, Iran had been accommodating: Itself the primary target of Taliban terror and drug-running over years, Iran had good reason to cheer the elimination of these networks. In the UN-sponsored conference in Bonn, Germany, which pieced together Afghanistan's post-Taliban government early this year, Iran had played a quiet, but important diplomatic role, and followed up with concrete offers to help reconstruction. It had also hosted 2.5 million Afghan refugees fleeing Taliban terror.
Thus, when Bush pronounced his "axis of evil" doctrine, political figures in Tehran, insulted and betrayed, concluded that the previous, ostensibly softer tones from the United States, were as fraudulent as the entire "war on terrorism." In early March, some leading members of the Iranian establishment pulled the plug, attacked the fraud of the official line on Sept. 11, and pointed to the truth, citing American 2004 Presidential pre-candidate Lyndon LaRouche.
On March 4, the radio Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran (English-language) interviewed LaRouche by telephone. LaRouche elaborated in some detail the nature and significance of the attempted coup d'état involving the Sept. 11 attacks, and named the figures prominent in the faction around Zbigniew Brzezinski, who are promoting a Clash of Civilizations. The interview was aired four times that week, and a Farsi summary circulated throughout the press, both in Iran and internationally. On March 9, the story appeared in the English-language daily Tehran Times, as well as on national radio and TV news in Farsi, and in the print media. The Tehran Times website story reported that:
"A U.S. Presidential candidate in the 2000 [and 2004] election, Lyndon LaRouche," has said that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks had been organized by rogue elements inside the U.S., "and were aiming to use the incident to promote a war against Islam."
"In an interview with the Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, LaRouche said that the attacks were not organized by a foreign group or organization," but that American elements had been involved in the attacks, which claimed more than 3,000 lives.
"Naming former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, Clash of Civilizations author Samuel Huntington, and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger ... LaRouche said the above-mentioned figures had been harboring the idea of 'Clash of Civilizations' for years and had been trying to promote a war....
"Referring to U.S. President George W. Bush's 'axis of evil' remarks against Iran, Iraq, and North Korea, LaRouche said Bush was not a thoughtful politician. He stated that the U.S. President was only following orders and that his recent remarks were dictated to him by others.
"Elsewhere, he called the Zionist regime a dictatorial regime and said that Tel Aviv was prepared to commit Nazi-style crimes against the Palestinians.... LaRouche added that officials such as Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, and senior U.S. Defense Department adviser Richard Perle were seeking to create tension and instability in the Middle East."
Rafsanjani Cites LaRouche
The previous day, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, former President of Iran and currently head of the Expediency Council, cited LaRouche in a speech following Friday prayers. In Iran, political addresses delivered on Fridays, especially by leading figures such as Rafsanjani, are comparable to a State of the Union message, but on a weekly basis. They outline the direction the leadership is taking. The Expediency Council is designed to coordinate among Iranian institutions, and is considered the seat of political consensus. Rafsanjani's speech, "War in the Region Will Serve Nobody's Interests," was paraphrased in the Farsi press:
"We are not in a war with America. We hope that the Americans will not commit the blunder and get their hands stained in the war.... The outbreak of war in the region would not be of any benefit to the aggressor nor to the victim.
"Hashemi Rafsanjani referred to the efforts being made by the U.S. and its allies to expand their dominance in Afghanistan, Central Asia, and the Caucasus, and indicated that if the intention is to protect the Afghani people and to save them from poverty and misery, that would be a desirable thing. But all available evidence indicates that there are other objectives behind this presence. He referred to the recent statements made by Lyndon LaRouche, who is one of the candidates in the American Presidential elections, on the Sept. 11 events, saying: 'LaRouche has announced frankly that American figures ... were directly involved in the Sept. 11 attacks in New York. And their objective is to pave the way for launching a war against Islam and Muslims.' The Chairman of the Expediency Council added: 'According to Western mass media reports, 120 Zionists were recently arrested in connection with the recent events.' "
Here the Iranian leader referred to EIR's exposé of large-scale Israeli espionage around Sept. 11 in the United States, only recently acknowledged in U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration documents, for example.
Rafsanjani also referred to America's internal crises, especially in the economy, saying: "The United States is suffering from a budget deficit, and is trying to blackmail the others in order to cover the increase in the defense spending, amounting to more than $100 billion."
He concluded by emphasizing the importance of unity of all sectors of Iranian societysomething which Bush's "axis of evil" formulation had indeed assisted.
Rafsanjani's remarks were published on March 9 in all Persian-language and Arabic dailies monitored over the Internet, although Reuters and Agence France Presse coverage carefully avoided mention of LaRouche. The Wall Street Journal's online edition on March 13 nervously attacked the Tehran Times for adopting Lyndon LaRouche's strategic analysis of Sept. 11. The Journal had similarly attacked Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir in 1998, for adopting LaRouche's economic analysis.
Great Debate in Iran
On March 9-10, as these explosive developments were going on, Tehran convened an international conference on "The Persian Gulf-Asia in the Light of New International Developments." The conference was sponsored by the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS), a think-tank associated with the Foreign Ministry. The Sept. 11 events were a primary topic of the many speakers from Persian Gulf and Asian countries.
The conference opened with a message by President Seyed Mohammad Khatami, read by Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Sadegh Kharrazi. Khatami stressed that the conference took place at a time when the world needed a culture of dialogue and wisdom, to overcome war and conflict. In Khatami's view, Asian nations have understood these factors and have opted for a civilizational dialogue, for peace and economic development.
The keynote address was by Hasan Rouhani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, who is also adviser to the President, representative of Supreme Leader Khamenei, and a member of the Expediency Council. Rouhani started by saying that the Sept. 11 attacks had produced a new picture of the American people, as a people that had been wronged and attacked. This caused solidarity and popularity for the American people, which Rouhani wished had endured. It did not, he said, as a result of the actions the U.S. government then took.
Rouhani said the United States could have reacted by addressing the reasons for resentment of American policies; for example, by launching "a new international Marshall Plan to eradicate poverty and injustice in the world." This would have "won the hearts and minds of the populations of the world." It could have taken legal steps to bring the perpetrators to justice, according to international law. Asked for evidence, President Bush said that now is the time for war, not evidence. Rouhani characterized Bush as taking a third way: abusing the act of terrorism in order to achieve the goals of a new doctrine of U.S. dominance and of Israeli dominance in the Middle East. He charged that the U.S. administration was, in addition, establishing a domestic regime in violation of human rights.
Like Rafsanjani, Rouhani also referred to LaRouche's analysis, citing "an American" who had spoken of "a military coup d'état." And, he said, U.S. policy was moving in the direction of a new "Roman Empire."
LaRouche's analysis of the Sept. 11 events, and their aftermath, was the subject of a paper presented to the conference by Muriel Mirak-Weissbach, of EIR's editorial board. That session's chairman called the analysis "surprising and shocking" to many, but "realistic, and we have to face reality." What was found particularly important, was the connection that LaRouche drew between the financial breakdown crisis, and the attempted coup.
Days after the conference, the Tehran Times ran excerpts from Mirak-Weissbach's speech as a two-part series.
The Message From Tehran
The top Iranian personalities issuing these statements on LaRouche's analysis are seasoned political figures, who have had long, trying experience with U.S. hostility. They had, however, been seriously concerned, in the recent period, to improve relationseven achieve a reconciliationwith Washington. Rafsanjani and other Iranian leaders are aware of the reality of what LaRouche has called "the policies of Sept. 11," and sense the unprecedented dangers that the Brzezinski faction's policy course has opened up. Thus, their insistence that any aggression against Iran (or Iraq), would unleash a war which would benefit neither aggressor nor victim.
But Iran will rally, despite internal frictions, to defend its independence and sovereignty, regardless of the cost.
The clear embrace, in various political forums and the press, of the analyses of LaRouche, is a signal which should be understood by Washington.
And, at the same time, the fact that European leaders were rolling out the red carpet to welcome Iranian President Khatami, is another such signal. Khatami visited Austria, where he signed agreements for 1 billion euro worth of investments for Iranian infrastructure projects; held talks with European Union foreign policy adviser Javier Solana, who pledged continued "constructive and positive" dialogue with Tehran; and was welcomed in Greece, where President Konstantinos Stephanopoulos told him, "Greece doesn't recognize axes, evil or otherwise."