Salman Rushdie : Attacked on stage

Re: Attacked on stage

only a moron would think Israel an apartheid state.

Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

Re: Attacked on stage

Israel is an apartheid state you fucking idiot, they’re illegally occupying Gaza and the West Bank and do not allow Palestinians to vote and are committing genocide against them.

Grow the fuck up

Re: Attacked on stage



Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

Re: Attacked on stage

You mad bro?

Re: Attacked on stage



Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

Re: Attacked on stage

Re: Attacked on stage



Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

Re: Attacked on stage

You mad bro?

Re: Attacked on stage



Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

Re: Attacked on stage

You mad bro?

Re: Attacked on stage

You mad bro?

Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

Re: Attacked on stage

You mad bro

Re: Attacked on stage



That right there says it all

If we take the time to see with the heart and not with the mind, we shall see that we are surrounded completely by angels ~ Carlos Santana

Re: Attacked on stage

Those people are not true Muslims, they’re pieces of shit

Re: Attacked on stage

true Muslims, they’re pieces of shit
same difference

Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

Re: Attacked on stage

Shut the fuck up racist

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Muslim is not a race sheeple.

Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

Re: Attacked on stage

It’s an ethnicity you fucking retard, which means it’s still racist to discriminate against them. Just like it’s racist to discriminate against Jews.

Shut the fuck up now racist

Re: Attacked on stage

No. It is not an ethnicity. It is a religion. It is bigotry to discriminate against them. Words have set meanings you stupid woolbrained sheep.

You could be a white muslim a native American muslim and asian muslim, a black muslim. So no. Not racism. Get a dictionary, and a clue, you fuckn twat.

Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

Re: Attacked on stage

You’re a fucking moron. There are ethnic Muslims in the world just like anywhere else. Not to mention the fact that race and ethnicity are formed by people’s culture, which includes….. drum roll…. RELIGION. Ding ding ding! Understand now you fucking dumb dickhead?

You can also be a white Jew, a black Jew, an Asian Jew, it’s still racist to discriminate against them just like it is with Muslims.

Understand now fuck face, or do I need to repeat myself?

Re: Attacked on stage

Judaism is a religion. Hebrew is an ethnicity. Stupid is all you.

Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

Re: Attacked on stage

Jesus Christ you are dumb. Yes, Judaism is a religion. It’s also a culture. It’s also a nationality. Which makes it an ETHNICITY. Many Jews aren’t even religious.

Hebrew is an outdated term and refers to ancient Israelites. They are now called Jews.

Jesus Christ, get with the program….

Re: Attacked on stage



Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

Re: Attacked on stage

What’s your point?

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Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

Re: Attacked on stage

You mad bro?

Re: Attacked on stage



Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

Re: Attacked on stage

You mad bro?

Re: Attacked on stage

they’re pieces of shit
I trust you because it takes one to know one


Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

Re: Attacked on stage

That cartoon was made by a racist piece of shit. The fallacy doesn’t apply. 99.9999% of Muslims are peaceful. The Quran also does not encourage anything those violent people do. So they really are “not true Muslims.”

Understand now you racist dickhead?

Re: Attacked on stage

Your numbers are way off. You sound like Affleck



Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

Re: Attacked on stage

Sam Harris is a Zionist piece of shit. Fuck him. But I digress…

There are 1.8 BILLION Muslims. That means 99.999% are peaceful. Sorry to burst your bubble with facts.

That faggot Harris also fails to mention that international Islamic terrorism comes from the Middle East. But none from Southeast Asia or Subsaharan Africa. That is because Islamic terrorism is created by Western imperialism in the Middle East.

Understand now?

Re: Attacked on stage



Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

Re: Attacked on stage

Ya mad brah?

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Just one more reason to turn Iran into a parking lot.

Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

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Yeah funny you say that considering thieving American cunts stole BILLIONS from Iran.

Fuck you racist piece of imperialist apologist bullshithead

Re: Attacked on stage

They are a rogue nation and the worlds biggest sponsor of terrorism. Fuck them and fuck you.
https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1649012/Iran-nukes-nuclear-weapon-New-York-City-Iranian-atomic-bomb-threat-US-Joe-Biden-vn

Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

Re: Attacked on stage

Takes 3 minutes to understand Iran’s history.

======

Before 1951, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (later to become British Petroleum) had bribed their way into a 60-year legislated monopoly on Iran’s oil. This effectively enabled Britain to nationalize all of Iran’s oil.

British Petroleum wasn’t charged any royalties in Iran, and only agreed to pay 16% of their net profits in taxes – a ridiculously lucrative monopoly for BP of the most profitable oil in the world.

In fact BP was probably Britain’s biggest, most profitable company in the 1930s and 1940s.

Not surprisingly, BP didn't report any profits for the first 50-years of their monopoly contract, from 1901 until 1951, and didn't pay any of their taxes. BP also repeatedly refused to cooperate with tax audits.

BP also mistreated Iranian workers, paying them only 50 cents / day and having them live in shanty towns with no running water or electricity.

It was an outrageous scandal in Iran for years, with many attempts, directly and with international mediation, to negotiate more equitable sharing of Iran’s oil wealth. Despite Iran’s best efforts, BP kept making huge profits exploiting Iran's oil, while paying virtually no taxes or royalties, and blocking all tax auditors.

In 1951, Iran’s wildly popular first democratically elected government, under Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, demanded that BP open up their accounting for a tax audit. Again BP refused.

Anywhere else in the world, BP executives would have been thrown in jail for tax evasion.

Instead, Iran’s parliament unanimously voted to nationalize their oil industry, forced full transparency, allowed American companies to start drilling, and started charging tax rates in line with western countries like Norway.

Iran’s new government trusted the CIA because Americans had just made a similar profit sharing deal with Saudi Arabia’s Arabian-American Oil Company (ARAMACO).

Instead of complying with Iran’s reasonable laws, BP, MI6 and the CIA started a massive propaganda war against Iran accusing it of becoming communist. Then they starved already poor Iran out with crippling sanctions and seized hundreds of millions of dollars of Iran’s foreign assets.

American media broadcasted outright lies around the world to demonize Mossadegh with his PhD in Law from Switzerland’s Neuchâtel University. They never mentioned how BP hadn’t paid their taxes in 50 years. And every small crisis was hyper-exaggerated in the media to a point where it became completely unrecognizable from what was actually happening. Basically the same kind of carefully orchestrated non-stop BS that enabled the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The British government used the BBC Persian radio to relentlessly spew hyper-dramatized and hyper-exaggerated anti-Mossadegh BS – to the extent that the Iranian staff at the BBC went on strike to protest.

In 1953, after two years of non-stop economic and psychological attacks and assassination attempts, tensions started peaking.

The CIA then hired and bussed hundreds of Iran’s most feared mobsters into Tehran to start riots, and organized a military coup to capitalize on the ensuing chaos – paying the new leaders millions of dollars to bribe their compliance.

Classic Shock Doctrine government overthrow.

All the Fake News outlets even spun the coup as a great victory for democracy and a great victory for spreading American values – ousting a democratic government and replacing it with a puppet dictator so that BP wouldn't have to pay taxes.

After the coup, the puppet king (Shah) arrested, tortured and executed hundreds of Mossadegh supporters as well as college students and teachers.

John F. Kennedy talked about severely restricting foreign interventions because of what happened in Iran (1953), Syria (1949 and 1957), Guatemala (1954), the Bay of Pigs (1961), and after first installing South Vietnam’s prime minister Ngô Đình Diệm in 1955 then assassinating him in 1963 etc…..

Unfortunately JFK didn’t live long.

In February 1979 Iranians took back control of their country by overthrowing their puppet king (Shah) and restoring their fledgling democracy.

MI6 and the CIA again started a massive propaganda war against Iran, again imposed crippling sanctions, and again seized hundreds of millions of dollars of Iran’s foreign assets.

In July1979, the US government supported Saddam Hussein's takeover of Iraq. Interestingly, before Hussein's takeover, Iraq was planning on merging with Syria under the leadership of Syrian President Hafez al-Assad (Bashar al-Assad's father).

Iran didn't attack the USA though in November 1979 some students stormed the US embassy, and arrested 52 male embassy staff.

In exchange for the embassy staff's release, the students demanded that the U.S. government apologize for interfering in Iran's internal affairs, including the overthrow of Prime Minister Mossadegh, and that Iran's seized assets in the United States be released.

Instead of simply apologizing and releasing Iranian assets, the US government sponsored Saddam Hussein's full-scale invasion of Iran in September 1980.

Makes you wonder how those embassy staff were cooperating with Hussein before he invaded Iran? Did Hussein start his war plans (with US support) to invade Iran before or after the hostages were taken?

Also makes you wonder how those embassy staff might have been working on other coup plans as their older colleagues and predecessors must have done from 1951 to 1953?

The Iraq-Iran war lasted 8 years until 1988 and killed and wounded over 1.5 million people, including the 66 children and 224 other civilians that the US Navy killed by shooting down a regularly scheduled Iran Air Airbus A300.

30 more years of mostly failed diplomacy and overt belligerence brings us to today. Obama's deal with Iran was a rare super-constructive milestone to returning to normal productive and prosperous relations with the Middle East.

========

Now American bankers are desperate to find a way to not repay the hundreds of millions of dollars plus interest, held in American banks of Iran's money, they held through the sanctions that Obama lifted.

Note Trump complained loudly about Iran getting money after sanctions were lifted, yet failed to say why they were being paid this money. The truth is that this is Iran's Money held in the western banking system being returned to them. Most of the money returned to Iran was a down payment they made to buy American fighter jets that were never delivered.

Israel is frantic too, not wanting to return $1.1 BILLION it owes Iran for a 1979 joint venture pipeline deal between Iran and Israel (The Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline) – that Israel reneged on after the Shah was ousted

Instead of repaying the money they confiscated/stole 40 years ago, these racketeers would rather force everyone else to waste trillions of dollars and millions of lives on another war

It is blatantly obvious that Iran has kept to the terms of the deal. Even high officials in the American government have confirmed that, along with the monitors and other signatures of the deal – 4 other members of the UN Security Council and the EU representing another 26 countries.

Ridiculous that Trump and other warmongers are claiming they are speaking for the Iranian people against their government. The truth is that Iranians remember their history well and hate almost everything the American Government has done to them. Unlike when the Shah was in power, Iranians now get to democratically vote for the government they want.

Trump bullying all America’s trading partners not to buy any Iranian oil has more to do with increasing market share for Exxon than about Obama's nuclear deal which everyone (but Trump) agrees Iran is in full compliance.

What people need is to be well informed and reasonable and focused on mutually beneficial results.

Re: Attacked on stage

Iran, Terrorism, and Weapons of Mass Destruction
DANIEL BYMAN
Center for Peace and Security Studies
Georgetown University
Washington, DC, USA
and
Saban Center for Middle East Policy
Brookings Institution
Washington, DC, USA
This article reviews Iran’s past and current use of terrorism and assesses why U.S.
attempts to halt Iran’s efforts have met with little success. With this assessment in mind,
it argues that Iran is not likely transfer chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons to
terrorist groups for several reasons. First, providing terrorists with such unconventional
weapons offers Iran few tactical advantages as these groups are able to operate
effectively with existing methods and weapons. Second, Iran has become more cautious
in its backing of terrorists in recent years. And third, Tehran is highly aware that any
major escalation in its support for terrorism would incur U.S. wrath and international
condemnation. The article concludes by offering recommendations for decreasing Iran’s
support for terrorism.
Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran has been one of the world’s most active sponsors
of terrorism. Tehran has armed, trained, financed, inspired, organized, and otherwise
supported dozens of violent groups over the years.1 Iran has backed not only groups in
its Persian Gulf neighborhood, but also terrorists and radicals in Lebanon, the Palestinian
territories, Bosnia, the Philippines, and elsewhere.2 This support remains strong even today:
the U.S. government regularly contends that Iran is tied to an array of radical groups in Iraq.
Yet despite Iran’s very real support for terrorism for more than the last 25 years
and its possession of chemical weapons for over 15 years, Tehran has not transferred
unconventional systems to terrorists. Iran is likely to continue this restraint and not transfer
chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons for several reasons. First, providing terrorists
with such unconventional weapons offers Iran few tactical advantages as these groups are
able to operate effectively with existing methods and weapons. Second, Iran has become
more cautious in its backing of terrorists in recent years. And third, it is highly aware that
any major escalation in its support for terrorism would incur U.S. wrath and international
condemnation.
This article begins by reviewing how Iran has used terrorism in the past and how this
has changed over the years. The article then assesses U.S. attempts to press Iran with regard
Received 15 June 2007; accepted 15 June 2007.
Address correspondence to Dr. Daniel Byman, Director, Center for Peace and Security Studies,
3600 N St. NW, Washington, DC 20057, USA. E-mail: dlb32@georgetown.edu
169
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170 D. Byman
to terrorism and why they have met with little success. With this assessment in mind, the
article argues that, while the author believes Iranian terrorism remains a threat, Tehran is not
likely to pass chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons to terrorists. The article concludes
with recommendations for decreasing Iran’s use of terrorism in general and the chances of
it transferring chemical or other unconventional weapons to terrorists in particular.
Iran’s Past Use of Terrorism
Iran initially began supporting radical groups, including many that embraced terrorism,
after the 1979 Islamic revolution and quickly became the world’s leading state supporter of
terrorism. Exporting the revolution was a leading foreign policy goal, an ambition that led
Tehran to work with a range of radicals around the world. The clerical regime in Tehran
viewed supporting revolutions overseas as part of its revolutionary duty. The theological
justifications for the Iranian revolution espoused by the clerics emphasized the spread of
Islam regardless of state boundaries. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini, shortly
after taking power, declared, “We should try hard to export our revolution to the world…
we [shall] confront the world with our ideology.”3 Indeed, Iran’s constitution calls on its
military forces to “extend the sovereignty of God’s law throughout the world.”4
For Iran’s new leaders, supporting Islam meant supporting revolution. Typifying a
view common to revolutionary regimes, Iran’s leaders saw themselves on the defensive yet
believed that aggressively promoting their revolution was the best means of ensuring its
survival.5 Ayatollah Khomeini declared that “ll the superpowers and the [great] powers
have risen to destroy us. If we remain in an enclosed environment we shall definitely face
defeat.”6 Heady with their own success against the Shah at home, Iranian leaders made
no secret of their belief that “corrupt” and “illegitimate” leaders abroad such as Iraq’s
Saddam Hussain, the Al Saud family in Saudi Arabia, and others, would soon fall as
well.
Immediately following the revolution, Tehran was particularly active in working with
Shi’a Muslim movements around the world. As representatives of the world’s largest Shi’a
nation, Iranian leaders feel a special affinity for the world’s Shi’a. In most countries in
the Muslim world the Shi’a faced oppression and discrimination, and the revolution both
inspired them to take action and to look to Tehran for support. Iran thus backed Shi’a groups
in Iraq, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Kuwait, and elsewhere.
In the eyes of its founders, however, the Iranian revolution was more than simply
a Shi’a movement. Tehran saw itself as the champion of the “dispossessed” around the
world. Thus it embraced an array of left-wing revolutionary movements, many of which
had secular ideologies.
Not surprisingly, this ideological support engendered considerable hostility among
Iran’s neighbors. They regularly condemned Iran, froze or cut trade, formed anti-Iran
alliances, welcomed Iranian dissidents (including several groups that supported terrorism
against Iran) and took other steps designed to weaken and isolate the new regime. Thus
emerged a strategic rivalry between Iran and many of its neighbors in which terrorism and
support for subversion were the major Iranian weapons in its toolbox.
For Iran, supporting subversive movements became a way of weakening and
destabilizing its neighbors as well as spreading its revolution and toppling what in the
eyes of Tehran were illegitimate regimes. In 1981, shortly after the outbreak of the Iranian
revolution, Tehran aided Shi’a radicals of the Islamic Front for the Liberation of Bahrain
in an attempted coup against Bahrain’s ruling Al Khalifa family.
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Iran, Terrorism, and WMD 171
Iran took a similar approach in its support for the Supreme Council of the Islamic
Revolution in Iraq. On taking power, Iranian leaders held a visceral loathing of Saddam
Hussein’s regime in Iraq—a hatred reinforced by Baghdad’s immediate execution of several
prominent Shi’a religious leaders out of fear that they might support an Iranian-style
movement in Iraq itself. Almost immediately after the revolution, Iran began supporting
radicalism in Iraq, a decision that contributed to Baghdad’s decision to invade Iran in 1980.
As the war heated up, Khomeini declared that the path to Jerusalem’s liberation went
through Baghdad. In November 1982 Tehran organized various Iraqi Shi’ite groups under
the umbrella of the Supreme Assembly for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).7 SCIRI
was more than just a guerrilla front to weaken Saddam’s Iraq or an organization trying to kill
Iraqi leaders: it was also a government-in-waiting. As Iran expert R.K. Ramazani contends,
Iran’s goal was to “undermine the Hussein regime and pave the way for the establishment
of an Iranian-type Islamic government in Iraq.”8
In addition to giving Iran a way to weaken its neighbors, terrorism allowed Iran to
influence events well beyond its borders. Lacking aircraft carriers or other military forces
that can deploy thousands of miles away, and with its economy too weak to force far-away
countries to heed their demands, Iranian political protests have often gone unheeded. Iran
has used support for terrorists to project power, particularly in the Arab–Israeli arena but
also against Iraqi targets and in Europe. Up until the early 1990s, Iranian intelligence
services also assassinated Iranian dissidents in Europe.
Iran supported terrorist groups not only to weaken adversaries, but also to have a voice
in the opposition to a particular regime. For example, after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon
and the subsequent U.S. and European troop deployments there, Iran chose to undermine
the existing Shi’a group, Amal, because it had cooperated with Israel. It is interesting to
note that Iran chose to do so even though the organization was well-established and popular.
To undermine Amal, Iranian intelligence agents, diplomats, and members of the Islamic
Revolutionary Guard Corps (as well as Syrian officials) created the Lebanese Hizballah from
a motley assortment of small Shi’ite organizations. Iran helped the fledgling movement train
and indoctrinate new members in the Bekaa Valley and developed an entire infrastructure
there to support it, including social services and a fundraising network. This effort paid off
with the creation of a loyal and effective proxy. As one senior Hizballah official noted in
the early 1980s, “Our relation with the Islamic revolution [in Iran] is one of a junior to a
senior... of a soldier to his commander.”9
Domestic politics also motivate Iran to support radical groups. During the 1980s, Iran
provided support to a range of Shi’a Muslim groups such as the Iraqi Dawa party, the
Islamic Front for the Liberation of Bahrain, and the Tehrik-e Jafariya-e Pakistan in part
because the regime’s legitimacy also depended on its self-proclaimed status as the protector
of Muslims, particularly Shi’as, worldwide. Bolstering this position required clear gestures
of support.
The prestige garnered from support to radicals mattered abroad as well. After the 1979
Islamic revolution, both Saudi Arabia and Iran competed to champion Muslim causes as a
form of influence. Iran saw its support for radical group as a way of demonstrating its bona
fides to other Islamist revolutionaries.
Terrorism, of course, was also a means for Iran to strike the United States and
Israel. With Iranian guidance, the Lebanese Hizballah dramatically captured America’s
attention with devastating suicide attacks on the U.S. embassy in Beirut in April 1983,
where 63 people died, including 17 Americans, and on the U.S. Marine Barracks in
October 1983, where 241 U.S. Marines were killed (a simultaneous attack killed 58 French
peacekeepers). These attacks, and the sense that the peacekeepers had little peace to keep, led
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172 D. Byman
President Reagan to withdraw U.S. troops in February 1984. Hizballah also took numerous
Westerners hostage in the 1980s, executing several of them. Hizballah, often working
through suborganizations with different names, took 17 Americans, 15 Frenchmen, 14
Britons, 7 Swiss, and 7 West Germans hostage, as well as 27 others hostage during the
1980s.10 In March 1992, Hizballah and Iran worked together to bomb the Israeli embassy
in Argentina, killing 29 and in July 1994 attacked the Jewish Community Center in Buenos
Aires, killing 86. Hizballah also aided other groups that shared its agenda. Iran also directed
the attack on the U.S. military facility of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996, killing
17 American troops.11 In addition to its support for Hizballah, Iran has also supported a
wide array of other groups that have attacked Israel. In each of these instances, Tehran was
able to compensate for its military inferiority by relying on terrorism.
Terrorism also offered Iran some degree of deniability in this effort. By working
through proxies, Iran was able to achieve its own interests against the United States, Israel,
or states supporting Iraq without paying the consequences that more direct involvement
might entail.
How Iran Uses Terrorism Today
Iran’s use of terrorism has changed dramatically since the 1980s. Most importantly from a
U.S. point of view, Iran appears not to target Americans directly, although it still retains the
capability to do so and in Iraq some groups with links to Iran have fought with coalition
forces. Iran instead uses terrorism as a form of deterrence, “casing” U.S. embassies and
other facilities to give it a response should the United States step up pressure.12 Tehran also
dramatically cut back on operations in Europe and the Gulf states since the early 1990s.
Iranian officials feared that attacks on Iranian dissidents there would lead to European
support for sanctions and reduce investment in Iran’s economy. In the mid-1990s, Iran’s
then President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani engineered a rapprochement with the Arabian
Gulf states, which led Iran to stop actively trying to overthrow those regimes, though it
retains ties to a number of Shi’a groups there. Taken together, these three shifts represent a
dramatic change in Iran’s support for terrorism.
Today, Iran uses terrorism and support for radicals in several distinct ways. Particularly
important for the United States are Tehran’s close relationship with the Lebanese Hizballah;
support for anti-Israel Palestinian groups; ties to various factions within Iraq; and loose
contacts with Al Qaeda.
The Lebanese Hizballah
Of the many terrorist groups that Iran has sponsored, none is more important to Tehran
than the Lebanese Hizballah.13 Their close relationship is perhaps the strongest and most
effective relationship between a state sponsor and a terrorist group in history. Iran helped
found, organize, and train Hizballah, eventually creating a strong and relatively independent
terrorist group. In exchange, Hizballah has served Iran loyally, striking Iran’s various foreign
enemies, helping assassinate Iranian dissidents, and otherwise advancing the interests of
the Islamic Republic.
Iran, as noted earlier, helped build the movement from the ground up and to this
day plays a major role in sustaining it and its day-to-day operations. Iranian sponsorship
of Hizballah is a major reason why Iran consistently tops the U.S. list of state sponsors
of terrorism. Although exact figures are difficult to verify, Tehran provides perhaps $100
million per year to Hizballah—a figure that may have increased after the summer 2006
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Iran, Terrorism, and WMD 173
Israel–Hizballah war. In addition, Iranian forces train the movement and provide it with
intelligence. Moreover, Hizballah operatives enjoy close ties to Iranian intelligence and
the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which is linked directly to Iranian Supreme
Leader Ali Khamenei. Hizballah’s senior terrorist, Imad Mugniyieh, reportedly enjoys
Iranian citizenship and regularly travels there. Hizballah’s leadership proclaims its loyalty
to Khamenei, and he reportedly serves as an arbiter for group decisions. Iran is particularly
influential with regard to Hizballah activities overseas. Hizballah, for example, stopped its
attacks in Europe as part of a broader Iranian decision to halt attacks there.
In exchange for this aid, Iran gains a weapon against Israel and influence far beyond
its borders. Because of Hizballah, Iran has defied geography and has become a player in
the Middle East peace process. Hizballah also has cells and operatives around the world—a
presence that allows Iran to step up terrorism should it so choose.
Hizballah also offers Iran a form of status. Hassan Nasrallah, Hizballah’s Secretary
General, is perhaps the most popular figure in the entire Arab world. Iran’s support for
Hizballah thus offers the Islamic regime status by association.
Hizballah today is more cautious than in the past, in large part because its earlier
successes have reduced the organization’s incentive to kill large numbers of civilians.
Having forced American and other Western troops out—and then triumphantly expelled
Israel in 2000—Hizballah enjoys remarkable prestige. Much of the popularity the movement
enjoys among the Lebanese population comes from removing what was widely perceived
as a foreign occupier. If the organization were to conduct a sustained campaign outside of
Lebanon, particularly one that led to U.S. retaliation, it would not enjoy similar backing.
The Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon also has led the organization to focus even more on
Lebanon and less on its activities overseas.
Hizballah also has learned from the summer 2006 clashes with Israel. Although the
organization emerged politically triumphant from the brief war, it lost many trained cadre.
Perhaps more important, the war was a political risk for the movement: many Lebanese
turned against it, as did several regional governments. Not surprisingly, Hizballah leaders
noted that the kidnapping operation that led to the war was not intended to produce a
broader conflict.
Hizballah is now better characterized as a guerrilla and political movement that at
times uses terrorism rather than as a pure terrorist group. Hizballah has reduced its direct
involvement in terrorism in recent years even as it retained the potential to act and helped
Palestinians carry out their own terrorist attacks. Hizballah made this shift in part because
it recognized that attacks on civilians that could be labeled as “terrorism” hurt its image
among potential supporters, both inside the region and outside it.14
Palestinian Groups
Iran has long supported Palestinian violence against Israel, and it has continued to do so
since the outbreak of the second intifada in September 2000. For Iran, support for the
Palestinians serves several purposes. First, Iranian leaders have a genuine commitment to
help the Palestinians fight what Tehran regards as an illegitimate colonial regime. Second,
support for the Palestinians enhances Iran’s prestige throughout the Muslim world. Third,
and perhaps most importantly, by disrupting the Israel–Palestine peace process Iran is able
to prevent its isolation in the Muslim world. Tehran has long feared (correctly) that the
United States wanted to isolate it for its rogue behavior. By keeping the Palestinian–Israeli
conflict alive (something that Iran’s support for terrorism helped accomplish in the 1990s),
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174 D. Byman
Tehran was able to divert U.S. pressure (including efforts at regime change) toward others
in the region.
Over the years, Tehran has backed several Palestinian groups, including those linked
to Fatah and the Islamist movement Hamas. Iran gave some money and provided limited
training, often through its proxy, the Lebanese Hizballah. Both movements, however, remain
highly independent of Iran. Tehran’s most important Palestinian proxy, the Palestine Islamic
Jihad, is far more willing to follow Iran’s lead. Palestine Islamic Jihad has proven a
particularly bloody group and remains committed to conducting heinous attacks on Israeli
citizens.
Radicals in Iraq
Iran has a daunting array of interests in Iraq. Tehran and Baghdad have long been rivals
for dominance in the Gulf region. Iran shares a long border with Iraq, and the bitter
war between the two in the 1980s highlighted the security threat that a hostile regime in
Baghdad can pose to Tehran. As the self-proclaimed champion of the world’s Shi’a, Iran
also takes a strong interest in the fate of Iraq’s Shi’a majority: an interest reinforced by
decades of intermarriage among leading clerical families of Iraq and Iran. Tehran also fears
that instability in Iraq could spill over into Iran, inflaming its own Kurdish population or
leading to a refugee crisis. Not surprisingly, Iran has flooded Iraq with intelligence agents,
and members of the Lebanese Hizballah reportedly have also set up at least a temporary
presence there.
Tehran today has particularly close ties to an array of Iraqi Shi’a groups, many of which
are leading actors in the new Iraqi government. Some of Iran’s proxies in the Iran–Iraq
war are now major players in the government. Although they are not Iranian pawns, they
have close relations with many leading figures in Iran. For the most part, Iran has tried to
unite Iraqi Shi’a, recognizing that the U.S.-backed political process serves many Iranian
interests.
Tehran’s contacts in Iraq, however, go well beyond the Shi’a community. Tehran
recognizes that in Iraq local influence is as important as influence with the central
government and almost certainly has ties at a local level with various militias and tribal
leaders. Iranian officials have longstanding ties to several Kurdish groups and reportedly
have tried to reach out to Sunni radicals, despite their anti-Shi’a agenda. Iran has also tried
to cultivate Shi’a leaders such as Moqtada al-Sadr, even though he is often vociferously
anti-Iranian. For Iran, having ties to a wide range of groups gives it additional leverage as
well as options should one proxy prove unreliable or should the situation on the ground
suddenly change.
Although some groups tied to Iran have at times attacked Americans or pro-U.S. actors
in Iraq (presumably with Tehran’s knowledge and perhaps with its encouragement), Tehran
has at times been a force for stabilization. In part, this restraint is because the leadership
that has emerged in Iraq in recent months is close to Tehran’s ideal. Iran, however, is also
concerned that greater instability in Iraq could spill over into Iran and fears the potential
for U.S. retaliation. Thus, while Tehran and Washington do not have the same interests in
Iraq, Iran has not turned Iraq into another Lebanon— although it could easily do so if it
sees the United States as moving aggressively against Tehran.
Iran’s ability to wreak havoc in Iraq is immense, however. Fortunately for the United
States, anti-U.S. violence in the Shi’a parts of Iraq has been more limited than in Sunni areas
like Anbar province. But a force of only a few hundred fighters could overturn this tenuous
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Iran, Terrorism, and WMD 175
peace, since U.S. forces are currently overstretched as they focus on the Sunni and mixedpopulation parts of Iraq. This ability to affect hostilities in Iraq is risky for Iran, but it also
gives Tehran additional leverage over a future Iraqi government as well as the United States.
Iran might increase the violence in Iraq if it looks like the United States is trying to remove
Iran’s influence, if the United States appears determined to stay indefinitely, or if the United
States hardens its position in other areas, such as the standoff over Iran’s nuclear programs.
Al Qaeda and Sunni Jihadists
Iran has long pursued ties to Sunni jihadists, including members of Al Qaeda. The 9/11
Commission reports that in 1991 or 1992 Al Qaeda and Iran had contacts in Sudan and that
individuals linked to Al Qaeda received training in Iran and Lebanon in the early 1990s.
Several of the 9/11 hijackers transited Iran, taking advantage of its policy of not stamping
the passports of those traveling from Afghanistan—a practice that hindered Saudi security
agencies’ ability to detect the terrorists when they later returned to the Kingdom.
Since 9/11, Iran has cooperated fitfully with the United States in fighting various
Sunni jihadists. At times Iran has provided considerable cooperation, such as sending many
jihadists back to their home countries, where pro-U.S. security services can question them.
Tehran, however, has allowed several very senior Al Qaeda figures, such as Saif al-Adel,
Saad bin Ladin, and Abu Hafs the Mauritanian, to remain in Iran. Although Iran supposedly
monitors individuals linked to Al Qaeda, some reports indicate they played a major role
in the May 2003 attacks in Saudi Arabia—suggesting Iran is not exercising true control
over them. Iran claims it has subsequently clamped down on those suspected of links to the
Saudi attacks, but its long-term intentions with regard to Al Qaeda are still unclear and its
past actions in this regard are cause for concern.
Iran appears to be keeping its options open with regard to the jihadists. On the one hand,
it recognizes the heavy price to be paid if it openly backs them. Moreover, many jihadists
regard the Shi’a as apostates deserving death. Sectarian violence is a growing problem in
Iraq. On the other hand, the jihadists are a potent weapon for Iran, which historically has
tried to keep as many options open as possible. At the very least, Iran seeks to use the
jihadists in its custody as a bargaining chip. Indeed, it probably hoped to swap the senior
Al Qaeda figures for members of the anti-Tehran terrorist group the Mujahedin-e Khalq,
who were long based in Iraq and, after the U.S. removal of Saddam’s regime, came under
U.S. control.
Keeping Options Open Elsewhere
Although Iran has cut ties to terrorist groups in the Gulf and Europe, it retains a wide
network and contacts with many radicals in these countries. Such contacts provide Iranian
officials with options should they seek to use terrorism in these areas again. Moreover, these
ties are a deterrent, allowing Tehran to tacitly threaten the United States or other countries
that might seek to act against the clerical regime.
Sources of Restraint
Although Iran’s support for terrorists groups have made them more lethal (particularly with
regard to Hizballah), Tehran is also a source of restraint on its proxies. Most importantly,
Tehran takes seriously the threat of escalation from Israel, the United States, or other
potential victims should its proxies wreak massive violence. Iran stopped supporting
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176 D. Byman
attacks by Gulf Shi’a on U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf after the 1996 Khobar Towers
bombing—despite a continued desire to expel Americans from the region—in part because
it feared an increase in political, economic, and perhaps even military pressure. After the
bombing, Iranian leaders worried they might have crossed the line they had long walked
between confrontation and provocation. Similarly, Iran did not let the SCIRI make an all-out
push to topple Saddam’s regime when it was reeling after the 1991 Gulf War—despite the
massacres of Iraqi Shi’a—because Tehran feared a confrontation with the victorious U.S.
and other coalition forces.15
The restraints states impose are often best observed in what terrorist groups do not
do. As Iran sought to improve its reputation in Europe and the Middle East, the Lebanese
Hizballah curtailed its attacks on targets in Europe and on Israeli targets worldwide, focusing
instead on expelling Israel from the security zone along the Lebanon–Israel border: a
struggle widely seen as legitimate in many parts of the world.
The Limits of U.S. Pressure
The problem of terrorism has plagued the U.S.–Iran relationship since the Islamic
revolution. Arguably, the United States pressured Iran more than almost any other country
in the world during the 1980s and 1990s. After the hostage crisis, the United States
cut diplomatic ties to Tehran. During Iran’s war with Iraq, the United States provided
intelligence, financial assistance, and other forms of aid to help Baghdad survive and
eventually forced Iran to the negotiating table.16
At times, tension escalated into outright conflict. In response to Iranian attacks on U.S.
re- flagged oil tankers in 1988, the United States sank several ships in the Iranian Navy and
also destroyed several Iranian oil platforms. The United States also accidentally downed an
Iranian civilian airliner, killing almost 300—a mistake that still angers many Iranians. U.S.
strikes were, however, successful in getting the Iranians to cease their efforts at intimidating
Iraq’s allies in the Gulf.
Following the 1991 war with Iraq, the United States continued to maintain a large
military presence in the Gulf. The U.S. troop presence in the Gulf varied between 8000
and 25000. The United States also established a series of basing and prepositioning
arrangements with several of the Gulf monarchies. This presence was in large part intended
to deter Iraqi aggression and contain the regime in Baghdad. However, implicitly—and at
times explicitly—the United States also sought to use this presence to deter any Iranian
adventurism and weaken Iran’s regional influence.
The United States also took several covert measures to counter Iran. In 1995, the
United States Congress proposed $20 million to overthrow Iran’s government. This attempt
at rather overt covert action, however, does not appear to have made any significant progress.
In 1997, in contrast, the United States launched “Operation Sapphire,” which, according to
USA Today, led to the successful identification and expulsion of Iranian intelligence officers
around the world.17
Although sanctions have proven the cornerstone of U.S. policy toward Iran since
the 1979 Islamic revolution, they have not persuaded Tehran to abandon its support for
terrorism. Immediately after the revolution, Iranian students and other activists seized the
U.S. embassy, holding 66 (eventually 52) Americans hostage. In response to this and other
provocations, the United States froze $12 billion in Iranian assets, suspended hundreds of
millions of dollars worth of arms purchases, and banned imports from Iran. Although the
UN failed to join in these measures and did not require its member states to punish Iran,
Western European states and Japan also banned the export of arms, halted new contracts
from being signed, and limited investment in the revolutionary state.18
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Iran, Terrorism, and WMD 177
U.S. sanctions continued even after the hostage crisis ended. Washington remained
hostile to the Iranian regime as it began an ambitious effort to export its revolution, backing
radical groups, including many that used terrorism, throughout the Middle East. In addition
to punishing Iran for its support of terrorism, Washington used sanctions to address other
grievances: to curtail Iran’s weapons of mass destruction programs, to limit Iran’s rebuilding
of its conventional military arsenal, and to dissuade Iran from opposing the Middle East
Peace Process.19
With each passing year, the number and type of U.S. sanctions increased. In 1984, Iran
was added to the state sponsor list, which brought a host of mandatory economic restrictions.
In particular, the United States denied Iran arms—a serious loss, as the pre-revolutionary
regime relied almost entirely on U.S. weapons systems and was engaged in a life-or-death
struggle with the Iraqi regime from 1980 to 1988. In 1987, the United States stopped most
imports from Iran due to terrorism. This policy did not end with the end of the Cold War,
however. In 1995 President Clinton prohibited investment in Iran’s oil industry. The United
States also opposed an oil pipeline that would cross Iranian territory, blocked international
bank loans, and opposed Iran’s memberships in international organizations.
The United States also extended the reach of sanctions beyond Iran, punishing those
countries that assisted or invested in Iran. In 1996, the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death
Penalty Act outlawed any financial relations with Iran and also prohibited assistance to
countries that provided military aid to Iran. That same year, Congress passed the Iran-Libya
Sanctions Act (ILSA), which imposed penalties on foreign companies that invested more
than $20 million in Iran’s oil industry.
As U.S. pressure increased in the mid-1990s, several European states tried to foster
moderation in Iran through a process known as “critical dialogue.” European states—despite
having experienced Tehran’s terrorism more recently than the United States—did not see
Iran as a major threat. Moreover, some European leaders believed that dialogue would
reduce Iran’s hostility.20
Even after the beginning of “critical dialogue,” Iran continued to use terrorism in the
early and mid-1990s and as a result risked multilateral sanctions. The killing of Iranian
dissidents in Europe and the religious decree calling for the murder of British author
Salman Rushdie both strained relations with European capitals. U.S. diplomatic pressure
on Europe to act against Iran further increased the pressure. The Khobar Towers bombing
also increased the risk of a strong U.S. response and gave Washington additional leverage
to use with its allies when it pressed them on terrorism.
Over time, however, the cumulative effect of sanctions and isolation—and, more
importantly, the risk that additional attacks would lead to increased pressure—led Iran
to reduce its direct involvement in terrorism. Fearing that this growing pressure would
jeopardize his government’s economic program and isolate his regime, Rafsanjani drew
back. He put a stop to the assassination of dissidents in Europe and mended fences with the
Gulf monarchies. The lesson learned was that Rafsanjani and other Iranian leaders proved
particularly sensitive to the risk of a joint U.S.–European front.21
U.S. pressure eased somewhat in the late 1990s, as the United States hoped that the new,
reformist government of President Khatami elected in 1997 would lead to a rapprochement
with Iran. In 1997, the Clinton administration removed Iran from the list of states involved
in narcotics trafficking and placed the Mujahedin-e Khalq, a murderous terrorist group that
had enjoyed some sympathy in Washington because it was opposed to the clerical regime,
on the initial listing of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. In 1998, the Clinton administration
issued a waiver to ILSA for the French oil company, Total, allowing it to invest in Iran’s
oil industry and averting a transatlantic crisis. Secretary Albright also gave a speech that
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178 D. Byman
welcomed Khatami’s election and called for an improved relationship. One year later,
permission was given to export food and medicine to Iran. In 2000, the Secretary of State
lifted restrictions on the import of Iranian carpets, caviar, and pistachios. For the most part,
these gestures had little impact on Iran’s economy but were intended as symbolic gestures
of U.S. openness in addition to paving the way for further rapprochement.
Most importantly, however, the Clinton administration decided not to retaliate for the
Khobar Towers attack despite considerable evidence of Iranian complicity. Administration
officials reasoned that retaliation would strengthen the opponents of reform in Iran.
Moreover, limited military strikes in retaliation for terrorist attacks historically have had a
poor record of success. Finally, the passage of time since the 1996 attacks and the eventual
determination of Iranian culpability made it harder to generate international support for any
retaliation.
Although unsuccessful in stopping terrorism, the range of U.S. sanctions did hurt Iran
considerably. Financial pressure, in particular Washington’s successful efforts to block
IMF and World Bank funding to Iran, made Iran’s debt crisis more debilitating. Until
the 1998 waiver for Total, ILSA also discouraged foreign investment, which along with
other sanctions delayed the development of Iran’s dilapidated oil infrastructure. Meghan
O’Sullivan, however, contends that sanctions are only a small part of the explanation for
Iran’s economic morass. She notes that the plunge in the price of oil (in the 1980s and
1990s), along with the war with Iraq, and political mismanagement would have led to a
crisis in any event.22
Although the economic impact of sanctions on Iran was damaging, it did not affect the
political orientation of the regime, particularly with regard to terrorism. Iran did shift its
terrorism away from Europe and the Gulf and toward Israel, but this shift did not advance,
and arguably set back, overall U.S. objectives. Moreover, the sanctions increased Iran’s
hostility toward the United States, enabling the regime to cite sanctions as “proof” that
Washington sought to crush the Islamic revolution.23
Iran was able to resist sanctions for several reasons. First, and most importantly, the
costs were manageable, allowing Iran to offset much of the potential damage. Although
the United States was a major market for Iranian products, Tehran diversified its trade
partners and worked through third countries to reach the United States. Second, Iran’s major
export—oil—is in essence a global commodity, and the cutoff of one market to one supplier
has no significant impact on a country’s ability to gain the maximize price for its exports.
Because Iran’s regime depended for legitimacy on Islamic radicalism and Persian
nationalism, both of which opposed any perceived kowtowing to Washington, the costs of
complying with U.S. pressure were considerable. Iranian leaders risked being branded as
puppets of the United States if they gave into U.S. pressure, a particularly heavy charge
as the regime came to power in part on a wave of anti-Americanism. The consolidation of
conservative power in Iran in recent years, symbolized by the election in June of Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad as Iran’s new president, will only worsen this problem.
The cost to the United States was also considerable. Sanctions, of course, meant
that U.S. companies lost trade and investment opportunities. Indirect sanctions proved
particularly costly. ILSA led to vociferous protests from European and other governments.24
Iran and WMD Terrorism
The picture painted thus far is not pretty, but it is not hopeless either. One bright spot is that
Iran’s past behavior suggests it is not likely to provide chemical, biological, radiological,
or nuclear weapons to a terrorist group. Because these weapons can be devastating—or,
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Iran, Terrorism, and WMD 179
at the very least, psychologically terrifying even when the number directly affected is
low—they are far more likely to provoke escalation. In addition, these weapons are widely
seen as heinous, potentially de-legitimating both the group and its state sponsor. Perhaps
not surprisingly, Iran has not transferred chemical or biological weapons or agents to its
proxies, despite its capability to do so.
Tehran has also sought at least a degree of deniability in its use of terrorism—a reason
it often works through the Lebanese Hizballah to this day when backing terrorists. As Iran
expert Kenneth Pollack notes, a chemical or biological attack (to say nothing of a nuclear
strike) would lead the victim to respond with full force almost immediately.25 The use of
proxies or cutouts would not shield Iran from retaliation.
September 11 has also had a limiting effect. The attacks occurred over a year after the
Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon. The tremendous worldwide concern about terrorism, and
the active U.S. campaign against Al Qaeda, made Iran’s proxies cautious about any attacks
that would lead them to be compared to Al Qaeda.
Nor do Iran’s favored proxies actively seek weapons of mass destruction as does Al
Qaeda. They appear to recognize the “red line” drawn by the United States and other powers
with regard to terrorist use of these weapons. Moreover, their current tactics and systems
enable them to inflict considerable casualties. Indeed, some of the more available types of
chemical and biological agents would be difficult for even a skilled terrorist group to use
to inflict mass casualties, although the psychological impact would be considerable from
even a limited attack with unconventional weapons.
Tehran is not likely to change its behavior on this score except in the most extreme
circumstances. Traditional terrorist tactics such as assassinations and truck bombs have
proven effective for Tehran. Only in the event of a truly grave threat such as an invasion of
Iran would many of Tehran’s traditional cautions go out the window.
Recommendations
The United States should consider several steps to ensure Tehran does not provide chemical
or biological weapons or other unconventional systems to terrorists and to decrease its
support for terrorism in general.
Most obviously, the United States must work to maintain pressure with regard to any
transfer of unconventional systems. This is a clear success for U.S. policy. Preventing any
transfer of unconventional weapons was a concern that received tremendous attention in
the Clinton administration and even more from the Bush administration after 9/11. As a
result, states today are more cautious than ever in their support for terrorism and recognize
that providing chemical, biological, nuclear, or radiological weapons would cross a U.S.
“red line.”
In addition to continuing this pressure at a diplomatic level, the link between terrorists
and weapons of mass destruction must remain a top intelligence priority. Although it is
difficult to inflict mass casualties with many chemical, biological, or radiological agents or
weapons, the psychological impact—and thus the effect on the world economy and overall
confidence in government—would still be considerable.
A priority must also be given to cutting any ties between Iran and Al Qaeda. In contrast
to Iran’s traditional proxies, Al Qaeda does not recognize the U.S. “red lines” and actively
seeks weapons of mass destruction. The United States must make clear to Tehran that it
will not tolerate continued harboring of senior Al Qaeda members or any Iranian ties, even
indirect ones, to the terrorist group.
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180 D. Byman
Effective pressure and intelligence efforts cannot be maintained by the United States
alone. The relative failure of pressure on Iran suggests the importance of multilateralism.
When Iran feared in the mid-1990s that the United States would succeed in getting European
states to join in sanctions, it reduced its support for terrorism in Europe. U.S. power alone
has proved far less effective.
To decrease Iran’s use of terrorism in general, the United States must develop a
more nuanced approach to state terrorism. This requires giving the executive branch more
flexibility in its implementation of punishments linked to the “state sponsors” list. In
particular, the executive branch should be given more power to reward states that are
improving their behavior with regard to terrorism, even though they fall short of all the
desired criteria.
The converse is that U.S. categories and lists should recognize, and punish, other types
of Iranian support for terrorism. In particular, Tehran’s inactions should be noted as well
as its actions, particularly the Iranian regime’s unwillingness to expel senior Al Qaeda
members to countries where they will be brought to justice. The United States should also
hold Iran more accountable when it uses proxies such as the Lebanese Hizballah to sponsor
Palestinian terrorism.
Finally, policymakers should recognize that U.S. options with regard to Iranian support
for terrorism are limited. The United States has other vital concerns with regard to
Iran—both its nuclear program and its activities in Iraq—and pressing hard on terrorism
may jeopardize any progress, however limited, in these areas. Iran has shown itself able
to resist U.S. economic pressure in the past and is likely to do so in the future as well.
Limited military strikes would do little to damage Iran’s capacity to conduct terrorism and
would almost certainly increase its activities, both out of revenge and out of a sense that
the United States is irrevocably hostile. The best bet for the United States is to continue
to try to shore up allied support to increase pressure on Tehran and otherwise ensure that
counterterrorism remains a priority in U.S. policy toward Iran.
Notes
1. Parts of this article draw on my recent book, Daniel Byman, Deadly Connections: States
that Sponsor Terrorism (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005).
2. Shaul Bakhash, for example, claims that in the 1980s Iran directly aided Muslim radicals
in Malaysia and the Philippines, and that its example inspired Shi’ites in North Yemen, Saudi
Arabia, Turkey, and Pakistan. Bakhash, Reign of the Ayatollahs (New York: Basic Books, 1986), pp.
235–236. Michael Eisenstadt notes that Iran has worked with Islamists such as Hamas, the Palestine
Islamic Jihad, the Turkish Islamic Action, Kurdish Hezbollah, the Islamic Group in Egypt, al-Nahda
in Tunisia, and the Islamic Salvation Front in Algeria, as well as radical secular groups like the
PFLP-GC and the Kurdish Workers Party. Michael Eisenstadt, Iranian Military Power (Washington,
DC: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 1996), p. 72.
3. As quoted in Anoushiravan Ehteshami, After Khomeini (New York: Routledge, 1995),
p. 131.
4. As quoted in Bakhash, Reign of the Ayatollahs, p. 233.
5. For a review of the war-prone tendencies of revolutionary states, see Stephen Walt,
Revolution and War (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1994).
6. As quoted in R. K. Ramazani, Revolutionary Iran: Challenge and Response in the Middle
East (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985), p. 24.
7. International Crisis Group, “Iraq’s Shiites under Occupation” (September 2003), pp. 12–13.
Branches of the Da’wa party initially joined SCIRI, as did the Organization of Islamic Action.
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Iran, Terrorism, and WMD 181
SCIRI accepted Ayatollah Khomeini as its spiritual leader. Iran’s attempt to dominate the movement,
however, alienated many Da’wa members, leading parts of the organization to leave the movement.
8. Ramazani, Revolutionary Iran, p. 37.
9. As quoted in Martin Kramer, “The Moral Logic of Hizballah,” in Walter Reich, ed.,
Origins of Terrorism: Psychologies, Ideologies, Theologies, States of Mind (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press), p. 138.
10. Hala Jaber, Hezbollah: Born with a Vengeance (New York: Columbia University Press,
1997), p. 113.
11. Iran sponsored Saudi Hizballah, which carried out the bombing, and also trained cell
members. One suspect detained by the FBI and later deported to Saudi Arabia noted that the IRGC
recruited him and that an IRGC leader directed several operations in the Kingdom. The suspects also
worked with the Iranian Embassy in Damascus for logistical support. For a review, see Elsa Walsh,
“Louis Freeh’s Last Case,” The New Yorker, 14 May 2001, pp. 68–79.
12. Paul Pillar, Terrorism and U.S. Foreign Policy (Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution,
2001), p. 159.
13. Iranian-linked groups frequently use the label “Hizballah,” leading to much confusion. In
Iran, “Hizballahis” are associated with pro-regime militants, many of whom fought street battles
against rival leftist or other organizations in the early days of the revolution. Over time, this term
became a label used to signify loyalty to the Islamic regime. Hizballah movements have reportedly
appeared in Kuwait, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia, among other countries. These movements often have
links to Iran, but have few close ties to the Lebanese Hizballah. Other groups that are not linked in
any way to Tehran, such as Turkish Hizballah, have from time to time adopted the name “Hizballah.”
14. Judith Palmer Harik, Hezbollah: The Changing Face of Terrorism (New York: I.B. Tauris,
2004), pp. 2–4.
15. Ehteshami, After Khomeini, p. 152.
16. In 1983, the United States initiated “Operation Staunch” to prevent Iran from receiving
arms. This hindered the war effort against Iraq, making it far harder to buy arms, particularly from
America, formerly Iran’s major supplier. Washington also provided limited support to Iranian exiles
in an attempt to weaken the regime. Such efforts hindered Iran, although the reason for the war’s
end was primarily the horrendous costs on both sides and mutual exhaustion. Magnus Ranstorp,
Hiz‘ballah in Lebanon: The Politics of the Western Hostage Crisis (New York: St. Martin’s Press,
1997), p. 117.
17. Barbara Slavin, “Officials: U.S. ‘Outed’ Iran’s Spies in 1997,” USA Today, 30 March 2004.
18. Meghen O’Sullivan, Shrewd Sanctions: Statecraft and State Sponsors of Terrorism
(Washington, DC: Brookings, 2003), pp. 48–49. The European sanctions, however, had several
loopholes that made them far stronger on paper than in reality. Although they banned new contracts
with the Islamic republic, they allowed existing contracts to be “expanded,” in essence allowing new
sales. The rather weak nature of these sanctions contributed to the Carter administration’s decision
to opt for a rescue mission, as they believed international support would not be forthcoming.
19. Ibid., pp. 47–49.
20. Ibid., p. 90.
21. Gary Sick, “Iran: Confronting Terrorism,” Washington Quarterly 26(4) (October 2003),
pp. 83–98.
22. O’Sullivan, Shrewd Sanctions, pp. 61, 67–72.
23. Ibid., p. 86.
24. Ibid., p. 55.
25. Kenneth Pollack, The Persian Puzzle (New York: Random House, 2004), pp. 420–421.

Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

Re: Attacked on stage

The United States has engaged in various conflicts portraying the “enemy” to be savage, brutish, and not caring for humanity. While depicting themselves as the defenders of freedom, liberty, and all that is good in the world. But in many cases, this narrative that Washington spins is only to ensure public and political support for the overthrowing of regimes which they are not fond of.

Take the Gulf War as an example. The propaganda that the American public was bombarded by was to magnitude unseen before, with media censorship reigning supreme as the military was trying to overcome the issues experienced with public opinion during the Vietnam War. The information many journalists received came directly from military organised events and only certain journalists were allowed to interview military personnel, with senior officers present of course. The media freedom surrounding the Gulf War was carefully managed to ensure public support for the war remained and that no opposition formed.

All the while, Iraqi people were being pummelled with bombs dropped by coalition forces and starved to death by grotesque U.S. sanctions. Reports conducted by UNICEF in 1999, have stated that around 500,000 Iraqi children died as a consequence of the sanctions. And the once, relatively, stable and secular Iraqi state was demolished and sent back to the stone age, laying the foundations for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Madeleine Albright, when asked about her thoughts on the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children and asked if it was worth it? She responded with:

“I think that is a very hard choice, but the price, we think, the price is worth it.”

U.S. Support for the Mujahideen

Washington has supported radical religious and political groups all over the globe in order to secure their economic and military hegemony. This has occurred time and time again, take the U.S. backing of the mujahideen against the Soviet Union towards the end of the 20th century as an example.

The CIA program was codenamed Operation Cyclone and lasted from 1979 to 1989. This covert operation conducted by the U.S. was one of the most expensive and longest in CIA history, at one point reaching above $600 million per year. The plot was concocted by National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who sought to bleed the Soviet Union from their underbelly by arming and funding various mujahideen groups in Afghanistan through Pakistan’s (Washington’s ally at the time due to the issues with Iran) Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). This proved to be majorly problematic as ISI provided most of the funding to groups that espoused radical Islamic beliefs and who were also favoured by the Pakistani government.

These covert operations saw the backing of some unsavoury characters like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who met directly with CIA officials and was responsible for various atrocities, such as the killing of civilians and the shelling of Kabul with American weapons, resulting in 2,000 causalities. Furthermore, Hekmatyar was known to hold good relations with the global face of terrorism, Osama Bin Laden, who benefitted indirectly from CIA funding of Arab-Afghan training camps in Pakistan. One of Bin Laden’s closest associates in the 1980s was Afghan war leader, Jalaluddin Haqqani, who received direct cash payments from the CIA and Haqqani’s network also played a crucial role in the creation and formation of Al-Qaeda.

These covert ventures led to serious blowbacks for Washington as political scientist Chalmers Johnson has suggested, asserting that the U.S. backed mujahideen played role in the 9/11 attacks. And even former secular Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, criticised Washington, telling then-President George H. W. Bush, that:

“You are creating a Frankenstein.”

The U.S. support of radical Islamic groups which worked with Bin Laden and gave birth to a movement that would otherwise not of had global reach was it not for Washington, led to a magnitude of issues one of which being the unlawful spying on law-abiding Muslim Americans under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. And the catastrophic “War on Terror” that only led to further death and destruction, with the final bill of Operation Cyclone costing U.S. taxpayers some $3 billion dollars.

One of the engineers of this covert operation, Zbigniew Brzezinski, when asked how he felt about sponsoring known religious zealots and causing untold misery to a nation which previously was secular, had free education and healthcare, Brzezinski replied with:

“What was more important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of central Europe and the end of the Cold war?”

Washington, as we have noted, played a significant role in fostering much of the radical Islamic groups we have commonly seen blasted across headlines and cited as the reason for the “War on Terror”. But the history of America’s involvement in sovereign nations is as old as the nation itself, as is seen by Washington’s continuous involvement in Central and South America.

The U.S. continues to be on the wrong side of history, as we see, with the backing and funding of the Contras, a right-wing terrorist group, in Nicaragua throughout the latter part of the 20th century. The Contras were engaged in a guerrilla war against the socialist government of Nicaragua, even after the Sandinista’s (the socialist party) won democratically in 1984, the result was also supported by various non-governmental organisations, declaring the results as legitimate, despite Washington claiming otherwise.

The U.S. backed the Contras because they saw the rise of the Sandinista’s as a threat to their economic interests in the country as well as getting caught up in a larger political issue of the times, the Cold War. The Contras were heavily dependent upon the United States and if Washington did not sponsor the right-wing terror group financially or militarily it is safe to say it would cease to exist.

The U.S. supplied the terrorist group with military training, teaching the groups how to engage in guerrilla warfare and how to utilise terrorist tactics, along with providing, weaponry, intelligence, and target kill lists. Washington also provided substantial financial aid, in 1982 Congress gave the thumbs up to the CIA for a $19 million military aid package. Then in 1984, Congress gave another green light for further aid packages to the Contras, this one costing $24 million. Also, the danger posed by Nicaragua was practically non-existent as a report by the Bureau of Intelligence and Research reiterated, finding Reagan’s statements about Soviet influence in Nicaragua to be exaggerated.

The Regan administration's staunch support for this terrorist organisation led to a major political scandal known as, the Iran Contra Affair 1985–87 (in short, the illegal sale of arms to Iran and using the proceeds to fund the Contras, without Congressional approval) and wider illegal covert operations, bringing in tens of millions of dollars.

The Contras were engaged in countless human rights violations and despite this Washington knowingly continued to support this terrorist organisation. The atrocities committed by the U.S. backed group consisted of mass executions of civilians, with Washington even encouraging the murder of civilians in some cases, as well as, the use of terrorist tactics. In 1985 an article published by Newsweek outlined the crimes being committed by the Contras. The article was entitled “Execution in the Jungle” and was written by conservative student and admirer of the Contras, Frank Wohl, who was travelling with them at the time in the jungle. Wohl states:

“The victim dug his own grave, scooping the dirt out with his hands… He crossed himself. Then a contra executioner knelt and rammed a k-bar knife [an American military knife] into his throat. A second enforcer stabbed at his jugular, then his abdomen. When the corpse was finally still, the contras threw dirt over the shallow grave — and walked away.”

But much of these atrocities were downplayed by the Reagan administration and U.S. media, who were engaging in white propaganda, in hopes, of legitimising their efforts of backing a right-wing terror group; a tactic Washington has continued into the 21st century.

The actual reason, according to Oxfam, that Washington initiated a trade embargo against Nicaragua, and painted the Central American nation as an immediate security risk was because the nation posed “the threat of a good example”. This is a line that Kermit D. Johnson also took in his 1997 study on low-intensity U.S. warfare. Johnson declared:

“It was alarming that in just a few months after the Sandinista revolution, Nicaragua received international acclaim for its rapid progress in the fields of literacy and health. It was alarming that a socialist-mixed-economy state could do in a few short months what the Somoza dynasty, a U.S. client state, could not do in 45 years! It was truly alarming that the Sandinistas were intent on providing the very services that establish a government’s political and moral legitimacy.”

The operations conducted in Nicaragua by the U.S. were found by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 1986 to of broken international law by supporting the Contras and that Washington should be held responsible for the human rights abuses. The operations pursued to the South of the American border was part of a larger mission, codenamed, Operation Condor. This program lasted from 1968 to 1989 and targeted those on the left of the political spectrum, resulting in at least 60,000 deaths, with over 400,000 being imprisoned, and at least 30,000 disappearances. The primary aim of this operation was the overthrow of regimes that did not align with U.S. interests. Seeing Washington engage in massive levels of political repression and state terror, especially once right-wing dictators were successfully installed.

More recently, however, with the crisis that arose in Syria following the alleged “Arab Spring” those that wanted regime change saw their opportunity. As soon as the disturbances began to occur within Syria, Western powers like the U.S. began rubbing their hands with excitement, in hopes, of overthrowing Bashar al-Assad and installing a government more favourable to their interests.

The way in which Washington sought to do this was by supporting questionable rebel groups, who were, more often than not, affiliated with Al-Qaeda and other terrorist factions, to beat Assad into submission and destroy the once relatively stable and secular nation.

The U.S. covert operation was codenamed, Timber Sycamore, and was launched in 2012 and officials have suggested it phased out in 2017. The primary goal of this program was to provide militant rebels who opposed Assad’s regime, most of whom had affiliations with radical religious groups (like ISIS or Al-Qaeda) or were religious zealots themselves (such as with Al-Nusra Front which is a part of Al-Qaeda), with military training and $7 billion dollars worth of weaponry.

Washington backed “moderate” groups like Jaysh al-Islam (who are also supported by Saudi Arabia) whose leader Zahran Alloush, son of a Salafi cleric from Saudi Arabia, had stated that the ideological differences between him and Al-Qaeda are only skin deep and insisted his commitment to an Islamic state. Alloush has even declared that he intended on ethnically cleansing Syria of Shi’ites and Alawites once he consolidates control, as he sees these groups as “enemies of Islam”. Alloush and his team of jihadi bandits also committed various human rights abuses. In 2015, Alawite hostages were taken and placed into cages on the back of pick-up trucks and used as human shields, to deter Syrian government bombing.

Other alleged “moderate” groups which the U.S. backed was the major radical Islamist group, Ahrar al-Sham, which had been founded by Abu Khalid al-Suri. Al-Suri had fought alongside Bin Laden in Afghanistan and has been referred to by a Spanish court as playing a central role in Al-Qaeda’s 2004 Madrid train bombings. But despite all this, Washington continued to back Al-Sham, with national security “professionals” describing the group as:

“an al-Qaeda linked group worth befriending.”

Another group that benefitted, substantially, from operation Timber Sycamore was Al-Nusra Front, who are a part of Al-Qaeda. Al-Nusra gained large amounts of weaponry, including U.S. assault rifles, mortars, and other explosives like grenades, from this covert operation initiated by Washington. These groups that America backed were, quite frequently, fighting side by side with these Al-Qaeda affiliated radicals who inadvertently received weaponry from these U.S. backed groups.

The United States also aided various radical religious zealots in pursuit of their aim, the overthrow of Assad, even the West’s alleged arch-nemesis, ISIS. This is made clear by an admission made by Former Secretary of State John Kerry, who suggested that Washington used ISIS as a tool in subduing the Syrian government and applying the necessary pressure to negotiate Assad’s eventual removal. A similar tactic was used by the U.S. in Afghanistan during the Soviet-Afghan War.

The events that unfolded led to many critics questioning Washington's role in the region, such as American journalist Max Blumenthal, who suggested that:

“No matter how far the Syrian armed opposition lurched toward jihadism, there always seemed to be foreign policy pundits in Washington eager to promote them.”

Since the inception of the United States, it has proceeded to meddle in sovereign nations, undermine democracy and freedom, something the goliath allegedly cares so much for. Be it the Middle East, Central and South America, or even Europe for that matter, Washington has been hell-bent on constructing a global order where they are on top. In the process of forming their global hegemony, the U.S. has funded terrorism in the far corners of the globe, and in the maintaining of their power continue to do so.

Re: Attacked on stage

Nothing so pathetic as a muslim apologist.

Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

Re: Attacked on stage

You can lick my fucking balls while ALLAH shits on your face, faggot

Re: Attacked on stage

There is no allah.

And you have no balls.

You are however full of shit.

Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

Re: Attacked on stage

I will fuck in you in the Ass while ALLAH shits down your throat faggot

Re: Attacked on stage



Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

Re: Attacked on stage

Re: Attacked on stage



Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

Re: Attacked on stage

You mad bro?

Re: Attacked on stage



Conman IS exactly the 'useful idiot' Marx envisioned

Re: Attacked on stage

You mad bro?
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