UPDATE: Shin Bet has arrested Muhammad Abu Ali, a 20 year old Israeli-Arab resident of Qalansuwa, on charges of using his Israeli residency to help three members of a Palestinian terrorist Islamic Jihad cell that planned to attack IDF soldiers. Ali was actually born in Tulkarm in Samaria–but had been granted Israeli residency as part of the Family Reunification Act.
Of course the news media in Israel obsessively reports news about Iran all the time–which is understandable in light of the constant Iranian threats to wipe Israel off the face of the planet. This morning, however, the news from the Israeli media and world media is even more intense than usual.
Herewith a sampling of Iranian-related statements coupled with your humble servant’s analysis:
1. Iranian Defense Minister, Ahmad Vahdi was speaking on Iranian TV yesterday at an “unveiling ceremony” for a new laser-guided artillery shell named the Basir (translated “insightful”) . Vahdi had this to say:
“[Iran] has developed laser-guided artillery shells that can identify and hit moving targets. Besides America and Russia, there are only three other countries which have this technology.”
An unveiling ceremony for an artillery shell? Who is kidding whom? Laser weapons technology has been notoriously unreliable (think about Israel’s attempt to create a laser weapon to shoot down incoming missiles). Empty bluster.
2. Appearing on the Iranian government’s ‘Press TV’, Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, the Iranian Army’s ground force commander, laughed off a possible attack by the United States and its allies: “They are fearful of the Iranian forces and nation.”
More empty bluster for public consumption. Your humble servant has a feeling that the United States and its allies are much more worried about Iran’s proxy states such as Hezbollah and Hamas–and its Revolutionary Guards (that have cells operating throughout the world)–than the Iranian military.
3. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi offered this gem at a news conference yesterday on the sidelines of an African Union summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa: “[The Syrian people] have to have a free election, they have to have the right constitution, they have to allow different political parties to have their activities freely in the country. And this is what [Assad] has promised.”
Although it is nothing new, Iran’s bald-faced prevarication in public arenas defies the imagination. Here we have Iran, the primary supporter of the Syrian regime through its Revolutionary Guards and its client Hezbollah that are fighting alongside Syrian government forces as they massacre Syrian civilians, talking about democracy for the Syrian people. And this coming from an Iranian government that brutally crushed its own democratic movement. Unbelievable.
4. London-based commentator Ibrahim Hamamy had this to say yesterday about Hamas President Ismail Haniyeh’s impending trip to Iran: “I urge you to reconsider your decision and your program to visit Iran, which took a clearly hostile position against the aspirations of the courageous Syrian people.”
You may have heard, dear reader, that Palestinian Islamist Hamas has suddenly found itself in dire financial straits–-one reason for which is that Iran has suspended payment on its 300 million dollar allocation to the Gazan terrorists. As for Hamas taking into the consideration the Syrian people–the Syrian people be damned; all Hamas cares about is Hamas, hence Khaled Meshaal’s trip to Amman (reported in yesterday’s blog) and Haniyeh’s trip to Tehran.
5. American Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta appeared on the American TV news show “60 Minutes” last night and proffered this brilliant piece of analysis: “The consensus is that, if they [the Iranians] decided to do it, it would probably take them about a year to be able to produce a bomb and then possibly another one to two years in order to put it on a deliverable vehicle of some sort in order to deliver that weapon.”
If the Iranians decided to do it? This statement alone leaves your humble servant completely flabbergasted. Thousands of centrifuges enriching radioactive materials on a massive scale in hardened bunkers deep underground; missiles being built and delivery systems perfected . . . This is Obamaspeak–maybe the Iranians will still talk to us; maybe they will stop their program; maybe elephants will fly through the sky tomorrow morning. And to top this off, Panetta would now have us believe that we probably have 3 more years before Iran’s nuclear program reaches fruition. Simply unbelievable.
6. And finally we have Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the “historian”, telling a youth conference in Tehran yesterday why the Western powers “created” Israel: “Why did [Western powers] install the Zionist regime (Israel)? To gain control over oil, as well as the popular and revolutionary uprisings in the Middle East. It is clear that this was a historical scheme.”
There we have it. Israel “was installed” to control oil and suppress revolutionary uprisings.
Funny, that is exactly what your humble servant thought the Iranian government was doing by threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz and gunning down civilians in the Iranian and Syrian street.
Oh well . . . it’s just another day in the crazy world of the Middle East.
THIS DAY IN ISRAELI HISTORY
On January 30, 1953, Argentinian leader Juan Peron offered residency to any Jew from the Soviet Union who wished to immigrate to Argentina. Of course, over a million Soviet Jews immigrated to Israel in the 1980s and 90s. And ironically, some 15,000 Argentinian Jews have immigrated to Israel since the year 2000.