Friday, February 17, 2023

Some Quick Thoughts About Iran

Head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard - Hossein Salami (JC)
Terrifying. That is the only word I can think of after reading an  article in the Jewish Chronicle. Which included the following:

Iran has been “mapping” the Jewish diaspora for an assassination campaign that will be triggered if Israel attacks its nuclear facilities, a Jewish woman who met Ayatollah Khamenei has told the JC.

The chilling plan, disclosed at a high-level meeting in Tehran, involved identifying key Jewish figures and determining “how to strike and where”.

The hit squads would be deployed if Israel ever attacked Iran, she was told, so “the diaspora would have a very nasty surprise”.

The revenge plot was revealed to Catherine Perez-Shakdam, (who unbeknownst to them is Jewish) one of the few Westerners to be granted an audience with Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. 

She said she gained the high-level access via the man she called “Iran’s Dr Goebbels”, the late-Nader Talebzadeh, who led propaganda campaigns and cultivated her as a friend and ally.

It was at a closed event he organised in Iran that she said was told of the plan “to identify all the prominent NGOs run by Jews, who was doing what in each business sector, the important rabbis. They wanted to figure out their influence and where they lived with their families in order to target them.” Talebzadeh, she said, was explicit that the mapping was preparation for murder to make “the diaspora pay a price” 

As terrifying as this is, it is also ironic. Islam is much closer to Judaism than any other religion. Our laws, practices, and values are similar. One would think that we would be on the same side on a lot of issues. And yet Iran - the most fanatically religious Islamic nation in the world is the greatest enemy of the Jewish people. 

The Supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (JC)
The current leader of that nation, Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei is the equivalent of their Gadol HaDor. Their political leaders simply follow his dictates. And wouldn’t dare do anything that would contradict his ‘Daas Torah’. He is their direct connection to God. His word is law. And yet looking at his face, he seems like the kindliest of human beings that wouldn’t hurt a fly. A religious leader who only wants the best for his people. And by best – he means following Islamic law which is their most direct route to their version of Olam Habah.

There are some people that believe that religion is the cause of all the world’s problems. That is of course patently false. But if one looks it the Iranian version of Islam, one can understand why they feel that way. Behind the Ayatollah’s rather benign, kindly look, lurks another Hitler. The only difference being that his version of genocide is not based on racial theories. It is instead based on his fervent religious beliefs. 

What is so frightening is that this level of  religious fervor is what generates the call to annihilate the Jewish state. Which is seen as an impediment to fulfilling Islam’s religious destiny. A religious destiny so important that, mass murder in pursuit of that goal is actually a Mitzvah to them if that turns out to be the only way they can reach that goal. This is why Iran is mapping Jews in the Diaspora.

So yes, it is terrifying that a powerful leader who is supposedly on the brink of possessing nuclear weapons and already has delivery systems capable of hitting both Israel and the US is in essence a genocidal maniac ready to finish what Hitler could not.  All in the name of God

The question is what if anything can be done about this? I honestly don’t know. However, one thing is certain. Restoring the nuclear deal is terrible idea. It will not stop them from carrying out their genocidal plan. If anything easing sanctions will encourage them. Thankfully I’m pretty sure that deal is dead. 

The US attacking Iran would require shedding a lot of American blood. The US will not risk it. The American people will not stand for it. Nor should Israel attack Iran - for the same reasons. Religious fanatics like those in Iran will not be intimidated by fear of dying. They will embrace it as a ‘Kiddush HaShem’ - dying for a cause they believe is the will of God.

However, if there was ever an argument to increase sanctions on this regime, this would be it. If there was ever an argument to encourage a coup by the Iranian people, this would be it. If there was ever a time for a covert operation to destabilize the regime, this would be it. If there was ever a time to somehow target this Iranian Hitler for assassination – along with all of his religious fanatic political leaders, this would be it. If there was ever a time to destroy their Revolutionary Guard this would be it

How to go about any of this is beyond my pay grade. But  I do not see much of an alternative if we are going to put an end to the kind of genocidal threat being planned by this ‘kindly looking old religious leader’ who I’m sure is as meticulous in his religious observances as can be.