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The Case of Iran. Brigadier General S. K. Malik, The Koranic Concept of War, 1979 Jihad as a duty of all Muslims Civilian population as combatants No.

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Presentation on theme: "The Case of Iran. Brigadier General S. K. Malik, The Koranic Concept of War, 1979 Jihad as a duty of all Muslims Civilian population as combatants No."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Case of Iran

2 Brigadier General S. K. Malik, The Koranic Concept of War, 1979 Jihad as a duty of all Muslims Civilian population as combatants No distinction between civilians and combatants

3 The Islamist Revolution in Iran, 1978-1979 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader The Duty to Export the Islamist Revolution (enshrined in the 1979 Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran) The Duty to Regain the Holy Land (Palestine) from Jews and Crusaders (Christians) The Duty to Fight the Influence of the West – (“Westoxication”- a form of corrupt Western Identity )

4 Goals and Means: Terror as the Preferred Tool Center for Doctrinal Analysis- Revolutionary Guards, Imam University, Tehran Islamic Defense University, Command and General Staff College. Director Dr. Hassan Abassi, the chief strategist of Islamist Warfare

5 Terror and Asymmetrical Warfare Asymmetrical warfare as preferred strategy Addresses the disparity of power between the West and Western supported states Difficult to deter when used as suicide terror International and domestic law makes it hard on Western countries to fight terrorism

6 Exporting the Islamic Revolution Special units- Revolutionary Guards/Quds Force, Section 15 Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) Lebanon, the Hezbollah enclave in the south of Lebanon. Currently a major Iran proxy and training ground for terrorists operations Efforts to launch Islamic revolts in the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia. Currently estimated to be a failure “Lebanon” in Sudan an Iranian base of operations in Africa to undermine governments in North Africa, Somalia etc. Involvement with al Shabab and Islamic Courts in Somalia Currently estimated to be a partial success

7 Undermining the Oslo Peace Phase One Process: 1993- Israel and the Palestinians Negotiated a Peace Agreement known as Oslo Peace (named after Oslo, Norway where the initial agreement was negotiated). Oslo Peace was signed by the government of Israel and the head of the PLO Yasser Arafat. In the wake of the Agreement, the Palestinian Authority (PA) was created on part of the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip Early spring 1994: A meeting of the Supreme National Defense Council: Oslo Peace an Existential Threat to the Regime Strategy: Campaign of Suicide Bombings to Undermine the Credibility of Yasser Arafat and the Labor Government of Israel Assessment of Strategy: Very Effective- First suicide bombing on a bus in town of Afula May, 1994 and the increase in power of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, sponsored by Iran 2000- The collapse of the Camp David II – one of the reasons, the massive Islamist oppositions to the peace agreements

8 Undermining the Oslo Peace Phase Two 2000-2003 - Al Aqsa Intifada. Through Hamas and Islamic Jihad Iran worked to strengthen the uprising. Methods used, shipment of arms, training of suicide bombers and help from Hezbollah. 2004-present. Support for Hamas that expelled the PLO from the Gaza Strip after the Israeli government withdraw from the strip in 2005. Evaluation: Iran’s Supreme National Security Council has used the tactics to prevent the restarting of the peace process as proposed by the Obama administration

9 Iran and Global Jihad Help to al Qaeda and other Jihadist groups 1990-1996 al Qaeda in Sudan (9/11 Commission) 1996- 2001 al Qaeda in Afghanistan (9/11 Commission 2001-current: al Qaeda in Iran, shelter in Quds Force safe houses and logistics 2001-current: al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, (level of involvement and support not known)

10 Iran and Global Jihad: Fighting the Jews and the Crusaders Chief among the Crusaders is the United States, a.k.a “Great Satan” followed by Great Britain (Israel is “Small Satan”) Attacks (through proxies) against American targets in the Middle East- bombing of American embassy in Beirut and the Marine barracks in 1983. Kidnapping (through proxies) of American hostages in Beirut in the 1980s. Bombing of the Khobar Towers in Dahran, Saudi Arabia, 1996 Attack on the foreigners compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2003

11 Iran as a Military Editorship Iran is currently governed by a triumvirate: the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Revolutionary Guards The Revolutionary Guards are de fact rulers of Iran and have put their support behind Ahmadinejad in the 2005 election (rigged) and the 2009 election (stolen). The Supreme Leader has some power, but is no much to the Revolutionary Guards The traditional clerical establishment i.e. Hussein Mir Mousavi, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, etc. had lost almost all power.

12 Iran as a Military Dictatorship and the Use of Nuclear Terror WMD terror has been considered as a most lethal form of terror, capable of killing large number of people and creating immense destruction of the physical environment. Operation Enduring Freedom (American invasion of Afghanistan) demonstrated that al Qaeda came very close to obtaining some types of WMD capability and was diligently searching for portable devises, i.e. nuclear suitcases, essentially a radiological bomb.

13 Question for the Future The CIA and allied intelligence agencies have been faced with the possibility that a nuclear Iran would be able to furnish such a weapon to al Qaeda or another Islamist apocalyptic group. This particularly scenario is an analytical first and there are no past analogies to guide our thinking. My article “Evaluating Iran’s Nuclear Rationality : The Eye of the Beholder Problem” indicates that observers are split along the ideological divide. Liberals vehemently deny that Iran would either use its nuclear weapons and/or share the capability with Islamist terrorists. Conservatives equally vehemently argue that such a scenario is possible. They point out that Ahmadinejad and some in the Revolutionary Guard leadership are Mahdists, believers in the coming of the Mahdi (the disappeared Imam). Pessimists suggest an additional scenario known as the A.Q. Khan scenario (named after the Pakistani who sold nuclear blueprints to Iran and Libya. In other words, a rogue nuclear scientist can either sell nuclear material or, more likely, give it away to an apocalyptical group.

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