Oct 26, 2005 8:27 pm


Something very dangerous is going on in Iran. The Iranian government is undertaking a number of steps which seemed designed to increase serious tensions, even the outbreak of war in the region. In fact, the moves are eerily reminiscent of the ones undertaken by Nasser prior to the Six Day War. Then, the US was perceived as a paper tiger mired in Vietnam. Now, the US is perceived as a paper tiger mired in Iraq. Even more ominous is the fact that now, as then, the Iranians may be relying on Russian help. It did not work for Nasser, there is even less chance that it would work for Ahmadinejad.

First comes a new especially vicious attack on Israel:

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared Wednesday that Israel is a"disgraceful blot" that should be"wiped off the map" — fiery words that Washington said underscores its concern over Iran's nuclear program.

Note that this one follows quickly in the footsteps of two previous such attacks including one by the real power that be, Khameinei. All three condemn recent moves by Muslims states (including Pakistan) to normalize relations with Israel. It is afraid that its single regional ally, Syria, may succumb to international pressure and change course.

A decision by Assad to follow in Khadafi's footsteps would mean ending its direct and indirect support for Iran's hired guns, the Hizballah. In other words, Iran will be isolated and, already its people are depressed and restless. The answer, try to remind Arabs/Muslims that their primary goal should be to fight the little Satan, Jews/Zionists. This is what Nasser did in 1967 when Israel was considering a military operation powerful enough to convince the Syrian regime to end its support for the Fatah.

But just as Nasser said at the time that his real target was the US, Iran is signaling that its real target is the big Satan. How? By letting senior al Qaeda suspects roam free. This is particularly interesting given Zawahiri's recent plea to Zarqawi to end his attacks on the Iraqi Shia because those attacks are putting Iran in a difficult situation and may endanger AL Qaeda members held in Iran. Indeed, he urged that Zarqawi should remember that the enemy of your enemy is your friend:

And do the brothers forget that we have more than one hundred prisoners - many of whom are from the leadership who are wanted in their countries - in the custody of the Iranians? And even if we attack the Shia out of necessity, then why do you announce this matter and make it public, which compels the Iranians to take counter measures? And do the brothers forget that both we and the Iranians need to refrain from harming each other at this time in which the Americans are targeting us?

Is it possible that the Iranians are exhibiting their Al Qaeda members to encourage Zarqawi to enter an alliance with them? This would fit into the recent revelation that they are holding in prison an Ayatollah who criticized Wahabism.

Be that as it may, Iran seems intend on putting Bush as well as Sharon on the spot daring them to attack Iran. If they do not, the Iranians like Nasser, may just keep raising the stakes until they get what they wish for and more.

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