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Iran wins more time and money for its nuclear ambitions

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

The Western powers once again play the fool

Illustration by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times

Illustration by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times

The Washington Times

By: Reza Kahlili

November 27, 2013

For more than a decade, Iran has successfully bought time from its nuclear detractors by negotiating in bad faith as it worked feverishly to develop nuclear weapons.

It now has bought six more months.

As I have reported many times, the regime’s strategists have always believed that the more their nuclear program is expanded, the less likely the West could demand its total dismantling and that the military option by the Obama administration is a bluff. The worst the West could do was to impose sanctions, they felt. They also believed that at one point the West would come to accept Iran’s nuclear program at some level and reverse sanctions.

The regime’s strategists have been proven correct.

An interim deal reached Sunday in Geneva between the Islamic Republic and the 5+1 world powers in reality accepted the Iranian nuclear program, allowing the continuation of enrichment with over 10,000 centrifuges despite six U.N. Security Council resolutions for Iran to suspend all uranium enrichment. The Geneva agreement calls on Iran to only curtail parts of its nuclear program in return for the easing of some sanctions.

Those sanctions — from the United Nations, the United States and the European Union — had all but brought the mullah-dominated nation to its economic knees. Inflation is rampant, unemployment skyrocketing and civil unrest boiling below the surface.

And now, for six months, pressure will be escaping from that financial disaster, giving the regime more time to become a nuclear-armed power. On Monday, Iran announced that as part of the deal, the United States has unfrozen $8 billion of its assets.

And what are we to achieve in the next six months in return? The radical leaders ruling Iran have been quite clear that enrichment will never stop.

President Reagan famously used the Russian proverb “Trust but verify” in dealing with the Soviet Union in the 1980s. It worked. But that phrase was only partly invoked in Sunday’s agreement.

Yes, inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency may now oversee nuclear enrichment activity at Fordow and Natanz. But the agreement does not include inspection of other suspected sites, including a secret site only 15 miles from Fordow, where, according to sources, Iran’s most sophisticated lab is developing nuclear weapons and endeavoring to marry them up to delivery systems. Right next door to that secret lab is a vast area housing ballistic missile silos.

Yes, Iran has agreed to halt work on its plutonium plant at Arak, at which a second path to nuclear arms could be opened, but the agreement does not permit inspection. Trust us, Tehran told the 5+1. Trust has to be earned, not granted on demand.

Yes, IAEA monitors will have free access to important nuclear sites but not to the Parchin military site, where the regime conducted illicit nuclear experiments. It has been trying to cover up evidence of those banned nuclear tests so the world will not have proof of its deceit.

Iran says it wants to develop nuclear energy as a source of national pride. No nation would accept those crushing sanctions for pride. More deceit.

Iran says it wants to have nuclear energy for self-sufficiency. It already has enough oil for domestic consumption in addition to foreign exports. And it could have all the nuclear energy it needs for much less cost from foreign sources. More deceit.

No, what Iran really wants is to become a nuclear-armed power so it has the means to bring about the destruction of Israel and dominate the region. Israel and Western-allied Gulf countries led by Saudi Arabia have formed an unlikely alliance in opposing Sunday’s agreement, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a “historic mistake.”

Indeed, it most certainly is. Iran is playing the same game that helped North Korea acquire nuclear weapons.

The Islamic Republic has negotiated over its illicit nuclear program with the U.S. and the world powers for over a decade, during which time it has successfully increased the number of centrifuges enriching uranium from 150 to over 19,000 today. It now has over 10 tons of low-enriched uranium — sufficient for several bombs — and has over a thousand ballistic missiles and, in collaboration with North Korea, is working on intercontinental ballistic missiles.

So the deal is struck — at least for six months — and the world powers won’t go back on it, a deal that leaves Iran’s nuclear infrastructure largely in place. But the mullahs will put that extra time to use as it continues on its path to becoming a nuclear power. Once it achieves that rank, it believes, the West must accept it as a fait accompli.

But Congress must also use the next six months to work on even harsher sanctions, ready to slap on the regime once it is clear that the clerics have played us for fools again. And then those sanctions must be kept in place until “Trust but verify” is replaced with “Dismantle and destroy.”

Or until the freedom-loving people of Iran have had enough of their dictators and rid the land of their scourge.

***

Also read:

The Washington Times
KAHLILI: Iran wins more time and money for its nuclear ambitions
By: Reza Kahlili / November 27, 2013

The Daily Caller
Iran president: We won, enrichment will never stop
By: Reza Kahlili / November 27,2013

The Daily Caller
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claims victory for nuclear program: US, Iran secret deal revealed over a year ago
By: Reza Kahlili / November 24,2013

The Daily Caller
Report: US warns Saudis to back away from Iranian ally Syria
By: Reza Kahlili / November 24,2013

The Daily Caller
Iranian leader: Nuclear negotiations merely a maneuver to reach Islamic goal
By: Reza Kahlili / November 20,2013

WND
AMERICA THREATENED WITH ‘HEAVIEST DAMAGE IN HISTORY’
By: Reza Kahlili / November 12, 2013

Foxnews
No Deal On Nuke Talks, Iran General Declares U.S. And Israel Will Be Attacked
November 10, 2013

The Clarion Project
Iranian General Lashes Out Against America, Warns of Attack
November 10, 2013

The Daily Caller
Iran general: No doubt Israel and America will be attacked
By: Reza Kahlili / November 09,2013

The Daily Caller
Iran demands Western acceptance of its nuclear program, removal of banking and oil sanctions
By: Reza Kahlili / November 08,2013

The Daily Caller
Iran demands right to expand nuclear program
By: Reza Kahlili / November 06,2013

Obama’s Back-Door Dealing with Iran

Friday, November 8th, 2013

obama-and-iran-cartoon1-500x416

American Center for Democracy

By Rachel Ehrenfeld
Friday, November 8th, 2013 @ 12:43PM

On the first day of the second round of negotiations in Geneva between Iran and the P5+1, the U.S. offering of a “reverse sanctions program” in return for the suspension of part of Tehran’s uranium enrichment has been leaked.  Described as a process of steps towards total abandonment of Iran’s bomb ambitions, this would translate to the a major dropping of some sanctions for a finite term (6 months?) when Iran takes the first step. But Iran’s position on its nuclear program has remained the same, enriching as much uranium as they wish and keeping it, along with claiming the freedom to expand its nuclear capabilities in any way it sees fit. So, why this public offering?

On November 3, AP reported that Khamenei had admonished hardliners not to undermine negotiators engaged in talks with the West. However, Khamenei also said on the same day that he was not optimistic about the negotiations “and called America the most hated power in the world.”  He also reiterated his regime’s view of Israel: “We have said since the very first day (of the Islamic Revolution), and we do say it now and we will say it in the future as well, that we believe the Zionist regime is an illegitimate and bastard regime.”

Former Revolutionary Guard member “Reza Kahlili” notes that the regime’s media outlet Kheybar Online published a statement by Hossein Allahkaram, who  is described as a radical theoretician, saying, “Though to improve the economy and relieve some sanctions these matters (negotiations) are considered, the value of enriching to 20, 40, 60, and 99 percent that Iran is capable of doing is much more (important) than a good economy.”

Indeed, the Obama administration was lifting some sanctions already before Hassan Rouhani’s visit to the U.N. General Assembly in NYC. the U.S. restrictions on funding and sending medical items and sports exchanges were promised. And in advance of the current meeting, the Obama administration leaked that it was considering releasing $12 billion of Iranian assets held in the United States, which would undoubtedly be followed by Europe’s unfreezing another $35 billion in assets. Nearly $50 billion would seem like a prize for at least the cessation of all uranium enrichment. But neither Obama nor the Europeans are making such demands.

After the first meeting of the new round in Geneva, Fars News was quick to show that Iran had the upper hand, with lead negotiator Seyed Abbas Araqchi saying that the P5+1 had accepted Iran’s proposed framework for continuing the talks.

The Obama administration’s longstanding plans regarding Iran were laid out on the eve of the Geneva talks by the Wall Street Journal. While using back channels is nothing new, Obama seems to have used them with Iran since the beginning of his presidency. According to the Journal, the lead dog in this has been NSC staffer, Indian-American Puneet Talwar.  Talwar early on “conveyed a succinct message for his Iranian interlocutors: The U.S. wants to peacefully resolve the dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program” and “is ready to deal.”  The article also mentions that former UN Ambassador Susan Rice was charged with conveying much the same message to the Iranian UN ambassador during her stint there.

To veil their intentions, Obama’s staff used the United Nations Association, Asia Society vice president Suzanne DiMaggio, and the Council on Foreign Relations in efforts to bring Rouhani and Obama face-to-face during the recent UN General Assembly meeting. The Journal noted that ”U.S. diplomacy has also been aided by Hossein Mousavian, a former top Iranian diplomat and now a visiting scholar at Princeton University.”

Obama himself recently admitted that soon after his inauguration, he wrote to Iran’s Supreme Leader to lay out his intentions for arapprochment with Iran. It’s no wonder, then, that just before Obama’s 2012 reelection White House adviser-in-chief Valerie Jarrett, who has childhood friends in Iran–some in influential positions, decided to leak the news that the White House was near a deal with Tehran.  She wanted to assure the boss’s reelection by producing good news.  Now we know that she had the evidence to show this if Obama had allowed it.

It seems that as far as Obama is coincerened, the deal with Tehran has already been consummated. Indeed, in a CNN interview, Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif said, “It is possible to reach an understanding for an agreement before we close these negotiations tomorrow evening. I believe the ingredients are there. There is a window of opportunity now that needs to be seized.” However, Iran’s appetite fior concessions and humiliation of the U.S., “The Big Satan,” may bring up some new demands.

As with prior “negotiations” with Iran, whatever temorary deal is reached in Geneva, Tehran will coninue to stall while progressing towards becoming a nuclear power. With this, the U.S. withdrawal from the Middle East will be complete and its pledge to have Israel’s back will be ignored.

In the meantime, the news about the American “reverse sanctions program” has led the Saudis to let it be known that they are ready to collect the nuclear bombs they’ve ordered from Pakistan.

In addition to abandoning Washington’s traditional policy of preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons, the Obama administration’s actions are all but leading to setting the region on fire. War in the Middle East will disrupt oil production in and transportation from the region and cause severe damge to U.S. economic and strategic interests as well as push the world into chaos.  Nonetheless, in complete disregard to the predictacle outcome, Obama forges ahead with his plans to allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. Why?

Iran to Mark ‘Death to America’ Day

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Despite President Obama’s outreach to the new president of Iran, Islamic radicals walked over a U.S. flag and spat on Obama’s image on their way to Friday prayers last week.

Mashregh, the media outlet of the Revolutionary Guards, published a photo of the image of Obama alongside the U.S. flag laid on the ground and radicals walking over them. The picture shows one individual spitting on Obama’s image.

In an effort to emphasize the Islamic Republic’s view of the United States as the “Great Satan,” mass rallies will be held across Iran to shout “Death to America” and assail worldwide Zionism on the anniversary of the U.S. Embassy takeover of Nov.. 4, 1979, Brig. Gen. Seyyed Masoud Jazayeri, deputy chief of the Joint Armed Forces Headquarters, announced on Saturday.

“The crimes of leaders of America and international Zionism in their confrontation with the Iranian nation will never be erased from the public’s memory,” he said.

Jazayeri stated that ever since the Islamic Revolution, America has engaged in aggressive policies of blocking Iran’s wealth, helping Iraq in its war with Iran in the 1980s and espionage. Referring to the embassy takeover, he said, “If the American spies in Tehran under the cover of diplomats who were hatching plots were not arrested, today we would have witnessed 10 times more damage to our country and the surrounding countries.”

While the efforts of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was lauded by regime leadership and Guards commanders, his telephone call with Obama drew criticism.

The supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, referring to the call, stated that some aspects of Rouhani’s efforts in New York were “not proper” and said the Islamic regime has no trust in America. The chief commander of the Revolutionary Guards in an earlier statement criticized Rouhani for taking the call and said he should not have spoken to the U.S. president.

Rouhani in interviews after returning home had stated that the White House had requested the call five times and he decided to take it while en route to the airport.

At the Friday prayers, Mohammad Hossein Safar Harandi, a member of the Expediency Discernment Council of the regime, said the new approach by Rouhani is a tactical approach and referred to the Sureh Al-Fath in the Quran: “God in the Sureh Al-Fath points to a condition which is similar to the current condition … a situation where the hand of the infidels and nonbelievers is restrained from the believers.”

Harandi said that Allah for the “final victory” sees engaging the U.S. as necessary.

According to a Guard member who recently defected to Turkey, Iran’s economy is teetering on the brink and that soon the government will not be able to even pay its employees. He said the regime fears a massive uprising not only by most Iranians who resent the regime and its ideology but also from the poor, which would then assure the downfall of the regime. Thus this new approach by regime leaders to engage the U.S. in seeking sanctions relief without giving up their nuclear program.

The same tactic was used by the regime in 2003. A recently revealed video of Rouhani before the Iranian June presidential elections shows Rouhani boasting about deceiving the West and advancing Iran’s nuclear program during his tenure as the head of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear negotiating team in order to jumpstart the program while promising cooperation.

Referring to the image of radicals walking over the U.S. flag, one prominent Iranian pro-democracy advocate, Shabnam Assadolahi, sent a tweet to Obama: “A must-see photo: @BarackObama are you still open to dialogue and communication with this dangerous regime?”

Despite several United Nations resolutions and sanctions by the U.N., United States and European Union demanding a halt to Iran’s illicit nuclear program, the Islamic regime has significantly expanded the program and currently has over 18,000 centrifuges, with enough enriched uranium for more than six nuclear bombs. At the same time it is set to complete its heavy-water plant, which would give the regime a second path to nuclear weapons by acquiring weapons-grade plutonium.

Don’t Believe Your Eyes!

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

High Frontier    

By Ambassador Henry F. Cooper

September 24, 2013

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani openly bragged of shepherding a major expansion of Iran’s uranium enrichment programs a decade ago, when he led Iran’s negotiations with the West that were seeking to limit those programs. He still serves the continuing objectives and policies of Iran’s same supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that call for destroying the “little Satan” Israel and the “great Satan” America. Rouhani’s current approach, which many describe as “moderate,” actually promises more of the same under Khamenei. Thus, Iran’s alleged moderate approach provides cover for achieving a uranium and/or plutonium nuclear capability—possibly within months. Will U.S. and other Western Diplomats again be taken in by Rouhani’s softer diplomatic approach than the bombastic pronouncements of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who also served the wishes of Khamenei? Stay tuned.

Last Sunday’s New York Times hopeful editorial projected that all eyes at today’s United Nations General Assembly will be on Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, hoping he will provide “concrete evidence” that he is more willing than his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to engage more constructively with the West. Ahmadinejad, you may recall, insisted on proceeding with Iran’s nuclear program, denied the Holocaust and seemed unconcerned as his country slipped into deeper economic distress. Now, the economic pain of effective sanctions may have persuaded the Ayatollah to change horses midstream without actually changing course.

September 24, 2013 I second

The Times correctly noted that Rouhani has a sophisticated, Western-savvy team including his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, who received degrees from American universities and spent most of his adult life in the United States. They have raised expectations for a more constructive role, via a charm offensive in full swing with policy wonks, journalists and business people at invitation-only breakfasts, dinners and meetings during this week. As a prelude, they included signals to the Jewish community (including world-wide Rosh Hashana greetings via Twitter) suggesting peaceful future relations with Israel.  In setting the stage for his speech today, he—allegedly a “moderate conservative,” announced yesterday that he will present a new “true face of Iran.

Can you believe it? Seems too good to be true.

Haven’t We Seen this Play Before?

In fact—if history is a guide, you should not believe it. We’ve seen this play before, as I discussed in my June 18, 2013 and  August 13, 2013 email messages—aptly entitled “Hope for the Best; Prepare for the Worst . . . “ and “Definitely a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.” This message repeats some of the important points, which still are pertinent.

In warning of things to come, I joined Reza Kahlili in noting that Rouhani had openly boasted that when he led Iran’s negotiations with the West on Iran’s nuclear programs, between October 2003 and August 2005, Iran’s 150 centrifuges grew to over 1,700. (Reza Kahlili is a pseudo name of a counterterrorism expert who served in CIA Directorate of Operations as a spy in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. He currently serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, an advisory board to Congress, and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran.) Click here for Reza’s latest report, including a link to the video of Rouhani’s interview—watch his body language, which illustrates his obvious pride in deceiving the West. 

The high points of his comments on his 2003-2005 progress are summarized below.  In the video, Rouhani summed up the purpose of his negotiations and his strategy—which should provide some insight for his current charm offensive: “We needed time” to complete the uranium enrichment. Iran invited Britain, France and Germany to engage in the so-called E-3 talks and successfully sought to get them to block U.S. efforts to transfer the Iranian nuclear dossier to the United Nations, which might have provided more scrutiny of Iran’s programs and inhibiting sanctions. 

September 24, 2013 II

Rouhani called Iran’s widely publicized claim that it stopped its nuclear program in 2003 a statement for the uneducated and admitted that the program not only did not stop, it significantly expanded during and after his tenure as Chief Negotiator. By 2005, there were over 3000 spinning centrifuges, growing to over 10,000 today.

The Past as Prologue?

Fast forward to today—in view of Rouhani’s record of deceit and his recent offer to negotiate on Tehran’s nuclear program—and his reported exchange of letters with President Obama as we have approached today’s “crunch time” at the United Nations. Will they meet?  To what end?  And to quote a previous Secretary of State in a somewhat different example of deception in high places (Benghazi), “What difference does it make?”

Last August 9th in the New York Times, Amos Yadlin and Avner Golov argued regarding “Iran’s Plan B for the Bomb” that “it would be dangerous to think that Iran’s proposal for negotiations alone would pave the way for a deal”—and that any effective negotiation must deal with three dimensions:

  • Uranium enrichment from a low level (3.5 percent to 19.75 percent) to weapons-grade level (90 percent);
  • Iran’s progress toward a quick “breakout capability” through the stockpiling of large quantities of low-enriched uranium that could be further enriched rapidly to provide weapons-grade fuel; and
  • Iran’s parallel track to a nuclear capability through the production of plutonium.

Yadlin, a former chief of Israeli military intelligence and now director of Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies (where Golov is a researcher), and Golov acknowledge Iran’s thousands of centrifuges and enough low-enriched uranium permits Iran to produce several nuclear bombs if it chooses to further enrich the fuel. At the same time they might not cross what is perceived as Israel’s red line: 240 kilograms (about 530 pounds) of uranium enriched to a level of 19.75 percent. And they quoted Western experts Graham T. Allison Jr. (Director of Harvard’s Belfer Center and a Former Assistant Secretary of Defense), Olli Heinonen (Senior Fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center and a former deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency) and a recent Institute for Science and International Security report to note that:

If Iran decided to develop a bomb today, it could do so within three to five months—and at the current pace of installation, Iran could reduce its breakout time to just one month by the end of this year, and by mid-2014 to less than two weeks.

Yadlin and Golov also emphasized the near-term possibility of an Iranian plutonium bomb—via a heavy-water reactor in Arak that could become operational in time to produce weapons-grade plutonium next summer. Note that of the three countries that have publicly crossed the nuclear threshold since the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty entered into force in 1970, two — India and North Korea — did so via the plutonium track.

At his last United Nations session (September 2012), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu focused on uranium enrichment, reinforcing the wide perception of the Iranian nuclear program. This year’s update of his “red line” analysis should include Iran’s potential to attain such a swift breakout capability using uranium—and should add a concern about Iran’s possible ability to build a plutonium bomb without detection. Time is running out.

Bottom Lines.

An inescapable bottom line is that, despite U.N., U.S. and European sanctions, the Islamic regime never halted its nuclear program and have inched ever closer to production of nuclear bombs—they are now dangerously close to their goal. Its decade of negotiations with the West bought time to make gains in both its nuclear and missile programs. As the world community—and especially the United States—considers Rouhani’s charm offensive including a Washington Post OpEd companion  to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s lecture to the American people in the New York Times, it should also carefully consider what might be next in the unfolding events of the Middle East—where U.S. recent dithering leadership seems to have given the baton to Russia and undertaken a cheerleader role. Certainly, Israel will.

September 24, 2013 III

It seems like eons ago that the President’s alleged outrage over Assad’s alleged use of Chemical Weapons to kill innocent civilians and especially children warranted an “unbelievably small” but remarkably effective attack on Syria—which it is claimed so impressed the leaders of Russia and Syria that Russia’s Vladimir Putin took the baton from a seemingly off-hand comment by Secretary of State Kerry and shifted attention to an alleged historic agreement that allegedly would eliminate in record time the chemical weapon stockpile of his client Syrian President Bashar Havez al-Assad. Is this a comedy or a tragedy?

To be sure, such an achievement would historic indeed if ever realized—and most of the world’s media is eagerly anticipating such good news. Seemingly forgotten is the long standing alliance between Russia, Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, and other unsavory elements—an orchestra now being directed by Putin. Surely, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not been fooled—his comments at the U.N. General Assembly should be interesting.

As I wrote on June 18, “Hope for the best but plan for the worst”—which I think Victor Davis Hanson well summarized recently as follows:

  • In about a year or so Assad and Putin will announce that they “think” they might have in theory rounded up a lot of the WMD, and will soon make plans to turn it over to “authorities,” subject to further negotiations.
  • John Kerry will periodically announce that “his” plan has worked and that Assad still cannot kill with WMD any of those he kills by other means, as Obama adds that Putin still “owns” the crisis and that the U.S. keeps all options on the table.
  • Assad will stay in power, given his own ability to use Russian weapons to stalemate the insurgents, who increasingly become even more unsympathetic and up the profile of Islamist groups in their midst. We may see 200,000 total casualties, to the extent they are reported, by this time next year.
  • Europe and the U.N. will decide that they really don’t much care what Assad or his enemies do.
  • Most in the region will still argue over who is the new outside arbiter, a militarily and economically stagnant Russia under a canny and audacious authoritarian, or a once overwhelmingly strong U.S. led by Hamlet.
  • Iran will follow the Assad model—welcoming Russian support, and, like Assad, swearing off any intention to ever use WMD, as it requests new rounds of negotiations, and its leaders give TV interviews to showcase their new moderate and engaged attitude.
  • Obama will reference “Bush” and “Iraq” if ever asked about what’s up in Syria.
  • The American public will have a vague idea that about a year earlier something happened sometime to someone in Syria, but what and when and where and why they are not quite sure.
  • A periodic op-ed in the New York Times will deplore the ongoing violence in Syria.
  • Ignore the above if Assad is stupid enough to use WMD yet one more time just to embarrass further the U.S.; the pressure on Obama would be such that he really would have to order an unbelievably small shot across the Syrian bow.

I would also recommend the discussion of why we should be skeptical of Rouhani’s charm offensive by my fellow Independent Working Group member, Ilan Berman.

In any case, if negotiations with Iran should resume, Western leaders should increase their current leverage — sanctions and credible military threats. They should ensure that any future agreement with Iran addresses all the above three dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program, and we should increase our support for programs to defend against the growing possibility that Iran may succeed in getting nuclear-armed ballistic missiles that can attack the U.S. homeland as well as our overseas troops and allies.

Moderate messages from Tehran should not be allowed to camouflage Iran’s continuing progress toward their goals—especially given President Rouhani’s record of deception coupled with his image of moderation.

Implications for America.

A nuclear armed Iran is far more important to our national security interest than other distractions associated with the above unfolding pattern of events. Don’t imagine that Israel is the only nation threatened by Iranian nuclear arms.  The United States is as well—particularly when such weapons are mated to ballistic missiles that can be launched from Iran or off our coasts to attack us.  And as we have repeatedly pointed out we have significant vulnerabilities—particularly from a high altitude nuclear explosion over the United States that creates an electromagnetic pulse (EMP).

I again repeat for emphasis, if/when Iran gets nuclear weapons and can mate them to ballistic missiles that they already have, they will pose an existential threat to the United States in any of the following ways:

  • Nuclear-armed ICBM attacks over the North Pole—we need to strengthen our current defenses, especially for the Eastern Seaboard; congress is aware of this problem and pressing for improvements—though recent statements by Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, suggest that funding for these programs may not be available in the appropriations currently being considered.
  • Nuclear-armed satellite attacks over the South Pole—we are vulnerable to this mode of attack, which Iran (and North Korea) may have practiced; and this clearly possible threat appears to be being ignored.
  • Nuclear-armed short, medium, or intermediate range missiles launched from vessels off our coasts—we are vulnerable to this mode of attack, but could employ Aegis ships normally near or on our coasts to provide limited defenses if we trained their crews to do so. Aegis Ashore sites, like those to be built in Romania and Poland, also could address this problem. The administration is supposed to address this issue next year in response to a congressional directive.
  • Nuclear-armed short, medium or intermediate range missiles launched from the south—from the vessels in the Gulf of Mexico or from Latin America—and we are totally vulnerable and will require the deployment of effective defenses to counter such attacks. Aegis Ashore sites could provide this defense. The administration is also supposed to address this issue next year in response to the same congressional directive.

Any of these attack modes can detonate a nuclear weapon above the United States to create an EMP that could cause irreparable damage to the key large transformers of the electric power grid—and under certain well known conditions that could cause a complete failure of the electric power grid for an indefinite period. The ultimate result anticipated by credible experts could be that the consequent chaos would lead to the death of several hundred million Americans within the following year.

Thus, it is very important to harden the electric power grid so that if an attacking missile gets through the defense and detonates its nuclear weapon high above the United States, we will not lose our electric power indefinitely. If we can accomplish this hardening of the electric power grid, then we will have a good chance of reinstating other critical infrastructure upon which our survival depends. Such hardening will also protect us against EMP from the solar storms. For a more complete summary of these issues, see our August 2ndemail.

In addressing these concerns, it should be emphasized that the federal government’s first duty is to provide for the common defense. Providing effective missile defenses and hardening the electric power grid as quickly as possible should be a national priority.

High Frontier Plans.

We at High Frontier will continue to stick to our knitting, by seeking as quickly as we can to inform “the powers that be” of existential threats to the American people—as we have discussed in our emails for many months—and to urge them to “provide for the common defense” as charged by the Constitution they are sworn to uphold. Hopefully, key federal authorities and members of congress will soon begin to deal more effectively with the existential threat posed by natural and manmade electromagnetic pulse.

Key initiatives are to urge the Washington powers that be to undertake both the Shield Act and efforts to enhance our ballistic missile defenses, especially for our citizens on the East Coast and around the Gulf of Mexico, where they are completely vulnerable to ballistic missiles launched from vessels in the Gulf—or from Latin America, e.g., Venezuela.

But frankly, we have come to doubt that Washington will act in an expeditious way. Thus, we are also taking the message to grass roots America.  Our local and state authorities need to understand these issues and what they might do if their federal representatives continue to fail “to provide for the common defense.” The end of this month, I will be in the Florida panhandle, seeking to advise the folks there of their absolute vulnerability against ballistic missiles launched from the Gulf of Mexico—and what can be done about it if only their representatives do their jobs.

In particular we will be observing that it would be wise for the Florida state legislature to follow Maine’s initiative and harden the electric power grid in Florida, while holding the Washington authorities accountable for their oath to provide for the common defense. Hopefully, in joining such an effort, other states will be encouraged for follow them.

And what can you do

Join us at High Frontier in seeking to alert the public and your local and state authorities to the existential threats posed by both man-made and natural EMP events—and what can be done about these threats. 

We can use your help in spreading this information to the grass roots and to encourage all “powers that be” to provide for the common defense as they are sworn to do. Will you do your part?

Begin by passing this message to your friends and suggest they visit our webpage, www.highfrontier.org for more information. Also, please encourage your sphere of influence to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter!

Also Read:

Center for Security Policy
Allowing Iran to fool us again
Frank Gaffney’s  / 

The Daily Caller
VIDEO: Iranian president brags about deceiving the West
By: Reza Kahlili / September 20,2013

American Thinker
No Cause for Optimism with Iran’s New Leader
By: Reza Kahlili / August 17, 2013

The Washington Times
KAHLILI: Rouhani’s Iranian nuclear deception
By: Reza Kahlili / August 07, 2013

 

Gulf in Flames

Saturday, September 14th, 2013

The John Batchelor Show

With Mary Kissel (Wall Street journal), John Fund (National Review) and Reza Kahlili.

Islamic Republic Officials present “The Wet Gunpowder” award to First Lady Michelle Obama

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

As I reported back on March 14, the Islamic regime’s Basij Commander, Brig. Gen Mohammad Reza Naghdi announced that Iran would give the first lady a special award for allegedly exposing a direct link between Hollywood and the White House. He cited her announcement of the “anti-Iran” movie “Argo” Oscar for Best Picture in a live feed from the White House Feb. 24.

“Mrs. Obama’s action was awesome,” Naghdi said with what he described as irony, “and if we had spent billions of dollars, we could not show a link and allegiance between Hollywood and the U.S. government and the White House, especially since they have always denied the allegations.”

Naghdi along with many other officials of the regime have been sanctioned by the U.S., UN and the European Union as a violator of human rights for having participated in the suppression of the Iranian people.

Last Saturday, the regime officials in a ceremonial event (only specific to the regime and its ideology)  the 10th conference of “Journey of Enlightened Land” commemorating the “martyrs” of the eight-year war with Iraq unveiled “The Wet Gunpowder” award to be presented to the First Lady:

“The US First Lady presented a so-called artistic award to a film that is clearly anti-Iranian. What does that mean? No artists, even the ones that have Western mindset, believe that Argo is a film worthy of even a national award. That film is definitely not artistic enough to qualify for an international ward; an award that is claimed to be given to the best movie in the world — the Oscar,”  Naqdi told the Islamic regime’s Press TV.

“One of the programs that has made this conference more important is giving the Michelle Obama, the First Lady of the United States, the Wet Gunpowder Award. She won the award because she showed the world that the Zionists in the White House have an immense influence and control over the Hollywood film industry,” Said Yaqoub Soleimani, a commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards.

According to the regime’s media, the award was mailed to the Swiss Embassy to be passed on to the First Lady Michelle Obama.

The regime’s media, in an attack on Hollywood, also blasted away at the book “A Time to Betray” which will be made into a TV miniseries about Kahlili’s spying for the CIA in Iran.

The regime’s media, since the production of “Argo,” have attacked Hollywood for what they call the production of “anti-Iran” movies. Citing “unrealistic portrayal” of the Iranian people, they attacked actor George Clooney as one of the two writers of “Argo” and for his producing the “anti-Islam” movie “Syriana.” They also cite the “Zionist company” Warner Brothers for filming “Argo” and the “anti-Iran” movie “300.”

Regime media also point to the upcoming production of a miniseries based on “A Time to Betray” by Kahlili, who in his youth traveled to America to continue his education. Upon his return after the 1979 revolution, he lost hope in the direction of the country, returned to America, hooked up with the CIA and became a spy in the Revolutionary Guards.

This “anti-Iran” miniseries, the regime media said, is to be produced by actor William Baldwin and Warren Kohler.

The regime media published an image of Kahlili alongside former CIA director James Woolsey that mistakenly referred to Woolsey as Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., the former candidate for the Republican Party presidential nomination.

Gerdab.Ir, a Revolutionary Guards media outlet, attacked Kahlili for his call for support of the Iranian people to bring about regime change in Iran.

Also read:

Los Angeles Times
Former CIA spy advocates overthrow of Iranian regime
By: David Zucchino / July 6, 2012

YouTube Brief of Kahlili’s Evidence on Iran’s “Red Line”

Friday, March 29th, 2013

          

        Amb. Henry F. Cooper, Chairman       Lt. Gen. Daniel Graham, Founder

High Frontier . . Building Truly Effective Defenses . . Reagan’s Vision Lives!

 

           YouTube Brief of Kahlili’s Evidence on Iran’s “Red Line”

 

Several recent High Frontier email messages have referred to impressive analyses by Reza Kahlili, which strongly suggests that Iran is very near if not across Binyamin Netanyahu’s Red Line of developing a nuclear weapon. Click here to hear his 2-and-a-half minute briefing on an underground complex of facilities, which appear, from Reza’s Global Earth analysis, to compose key elements for developing and deploying a nuclear armed collection of nuclear-armed ballistic missiles.   

Reza Kahlili is the author of the award-winning book “A Time to Betray;” served in CIA Directorate of Operations, as a spy in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard; is a counterterrorism expert; and currently serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, an advisory board to Congress and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI).

See High Frontier’s webpage (www.highfrontier.org) for links to several of Kahlili’s articles heralding his warnings. In a recent World Net Daily article, found by clicking on its title: “Iran Confirms Secret Nuclear ‘Quds’ Site,” he quotes Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, who was the Executive Director of the congressionally mandated EMP commission and currently leads the its successor Task Force on National and Homeland Security, as below:

High Frontier agrees with Dr. Pry’s assessment of Kahlili’s work and calls for Congress to look into the “story behind the story”—to understand not only what Iran is doing, but also what motivates Iran and what the United States should be doing to counter this threat, especially when coupled with the possibility of an existential EMP event that could lead to the death of hundreds of millions of Americans.  This investigation is especially warranted given President Obama’s reassurances that we are a year or so away from crossing Netanyahu’s “Red Line,” and have time for diplomacy to work. 

Is this just another “Triumph of hope over experience?”

Please click here to read this week’s update!

How does the administration know that meeting the Iranian threat does not also require more and better missile defenses than currently planned? Especially when taking account of Iranian activities such as recently pointed out by Reza Kahlili, based on his study of Google Earth photography of Iran’s underground facilities and his contacts in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard? What about Reza’s suggestion that Iran Iran has already crossed the “red line” that has so concerned Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu?…

Please help High Frontier continue this important and timely work!

 

Related Links:

WND
Revealed! Evidence Iran crossed nuclear ‘red line’
By: Reza Kahlili / March 20, 2013

The Washington Times
KAHLILI: Heavy traffic across Iran’s ‘red line’
By: Reza Kahlili / March 21, 2013

The Commentator
Revealed: New Iranian nuclear sites and further evidence of North Korea collaboration
March 21, 2013

PJMedia
[VIDEO] Secret Iranian Nuclear Program Site Has ‘Crossed Every Red Line’
By: BRYAN PRESTON / March 22, 2013

CBN
Thoughts on Obama’s Middle East Visit; Plus, New Iranian Nuke Site Revealed
By: Erick Stakelbeck / March 22, 2013

Powerline
AN UPDATE ON IRAN’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM
By: SCOTT JOHNSON / March 23, 2013

WND
IRAN CONFIRMS SECRET NUCLEAR ‘QUDS’ SITE
By: Reza Kahlili / March 24, 2013

WND
IRAN ACCUSES WND OF PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE
By: Reza Kahlili / March 25, 2013

Al Arabiya
Iran Secret Nuclear Facility (Arabic)
March 25, 2013

Al Arabiya
Iran Secret Nuclear Facility (Farsi)
March 25, 2013

New English Review
Secret Quds Underground Nuclear Development Facility Revealed in Iran
By: Jerry Gordon / March 26, 2013

American Thinker
Experts Concerned Iran Nuclear Progress Is Accelerating
By: Reza Kahlili / April 1, 2013

Gerard Direct
Racing Toward Armageddon – How a Concurrence of Events May Find a Nexus in Global War
Ilana Freedman / April 3, 2013

The Washington Times
KAHLILI: Why nuclear talks with Iran is a fool’s errand
By: Reza Kahlili / April 4, 2013


Iran Working on Nuclear Warheads Out of Secret Site “Quds” (See Video)

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

The Islamic regime’s scientists are working on nuclear warheads – and trying to perfect them – at an underground site “Quds” unknown to the West, according to our source within Iran’s Ministry of Defense, corroborated by other sources in the  Ministry of Intelligence.

The source provided the coordinates and chilling details of the regime’s operation out of this site;

The regime has succeeded in not only enriching to weapons grade but has converted the highly enriched uranium into metal,

It has succeeded in making a neutron reflector which indicates the final stages for a nuclear weapons design that would be a two-stage, more sophisticated and much more powerful nuclear bomb,

The site has a capacity of 8,000 centrifuges and currently has three operational chambers with 19 cascades of 170 to 174 centrifuges enriching uranium. As of three months ago, the source said, there were 76 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium stock at the site and 48 kilograms of over 40 percent enriched uranium,

It has in its possession 24 kilograms of plutonium, which is sufficient for several atomic bombs and that the scientists are at the last stage of putting together a bomb warhead,

The scientists in their design for a plutonium bomb are using polonium and beryllium, which would serve as the trigger for the bomb,

The regime is working on 17 Shahab 3 missiles in preparation of arming them with nuclear warheads, the source said. The operational and technical aspect of the delivery system is 80 percent completed,

This site has over 380 missile depots and launching pads, facilities that can house large ballistic missiles, most likely Shahab 3 and possibly North Korean Taepodong II (ICBMs),

This facility provides the missiles for Hezbollah and with the help of North Koreans, is mass producing a new generation of napalm bombs to be shipped to the terrorist group while at the same time working on white phosphorus bombs to be used for terrorist acts.

Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, an expert on nuclear strategy and weapons who served on several strategic congressional commissions and in the CIA, reviewed the imagery and human intelligence (HUMINT) and called for a congressional hearing.

“The newly discovered underground complex looks like the kind of enormous complexes built by the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War and by Russia today,” Pry said. “One can infer from the (HUMINT) descriptions some design characteristics of parts for making implosion plutonium weapons and two-stage atomic weapons,” Pry said. “The latter is a design far more sophisticated than the Hiroshima bomb that could have a much higher yield and possibly produce an explosion 50 times greater than Hiroshima.”

Fritz Ermarth, who served in the CIA and as chairman of the National Intelligence Council, reviewed the imagery. “Taken as a package, this imagery strongly suggests that Iran is working on what we used to call an ‘objective force.’ That is the objective of a deployed force of nuclear weapons on mobile missiles…”

Related Links:

WND
Revealed! Evidence Iran crossed nuclear ‘red line’
By: Reza Kahlili / March 20, 2013

The Washington Times
KAHLILI: Heavy traffic across Iran’s ‘red line’
By: Reza Kahlili / March 21, 2013

The Commentator
Revealed: New Iranian nuclear sites and further evidence of North Korea collaboration
March 21, 2013

PJMedia
[VIDEO] Secret Iranian Nuclear Program Site Has ‘Crossed Every Red Line’
By: BRYAN PRESTON / March 22, 2013

CBN
Thoughts on Obama’s Middle East Visit; Plus, New Iranian Nuke Site Revealed
By: Erick Stakelbeck / March 22, 2013

Powerline
AN UPDATE ON IRAN’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM
By: SCOTT JOHNSON / March 23, 2013

WND
IRAN CONFIRMS SECRET NUCLEAR ‘QUDS’ SITE
By: Reza Kahlili / March 24, 2013

WND
IRAN ACCUSES WND OF PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE
By: Reza Kahlili / March 25, 2013

Al Arabiya
Iran Secret Nuclear Facility (Arabic)
March 25, 2013

Al Arabiya
Iran Secret Nuclear Facility (Farsi)
March 25, 2013

New English Review
Secret Quds Underground Nuclear Development Facility Revealed in Iran
By: Jerry Gordon / March 26, 2013

High Frontier
YouTube Brief of Kahlili’s Evidence on Iran’s “Red Line”
By: Amb. Henry F. Cooper / March 29, 2013

American Thinker
Experts Concerned Iran Nuclear Progress Is Accelerating
By: Reza Kahlili / April 1, 2013

Gerard Direct
Racing Toward Armageddon – How a Concurrence of Events May Find a Nexus in Global War
Ilana Freedman / April 3, 2013

The Washington Times
KAHLILI: Why nuclear talks with Iran is a fool’s errand
By: Reza Kahlili / April 4, 2013

 

How the Media Lied About Fordow

Monday, February 25th, 2013

Fordow fuel enrichment plant – DigitalGlobe image on day of reported explosion, Jan. 21, 2013

The latest IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear program and its activities came out on February 21 and one thing was immediately clear: The last physical inspection of Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP) was between November 17, 2012 and December 3, 2012.

In an exclusive story on WND on January 24 with updates on January 272930, 31, February 3, 6,13, 23 and 24, I reported that an explosion had occurred at the Fordow plant in Iran on January 21, which at first trapped 219 workers, including 16 North Koreans, 14 technicians and two military attachés.

Within days after Iran’s denial, and in a coordinated effort, both Reuters and the AP ran stories quoting the IAEA that its inspectors had been at the site after the reported explosion and that the IAEA backed Iran’s denial. This in turn fueled other media to conclude the same thing.

On January 29, Reuters published a report about the IAEA’s email response to an inquiry as to the status of Fordow, which read in part:

“[…]IAEA inspectors regularly visit Iranian nuclear sites, including the one at Fordow, and the U.N. agency suggested in its comment that they had been at the facility after the reports of an explosion there.

“We understand that Iran has denied that there has been an incident at Fordow. This is consistent with our observations,” IAEA spokeswoman Gill Tudor said in an emailed statement in response to a question…”

Later that day the AP ran a similar story:

“The U.N. nuclear agency is dismissing reports of a major explosion at Iran’s fortified underground nuclear facility.

“International Atomic Energy Agency spokeswoman Gill Tudor told the Associated Press on Tuesday that Iran’s denial of “an incident” at the Fordo uranium enrichment plant is ‘consistent with our observations.’ [...]

“A diplomat familiar with the issue told the AP that the IAEA’s information came directly from IAEA inspectors at Fordo. [...]”

It is clear now that both agencies put out incorrect information.

According to the latest IAEA’s report, there are no inspectors stationed at Fordow, and there are no cameras monitoring the site on behalf of the IAEA.

DigitalGlobe image Jan. 21, 2013 – Across from Fordow Plant, written on the mountain in Farsi: “Fadayat Rahbar,” to be sacrificed for the leader – and in smaller print: “Sar Allah,” shedding blood for Allah, or blood for the path of Allah

However, it was not just the media misrepresenting the facts to suppress the report of the explosion at Fordow, the IAEA also is to blame.

When asked by WND, the IAEA spokeswoman, Gill Tudor would not confirm or deny the incident.

“The agency does not evaluate matters in Iran other than those directly relating to its nuclear verification work, so although we’re aware of these media reports, we are not in a position either to confirm or deny them,” Tudor said in an email to WND.

“That said,” she continued, “I’m sure you are aware that agency inspectors regularly visit Iranian nuclear facilities under the IAEA’s safeguards agreement with that country. (You will find more information on the IAEA’s safeguards mandate and activities in Iran at http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/focus/iaeairan/index.shtml.)

“We understand Iran has denied that there has been an incident at Fordow, and this is consistent with our observations,” Tudor said.

However, in a follow-up inquiry by WND to verify if the IAEA had inspected the site since the report of the explosions, Tudor refused to answer.

“I’m very sorry but I can’t go into any further details on ongoing safeguards work, which is conducted with a high level of confidentiality,” she replied.

Again from the official reports by the IAEA on Iran’s nuclear facilities, it is clear that though there are regular visits at Natanz, there are no regular visits to Fordow. The IAEA has to obtain permission from the Iranian counterparts for an arranged and escorted visit.

Even the regime’s Fars News Agency in a report on February 21 (reflecting the recent IAEA report), confessed that the information on the Fordow facility stating that it is still up and running, came directly from Iran itself when it filed the required Design Information Questioner with the IAEA. This is again clear in the February 21 IAEA report reflecting information on the operation of Fordow per the DIQ filed by Iran.

So basically the officials of the Islamic regime ruling Iran denied that an explosion had occurred at their most valuable nuclear site and that denial became a fact for the IAEA to testify that no such an event had taken place. That in turn became the verification for the media to run with their story, which, of course, was more exaggerated to make a good headline.

We have an expression in Iran which goes like this: They asked the fox: Who is your witness? The fox replied, “My tail.”

A horrifying journey from Iran to freedom

Friday, February 8th, 2013

A must read for everyone to understand the truth about the evil regime ruling Iran:

Hooman Musavi fled Iran upon being released from prison after several years of incarceration for “acting against national security.”

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

By Vahid Pour Ostad

February 06, 2013

Born In An Iranian Prison — And Into A Lifetime Of Consequences

A young prisoner sat blindfolded, facing a wall in Tehran’s Evin prison. It was April 2010, nearly a year after the disputed presidential victory of Mahmud Ahmedinejad sparked massive street protests and thousands of arrests. The room was silent, but suddenly he heard a voice, closer than he would have expected.

“What’s your name?”

“Hooman Musavi.”

The prisoner felt a powerful blow to the back of his head. The man standing over him opened a briefcase and took out a pile of papers. “Sign them,” he said. He struck the prisoner again, this time in the face.

“The session took 18 hours,” says Musavi, 26, who recently fled Iran and shared his account of the experience with RFE/RL’s Radio Farda. “The entire time, the interrogator threatened me and insisted I sign everything — documents describing whom I had been in contact with, which demonstrations I had participated in, what reports and footage I had prepared, and to whom I had sent them.”

Musavi, who had been arrested for participating in and documenting the Green Movement protests, cried throughout the incident. “I felt so much pressure,” he says. Finally, the interrogation ended and guards took him back to his cell in the prison’s infamous Section 209, the solitary confinement ward where he was to spend the next seven months.

Any relief at the interrogation ending was short-lived. Within minutes, two men had entered Musavi’s cell and handcuffed his hands to a radiator affixed to the prison wall, so high that Musavi, already exhausted, could not sit down. As the hours passed, he watched as his hands turned purple from the pressure of the handcuffs and lack of blood.

“I was so weak, and the guard would open the cell door, put some food on the floor and close the door. I couldn’t move a muscle, let alone reach for the food,” he says. “I lost consciousness for some time, and when I came to, I panicked when I looked at my hands. They had turned black and purple by then. It was a very strange condition. My shoulders were numb; I couldn’t move them.”

A day later, guards entered his room and removed the handcuffs. Musavi fell to the ground, drained of all strength, as he felt the blood begin to flow back into his hands. The guards dragged him back to the interrogation room. The pile of papers had quadrupled. Musavi, desperate, said he was ready to sign whatever they put before him, but his hands were still too numb to hold a pen. So the guard brought an ink pad, and one by one, Musavi marked each piece of paper with a single fingerprint.

Hooman Musavi’s father, Shantia, was executed as a political prisoner before his son was born. Hooman’s mother died in a wave of mass executions when he was 2.

Day after day the interrogations continued, much as they had since security agents had stormed his Tehran apartment on April 1, posing as gas repairmen. They kicked him in the stomach, handcuffed him from behind, and combed every inch of his home — even the meat in his refrigerator — before taking his computer, camera, and mobile phone to look for evidence of Musavi’s participation in the postelection protests.

But it wasn’t just Musavi’s role in the Green Movement that had made him a target of the authorities. His family history had contributed as well. It was something his interrogator liked to remind him of, every day, as he returned him to his cell. “We’re going to execute you,” the man would say, in a voice that would make Musavi shiver. “Just like your mother and father.”

Repeating History

Hooman Musavi was born in prison, on Yalda, the night of the winter solstice, in 1986.

A month earlier, his father had been arrested on charges of cooperating with the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), which had participated in a series of antiregime attacks in the 1970s and ’80s and had fought alongside Saddam Hussein’s forces in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War.

Musavi’s father, a textile manufacturer in the city of Shiraz, had sold head scarves to female MKO members. He and an in-law were taken to the city’s Adelabad prison and were executed within weeks. By then, Musavi’s aunt and mother had been arrested as well. Musavi’s mother, Haiedeh, gave birth in Adelabad, and Hooman spent the first two years of his life inside the prison.

“My aunt used to tell me how I was always sick during those two years; I cried the whole time,” he says. “I had sores and often caught bad colds. Even when I got older those symptoms stayed with me because of the stress I had endured early on. My aunt said my mother stopped producing milk and she couldn’t feed me. So some of the female inmates would give their food rations to women who were lactating and could still breastfeed children. I used to be fed by five or six different women there in order to keep me alive.”

Hooman Musavi’s childhood was marked by poverty and neglect.

In 1988, Musavi’s mother was executed as part of a five-month wave of mass executions of political prisoners. “My mother was a very simple woman. She didn’t even know what the ideals of organizations like the MKO were,” he says. “She never gave up under interrogation; she remained faithful to my father until the last moment. She was executed for this very reason.”

For the rest of his life, the shadow of his parents’ executions hung over him. Two decades later, struggling to survive in Evin, Musavi began to share his interrogator’s conviction that he would share his parents’ fate.

“I was thinking they might come back and take me to the gallows at any moment,” he says. “It had already happened to my family. I was raised with the understanding that innocent people can be captured and executed.”

Lonely, But Never Alone

Musavi was raised by his aunt after she was released from prison. An older brother and sister had been divided between other relatives and lived far away, in Mahshahr and Tehran. His upbringing was difficult, marked by poverty and neglect. There was no fatherly hand on his shoulder, no motherly affection.

For years the young Musavi harbored a secret dream: “I wished that they would throw a birthday party for me and that someone would buy me a gift,” he said. “But it never happened.”

When attention came, it was unwelcome. Musavi was 12 when he received his first summons to the Shiraz division of the Intelligence Ministry. He had done nothing wrong to attract the gaze of the security services. In his words, he had simply reached the age when authorities saw fit to remind him of his family’s history and urge him, firmly, to mind his manners.

“They questioned me and told me more about my family,” he says. “When I entered high school, the interrogations became more frequent and they would always tell me not to follow politics. ‘Fool around with girls, drink, use drugs — do whatever you want, but don’t get involved in politics. If you have the slightest political inclination we’ll arrest you.’”

The warnings proved ineffective. After entering university in Qazvin to study industrial engineering, Musavi was called before the school’s disciplinary committee numerous times for participating in student protests. “They would ask whether I prayed or why I was absent from visits to religious sites like Qom and Jamkaran. Questions that had nothing to do with the university and were meant to hurt me.” Half a year before he was due to graduate — and just a few days after the 2009 presidential election — he was suspended.

‘We Didn’t Want Much’

Many claims of irregularities were made in the 2009 vote, which officially handed the incumbent Ahmadinejad a 62 percent win, with his reformist rival, Mir-Hossein Musavi, trailing with 34 percent. Outraged, hundreds of thousands of people flooded onto the streets of Iran to support Musavi and a second candidate, Mehdi Karrubi.

Hooman Musavi (no relation to the presidential candidate) was among the protesters, using his camera to shoot photographs and videos of the demonstrations in Iran. When the government responded with a forceful crackdown, dozens of protesters were killed and thousands, like Musavi, were arrested in the weeks and months that followed.

Looking back at the events, Musavi insists his activism had nothing to do with the remorse he still feels for his parents. His aim, he says, was purely rational. “We didn’t want much,” he says of himself and his fellow protesters. “We just wanted someone to answer our question — what happened to the votes we had put in the ballot boxes?”

Friendship, Tears

After a few months in his tiny isolation cell, Musavi says he no longer feared his interrogators’ threats of execution. To the contrary, he longed for it. “I would cry for hours in my cell, and ask God for them just to take me and execute me,” he says. “Just to put an end to the situation.”

After seven months Musavi got a reprieve of sorts, when he was moved out of solitary confinement and into Section 350, the ward reserved for political prisoners. Living conditions remained grim. But Musavi says after months of isolation he was happy to be with other prisoners — especially former protesters like himself.

“They were dissidents of the regime or members of the Green Movement or prisoners of conscience, and there was so much sympathy,” he says. “They gave me a jacket and a knit cap, and my morale began to improve. I really felt like I had no regrets about having gone onto the street to film the demonstrators, to help make sure the world heard their voices. It was a good feeling.”

Hooman (right) was separated from his siblings as a child and they were not reunited until they were older.

Section 350 held some of Iran’s most famous political prisoners, including Hoda Saber, a well-known journalist and activist who had been serving jail time off and on since 2000.

In June 2011, the 52-year-old Saber began a hunger strike to protest the death of a fellow activist. His health quickly failed, and he died just eight days later of a heart attack. Witnesses at Evin complained that prison authorities ignored Saber for hours after his chest pains began, even as he begged for help.

“Mr. Saber was losing weight every day and his situation deteriorated,” Musavi recalls. “During the final days he was left in his bed and he could no longer see. He didn’t recognize his fellow prisoners; his condition was very bad. No one attended to him; when he would lose consciousness we would take him to the prison clinic. But they wouldn’t take him and he’d be returned after five minutes.

“The last time we took him to the clinic we didn’t hear until the next day that he’d become a martyr at the hospital. When the news reached us, the 200 inmates in the ward, there wasn’t a single person who wasn’t crying. It was one of the worst days of our lives.”

No Mercy

Nearly a year after Musavi’s arrest, officials had still not scheduled his court hearing; each month, a prison authority renewed his arrest warrant in order to keep him in detention. Finally, in March 2011, he was taken to court for a closed-door session. His lawyer was barred from attending and the Revolutionary Court judge was preoccupied throughout by workmen who had been brought in to repair the air conditioning.

The trial was over in 20 minutes. The judge, delivering the verdict, referred to Musavi as the son of antirevolutionaries and pronounced him guilty of acting against national security by participating in illegal gatherings and establishing contact with opposition satellite channels. His sentence: three years in prison, prohibition from all state universities, fines, and 74 lashes.

Another 16 months passed before Musavi was taken to be lashed. A total of 14 political prisoners were lashed that day: Musavi was the first. He had taken care to put on several layers of clothing, in the hope of dulling the pain. But a judge observing the proceedings ordered Musavi to strip down to a T-shirt.

“I was the first person to be lashed and I had the feeling that the soldier didn’t know how to do his job,” he says. “The lash consisted of three strands of leather woven together with a knot at the end, to make the tip very heavy and painful. When the soldier was lashing me, it hit me in the chest. My chest was purple, covered with bruises. My entire torso was swollen. I was doing my best not to moan or beg for mercy, but I asked: ‘Why are you lashing my chest? You should hit me on the back.’”

The last prisoner in the group was a dentist who had been sentenced to nine years and 160 lashes for his satirical writing about religion. The remaining prisoners, already reeling from their own lashings, were forced to watch. The strokes of the lashes were so harsh that they peeled away his skin. Blood gushed from his wounds, and the man screamed in pain. Finally, it ended.

“He was quite resilient, but when we took him from the room it was like carrying a corpse,” Musavi says. “His condition was critical. None of the others bled from the lashings. Their skin wasn’t cut, only bruised. But this man’s body was bleeding in several different parts, and his skin was slashed open. We were all crying for him.”

The 14 prisoners returned to the ward. No medical care was provided. The other prisoners brought bowls of water and strips of cotton to make compresses for their injuries. “It was if all the prisoners had been lashed,” Musavi says. “Everyone felt crushed.”

Escape, And Uncertainty

In August 2012, Hooman Musavi was released after 2 1/2 years in prison.
But even once outside he continued to feel trapped by the thoughts of his fellow prisoners still held in Evin. He visited their relatives and went to see the graves of activists who had lost their lives in the Green Movement protests, including Neda Agha-Soltan, the student whose shooting death was captured on video and became a graphic symbol of the brutality of the government crackdown.

But even these quiet activities drew the attention of the security forces. Musavi’s interrogator summoned him with a warning, reminding him of his months in solitary confinement and promising he would not escape the gallows again if he returned to prison a second time.

Left with no other option, Musavi fled the country, carrying only a small pack of possessions. (For his protection, his location has been left unstated.) He is uncertain what the future holds, but hopes that he will finally escape the destiny of the child, born and orphaned in prison, who could never outrun the Iranian regime.

International Media Coverage of the Fordow Explosion Report

Friday, February 8th, 2013

In an exclusive story on WND on Jan. 24, with updates on Jan. 2729, 30, 31,Feb. 3613 and 23, I reported that an explosion had occurred at the Fordow nuclear facility in Iran destroying much of the installation and trapping over 200 people in the underground facility.

Within days, the international media covered the story. A major German paper, Die Welt, cited sources that confirmed my report. Israeli intelligence also confirmed to the Times of London that such explosion did take place, although they could not tell if it was an act of sabotage or an accident.

However, the officials of the Islamic regime in a brief statement denied the report and White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters: “We have no information to confirm the allegations in the report and we do not believe the report is credible.”

Then in an unusual move, the IAEA issued a brief statement on Jan. 29: “We understand that Iran has denied that there has been an incident at Fordow. This is consistent with our observations.” IAEA spokeswoman, Gill Tudor, emailed that response to reporters. However, when pushed by WND, Tudor could neither confirm nor deny the incident had taken place and would not say whether inspectors had visited the site after the explosions, despite some media reports that it had.

Also according to a high ranking Iranian diplomat serving in Asia, an order from Iran’s Foreign Ministry was issued days after the explosion to all of its embassies that no interviews on Fordow can be given to news agencies and that any response to queries by reporters should refer only to a statement by the White House and a report by news agencies on behalf of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Although no independent confirmation exists so far, the status of Fordow is bound to be found out as the IAEA inspectors will at some point inspect the site. According to the source in the security forces in charge of protecting the site, the regime is desperately trying to clean up the site.

Iran, through its official news agency IRNA, assailed WND as a media outlet “under the direct control of the CIA” and WND’s Reza Kahlili as a tool of the CIA to expand propaganda against the regime in the face of its nuclear progress.

Fordow is central to the regime’s aspiration for nuclear bombs. The advanced centrifuges were moved to the site in order to enrich uranium to the 20 percent level. This raised concerns in the international community because that level of enrichment could be further enriched to weaponization grade within a matter of weeks.

Fordow, which is almost 300 feet deep underground in the belly of a mountain and immune to airstrikes and most bunker buster bombs, has been at the center of the Iranian nuclear dispute. Without Fordo, the regime would feel vulnerable to any airstrike on its other facilities such as Natanz. Also, without Fordow the regime would lose its negotiating powers and, in turn, would lose face at home as it has sacrificed the well-being of millions of its citizens over its nuclear program resulting in severe international sanctions.

Two days after the reported incident at Fordow, the Islamic regime, in a January 23rd letter to the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (the IAEA), Iran said it plans to install thousands of its upgraded centrifuges at the Natanz facility with the intent to enrich uranium to the 20 percent level. Could this be as a result of the explosion at Fordow where its modern centrifuges were enriching uranium to 20 percent?

It is interesting that last August, a senior Iranian lawmaker said Iran’s nuclear scientists and experts had managed to thwart enemies’ plots to infiltrate and blow up the Fordow uranium enrichment facility.

“The enemies intended to repeat a Chernobyl-like disaster through selling (booby-trapped) equipment and blowing up the centrifuges at the Fordow site, but their plot was discovered and foiled by the Iranian scientists’ wisdom and tact,” Abbas-Ali Mansouri, member of the Iranian Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, as quoted by Fars.

In relevant remarks quoted by Fars, the head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Fereidoon Abbasi, also said that, “Separate attacks on Iran’s centrifuges — through tiny explosives meant to disable key parts of the machines — were discovered before the blasts could go off on timers.”

One thing is for sure: The fact that this news I have reported is getting such a reaction — from confirmation to denial, and with such broad coverage and at such levels — speaks volumes.

Original reports:

WND
SABOTAGE! KEY IRANIAN NUCLEAR FACILITY HIT?
By: Reza Kahlili / January 24, 2013

WND
WND report blows Iran nuke program wide open
By: Reza Kahlili / January 27, 2013

WND
NEW DETAILS SURFACE ON IRAN NUCLEAR EXPLOSION
By: Reza Kahlili / January 29, 2013

WND
U.N. WON’T DENY EXPLOSIONS AT IRAN NUKE PLANT
By: Reza Kahlili / January 30, 2013

WND
‘PANICKED’ IRAN MAKES POWER MOVE AFTER NUKE-SITE LOSS
By: Reza Kahlili / January 31, 2013

WND
NORTH KOREANS AMONG 40 DEAD AT IRAN NUKE PLANT
By: Reza Kahlili / February 03, 2013

WND
IRAN DIPLOMAT, FOREIGN INTEL CONFIRM FORDOW BLASTS
By: Reza Kahlili / February 06, 2013

WND
IRAN: U.N. NUKE INSPECTORS ARE SPIES
By: Reza Kahlili / February 13, 2013

WND
IRAN’S NUKE-PLANT EXPLOSION COVER-UP
By: Reza Kahlili / February 23, 2013

International Media coverage:

Die Welt
Fog Over Fordo
By: Michael Sturmer / January 30, 2013

The Algemeiner
WND Adds to Report on Explosion at Fordow Nuclear Plant as Former Revolutionary Guard Member Confirms Incident to Israeli Media
January 29, 2013

Ynet News
Fordo said to be crippled by ‘blast’
January 29, 2013

The Australian
‘Blast’ at Iranian nuclear facility
January 29, 2013

The Inquisitr
Devastating Explosion At Key Iranian Nuclear Facility Confirmed By London Times
January 29, 2013

Reuters
U.N. nuclear watchdog backs Iran’s denial of Fordow blast
January 29, 2013

The Daily Beast
White House Debunks Iran Nuclear Explosion, But Iran Denies Planting Story
By: Dan Ephron / January 29, 2013

MSNBC
Iranian exile reported alleged blast, and Israeli official confirmed
January 29, 2013

The Hill
Report of explosion at Iran nuclear plant not ‘credible,’ says Carney
By: Justin Sink / January 28, 2013

Jerusalem Post
Ya’alon: ‘I read about Iran blast in the paper’
January 28, 2013

Jerusalem Post
Report: Israelis confirm explosion at Fordow facility
January 28, 2013

International Business Times
Iran Denies Blast At Nuclear Plant, Israel Insists It Happened, But Denies Involvement
By: Maya Shwayder / January 28, 2013

The Algemeiner
Conflicting Reports Over Explosion at Iranian Fordow Nuclear Facility
January 28, 2013

The Weekly Standard
Israel Shores Up Its Defenses, While Iran Remains Quiet
By: Lee Smith / January 28, 2013

Israel National News
Israeli Source Confirms Iran’s Fordow Nuclear Plant Exploded
By: Chana Ya’ar / January 28, 2013

Missing Peace.EU
Iranian expert confirms blast in Fordow uranium enrichment facility
January 28, 2013

The Telegraph
Is Iran’s mystery nuclear explosion too good to be true?
By: Con Coughlin / January 28, 2013

Reuters
US does not believe media reports about blast at Iranian enrichment plant
January 28, 2013

Pravada
Iran denies explosion at nuclear facility, Israel confirms it
January 28, 2013

Breitbart
CONFIRMED? MASSIVE EXPLOSION AT IRAN NUCLEAR FACILITY
By: JOEL B. POLLAK / January 28, 2013

Business Insider
Massive Explosion Reported At Iran’s Fordow Nuclear Facility
By: Robert Johnson / January 28, 2013

Times of London
Iranian uranium-enriching facility ‘is damaged by explosion’
By: Sheera Frenkel Tel Aviv, January 28 2013

The Times of Israel
Israeli sources confirm blast at Iranian nuclear facility
By YOEL GOLDMAN, January 28 2013

Policymic
Fordow Nuclear Explosion Shows War With Iran Has Already Started
Bryant Harris / January 28, 2013

Ynet News
Report: Israeli officials ‘confirm’ blast in Fordo
January 28, 2013

Jerusalem Post
Report of blast at Iran nuke facility unconfirmed
By YAAKOV LAPPIN, January 28, 2013

Haaretz
Who spread reports of an ‘explosion’ at Iran’s Fordow nuclear plant and why?
By: Anshel Pfeffer / January 28, 2013

Irish Times
Israeli minister welcomes reports of blast at nuclear plant
By: MARK WEISS, in Jerusalem – January 28, 2013

Die Welt
Expert reports severe explosion at nuclear plant
By Clemens Wergin, January 27, 2013

Spiegel
Iran: Rumors of explosion at nuclear plant important
January 27, 2013

The Times of Israel
Israeli minister welcomes report of huge blast at Iran nuclear plant
January 27, 2013

Israel Today
Reports: Iran nuclear facility destroyed
January 27, 2013

UPI
Report says blast in Iranian nuke site
Jan. 27, 2013

GLOBES
Huge explosion reported at Iran nuclear site
January 27, 2013

New English Review
Was Israel Behind the Rumored Fordow Nuclear Enrichment Explosion in Iran?
By: Jerry Gordon / January 25, 2013

 

DEBKAfile covers my report on Fordo explosion with a meaningful last paragraph

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

DEBKAfile in its report on a mysterious twin-car bomb explosion at Syrian regional intelligence headquarters, has also covered my report on an explosion at the Iranian nuclear site,the Fordo facility. Interestingly, DEBKAfile refers to CIA’s involvement and distances Israel from such covert operation but at the same time in the last paragraph of the report, talks about a promotion to Israel’s Military Intelligence Director Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi for outstanding covert operations!

…Meanwhile in Iran itself, the Fordo underground uranium enrichment plant was again reported targeted for sabotage, according to an unconfirmed report published by Reza Kahlil, who is described as a former Iranian Revolutionary Guards officer who worked under cover as a double agent for the CIA until he escaped to the United States.

Kahlil reported that at 11:30 a.m., Monday, Jan. 21, the day before Israel’s general elections, a large explosion occurred 100 meters deep inside the underground plant, trapping 240 nuclear staff in the third centrifuge chamber. Among them, he said, were Iranian and Ukrainian technicians.

There was no information about casualties or the extent of damage to the 2,700 centrifuges which have been turning out 20-percent enriched uranium.

Khalil cited his source as Hamidreza Zakeri, a former Iranian Intelligence Ministry agent, who said the regime believes the blast was sabotage and the explosives could have reached the area disguised by the CIA as equipment imported for the site or defective machinery.

None of the information about an explosion at Fordo has been verified either by US officials or regime sources in Tehran.

Thursday, Jan. 24, Israel’s Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz and Military Intelligence Director Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi ceremonially promoted Col. G., commander of the elite Sayeret Matkal, to the rank of major general in recognition of his unit’s “outstanding covert operations.”

Read full DEBKAfile report: Iranian-Hizballah convoy blown up on Syrian Golan. Border tensions shoot up

My original report: SABOTAGE! KEY IRANIAN NUCLEAR FACILITY HIT?

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