Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Iran’s New Defense Minister: An Anti-American Terrorist

August 13, 2013 By  
1983 bombing of U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon.
Victims of 1983 bombing of U.S. Marine barracks
The job description for Iran’s president, or for that matter, defense minister, seems to include “strong yen for mass murder, if not involvement in it.” It’s a requirement that continues to be upheld.
It was certainly honored by previous president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose frequent calls for Israel’s annihilation were adirect violation of international law proscribing incitement to genocide. That, of course, didn’t stop Ahmadinejad from traveling to New York City to address the UN, being a sought-after talk-show guest, or beinginvited to lecture at Columbia University.
As for previous defense minister Ahmad Vahidi, appointed by Ahmadinejad during his tenure as president, he too certainly fit the job description. Vahidi was (and is) wanted by Interpol for his involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 and wounded hundreds.
Naturally, while Ahmadinejad and Vahidi were at Iran’s helm (along with Supreme Leader and radical Shiite ideologue Ali Khamenei), the long arm of the law didn’t catch up with them. Instead this regime was obsessively courted by the Western powers for round after round of negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, in the unflagging conviction that they were really seeking peace and compromise.
The results of the relentless courtship now include Iran’s installing 7000 new centrifuges over the past two months, rapid progress toward a nuclear breakout capacity, and rapid progress toward weapons-grade plutonium.
Those 7000 centrifuges have been installed since Hassan Rouhani was elected the new president in June. Rouhani, of course, has been widely hailed as a “moderate,” and again Western leaders—undeterred by any of their errors and failures so far—are all too eager to enter even more rounds of negotiations with him. Negotiations that are worse than useless since they—transparently—allow Tehran to buy time.
Cooler heads, of course, have noted that this “moderate” is a longtime disciple of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and chaired Iran’s National Security Council in the years when both the Buenos Aires bombing and the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 American airmen, were planned.
Rouhani too, in other words, fits the job description all too well.
And now this alleged moderate has further burnished his credentials by appointing Iran’s new defense minister, Hossein Deghgan—about whom Brig. Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira, a researcher for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, has issued this backgrounder.
Deghgan, it turns out, has spent his whole career in the Revolutionary Guard, the military wing and terrorism coordinator of the mullahs’ regime. He was dispatched to Lebanon soon after Israel’s Operation Peace for Galilee there in the summer of 1982.
Deghgan’s tasks there included building up the military force of Hizballah, the then newly created terror arm of Tehran, and he was eventually made commander of the Revolutionary Guard contingent in Lebanon.
In the aftermath of Israel’s operation, the U.S. and France dispatched troops in an effort to stabilize Lebanon and move it in a pro-Western direction. On October 25, 1983, that effort took a severe and, it turned out, fatal blow when Shiite suicide bombers simultaneously attacked the Marine barracks and the French paratroopers’ barracks in Beirut.
The death tolls, respectively, were 241 and 58. As Shapira reports:
Instructions for the attack…were issued from Tehran to the Iranian ambassador to Damascus, who passed them on to the Revolutionary Guards forces in Lebanon and their Lebanese Shiite allies…. The order to carry out the attacks was transmitted, and the funding and operational training provided, with the help of the Revolutionary Guard in Lebanon under the command of Hossein Deghgan.
Whenever Western negotiators next find themselves at the table across from their Iranian counterparts, they’ll again be facing representatives of a bloody crew. How long will Western delusions persist?
P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the new book Choosing Life in Israel. He blogs at http://pdavidhornik.typepad.com/.