Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has given the command to escalate terror attacks against the West and allies supporting the Syrian opposition, as Tehran shows significant concern about losing a key ally in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The Daily Telegraph reported that the terror instruction comes as Iran worries not only about losing Assad, but also access via Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Iran is also chafing under intensified Western sanctions over its nuclear program.
The Lebanese terror group Hezbollah receives funding and weapons from Iran, while also carrying out terror attacks and other paramilitary work on Tehran’s behalf. Syria, meanwhile, is currently in the throes of an internal conflict that has lasted more than 17 months and appears to be wearing down Assad’s armed forces.
The UK’s Telegraph, citing Western intelligence officials, said that Khamenei commissioned a national security report that argued Iran needed to make clear its “red lines” with regards to Assad. The Daily Telegraph said the Iranian report said they needed to “show the America, the Zionists, Britain, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others that they cannot act with impunity in Syria and elsewhere in the region.”
A July terror bus bombing that killed multiple Israelis touring in Bulgaria was just the most recent in a string of attempted or plotted attacks around the world attributed to Iran and Hezbollah.
The US and other nations have supported the opposition in Syria in a variety of ways, ranging from communication capabilities from some to reports of more military means from others. The US has so far not gotten involved militarily, at least officially.
Meanwhile, the US has accused Iran of providing training to militia backing Assad in Syria as a means to supplement the Syrian armed forces in their crackdown on the opposition.
Iran’s plans to expand terrorism come after a variety of leaders spoke out against Israel and “Zionism” last week, according to Iranian media. One senior cleric, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, was reported by the Iranian Fars News Agency as saying that Zionists only understand force.
Specifically, he argued the only truly successful effort achieved by the Palestinians in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was through the intifadas. The Second Intifada was a multi-year terror war in which hundreds of Israelis were killed in bombings and other attacks.
The same cleric said unity in the Islamic world would lead to the destruction of the “Zionist” regime, an Iranian euphemism for the Israeli government.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, August 22, 2012)