The Ghadir-e Yazd Steel factory after the explosion that killed seven people.
It just has to be Israel, according to the pundit class. You know, that warmonger Netanyahu. Or maybe it’s us. Maybe it’s Obama, who after all killed bin Laden and Qadaffi, toppled Mubarak and bin Ali, and has proclaimed that “Assad must go.” Who else could be behind the “mysterious” wave of assassination, sabotage and explosions all over the country, from military bases to factories, from pipelines carrying natural gas to the Turks to automobiles in downtown Tehran carrying nuclear physicists to or from work?
Until recently, I was the only one writing about the systematic campaign of sabotage. Now it’s all the rage.
The latest attack against a major Iranian target came a few days ago against a plant that manufactures “special steel” that is used, inter alia, for nose cones and other parts of missiles. It’s the fourth major attack in the past couple of months, three of which you’ve probably read about, and one which has largely escaped notice. The three you know are the steel plant three days ago, the monster blast at Karaj on November 12th, and the explosion on November 28th at a military complex at Isfahan. The one you didn’t hear about took place on yet another military facility in Khorramabad, near the Iraqi border, a couple of days after Karaj.
And then there are “minor” events, such as a couple of Basij gunned down in Balouchistan the other day.
Before we get to the whys and wherefores, a bit of detail: the huge detonation at Karaj, which, as I have explained, surprised the attackers and distorted our understanding. The operation was aimed at the Revolutionary Guards Corps, specifically at General Hassan Tehrani Moghadam, who was both the architect of the national missile program and one of the nastiest officials in that legendarily nasty organization. The attackers did not know that there was a large quantity of rocket fuel on the base that day (which was the reason Moghadam was there). The special fuel came from North Korea, and it was supposed to double the range of Iran’s missiles. The explosion that killed Moghadam and scores of his comrades ignited the rocket fuel, with dramatic results. To date, 377 dead have been reported to the supreme leader’s office. Among the dead are the attackers–they couldn’t escape the big explosion–and at least four North Korean officials, who were there for the celebration.
The attackers came from the internal opposition, and so far as I know they had no ties to any foreign anything, not a foreign intelligence service, not a foreign military organization, not a foreign government.
Of course, as always with things Iranians, you’ve got to caveat what you think you know. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been misinformed. But, on the other hand, I’ve been a lonely voice for quite a while, saying that the opposition (call it the Green Movement, for lack of an updated logo) would become more violent, that the movement was, if anything, more powerful than it was at the time of the big demonstrations a year and two years ago, and that the regime was full of opposition sympathizers and collaborators.
Because it’s obvious that whoever’s blowing up Iran, they’ve got a lot of help from some very important insiders. Don’t take it from me; ask Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. He knows that if his enemies can blow up those installations, they can blow up most anything. Of late, Khamenei hasn’t been particularly active in public events. Like his buddy, Hezbollah chief Nasrullah, he’s keeping his head down and his profile low.
Not that Khamenei has taken vows of solitude and silence. He’s fired several top Revolutionary Guards generals and colonels. Al Arabiya and other lovers of fairy tales would have us believe that Khamenei was the target of the Karaj bombing, and therefore he purged the Guards. But Khamenei wasn’t the target (there was no reason to believe he would attend the ceremony; after all, he didn’t even show up for the inauguration of the Bushehr nuclear plant), and while some of the Guards were indeed fired because of the bombings–they came from the counter-intelligence and “defense” organizations who are supposed to protect such facilities–others were fired because of their involvement in the burgeoning financial scandal. Other “analysts” suggest that Khamenei’s son had joined President Ahmadinejad in trying to kill the old man, but there is nothing to it. Ahmadinejad might well want Khamenei to reach paradise with all due speed, but he wasn’t involved in this affair.
The sources upon whom I rely for such information tell me there is more to come, and I’m sure that the supreme leader believes just that. He may not know the provenance of the army amassed against him and his regime, and he may well convince himself, as our own entrail readers have convinced themselves, that he is under siege from the satanic forces in Washington and Jerusalem. But I don’t believe it. Maybe–probably, even-Stuxnet. I don’t think the Greens are up to that one. Maybe, if you insist, some of the assassinations of the physicists, although I rather suspect they were suspected of disloyalty and were rubbed out by the regime.
But this is a major campaign, and I think it represents the revenge of the Iranian people against their torturers, murderers and oppressors.
Dr. Michael Ledeen is the Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He is also a contributing editor at National Review Online. Previously, he served as a consultant to the National Security Council, the State Department, and the Defense Department. He has also served as a special adviser to the Secretary of State. He holds a Ph.D. in modern European history and philosophy from the University of Wisconsin, and has taught at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Rome.
Dr. Ledeen regularly appears on Fox News, and on a variety of radio talk shows. He has been on PBS's NewsHour and CNN's Larry King Live, among others, and regularly contributes to the Wall Street Journal and to National Review Online. He has a blog on Pajamasmedia.com.
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