- - Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Just hours after news of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the American ambassador and three aides and the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Iranian leaders sought to capitalize on the unrest by inciting worldwide riots against America.

The clerics, military and all organizations within the Islamic regime concurred on a plan to channel the anger over a video made in California that demeaned the Prophet Muhammad.

Iran’s manipulation of the crisis apparently is working. On Friday, tens of thousands of Muslims violently demonstrated against the video and America in Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Iraq, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Egypt and Yemen with more than 20 casualties.

The Islamic regime’s outrageous reaction to the international crisis was followed up by an equally outrageous statement by Iran’s first vice president, Mohammad Reza Rahimi, who said the regime will “track down” those responsible for the film, Mehr news agency reported last week.

Mr. Rahimi’s statement recalls the widely condemned action by the Islamic Republic’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who in 1989 condemned to death the Indian-born British novelist Salman Rushdie for his novel “The Satanic Verses.” Khomeini said Mr. Rushdie’s depiction of Muhammad was blasphemous.

To underscore the Islamic regime’s international misbehavior, an Iranian religious foundation said it was increasing its reward for the killing of Mr. Rushdie, though he had nothing to do with the California video, offering a total of $3.3 million for anyone who carried out Khomeini’s death sentence, Agence France-Presse reported.

Meanwhile, Grand Ayatollah Vahid Khorasani attacked Pope Benedict XVI on Friday over the insult to the prophet by saying, “Hey, clueless pope who has chosen silence, answer this: If there was no Koran, then as the Bible and the Torah have it, Jesus the son of Miriam is a bastard and a bastard will be forbidden from the heavens of God, and so the high place of Jesus is due to the existence of the Prophet Muhammad as the last prophet by God.”

According to a former intelligence officer of the Revolutionary Guards who has defected to Europe, the events in the Middle East provide an opening for the Islamic regime to divert attention from its illicit nuclear program and deteriorating conditions at home as results of sanctions and delay any attack on its nuclear facilities by Israel.

As long as the uncertainty continues in the Middle East, Iran will consider Israel to be under immense pressure not to take any action that would almost guarantee further instability in the Islamic world, the source concluded.

Sources in Iran said the Islamic regime, through its assets and proxies around the world, is working on escalating the crisis within Islamic communities and is ordering plans for terrorist activities against U.S. interests and citizens worldwide, which would further allow the Islamic regime to buy time over its nuclear program. Its focus extends from neighboring countries into countries in Africa where explosives and arms have long been transferred through the Iranian Quds Force.

Celebrating the expansion of the riots to much of the world, Hussein Shariatmadari, the chief editor of Iran’s Kayhan newspaper, which is directly under the supervision of the supreme leader, stated in an article on Saturday that though the insult to the prophet was painful and will be avenged, the bright side of it is that the rage of the Islamic nations is heard not only in the Islamic world, but on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, creating a nightmare for America and its allies. Mr. Shariatmadari concluded that if an insult to Muhammad can cause such a scare to the West, imagine what an attack on Iran would do.

Grand ayatollahs and the official organizations within the regime issued strong condemnations of the video and blamed America for its production. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Iranian supreme leader, blamed America and the “Zionists” for the movie and demanded that the filmmaker be punished.

Grand Ayatollah Nouri Hamadani warned America that Muslims will never rest against “this evil action” and that it should expect much “harsher reactions” by Muslims.

“The enemies and the Zionist regime are horrified by the Islamic Awakening [Arab Spring] in the region; therefore, they instigate such insult against Islam,” he said. “The Zionist regime has reached its end, and the oppressors should know that these idiotic actions will not stop the expansion of Islam, which is a worldwide religion.”

The Islamic regime doesn’t believe in free speech. In fact, it has killed thousands of its own citizens for daring to speak out. Now it is trying to mobilize the entire Muslim world to muzzle the speech, however repulsive, of the American filmmaker, despite this speech being protected by the U.S. Constitution.

The West must not allow Iran to capitalize on this latest Middle East crisis. We must keep the pressure on its ambitions of building nuclear weapons and destroying Israel.

When the Iranian people again rise up against this despotic regime as they did after the fraudulent 2009 elections, this time we must give them moral and material support to overthrow it and end their decades-long suffering.

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and author of “A Time to Betray” (Simon & Schuster, 2010). He is a fellow with EMPact America and serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security.

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