True face of Iran: Once considered a sponsor of terrorism, Iran was initially designated an ally in the war against terrorism. But no amount of verbal cosmetics will change the true face of this evil regime. (Iran).
On the one hand, the Bush tirade against the terror trio was welcome and long overdue. It appeared to signal an end to the dangerous trend promoted by the internationalist policy elites in both the Democratic and Republican Parties to normalize relations with Iran and North Korea. Although the U.S. government has listed for many years the Tehran and Pyongyang regimes as state sponsors of terrorism, the Clinton State Department did not treat them as such. Against overwhelming evidence to the contrary, it insisted that there are moderate and reformist elements in these regimes which should be bolstered against the "hard-line" elements by various U.S. concessions.
The Bush State Department under Colin Powell had been signaling that it would follow a similar course. Shortly after taking over the White House, news stories began to indicate the Bush line regarding Tehran. "Bush may cut a deal with Iran," blared a World Tribune.com headline on January 22, 2001. The World Tribune story reported:
As Russia advances its own strategic ties with Iran, the Bush administration wants to encourage a dialogue with Teheran on trade and regional security while cracking down on neighboring Iraq.
Administration officials said President George Bush will quietly launch an effort to improve relations with the Islamic republic.... Secretary of State Colin Powell said the administration will be reviewing policy toward Iran. Powell said he envisions changes in policy that will serve U.S. interests in the Middle East.
"We have serious problems in our relationship with Iran, I'm not going to minimize that," Powell said. "But, at the same time, we can see in recent years that there is change happening."
During his confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate, Powell called Iran an important country undergoing profound change. He said: "We have important differences on matters of policy, but these differences need not preclude greater interaction, whether in more normal commerce or increased dialogue." And, he said, "our national security team will be reviewing such possibilities."
Feeding the Hand that Bites You
Following Iranian President Khatami's verbal condemnation of the 9-11 terror attack, the Bush-Powell team warmed even more to Tehran. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw was dispatched to Tehran in a joint U.S.-British effort to woo Iran into an anti-terror posse that would include the main terror-sponsoring regimes: Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Yasir Arafat's Palestinian Authority, even officially listed terror sponsors Libya, Sudan, and Syria. CNN reported that Straw's visit "is designed to encourage Iran to join the U.S. drive to build a 'global coalition against terrorism' in the wake of the hijack attacks on the United States." CNN also noted that Straw was bringing a pledge of some $36 million "to help Iran cope with Afghan refugees."
As to be expected, this policy of paying terrorists to be our partners won praise in high places. In a lengthy, gushing tribute entitled "The World According to Colin Powell," the New York Times Magazine for November 25, 2001 explained how the world of rhetoric and policy is played between the Bush Oval Office and the Powell State Department.
Based on several lengthy interviews with the secretary of state, the essay by Times columnist Bill Keller made very clear that the views and policies of Colin Powell resonate much more with the globalists at the New York Times than do President Bush's more strident, made-for-public-consumption statements. Keller described the Powell worldview as one "comfortable with alliances, treaties and international institutions, less assertive in the promotion of American values abroad, more Realpolitik in its judgments, more 'sandpapered' in its language as one aide put it. Powell is the standard-bearer for this camp, which includes most of the upper ranks of the State Department and some sympathizers in the White House, along with an outside chorus that notably includes the President's father."
Mr. Keller and the Times, of course, are an important part of that "outside chorus," which, together with Powell's "upper ranks" and "sympathizers," is conducted by the Council on Foreign Relations (CER). The CFR was once described by Richard Harwood of the Washington Post as "the nearest thing we have to a ruling establishment in the United States." The CFR elitists are comfortable working with terrorists and state sponsors of terrorism as long as this advances the globalist agenda in the direction of "collective" action leading, ultimately, toward world government. The CFR is comfortable with Powell because he is not only a CFR member but a reliable one-worlder. So too are many of his colleagues in the Bush administration.
Because the CFR has dominated the past several administrations, Russia and China, the two primary state sponsors of terrorism, were dropped from the State Department's list of terror sponsors many years ago. And it is the CFR chorus that has been singing the siren song of normalization with Cuba, North Korea, and fran.
Leopard Changes His Spots?
But that has changed now, right? President Bush made it very clear in his State of the Union address, didn't he? At least with regard to Iraq, Iran, and North Korea? If rhetoric were a true indication of policy, yes, he started in the right direction. President Bush said:
Some of these regimes have been pretty quiet since September 11, but we know their true nature. North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens.
Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom....
We will work closely with our coalition to deny terrorists and their state sponsors the materials, technology and expertise to make and deliver weapons of mass destruction....
This resonated well with the American public.
But less than two weeks later, the administration was sending contradictory signals. In a February 11th story headlined, "U.S. Renews Offer of Iran Dialogue," Associated Press diplomatic writer Barry Schweid reported: "Despite angry demonstrations in Tehran and harsh words from Iran's president, the Bush administration said ... it would be happy to talk to and work with Iranian government officials. The renewed overture was coupled with a demand that Iran stop sponsoring terror and trying to develop weapons of mass destruction."
At a February 11th press conference, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told reporters, "If Iran wants to set a clear course toward the modern world, we're happy to talk to them, work with them." Mr. Boucher was repeating the views expressed by Secretary Powell several days before in congressional appearances.
At the very time Boucher made his statement, President Khatami, the supposed reformist president of Iran, was delivering a blistering attack against the U.S. to a Tehran crowd estimated at over one million, which interrupted his speech by repeatedly chanting, "Death to America." According to a French news agency, there were lines of volunteers waiting to sign up on a martyrs list, presumably to carry out suicide attacks against the "Great Satan" (that's us).
Under the Bush-Powell formula, apparently Iran will be allowed off the "state sponsor of terrorism" list if it merely tones down its rhetoric, promises not to support terrorist groups, and "scales down" its WMD (weapons of mass destruction) programs. After much belligerent posturing, Tehran will likely agree to all of the above conditions -- and then continue to violate them with impunity, knowing that the Powell "realists" in the administration will look the other way. And we must look the other way, the "outside chorus" will chime, because Iran is the lesser of two evils, and we must have its support against the greater evil -- Iraq.
Record of Terror
Interesting, is it not? It was the so-called wise men of the CFR chorus back in the Reagan-Bush years who argued in favor of arming Saddam Hussein's Iraq against the "greater evil" of Ayatollah Khomeini's Iran. And it was the same chorus during the preceding Carter years that had argued in favor of supporting Khomeini against the Shah of Iran, our longtime faithful ally, who had proven himself an anchor of stability and moderation in the region. In each case, the CFR chorus drowned out the clear trumpet of warning being sounded by reliable, clear-thinking patriots. The results have been disastrous. The Bush administration cannot be allowed to let Iran off the hook with mere promises and cosmetic changes. Americans must realize that the Tehran cabal running Iran is a deadly, thoroughly corrupt, Marxist-Leninist, revolutionary, totalitarian regime from top to bottom.
Following are a few of the unpleasant facts concerning Iran:
* In January, a PLO-owned-and-manned cargo ship was intercepted while attempting to smuggle 50 tons of weapons from Iran to Yassir Arafat's Palestinian Authority.
* Iran has been a chief backer of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terror network, as well as the Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah terrorist organizations.
* Iran has had longstanding, close relations with terrorist sponsor Syria. When Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi visited Damascus on September 30, 2001, Syria's Foreign Minister Shaara declared that the two countries' policies on terrorism are "identical and totally in harmony."
* Evidence points to Iran as the chief suspect in the 1996 Al-Khobar Tower bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 American servicemen.
* Although downplayed and covered up by U.S. officials for years, Iran has been feverishly developing nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons (and missiles to deliver them) -- with help from Russia and China. CIA Director George Tenet confirmed this in Senate testimony as recently as February 6th.
* Through the United Nations, OPEC, and a multitude of other international organizations, Iran has been working in concert with Russia and the Communist CIS states of Central Asia to gain a dominant leadership position in world Islam, as well as a stranglehold on the energy sources on which Western Europe and the U.S. depend.
Slick Partnership with Russia
This last point particularly concerns us here. The Russian-Iranian strategic alliance to control Islam and oil has gone almost completely unreported in the establishment press. An essential vehicle in this strategy is the little-known Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). Established in 1964 by Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey as the Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD), it was reactivated in 1985 under the new name. In 1992, ECO was expanded to include seven new members: Afghanistan, Azerbaij an, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
The last five mentioned "Stan Brothers" are run by lifelong Communists of the Soviet era, who now claim to be reformed, but still take their orders from Moscow. Azerbaij an, likewise, is run by a Kremlin clone, Geidar Aliyev, a major general in the Soviet KGB. Afghanistan and Pakistan are not far behind their Stan Brothers in terms of Moscow's influence.
Headquartered in Tehran and run by an Iranian, Dr. Abdolrahim Gavahi, ECO has been quietly extending Iran and Russia's strategic reach. In a speech to the Institute for East-West Studies on November 26, 1996, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi explained that reach, noting "the Iranian-Russian relationship is not defined by hegemony any more; on the contrary, it is partnership which matters. Iran and Russia are both partners in three interrelated regions: the Caucasus, Caspian Sea, and Central Asia."
"The interests of Iran and Russia in these regions merge together...," said Kharrazi. "It is safe to suggest that Iran and Russia have developed strong lines in all possible fields in recent years." He also noted that "the relationship is ripe for going deep into areas which are more strategic."
Much has ripened since then. Within OPEC, Iran has used its ECO clout, along with Russia, to gain much influence. That has been aided by Tehran's close relations with Hugo Chavez, the Marxist chief of Venezuela, OPEC's second largest oil producer and the main provider of our imported oil. The World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and other institutions have been pouring billions of dollars into the ECO countries to develop oil and gas reserves and pipelines. They are using our tax dollars to build the lines that our enemies will use to strangle us.
RELATED ARTICLE: Russia and Iran Mix Oil with Terror
Government officials, analysts, and media organizations in the West have paid scant attention to the development and activities of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). Continued neglect will cost us dearly -- in many ways. Over the past several years, ECO has developed as a major instrument in a joint Russian-Iranian strategy to redraw the energy and security picture in the entire Middle East-Persian Gulf-Caspian Sea region. Iran has proven effective over the past two decades in coordinating terrorism for the Soviet Union and its Russian successor. Now it is coming to the fore as Russia's key asset for strategic diplomatic, economic, and military operations in the energy-rich Persian Gulf and throughout the Islamic world.
Although not a member of ECO, Russia is the senior partner nonetheless, working behind the scenes through Iran and the Central Asian countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), all of which are ruled by repressive, old-line Communist Party leaders with pedigrees dating back, at least, to Brezhnev. ECO's permanent Secretariat is located in Tehran, where many of the organization's meetings take place. Like all other organizations within Iran, it is closely supervised by Iran's Islamic-Leninist intelligence service, patterned after its mentor, the Soviet KGB (now the FSB).
ECO's 10 members are: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan. Installed as the de facto governing authority in Kabul, the Northern Alliance is tightly tethered to Moscow and Tehran, and Afghan Prime Minister Hamid Karzai has moved rapidly to increase ties to Iran. Turkey, the odd-man-out in this grouping, is a member of NATO. While always a dubious ally of the West, Turkey has alarmingly moved toward Russia and Iran in the past few years, thanks, largely, to the Russian-Iranian ECO strategy.
Together with Russia, the ECO members control a huge portion of the world's production and reserves of oil and gas. In October 2001, one month after the 9-11 attacks, Russia strengthened its energy hand dramatically, as oil began flowing through the newly finished Caspian pipeline. The 1,000-mile, $2.6 billion project, largely built and financed by U.S. oil companies, now carries crude oil from Kazakhstan's immense Tengiz oil field to the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, Russia's largest oil terminal. Thus, Kazakh oil exports to Russia have jumped from 200,000 barrels/day during the Soviet era to an expected 500,000 bl/d in 2002, and a projected 1.5 million bl/d by 2015.
On November 24, 2000 the Clinton State Department sent congratulations on completing the pipeline, noting that "the President and Vice President made the pipeline a major priority in our dialogue with both Russia and Kazakhstan for many years." Eleven months later, in October 2001, the Bush administration echoed a similar theme when Energy Secretary Don Evans praised the pipeline project during a visit to Russia. According to Evans, "It tells the world that the United States, Russia, and Central Asian states are cooperating to build prosperity and stability in this part of the world."
And more of the same is on the way, with other major Kazakh oil fields coming on-stream recently, including North Buzachi, Sazankurak, Saztobe, Chinarevskoye, and Airankol. Others, such as Alibekmola, Urikhtau, and Kozhasai, are to begin producing shortly. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, "Between 1991 and 2001, Kazakhstan received approximately $10 billion in foreign investment, mainly in the oil and natural gas industries" -- with much of that coming, in one form or another, courtesy of U.S. taxpayers. The World Bank announced in October 1999 that it had committed $1.7 billion to 20 projects in Kazakhstan. More has gone to similar projects in the other CIS-ECO states.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency funded a $750,000 feasibility study conducted by Enron for a natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan. Construction continues on the multibillion dollar Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline from Azerbaijan to Turkey, while scores of other gas and oil projects are underway throughout Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The Kremlin strategists were unable to develop, use, transport, and sell these enormous hydrocarbon deposits during the Soviet era because of the weaknesses and inefficiencies of Communism. But these deposits are now being developed for them by the capitalists of the West. In addition, by working through its Muslim-Leninist states of the CIS, Iran, and ECO, Russia has greatly multiplied the number of embassies, consulates, and business fronts it can operate through target countries, the UN, and other international organizations.
Much of this grand scheme is the handiwork of Yevgeny Primakov, a top KGB operative who recently served as Russia's prime minister and, prior to that, was the Soviet Union's overseer of terrorism in the Middle East. Primakov and company, however, have received much help in this strategem from the usual suspects on our side. Consistent with past experience, the wellspring for the disastrous policy decisions to support the Russia-Iran ECO axis has been the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Over the past decade, the CFR chorus, both inside and outside of government, has provided the key impetus and support for these policies. To what purpose? The answer is found in an article by CFR member Amy Meyers Jaffe and Robert A. Manning in the Summer 2001 issue of the journal Survival (and featured on the CFR website). The Jaffe-Manning piece, entitled "Russia, Energy and the West," concludes with a section subtitled, "Strategic Convergence?" The question mark is superfluous; U.S.-Russian convergence has been the CFR theme song for decades. "Regardless of the attitudes of US conservatives, Russian oil and gas supplies, even without Caspian Basin considerations, will be critical to the expanding world economy," say Jaffe and Manning. "In fact, the United States could significantly enhance its own energy security by assisting Russia to revive its energy industries," they insist, adding that the U.S. should provide "direct aid for the expansion of Russian oil and gas fields."