An Iranian steel plant used for production of military equipment and originally built by Russia suffered a major explosion that killed seven, including “foreign nationals” as reported in Iranian media. Iran has been attempting to produce its own tanks and armored vehicles and it’s possible this plant was part of that program. It’s also possible the plant produced components used in the country’s nuclear program (for example, missile production). The foreign nationals who died may’ve been involved in the construction of the facility or the military production carried out there.
My Israeli source says the incident was deliberate sabotage by the Mossad with inside help from the MEK. Further, he says it was part of a long string of such events planned by Israeli intelligence and that this black ops program will continue.
Today, Israeli minister Bogie Yaalon, a former IDF chief of staff and known nationalist hardliner offered a particularly bleak foreign press briefing in which he said that Israel did not support the MEK’s U.S. campaign to be removed from the U.S. terror list:
Israel distanced itself on Monday from efforts by exiled Iranian organisation MEK, which has helped expose Tehran’s controversial nuclear programme, to be removed from the U.S. terrorism blacklist.
The Mujahedin-e-Khalq’s well-funded outreach to the Obama administration has won bipartisan support in Washington at a time of widespread speculation that Israel and Western allies are stepping up sabotage in Iran, possibly using local dissidents.
Asked during a briefing for foreign reporters whether Israel backed the MEK’s campaign, Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon said: “No. We don’t consider it an asset, and we are not interfering in the internal affairs of Iran.“
I’m trying to ascertain in greater detail what Yaalon said on this subject. But from what’s written above Yaalon appears to be distancing his country from support of MEK’s attempt to be delisted by the U.S. Either he’s saying Israel wants nothing to do with the entire issue of MEK including its campaign to be removed. Or he’s saying Israel doesn’t want MEK delisted with the implication being if their role in terror acts inside Iran were ever exposed, it would embarrass Israel (and it’s U.S. ally).
This string of terror attacks inside Iran should give policymakers in Washington great pause in reviewing the MEK petition. While the group may’ve stopped attacks against U.S. targets, I believe it is up to its eyeballs in terror attacks inside Iran. While it may be true that we support such terror attacks (whether the CIA is involved in any way in this campaign remains to be seen), it would look awfully bad for us to clear them of these charges and then find out later that they’re still the terrorists their critics have accused them of being all along.
Yaalon’s other chilling statement concerning Iran was quoted on Dan Williams Twitter feed:
#Iran regime must face choice: “to have the bomb, or to survive.”
This ominous threat points out just how completely divorced the two sides are from each other. Israel threatens attack and regime change if Iran doesn’t give up its nuclear program. While Iran sees a potential nuclear weapon as a sure-fire means of protecting it from precisely the sorts of existential threats posed by Israel. We appear to be continuing on the road to war.
Every time I feature one of these reports I point out for those who claim I’m a dupe of Israeli intelligence that this covert campaign against Iran will not succeed and should be opposed by all who seek a real rapprochement between the sides and resolution of the issues around Iran’s nuclear program. I fear however, that Israel believes such a solution is neither possible nor does it want one. Rather, it wishes an all-out confrontation with Iran that will deliver a blow that will sink that nation’s ambitions to be a regional power. The reason Israel seeks this outcome is that it refuses to countenance any competitor threatening its own hegemony.
The U.S., as it so often has during the Obama presidency, stands aside and plays no useful role in lessening tension or negotiating a way out of the crisis. This will lead to terrible damage down the line when the almost inevitable military conflict happens and we have even less options than than we do now to ameliorate the situation.
This article appeared at Tikun Olam