The following is an excerpt from testimony by Col. Timothy J. Geraghty, USMC (retired) on Oct. 26 before the Joint Subcommittee Hearing: Iranian Terror Operations on American Soil. Geraghty was commander of the Marine peacekeepers in Lebanon.
October 23, 2011 marked the twenty-eighth anniversary of the beginning of an asymmetrical war waged by radical Islamists against the United States and its allies. It was on that day in 1983 during the Lebanese civil war that coordinated suicide truck bombings in Beirut killed 241 American peacekeepers under my command, as well as 58 French peacekeepers. These atrocities lead to the withdrawal of the Multinational Force from Lebanon and to major changes in U.S. national policy. Since then, radical Islamism has evolved into the major national security threat to Western civilization.
Perhaps the most significant development that grew out of the Beirut peacekeeping mission was the ascent of Iran into becoming a major player, not only in the region but also globally…Some of the key leaders who are implementing the Iranian mullahs’ aggressive policies are worth closer scrutiny. Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar, a veteran commander of the 150,000-man IRGC, was named minister of defense in August 2005. In 1983, he was commander of the IRGC contingent in Lebanon and was directly responsible for the Beirut truck bombings.
[President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad’s fiercely disputed reelection in 2009 also reveals another connection with IRGC in Lebanon. His selection as the new minister of defense, Gen. Ahmad Vahidi, also participated in the 1983 Beirut bombings and later succeeded Najjar as commander of the IRGC contingent. He founded the elite Quds Force of the IRGC, serving as its first commander. He currently is on Interpol’s most wanted list, the Red Notices, for the bombings in Buenos Aires of the Israeli Embassy in 1992 killing twenty-nine and the Jewish Community Cultural Center in 1994 killing eighty-six. Vahidi was linked by the European Union to Iran’s nuclear activities and its development of nuclear weapons delivery systems while overseeing the research and development of WMDs. Vahidi’s assignment and background lays out a bloody roadmap of Iranian intentions. It also provides a deeper understanding as to why Iran has retained the dubious distinction for over a quarter century of being the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism…
The recent Iranian-backed plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States involved a key Quds Force commander linked to the killings of U.S. troops in Iraq. This should come as no surprise. Abdul Reza Shahlai led a group of the Quds Force, within the Iraqi militia of cleric Moqtada al Sadr, dressed as U.S. and Iraqi soldiers, in an assault in Karbala which killed five Americans. According to a U.S. Treasury report, he supplied Sadr’s group with weapons. Shahlai is the cousin of the arrested co-conspirator Manssor Arabsiar, an Iranian American living in Texas. The bizarre plot involved using Mexican drug traffickers to bomb a restaurant in Washington, DC which the Ambassador frequented. The uniqueness of the plot provides some insight to the nature of the asymmetrical threat we face.
For the full testimony click here.
This is a timeline of the key dates for Iran's Parliamentary Election:
December 24-31, 2011
Candidate Registration period
January 1-25, 2012
Candidate Vetting period
Last week of January
Official announcement of vetted candidates
February 22-March 1, 2012
Official Campaign period
March 12, 2011
First Round of Elections
Second Round of Elections
SECRETARY CLINTON: We don’t know. We don’t know and I’m not going to speculate. But I am going to say that the Iranian Government has to take responsibility, because it was clearly done by, directed by, elements within the Iranian Government.
The following is a Press Statement from the State Department on the U.N. Human Rights Report:
We welcome the first interim report by the UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Iran, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, and take note of his assessment regarding the Iranian government’s “pattern of systemic violation” of its citizens’ rights. The UN Secretary General’s report on Iran’s human rights situation also described an “intensified” campaign of abuses.
- What’s the origin of the Islamic Republic’s biggest banking scandal?
- What impact will this have on Iranian politics, especially Present Ahmadinejad and his inner circle?
- What role has Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei played in the reaction to the scandal?
- What are the economic implications of this bank scandal?
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The Islamists Are Coming
The Islamists Are Coming, edited by Robin Wright, surveys the rise of Islamist groups in the wake of the Arab Spring. Often lumped together, the more than 50 Islamist parties with millions of followers now constitute a whole new spectrum—separate from either militants or secular parties. They will shape the new order in the world’s most volatile region more than any other political bloc. Yet they have diverse goals and different constituencies. Sometimes they are even rivals.
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