03/03/2017

On February 21, 2017, the Iranian reformist news agency Amadnews reported on information from a military source in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) about preparations being made by the Iranian leadership following President Donald Trump’s threats against Iran.[1] According to this IRGC source, the Iranian leadership had accepted a recommendation to ally strategically with Russia so that Russia would defend Iran in the event of a U.S. military attack on it. In exchange for the Russian defense umbrella, the Iranian officials had recommended to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei that Iran grant Russia extensive economic and military privileges, in the form of concessions for the oil fields in southern Iran, as well as access to the Persian Gulf – which would give Russia control of Iran’s ports, and profits that would compensate it for the U.S. sanctions against it. An additional recommendation, which is already being implemented, is reviving the battlefront against Israel by means of Hizbullah in Lebanon and the Palestinian resistance organizations in Gaza and the West Bank, to keep Israel busy fighting and keep the Trump administration focused on Israel, not on Iran.

At the end of the report, Amadnews underlined the price that Iran would have to pay for the implementation of these recommendations, and noted that they constitute an explicit contradiction of the goals of Iran’s Islamic Revolution and of the legacy of revolution founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Khomeini, it said, had insisted that Iran follow neither the U.S. nor the then-Soviet Union – that is, that it be independent of both of them.
Amadnews.com, February 21, 2017.

The following is the translation of the Amadnews.com article.

“A knowledgeable military source told Amadnews that at secret consultation meetings aimed at deciding on how Iran should confront the threats by the new American president Donald Trump, the decision makers in Iran spoke about serious decisions that contradict [Iran’s] national interests.

“According to this knowledgeable source, many meetings were held, under the title ‘How To Respond To The Threats of The New American President,’ and the conclusions were sent to the Leader [Khamenei]. The decision makers discussed a big question: Is it possible to reopen the U.S. Embassy in Iran? And if the answer is no, how can Iran respond in a way that will reduce the increasing threats by America – threats that can turn into an extensive military confrontation?

“Political, security, and military experts expressed their opinion [at the meetings] and determined that the decision makers in Iran should not deal with reopening the U.S. Embassy in Iran or with normalizing relations with [the U.S.]. Instead, Iran should deepen its strategic ties with Russia, such that in the event of an extensive war, Russia will defend Iran from American threats. According to this report [to Khamenei], there are many ways to deepen Iran-Russia ties: At these meetings, a strategic alliance with Russia was recommended, and three important recommendations were presented to the Leader.

“This team of experts’ first recommendation was to grant Russia a permit for development, concessions, and production in the oil fields and wells of southern Iran. This recommendation will bring Russia annual profits of over $50 billion, at least, which can save it from economic crises stemming from the American sanctions against it because of the Crimea issue.

“The second recommendation is to realize Russia’s decades-old dream of access to free waters. This team proposed giving Russia access to the warm waters of the Persian Gulf, so that if America attacks Iran, Russia will be able to defend Iran against the mighty sea and land strength of America.

“For over a century, Russia has sought access to the ‘warm waters’ of the Persian Gulf, but Iran has refrained from allowing Russia to do this, for fear of Russian infiltration and influence in Iran. If Russia has a Persian Gulf presence, and access to the warm waters of southern Iran, it will take control of southern Iranian ports, and will benefit from increasing economic prosperity despite the severe American sanctions against it.

“The Russians have already been granted the right to use the Noje military base in Hamdan in order to demonstrate [their] military presence in Syria. This right was granted to the Russians by direct order of the Leader [Khamenei] and without the involvement of Iran’s decision-making apparatuses.

“The third recommendation is to involve Israel in a war with Hizbullah, and with the other Palestinian groups, so that it is too busy to discuss [uniting ranks] with other countries worldwide against Iran, and uniting global public opinion against it. A new war between Israel and Hizbullah in Lebanon, as well as with Palestinian groups, will completely divert global public attention from Iran and focus it on Israel. Such a war could become the focal point of the first four-year term of Donald Trump, and prevent an opportunity to fight Iran.

“Yesterday [February 20], Hizbullah secretary-general Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah gave an interview to [Iran’s] official Channel 1 [TV], and the Palestine conference [i.e. the International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Intifada] was held, with the Leader’s attendance. These two things happened because of other recommendations by the team of experts.”

Here, the Amadnews article summarizes the information from the military source, and criticizes the Iranian leadership for deviating from the dictates of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who had clearly outlined a policy of political independence vis-à-vis the Western bloc, led by the U.S., and the eastern bloc, led by the then-Soviet Union. The article then continues:

“In exchange for giving these rights to Russia, the Russians are supposed to make a military commitment such that if there is a war with any country, Russia will remain Iran’s military ally. But there is a big question: If Iran does not become entangled in a war with any country, how will the Russians give Iran back the rights that they have received? Not least that one of the main slogans of the people of the 1979 Revolution and the toppling of the Shah’s regime was ‘Neither East nor West – [Only] The Islamic Republic.'”[2]

 

[1] Amadnews.com was established by journalists who were arrested or threatened during the 2009 Green Revolution, which maintained that the June 2009 presidential election results had been faked. The journalists said that they were continuing the Green Movement by publishing news transparently and acting to expose corruption in the Iranian regime so as to help the people obtain its rights. Amadnews.com/about-us, accessed February 21, 2017.

[2] Amadnews.com, February 21, 2017.