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February 11, 2014 0

35 Years after the Iranian Revolution, Concerns of Middle Eastern Stability Remain

Feb­ru­ary 11 marks 35 years since the fall of the Shah of Iran and the rise of Aya­tol­lah Khomeni’s Islamic Repub­lic of Iran.  Look­ing back at the Jew­ish community’s pub­lic state­ments from the time, it is strik­ing how many of the con­cerns expressed about the region-wide impli­ca­tions of the Iran­ian Rev­o­lu­tion are still rel­e­vant today.

Ayatollah Khomeini

Aya­tol­lah Khomeini

In an op-ed pub­lished in Jan­u­ary 1979, the Anti-Defamation League exam­ined the impact of the Iran­ian cri­sis on Israel and the West at a moment when it was unclear who would gov­ern Iran: a fun­da­men­tal­ist Islamic gov­ern­ment, right-wing mil­i­tary rule or a leftist-Communist ori­ented regime.

Not unlike the sen­ti­ment expressed fol­low­ing the fall of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak in 2011, in 1979 there was great fear of the vul­ner­a­bil­ity of Saudi Ara­bia and the Gulf States to a sim­i­lar rev­o­lu­tion. Should that hap­pen, ADL wrote, “the fate of Kuwait, the United Arab Emi­rates and Oman would most likely be sealed if the Shah is deposed and if Saudi Ara­bia expe­ri­ences sim­i­lar troubles.”

And as today, when ana­lysts and even some Mid­dle East lead­ers have accused Wash­ing­ton of mis­read­ing and mis­play­ing regional devel­op­ments in Iran, Syria, Egypt and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, ADL crit­i­cized the long­stand­ing U.S. pol­icy which relied on the sta­bil­ity of Saudi Ara­bia and Iran:

 

The assump­tion has been that if Saudi Ara­bia and Iran were heav­ily armed with both U.S. polit­i­cal sup­port and American-made weapons, they could with­stand any and all attempts at over­throw and inva­sion by neigh­bor­ing Soviet-backed ene­mies of by inter­nal rad­i­cal insur­rec­tion­ists. As the Shah loses his grip over Iran, the rea­son­ing behind America’s Per­sian Gulf pol­icy appears to have been specious.”

 

In a line which could eas­ily have been writ­ten dur­ing any point over the past 35 years, our op-ed posited:  “In an era that is expe­ri­enc­ing a rise in rad­i­cal­ism and insta­bil­ity, Israel is the only sta­ble nation.  If, as some Admin­is­tra­tion and State Depart­ment offi­cials acknowl­edged recently, Amer­i­can intel­li­gence had mis­read and under­es­ti­mated the threat to the Shah, could it be that it is mis­read­ing the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion of the Saudi royal fam­ily or under­es­ti­mat­ing Israel’s strate­gic importance?”

Even as we enter an era of grow­ing energy inde­pen­dence in the U.S. and ris­ing hopes about sig­nif­i­cant Israeli fuel sources, the strate­gic impli­ca­tions of a shut-off of Mid­dle East­ern oil still leads to great global anx­i­ety. In 1979, the specter of los­ing Iran­ian oil was a calamity for the West and Israel. As we wrote: “Twelve per­cent of Amer­i­can for­eign oil imports and five per­cent of its total con­sump­tion are Iran­ian.  The fig­ure for West­ern Europe and Japan are even more impos­ing: 16% of oil con­sump­tion in Japan is from Iran­ian oil fields, 15% in Italy, 14% in Britain, 11% in West Ger­many and 10% in Canada.  And for Israel, the fig­ures go even higher – fully 60–80% of Israel’s oil comes from Iran.”

Most trag­i­cally, our op-ed high­lighted fears for the wel­fare of the ven­er­a­ble Jew­ish com­mu­nity of Iran, which then num­bered over 80,000:  “While some Moslem reli­gious lead­ers have issued state­ments assur­ing Iran­ian Jewry that they would be able to live as a ‘pro­tected minor­ity’ under an ‘Islamic Repub­lic,’ it is clear that any change in gov­ern­ment would raise ques­tions about the future via­bil­ity of a com­mu­nity that dates back 25 centuries…Recent rev­e­la­tions about anti-Semitic speeches deliv­ered by Khome­ini in Iraq have only served to con­firm Iran­ian Jewry’s appre­hen­sion about liv­ing under an ‘Islamic republic.’”

Today, with a frac­tion of that com­mu­nity remain­ing in Iran, Jews world­wide still worry about their secu­rity and well-being.

Thirty-five years ago, Iran’s nuclear weapons pro­gram, its spon­sor­ship of inter­na­tional ter­ror­ism, and sup­port for the per­pet­u­a­tion of the bru­tal Assad regime in Syria weren’t quite on the radar screen.  Yet it is strik­ing that Iran and the region’s insta­bil­ity and unpre­dictabil­ity remained a con­stant over the years.

 

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February 11, 2014 1

Iran’s Islamic Revolution: 35 Years Of Hate

Today marks the 35th anniver­sary of the 1979 Islamic Rev­o­lu­tion. More than three decades on, the author­i­tar­ian Iran­ian regime has indoc­tri­nated gen­er­a­tions of its cit­i­zens with anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-Western pro­pa­ganda through state-controlled media.

These themes con­tinue to dom­i­nate Iran’s media, which also pro­vides a plat­form for Iran’s lead­er­ship to glo­rify ter­ror­ist groups such as Hezbol­lah in Lebanon to Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

Iran’s tele­vi­sion, news­pa­pers and film indus­tries are all under the com­mand of Iran’s Supreme Leader Aya­tol­lah Ali Khamenei. Through these medi­ums the peo­ple of Iran have been receiv­ing a steady dose of the regime’s ide­ol­ogy and hatred.

Tele­vi­sion and Film 

Tele­vi­sion shows reg­u­larly fea­ture anti-Semitic ani­mated car­toons depict­ing Jews and Israelis as blood thirsty mur­der­ers of Pales­tin­ian chil­dren. These graphic ani­ma­tions, which are also aired on pop­u­lar children’s shows, often incor­po­rate anti-American imagery that implies an Amer­i­can hand aid­ing Israel’s crimes.

For exam­ple, a children’s car­toon aired in Sep­tem­ber 2012 titled, Yek Vajeb-e Azadi [An Oblig­a­tion of Free­dom], directly aimed to por­tray Israelis as child-killers by depict­ing an Israeli sol­dier killing inno­cent Pales­tin­ian chil­dren while they played.

yek-vajeb-azadi-iran

Yek Vajeb-e Azadi car­toon — Sep­tem­ber 2012

In Novem­ber 2012, Islamic Repub­lic of Iran Broad­cast­ing (IRIB) aired Sat­ur­day Hunter, an Iranian-made anti-Semitic film about a rabbi teach­ing his grand­son to kill Pales­tini­ans in accor­dance with Jew­ish law. This film and oth­ers like it are aired dur­ing the month of Ramadan.

saturdays-hunter-anti-semitic-iran

Anti-Semitic Iran­ian film “Sat­ur­day Hunter” — Novem­ber 2012

Print Media

State-run news­pa­pers are a pri­mary tool used by the Iran­ian regime to pro­mote hos­tile anti-Israel and anti-U.S. sen­ti­ments, and to pro­vide hard­line con­ser­v­a­tives a plat­form for anti-Semitism and Holo­caust denial.

Kay­han, a news­pa­per known to be the mouth­piece of the Supreme Leader, reg­u­larly pub­lishes edi­to­ri­als pro­mot­ing con­spir­a­cies alleg­ing that the U.S. and Israel are plot­ting to take over Iran and arti­cles deny­ing the his­tor­i­cal facts of the Holocaust.

Another semi-official pub­li­ca­tion which is close to the Islamic Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guard Corps (IRGC), Fars News Agency, reg­u­larly pub­lishes anti-Semitic car­toons liken­ing Jews to unclean ani­mals and insects.

Israeli termite to the Saudi termite: “Don’t fret… I’m telling you we will eat and destroy it…!”

Israeli ter­mite to the Saudi ter­mite: “Don’t fret… I’m telling you we will eat and destroy it…!”

Fri­day Sermons

The pul­pit has become a polit­i­cal tool for the manip­u­la­tion of the Iran­ian pub­lic by the aya­tol­lahs. Tra­di­tion­ally held at Tehran Uni­ver­sity, fire­brand cler­ics give Fri­day ser­mons con­demn­ing the U.S. and the West as untrust­wor­thy pup­pets under the con­trol of Zionists.

friday-prayer-iran

Wor­ship­pers chant “Death to Amer­ica” dur­ing Fri­day prayer and ser­mon in Tehran.

Fri­day ser­mons are also used by the regime to dis­cuss its  for­eign poli­cies. For exam­ple, shortly fol­low­ing the end of the brief Israel-Hamas war in Novem­ber 2012, Supreme Leader Khamenei and Aya­tol­lah Ahmad Khatami both use their Fri­day ser­mon to laud Hamas’s fight against Israel. Fur­ther­more, sev­eral high-ranking offi­cials pub­licly acknowl­edged that Iran had sup­plied Hamas and Islamic Jihad with the Fajr 5 mis­siles that were fired into cen­tral Israel.

supreme-leader-hamas-terrorism

Supreme Leader Khamenei praises Hamas and Islamic Jihad for their fight against Israel in Novem­ber 2012.

 

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February 7, 2014 0

Iranian TV Broadcasts Simulated Attacks On Israel And U.S.

A day after the U.S. gov­ern­ment announced a tem­po­rary sanc­tions waiver on the Islamic Repub­lic of Iran Broad­cast­ing (IRIB), Iran’s broad­cast­ing author­ity, IRIB’s chan­nel 1 broad­cast highly inflam­ma­tory and bel­liger­ent video seg­ments sim­u­lat­ing an Iran­ian attack against Israel and U.S. warships.

The seg­ments aired live on Feb­ru­ary 7, 2014, before the weekly Fri­day prayers were broadcast.

One of the seg­ments (watch below) shows Iran­ian drones tar­get­ing and destroy­ing civil­ian and mil­i­tary sites in Israel. The clip also includes an audio mes­sage from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s 2013 Per­sian New Year address where he threat­ened that if Israel were to “make the mis­take of attack­ing Iran, the Islamic Repub­lic of Iran will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground.”

In the sec­ond seg­ment (watch below), U.S. war­ships are shown invad­ing Iran’s ter­ri­to­r­ial waters. After issu­ing warn­ings, the Iran­ian air force dis­patches bombers to destroy the U.S. war­ships patrolling the Per­sian Gulf. The sim­u­la­tion also depicts Iran’s abil­ity to strike U.S. inter­ests in the Mid­dle East with its mis­sile system.

The air­ing of the seg­ments comes at a time as the Iran­ian regime read­ies to cel­e­brate the 35th anniver­sary of the 1979 Islamic Rev­o­lu­tion against the West­ern backed monarchy.

The waiver on IRIB is slated to last for 180 day and will per­mit non-U.S. satel­lite com­pa­nies to resume IRIB broad­casts. The waiver is appar­ently part of a good­will and confidence-building ges­ture toward Iran as nuclear nego­tia­tors pre­pared to meet for another round of nego­ti­a­tions. Based on this IRIB broad­cast, the waiver may wind up under­min­ing con­fi­dence in Israel, the U.S. and through­out the world.

Iran’s English-language pro­pa­ganda sta­tion Press TV, which pro­vides a plat­form for Amer­i­can anti-Semites, con­spir­acy the­o­rists and Holo­caust deniers, is also included in the exemption.

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