And in non-census-related news…

A 20-year old letter allegedly written by Iranian “Green revolution” leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi to Iran’s then-president President Ali Khamenei is causing a lot of chatter within Tehran-watching circles this week. The letter was published on the website of the now-exiled past President of the Islamic Republic Abolhassan Banisadr and appears to expose a long-denied international assertion against the Iranian regime. The letter references the type of activity that suggests that Iran has participated in foreign terrorist attacks and has been fighting an aysymmetric proxy war against its enemies for quite some time now. Not that this is such a stunning revelation to anyone, but it is interesting nonetheless that internal government documents have come to light from within that acknowledges this.

Here is the letter, and I’ve reprinted a Google-translated excerpt below:

“After the plane is hijacked, we become aware of it. When the machine gun in a street opens in Lebanon and the sound turned it everywhere, we will know the case. After the discovery of explosives from our pilgrims in Jeddah, I’m aware of it. Unfortunately, and despite all the loss that the country has realized this move, yet like every time the operation can be called anytime the state occurs”

Our troops in Afghanistan are fighting an asymmetric battle against non-state actors in the south of that country. We’ve known for some time that factions within the Pakistan military have been sympathetic and supportive of Taliban fighters and we’ve known the same about Iran’s support as well. If the letter is valid, it helps the Iranian regime lose face over a lie it has laughably maintained among the international community. Though, such a “revelation” will come as a shock to no one. Iran for example provides billions of dollars in annual support to Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

Facing mounting opposition from opposition forces, Ahmadinejad has taken a hard-line stance to bolster his support among hardliners within his base. This, of course, is underscored by the development of a nuclear program to assert Iran’s independence, defense and dominance over the region. However, a nuclear program, while couched in anti-Semitic and bellicose terms, is at minimum state-to-state posturing.

The release of the letter that internally confirms that the regime has long participated in state-sanctioned proxied asymmetric attacks against not only foreign soldiers but against civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon among other countries, may simply be yet another element for fodder for an opposition posturing against a hard-line regime losing favour at home. This further suggests to Iranians that their leadership has been occupied with tangential foreign issues while domestic strife rises and quality of life diminishes.

To that point, this is also about two rival political factions blaming each other for failures in Iran’s history as an Islamic republic. Washington’s Daily Beast picks up on this thread,

“This letter has historical significance now,” Banisadr told The Daily Beast in a telephone interview. “At the time of its initial publication it was significant, too, because it clearly stated that the Iranian regime was involved in terrorist activities abroad; that these actions were not sporadic, but that it was the Iranian government that was engaged in terrorist activities.”

Neither Khamenei nor President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has commented on the letter. But people in Iran speculate that the letter re-emerged at this moment because Mousavi was threatening to reveal secrets in connection with the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, having been accused by current Iranian authorities of losing the war. And some hope that Mousavi’s secrecy standoff with the government might cast light on another dark moment in Iran’s history–the mass executions of political prisoners in 1988, which reportedly cost the lives of thousands of people. Within Iran, the executions are a taboo subject. But last month, Mousavi alluded to them, suggesting that his cabinet was kept in the dark.

The Mousavi letter also seeks to establish the credentials of the opposition leader as someone who was in government and who was an insider to the regime’s history. This contrasts with Ahmadinejad, the former mayor of Tehran who had little to no experience.

Comments

comments

  • Liz J

    There's actually news more important than the Canadian census?

    I find that hard to believe since tampering with the beloved long form census that gives private info to government for it's perusal is almost the end of our world as we've known it.

    The only problem is the facts in the matter have been lost and no one seems able to find them. Too bad Tony and company can't find the time to get their tongues around the true facts instead of letting the opposition blowhards take it way off course just as they did with prorogation.

    They got into such a frenzy over prorogation they wanted to do away with it in our Constitution.
    We can also recall P Martin getting all wet up and going to scrap the Notwithstanding clause,without which we would not have the Trudeau Charter.

    Serious stuff, too bad we don't have a serious opposition.

  • http://www.searchingforliberty.blogspot.com Roblaw2b

    I hate to rain on a parade.. but does this not strike one as, well, ironic in light of the fact that we (or at least our American and British allies) declared war and then occuped Iraq – the least theocratic Arabic country in the middle east, and the most stabilizing force against Iran.. but did nothing against Iran who now may hold the keys to a nuclear weapon?

    Don't get me wrong – I agree that the census is quite the non-issue (though I question why, while in a minority government position, we felt it was absolutely necessary that we stake this ground, now).. but the Iran disclosure continues to throw question on the whole fundamental basis of the Iraq war.. and I have some concerns that when the smoke clears, we may find similar disclosure coming out of Pakistan.

  • kenn2

    Messing with the census was a stupid idea, achieving nothing, but damaging something useful. It was simply a badly aimed scratch at an insignificant ideological itch. This is leadership?

    On today's topic… we're just Canada. At best, we can make an intelligent comment about this, unfortunately Harper will just issue nods to whatever the US decides to say/do.

    From Stephen:
    The release of the letter that internally confirms that the regime has long participated in state-sanctioned proxied asymmetric attacks against not only foreign soldiers but against civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon among other countries, may simply be yet another element for fodder for an opposition posturing against a hard-line regime losing favour at home. This further suggests to Iranians that their leadership has been occupied with tangential foreign issues while domestic strife rises and quality of life diminishes.

    Well, in other news… The west (most often the US) “has been occupied with tangential foreign issues while domestic strife rises and quality of life diminishes.” Remember how the west backed the Taliban when the Soviets were taking their turn in Afghanistan? Remember the west backing the corrupt Shah of Iran? Or backed Saddam against post-revolutionary Iran? Current backing of the Saudi regime? Close to $1 trillion spent in 3 wars in the last decade? (Oh and some lives too, but they mostly weren't ours). Playing nice with the Chinese so that we can buy cheap stuff (and lay of factory workers)?

    It's of course important to be aware of foreign developments, but we have little influence, so I fail to see how this subject is useful here as fodder for the CPC faithful . Maybe Stephen's aiming for the foreign service? :)