August 3, 2006
Mullahs in Denial: Can't Keep Their Story StraightBy James Lewis
Does the name Ali Larijani ring a bell?
No, he's not the brilliant TV and movie character Ali G, created by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, famous for duping celebrities and political figures into interviews where he asks outrageous questions and watches his victims squirm.
No, Ali L is involved in another kind of duping altogether. And the squirming is taking place on Ali L's part. But like Ali G, the spectators get to have a lot of fun. At least this week.
You see, Mr. Larijani is Tehran's representative on earth, wherever Tehran chooses to stir things up. His real title is Supreme National Council Secretary, but his most recent antics make the moniker Ali L far more appropriate.
Where Ali L goes, trouble follows, along with a lot of Iranian armaments and Revolutionary Guards.
But a very curious thing happened this week. Mr. Larijani, the mullah media announced the other day, attended a meeting in Damascus with Sheikh Nasrallah, the Hezbo chief. Then he had a meeting with the good folks from Hamas.
Except that a day later, he didn't. It never happened, according to this denial of the earlier announcement.
Iran is now paying both Hamas and Hezbullah many millions of dollars a year to do its bidding. As David Pryce—Jones points out in the Australian,
No, it wasn't a coincidence. And it's not a coincidence that Ali Larijani just happened to meet with Hamas and Hezbollah's head honchos in Damascus at the very time both of those organizations kidnapped Israeli soldiers. Identical provocations within a few days of each other, by two terrorist organizations supported by Tehran's oil money, in a pincer movement centered on Israel.
But then the IDF started to fight back, and three weeks later, Hezbollah is in trouble. Its very heart has been raided by Israeli special ops troops. Israel is being close—mouthed about who and what the commandos brought back, and a report yesterday of computers seized has disappeared from the site of the usually well—informed and well—connected Israeli blogger Yoni Tidi, who spoke of it on—air Wednesday with talk show host Hugh Hewitt.
But the Mullahs are upset. Very, very upset. Or, as President Ahmadinejad puts it:
It's odd, though, that the Mullahs would want to deny their connection with the coming vengeance against the infidels if all were going well.
Just a little while ago, Ali L's visit with the chiefs of Hezbollah and Hamas was the talk of the Middle East. But back then the Iranians were feeling a lot more confident.
Chances are that Mr. Larijani does not want to be associated with a great public defeat for Iran's imperial plan. If Hezbollah loses face, so does Tehran. And the mullahs cannot afford to lose face. Their own populace has a disturbing tendency to break out in anti—mullah riots whenever large numbers gather.
If things go badly for Hezbollah, if incriminating evidence humiliates the mullahocracy, in the inevitable search for scapegoats Larijani's enemies might just want to pin the blame on him.
So we are privileged to witness some fine mullah mambo.
Larijani's Hezbo meeting? What Hezbo meeting was that?