February 23, 2012
Reza Kahlili and the Truth About IranBy Pamela Geller
(See also in AT today: Reza Khalili: The Iranian Plan to Annihilate the Jews)
Western intellectuals have turned themselves inside-out to sanction the monstrous mullahcracy in Iran. Saving the free world is of no import or little priority. What is important is condemning any effective action to head off the inevitable catastrophe. And so Obama touts his toothless sanctions and keeps extending olive branches to the murderous mullahs, and hardly anyone has the courage to call him on it. But Reza Kahlili does.
Reza Kahlili is the author of A Time To Betray, the gripping story of his life as a CIA agent inside Iran's bloodthirsty Revolutionary Guards. Now he is a senior fellow with EMPact America, a member of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, an advisory board member of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, and an instructor at the Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy of the Department of Defense. It is good to know that someone with sense and vision is still inside the DoD.
I recently interviewed Reza Kahlili, and what he told me was revealing.
Pamela Geller: Do you think the Iranian statements about Israel's imminent demise portend a nuclear strike from Iran against Israel?
Reza Kahlili: Though it is difficult for the West to understand, the decisions and actions by the leaders of the Islamic regime in Iran are based on an ideology which is deeply rooted in "Mahdiism," and that's the promise by Allah for the day that the last Islamic Messiah (the Shiites' 12th Imam, Mahdi) will reappear to raise the flag of Islam in all corners of the world. As per centuries-old hadith, the trigger for the coming is the destruction of Israel. The Iranian leaders are on a path to bring about that trigger, believing that it will bring about the final victory of Islam over infidels. Their nuclear program is for the destruction of Israel and the West.
PG: What do you think should be done to prevent Iran from striking at Israel?
RK: I think the best course is regime change, as any attack just on the Iranian nuclear sites will not only fail to solve the threat posed by the radicals ruling Iran, but will engulf the region. The only solution to this problem is a regime change in Iran, which would go a long way toward securing world peace and global stability. That can only be achieved by helping the Iranians, who are one of the most westernized people in the region, to bring about change in Iran, while at the same time providing every reason for the loyalists to abandon the regime.
PG: Is Iran a danger to the U.S. now? How is that likely to change in five years?
RK: Unfortunately, not many in the U.S. realize that the leaders in Iran not only pose an existential threat to Israel, but also to America. The fact that the U.S. could destroy Iran in a matter of minutes in case of an attack will not deter the Islamic regime in Iran from an attack on U.S. soil. The Iranian assets, including Quds forces and Hezb'allah cells, have long infiltrated the U.S. The Iranians run a complex operation through several entities and organizations, such as mosques, Iranian Islamic student associations, the Muslim Brotherhood's Muslim Students Association, and others. In helping U.S. intelligence, I once established contact with a Revolutionary Guard commander who posed as a student here in the U.S. Another time I was informed of a very important Guard commander who had come to the U.S. under a fake passport, and was meeting with the heads of Muslim Students Association groups. So not only terrorism at home is very likely when the leaders in Iran decide to take action, but a more dangerous scenario is a launched missile with a nuclear payload, either from Iran or off of a ship close to U.S. shores.
China has sold intercontinental ballistic missile technology to Iran, and the North Koreans are helping with the assembly. And the fact that Iran can launch a satellite into space is another indication of their intercontinental missile capability. The world will soon be shocked to find out that Iran possesses intercontinental ballistic missiles. I revealed last July that Iran has armed its vessels with long-range ballistic missiles and soon will expand its mission into the Atlantic Ocean, reaching right outside of the Gulf of Mexico. The Revolutionary Guards have practiced launching ballistic missiles off a ship and have detonated a warhead in the air. This has been verified by the IAEA. A naval vessel or a third-party commercial vessel could get close to our shores and in less than 60 seconds launch a missile with a nuclear payload, detonating over U.S. skies, creating an electromagnetic pulse attack that would fry U.S. power grids, shutting down power, water, electronics, communication... Studies show that several weeks after such attack, Americans will be leaving their homes looking for food and water, and just one year after such attack, two-thirds of Americans will have ceased to exist. Mutually assured destruction will not work with those who are looking forward to martyrdom!
PG: How popular are the mullahs? If Obama had supported the demonstrators, might the regime have been toppled in 2009? If so, what kind of regime might have replaced it?
RK: As described in my book A Time to Betray, barely a year and a half into the Islamic revolution, the people of Iran wanted change. Tens of thousands have lost their lives, and thousands remain in prison as of today. However, the West continuously chose to negotiate with the regime, as opposed to supporting the people. We had the greatest opportunity in 2009 to bring about change in Iran and to change the geopolitics of the region without firing a single bullet, but President Obama and his advisers, believing they could negotiate with the regime, chose to appease. And the regime, which was at the brink of falling when millions took to the street demanding regime change, successfully used the silence of the world over its atrocities and the suppression of the people to violently put down the uprising. Once that was achieved, the regime then went back on its promise to the West that it would negotiate over the nuclear program and announced that there could be no negotiation over its right to nuclear energy. They once again fooled the West.
PG: Iran under the Shah was a relatively secular society. How broad is the support for the Islamization of Iranian society since 1979? If the mullahs fell, would Iran become secular again?
RK: Growing up during the time of the Shah was wonderful, and it seemed that most Iranians were happy and hopeful, and the country was progressing. It was a very open society. Women were free to do what they wanted, and religion was not an issue. Many Jews, Christians, and Muslims not only lived happily side by side, but were friends and shared mutual respect. There were many Americans living in Iran, and they were respected and treated as part of a big family. Living in Tehran then was like living in Los Angeles. Building cranes monopolized the skyline. Apartment buildings were thirty stories high. Theaters, nightclubs, concerts, symphony, opera, and much more were there for entertainment. Hundreds of colleges and universities across Iran provided education to tens of thousands of Iranian boys and girls.
I guess the only thing missing was political freedom -- the freedom of speech. Many political parties objected to that and would not accept the rule of Shah and his one-party system. We did have political prisoners, and tortures were carried out at Evin prison, but nothing like what happened after the Revolution.
The Iranians had no idea that their aspirations for democracy and full political freedom would be hijacked by a minority of Islamists. Though many in Iran then did not adhere to Islamic rules, they respected the religion and the clerics. However, now they openly curse the religion, its God "Allah," and its prophet "Mohammad." The Iranians see themselves as Persians. Also, many are converting to Christianity, even though the crime of such conversion is the death penalty. Once the Islamic regime falls, we will see true democracy in Iran and an important ally in the fight against radicalism in the region.
PG: Why is Iran funding the Sunni jihadis of Hamas and the Taliban?
RK: That's another misunderstanding by the West. Though the help by the Islamic regime to Sunni forces also is tactical to confront the U.S. and Israel, also in Islam the main enemy is the infidel. And so in pursuit of that final glorification of Islam, the Iranian leaders will collaborate and help any Islamic force that could help with the destruction of Israel and the demise of America.
PG: What is life like for the Jews, the Baha'is, and other religious minorities within Iran?
RK: The Jews in Iran, though able to practice their religion, are constantly under watch by the regime. Many Jews are interrogated upon traveling in and out of Iran, under the suspicion of being spies for Israel. Several are imprisoned, and often mock executions are done in order to make them talk. However, Baha'is have a much harder time, as they are banned from schools, universities, and businesses, and often are arrested and sentenced to death for their belief. They live in constant fear.
PG: What did you see and hear from the Iranian leadership as a member of the Revolutionary Guards that Americans generally don't know, and need to know?
RK: I have set out the details through my story in my book. However, the most revealing issue is the fact that they would openly tell me how they are fooling the West in every level with promises of cooperation, while at all times believing in their goal of destroying the West. You see, they do not resent the West because of its actions in the Middle East and the world; however, the most important fact that America and the West have continuously missed is the ideology behind Iran's destiny. Its doctrine knows no boundaries and stands in diametric opposition to and defiance of the most basic principles and fundamental forms taken by Western civilization.
Pamela Geller is the publisher of AtlasShrugs.com and the author of the WND Books title Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance.
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