Western Intelligence: Iran Helping Gaddafi in Confrontation with NATO
According to a report by Le Monde, the armed intervention in Libya has led to a secret alliance between Iran and Colonel Moammar Gaddafi. That is the conclusion by sources within the circles of Western intelligence.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, fearing the consequences of the NATO operation in North Africa, has developed a plan to transform Libya into a quagmire for the NATO allies.
Iran seeks to take advantage of the upheavals in the Arab world, seeing it as a factor in the weakening of the West's position in the Middle East, as well as a red herring to divert attention away from its nuclear program, say these sources.
According to this analysis, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei (in a directive issued early in May), has instructed the Quds forces (special units of the Revolutionary Guards responsible for extraterritorial operations) to provide military assistance to Gaddafi's forces in its war against what they call the "the axis of evil: the United States, France and [the] United Kingdom."
The plan includes the transfer of weapons, including surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, along with other arms to be used against the forces of the Libyan opposition. The operation has been entrusted to members of the Quds forces based in Algeria and Sudan. Hundreds of them have already penetrated Libya in the area of the Cyrenaica close to Egypt, affirm these Western sources.
On February 27th, I revealed the close collaboration that the Iranian leaders have with Gaddafi and reported that Iran has several military bases in Libya. These bases are located mostly along Libya's borders with the African countries of Chad and Niger. From there, the Guards actively smuggle arms and supply logistical assistance to rebel groups in the western and central African countries.
According to the sources within the Western intelligence community, Hossein Taeb, the head of the intelligence unit of the Guards, has recently dispatched a small team of Top of Form senior commanders of the Revolutionary Guards to Libya. Their mission is to advise the Libyan regime how to monitor communications and information.
The Iranians are also advising Gaddafi about tactics in the concealment of military hardware and combatants using civilian locations. This is the same tactic used by Hezb'allah and Hamas in their aggression against Israel. This directive by Iran's Supreme Leader underscores that NATO's strikes against these places will allow Gaddafi to claim civilian casualties and to use it as propaganda to weaken the NATO alliance.
These Western sources added that the strategy of Ali Khamenei is to keep the West "fixed" as long as possible in the Libyan theater. This is meant to undermine the West's ability to respond to the repression in Syria, a major ally of Iran in the Middle East.
Iran's objective is to preserve the strategic support it has established in Syria, as the Assad government has been a key to Iran's expansion of power and policies throughout the region using its proxies, Hezb'allah and Hamas.
As I have reported recently, the Iranian leadership is desperate to protect the Bashar Al-Assad government and, through its Quds forces, has helped the Syrian leadership with the bloody suppression of the Syrian people who have taken to the streets to protest.
The United States and the European Union have both accused Iran of helping the Syrian government to clamp down on its own people and have sanctioned several of the Iranian security forces for their involvement.
Recently, Iran's leaders have conducted a series of provocations against the West with their missile war games, issuing claims that the missiles are ready to hit predetermined targets -- mostly those of America's military bases in the region and Israel. Iran is heavily involved in Iraq, and Afghanistan with its confrontation with America, and it now appears, they are expanding their theater of operation into North Africa.
It has long been said that the best defense is a good offense. That has worked very well so far for the Iranian leaders as they continue on with their nuclear bomb project, despite four sets of UN sanctions.
How the West reacts will determine the future of the region. This has all the potential of being devastating for the world should radicals ruling Iran be allowed to arm their missiles with nuclear bombs.
Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for an ex-CIA spy who requires anonymity for safety reasons. He is the author of A Time to Betray, a book about his double-life as a CIA agent in Iran's Revolutionary Guards, published by Threshold Editions, Simon & Schuster, April 2010.