Amir Taheri on Iran: The second clock is ticking.

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Amir Taheri just wrote a column in Asharq Al Awrsat pointing out that Iran's rush to nukes will be shaped by its domestic politics — specifically, an ongoing battle between the most dangerous faction led by Ahmadinejad, and a more risk—averse group of Mullahs, including former President Rafsanjani.

April is the critical month. That is when a new Supreme Guide, with supreme power over the President, may be elected by the Mullahs' "Assembly of Experts."  If the fanatics gains control over the top job, there will be nothing to stop them from controlling Iran and its bombs.

Taheri also confirms that Ahmadinejad truly has an Apocalyptic vision about the return of the Mahdi, the Hidden Imam  of the Shia sect. Ahmadinejad  "puts the Mahdi ahead of all prophets and claims that he has ' a private personal channel' to the 'Hidden Imam.'"

Another important point is that Ahmadinejad's ideological guide, Ayatollah Yazdi, utterly rejects the usual warrant for double—talk:

"He is totally against both taqiyah (obfuscation) and kitman (dissimulation) which have been perfected into veritable arts by the mullahs over the centuries. Thus he often says aloud what most mullahs think in silence."

In sum:

1. Ahmadinejad has repeatedly said that he wants Israel wiped off the map.

2. For twenty years, Iran has been moving toward nuclear weapons and long—range missiles. They are now near the point of no return, where they can no longer be halted without a massive military attack.

3. Ahmadinejad, according to multiple sources, is a fanatic who wants to bring about an Islamic Apocalypse, a total world war that would bring back the messiah of Shia Islam.

4. Ahmadinejad rejects the policy of lying followed by previous Mullahs, so that we should take him at his word. 

5. On the other side, Israel is said to have some 200 nuclear weapons, including a second—strike capacity, able to destroy Tehran if Jerusalem or Tel Aviv are hit by surprise.

6. France, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and others within the 2,000 km range of Iranian missiles cannot possibly believe that a massive nuclear exchange next door will leave them untouched.

It follows that all powers ——— European and Islamic ——— in and near the region must want Iran's radicals out, and nuclear development brought to a halt. It was France that secretly gave Israel the plans for Saddam's nuclear reactor in 1981, making it possible for the Israeli Air Force to destroy it in a single bombing raid. The French built the reactor, took Hussein's money, and then ensured that it was blown up.

If the past is prologue, it would seem that Russia, France, and even the Arab countries will secretly cooperate with a US—Israeli effort to destroy Tehran's nuclear capacity, simply to ensure their own survival. If that does not happen, we will be back to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, or much worse.

Amir Taheri just wrote a column in Asharq Al Awrsat pointing out that Iran's rush to nukes will be shaped by its domestic politics — specifically, an ongoing battle between the most dangerous faction led by Ahmadinejad, and a more risk—averse group of Mullahs, including former President Rafsanjani.

April is the critical month. That is when a new Supreme Guide, with supreme power over the President, may be elected by the Mullahs' "Assembly of Experts."  If the fanatics gains control over the top job, there will be nothing to stop them from controlling Iran and its bombs.

Taheri also confirms that Ahmadinejad truly has an Apocalyptic vision about the return of the Mahdi, the Hidden Imam  of the Shia sect. Ahmadinejad  "puts the Mahdi ahead of all prophets and claims that he has ' a private personal channel' to the 'Hidden Imam.'"

Another important point is that Ahmadinejad's ideological guide, Ayatollah Yazdi, utterly rejects the usual warrant for double—talk:

"He is totally against both taqiyah (obfuscation) and kitman (dissimulation) which have been perfected into veritable arts by the mullahs over the centuries. Thus he often says aloud what most mullahs think in silence."

In sum:

1. Ahmadinejad has repeatedly said that he wants Israel wiped off the map.

2. For twenty years, Iran has been moving toward nuclear weapons and long—range missiles. They are now near the point of no return, where they can no longer be halted without a massive military attack.

3. Ahmadinejad, according to multiple sources, is a fanatic who wants to bring about an Islamic Apocalypse, a total world war that would bring back the messiah of Shia Islam.

4. Ahmadinejad rejects the policy of lying followed by previous Mullahs, so that we should take him at his word. 

5. On the other side, Israel is said to have some 200 nuclear weapons, including a second—strike capacity, able to destroy Tehran if Jerusalem or Tel Aviv are hit by surprise.

6. France, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and others within the 2,000 km range of Iranian missiles cannot possibly believe that a massive nuclear exchange next door will leave them untouched.

It follows that all powers ——— European and Islamic ——— in and near the region must want Iran's radicals out, and nuclear development brought to a halt. It was France that secretly gave Israel the plans for Saddam's nuclear reactor in 1981, making it possible for the Israeli Air Force to destroy it in a single bombing raid. The French built the reactor, took Hussein's money, and then ensured that it was blown up.

If the past is prologue, it would seem that Russia, France, and even the Arab countries will secretly cooperate with a US—Israeli effort to destroy Tehran's nuclear capacity, simply to ensure their own survival. If that does not happen, we will be back to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, or much worse.