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February 22, 2008
Is Iran preparing to retaliate for death of Mughniyeh?
Iran's nauseating, Nazi-inspired rhetoric over the last few days could presage an attack on Israel or Israeli citizens around the world.
Some experts are also pointing to this uptick in name calling as a way to deflect attention from what is sure to be another ambiguous report by the IAEA on Iran's nuclear program:
Top Iranian officials have increased their verbal attacks and threats against Israel in recent days, in a pattern seen by Iran-watchers in Jerusalem as a possible precursor of a terrorist attack against Israel or other Jewish targets around the world. What is interesting is that it is still unknown who might have carried out the assasination of the Hezb'allah terrorist leader Imad Mughniyeh. It may have even been a faction inside Hezb'allah itself which would mean that any attack against Israel or its citizens would use the death of Mughniyeh as simply an excuse.
Secretary-General Ban said yesterday that the use of terms like "dirty microbe" and "savage animal" by President Ahmadinejad in reference to Israel was "unacceptable."
Earlier this week, Iran's Revolutionary Guards commander, Mohammad Ali Jafari, predicted the "destruction of the cancerous existence of Israel," and the Iranian foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, said Israel has no "legitimacy" in the region.
Beyond possibly preparing the ground for retaliation for the killing of a Hezbollah leader, Imad Mughniyeh, according to Israeli officials, Iran's rhetorical escalation may be intended to divert attention from an upcoming report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog about Tehran's nuclear activity. The International Atomic Energy Agency's report, to be issued as early as today or tomorrow, is expected to be followed by the imposition of a new round of mild sanctions by the Security Council on Tehran's mullahs, as proposed by top council powers, including Iran allies Russia and China.
As for deflecting attention from Mohammed ElBaradei's report due out this weekend, if anything, it makes any ambiguity in the IAEA report less favorable to Iran as their eliminationist rhetoric directed at Israel worries the world community.