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Tehran's tentacles

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Tehran's tentacles

Published June 14, 2007

It's impossible to talk about Hamas, apparently on the verge of vanquishing a rival Palestinian faction in Gaza on Wednesday, without talking about Iran. Iran has been arming Hamas terrorists via smuggling tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border. A Hamas takeover of Gaza would create immense new security problems for Israel and potentially carve out a terrorist haven in the region.

It's impossible to talk about the murder of another prominent anti-Syrian lawmaker in Lebanon, his car blown up Wednesday in Beirut, without talking about Iran and its partner, Syria. Anything that weakens the democratically elected anti-Syrian government in Beirut strengthens the influence of Syria and Iran in Lebanon. Tehran is funding and arming Hezbollah terrorists via Syria, and has rearmed them since Hezbollah's war against Israel last summer. Syria desperately hopes to thwart a UN tribunal recently established to try suspects -- possibly including some top Syrian officials -- in the 2005 assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

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It's impossible to talk about the Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan without noting that Iran is now apparently helping to arm its erstwhile arch foes. On Wednesday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that sizable shipments of Iranian weapons are flowing to the Taliban, probably with the knowledge of the Iranian government. That's astonishing because only a few years ago the Iranians were reportedly helping the U.S. destroy the despised Sunni fundamentalists of the Taliban. Could Tehran be operating under the premise that the enemy of my enemy is my friend?

It's impossible to view the Wednesday bombing of two minarets at the revered Shiite shrine of Askariya in Iraq -- raising the threat of a renewed sectarian bloodbath -- without acknowledging that any setback for the U.S. security plan is a victory for Tehran. The mullahs, who've pledged to "help" stabilize Iraq, actually are funding violent Shiite militias. They may also be supplying lethal roadside bombs that can penetrate even some armored vehicles to Shiite extremists in Iraq. Tehran wins by keeping Iraq just unstable enough to be a pliant and unthreatening neighbor.

In short, it's impossible to view the serious violence that erupted across the Middle East on Wednesday -- and the portents for even greater trouble in the region -- without tracing the significant and rising influence of Iran.

Now imagine a Tehran with nuclear weapons -- and the ability to spread nuclear expertise to its terrorist clients throughout the region.

That is what the world faces. Tehran has proclaimed its progress in enriching uranium, a sure path to an atomic bomb. It's toying with International Atomic Energy Agency officials, setting up a meeting to allegedly come clean on its past nuclear work, then canceling it at the last minute.

Iran has tromped through deadline after UN-imposed deadline to freeze its outlaw nuclear program. The last one passed three weeks ago. There were threats of more sanctions. But so far, nothing. That fecklessness only gives Iran the widest possible leeway to underwrite terrorists across the region.

Wednesday was a good day for Iran, one of many in recent months. It was a bad day for those who seek peace and democracy in the Middle East. If those ideals are to have any chance to flourish in the region, then Iran's going to have to have more bad days than good ahead
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0614edit1jun14,0,7073261....

التعليقات

Re: Tehran's tentacles

People should always be wary of articles like this, which rely on speculation as opposed to fact, and to which there's no by-line.

When an author does not associate his or her name to a piece of work, it usually means they have little confidence in it, and don't want it being traced back to them.

It's interesting that the Hard Right/Neo-Fascists - those people the head of the IAEA this week referred to collectively as "crazies" - call any reference to their documented plots wild conspiracies, but have no problem creating wild conspiracy theories about their future target, Iran.

Re: Tehran's tentacles

People should be weary of Jodan Thorton. Canada's own Josef Goebels

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