Rense.com


CIA Develops Secret Plan To
Foster Political Dissent In Iran

By Martin Dillon
7-25-2


While the US military continues to prepare a strategy for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, President Bush has given the CIA the green light to promote dissent in Iran.
 
Since his "Axis of Evil" speech in which he named Iran as a major sponsor of terror, the US President has sought advice from a wide range of experts on how to deal with a regime that has fostered terrorism worldwide - especially in the Middle East.
 
Since the downfall of the Shah, and the arrival of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979, Iran has symbolized militant Islam. Khomeini and his successors silenced dissent within the country and encouraged militant anti- Western values.
 
Iran became the country that not only financed and trained terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, which has killed more Americans than any other Islamic militant organization, but a safe haven for the world s dangerous terrorists.
 
Many master terrorists wanted by Western intelligence agencies for the killing of hundreds of innocent people have been given refuge in Iran s capital and in its military installations.
 
The CIA and the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, have known for years that clerics in power in Iran have also had long established links with Syria.
 
Like Iran, it has allowed Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and many other terrorist groups to operate freely within its borders. The Iranian and Syrian intelligence services have worked closely to provide terrorists with money, weapons and information on targeting.
 
*** This year, Iranian and Syrian intelligence officers met with terrorist leaders from a wide range of organizations at a secret facility outside Teheran. On their agenda was a plan to help Hamas and like-minded terrorists to continue their suicide bombings against Israel in the belief that Israel can be weakened by a sustained terrorist war. ***
 
More worrying for the US was a plan put forward at the terrorist meeting to enable Al-Qaeda and the Taliban to regain a foothold in parts of Afghanistan.
 
When news of the meeting reached the White House, George Bush called together top aides from the Pentagon, Defense Department and the CIA.
 
They all agreed that while Syria was a growing threat to stability in the Middle East and had to be carefully monitored, Iran was vulnerable to internal dissent and every effort should be made to destabilize Iran from within.
 
The Bush policy group recommended that the US harden its rhetoric about Syria and privately warn the Syrian government that there was a price to be paid for supporting terrorism.
 
US military planners have long held the view that a major air strike should be made against terrorist training camps in Syria and in Lebanon s Bekka Valley where Syrian intelligence officers are believed to have operated with their Iranian counterparts in training terrorists.
 
On the question of Iran, the policy group was optimistic. CIA monitoring of political events inside Iran had concluded that a younger generation in the country had tired of the tyranny of the mullahs. While those who disapproved of the mullahs were not necessarily pro-American their collective opposition to militant Islam offered a glimmer of hope.
 
The CIA told President Bush it was ready to mount a sustained covert and overt propaganda campaign to highlight the growing disillusionment of the Iranian population with its leadership. Their reading of the internal political friction in Iran proved accurate.
 
This month, 90-year-old Ayatollah Jalaleddin openly criticized his fellow clerics. His comments sent a shockwave through Iran and its neighbors.
 
His scathing assault on the regime was wrapped in words rarely heard in Iran. He talked of "crookedness and negligence."
 
Days later, under pressure from his fellow clerics, he was forced to release a second statement to soften the tone of the first.
 
Nonetheless the CIA saw in the Ayatollah s comments evidence of a shifting political mood that can be exploited.
 
The Bush administration is aware that Iran and Syria s sponsorship of terrorism has also been at the root of the conflict in Israel. Recently President Bush told a group of Arab leaders at a White House meeting that the prospect of a Palestinian state was remote while Iran and Syria continued to supply Hamas and the PLO with weapons and explosives.
 
There is an even greater reason for renewed focus by the Bush administration on Iran and Syria. In the event the US topples Saddam later this year, or early next year, it does not want to face a situation in which Syria, and especially Iran, meddle in Iraqi politics.
 
Iran has made no secret of the fact that with Saddam off the scene it would like to claim a large portion of southern Iraq.
 
In the coming months the US is likely to adopt a tougher public stance on Syria s role in terrorism. At the same time, the CIA will make every effort to highlight the growing disillusionment of Iranians with their clerical leaders.
 
Covertly the CIA will try to recruit Iranians inside and outside the country to give their voices to criticism of the regime. That will be achieved with psychological warfare techniques such as disinformation, pamphlets, broadcasts and the genuine use of news of dissent from within Iran itself.
 
 
Martin Dillon is a world authority on Russian and East European intelligence and the Ireland conflict. He is also the author of the bestsellers: The Shankill Butchers (Random House); The Dirty War (Random House) and God and the Gun (Orion). This trilogy is also published by Routledge, New York. His books are also available on Amazon.com
 
Martin Dillon also writes for www.Globe-Intel.net





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