Bad Timing: Covert War on Iran



Patrick Disney

If you haven’t read it yet, take the time to read Seymour Hersh’s blockbuster article in The New Yorker about US covert activities in Iran.

This article is important for a number of reasons. At the very least, it should be read because Seymour Hersh is an investigative journalist in a class by himself–he received a Pulitzer Prize during Vietnam for breaking the story of the My Lai massacre, he uncovered much of what we know about the Abu Ghraib scandal, he broke the story of last year’s Israeli strike on a Syrian nuclear site, and most recently he has revealed valuable information about US covert activities in Iran.

And his current article, “Preparing the Battlefield,” makes a few surprising and significant observations. The first and most striking for many of us is a number: 400 million. That’s how much money the US has authorized for covert operations in Iran. The purpose — and here Hersh cites what’s called a Presidential Finding signed by President Bush – is to destabilize Iran’s religious leadership and gather intelligence about Iran’s nuclear program.

NIAC has long opposed a proposal for $60 million for these purposes; now we hear that Congress authorized over 6.5 times that much through classified procedures. And it might surprise you (or not) to hear where this money is going: to covert activities supporting Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups, with the chance that some could also go to three known terrorist entities, the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK), PJAK, and Jundallah.

For expert commentary on Hersh’s article, check out Laura Rozen’s blog War and Piece, particularly this post.

This news is tragic enough by itself, but it comes at exactly the time when it appears a major breakthrough on Iran’s nuclear program is drawing near. Former Iranian foreign minister and foreign policy advisor to the Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati has hinted that Iran might accept the most recent offer by the P5+1 to suspend its uranium enrichment program. This would pave the way for a diplomatic solution to the current standoff. Check out Trita’s analysis of the latest news here. And also read the comments by the eminent Iran scholar Gary Sick here.

This also follows news that the Bush administration has been considering creating a US interest section in Iran, which would open up the first diplomatic channel between the US and Iran in nearly three decades.

In all, it’s been a pretty busy week, and that’s not even including news of the plans for a blockade (up to 224 cosponsors now…), Trita’s newest op-ed with former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami in the Christian Science Monitor, or NIAC’s fund-raising efforts.

Anyway, there’s a lot going on, but we’re not too busy to say one last thing: Happy 4th of July!


more from NIAC
Farhad Kashani

Anonymos8, maybe you’re

by Farhad Kashani on

Anonymos8, maybe you’re having difficulty understanding English; I said no Iranians want their country to be invaded. And that’s true for any nationality, so don’t try to change the subject.


But offcourse Iranians want help from the International community. Based on what logic or definition you’re saying getting assistant from the International community equals the invasion of Iran? Show proof or stop making things up.


If you think Iranians inside Iran don’t want International help, you live in lala land. Based on every conversation with an Iranian inside Iran, or ones who came here, and based on every newspaper, magazine, article, book, that is published reflecting Iranian public opinion, based on IRI official own words who sometimes declare that people are “unhappy”, based on commons sense, history, experience, logic, based on listening to Iranians radio, based on reading Iranian blogs, based on watching Iranian TV, based on going to Iran and talk to the cab driver, the school teacher, the cashier at the sandwich shop, to friend, to relatives, ….I can go on for days.


Anonymos8, wake up. The world has changed.


Khomeini was an American!

by The man who new too little (not verified) on

When Ayatollah Khomeini came to power a friend of mine told me that Khomeini was an American (he meant he was an American agent).I did not beleive him since Khomeini was a religous man and I told him this is impossible and as a joke I told him the reason I beleive that he was wrong was because there is no (kh)in English alphabet.Beside the joke I was told by someone that the best way for USA to fight Russian communism was to souround Russia with a green belt, by which he meant the mollah's shawl that goes around their waist.He may have been right.Few years later came down the communism.


Anonym8: KHomeini asked for

by Anonymousanonymouse (not verified) on


KHomeini asked for international help (his video was featured on this very site) to overthrow the Shah and he received the help for many years by Egypt, Iraq, US, Britain and France. Khoemini was an unknown to many in Iran before the Islamic Jihadist usurped the power and he certainly did not speak for the Iranians who were non-jihadist.

Why do you think your views represent Iranians view inside the country. Just because you were in Iran for a month or two last year??? Do you have a website Ipouya.blogspot...


To "Mojahed"- Anonymous500

by Anonymous Passer by (not verified) on

You might be right to say “How in the Hell having wives …has got anything with political activivism?”

But let me know how a collective divorce (ordered by Massoud Rajavi and accepted by dummies like you) has got anything with political activivism?”

حالا برو خودتو برای مریم کماندو آتیش بزن


farhad, lying again

by Anonymous8 (not verified) on

The U.S itself received help from the French during their revolution, France received U.S help during the Nazi occupation,

The people of the US asked and welcomed help by the French. Same with the French during Nazi occupation.

Have Iranians asked to be rescued by force? Understand that your words are meaningless, so please provide the proof that they have asked to be invaded. Otherwise, stop your lying and justifications for invasion of Iran. Fair?

Farhad Kashani

Isn’t this the same

by Farhad Kashani on

Isn’t this the same Seymour Hersh who has been wrong numerous times about Iran? Didn’t he say he has solid information that the U.S is going to attack Iran in June of 2006?

Furthermore, only a leftist and an IRI apologist Iranian group such as the NIAC, narrows down the opposition forces in Iran to separatists movements and MKO. The vats majority of Iranians inside and outside of Iran fiercely, and I mean, fiercely, oppose the regime and want nothing less than its removal, but they can’t do it by themselves. People in Iran laugh about MKo and Jundulla. I am confident that NIAC does not want that, won’t admit it and does not believe in that.


All people under tyranny or oppression received helped from others and International community. The U.S itself received help from the French during their revolution, France received U.S help during the Nazi occupation, Communist blocks civil society and opposition groups, received all kinds of help from the International community during the cold war, anti Hitler Germans received help from allies against Hitler, Cuban opposition groups are receiving U.S and EU help, Chinese opposition groups are receiving International aid, Zimbabwe the same, so is Myanmar, …who gives NIAC the right to speak on our behalf and claim its forbidden for Iranians to receive foreign assistance in getting rid of this barbaric regime? I like NIAC to make it clear why Iranians shouldn’t receive International assistance? What rule of sovereignty is it breaking? Why can’ Iranians, like the rest of the world, receive International assistance from groups or governments or parties or individuals who see the IRI as common enemy, and not give up their sovereignty? Hows that not possible for Iranians when its possible for everyone else? And who said receiving International community assistance equals promoting for a U.S bomb campaign? The NIAC needs to make it clear to Iranians, who have been living helplessly and hopelessly under the brutal oppression of the IRI for the last 30 years, its stance on the IRI. Does it believe it’s a legitimate government? Does it believe Iranians want it? Obviously we know the answer, but we want to know how NIAC gonna dance around the question. NIAC needs to make it clear.



Joftak Zadan Dar Mazreh Choghondar!

by Anonymous500 (not verified) on

To Ananymous200

:-)) It is usually the "Khollas Hezbollahi" who get viled up when Massoud's name is mentioned, but in your case, I think it is a sense of "Arabab-Rayat" mentality that has taken over your logic. In Ppersian we call this logic of "chose naleh bar wazn-e gooz o shaghigheh"!

How in the Hell having wives or children or jobs or dental insurance has got anything with political activivism? I guess what you want to tell all is that you are a grwon up, who has a job, a wife, childrena and dental insurance and does not get involved in politics. Good for you, but since you are in a political dicsussion, it means that none of these "possessions" of yours is enough for you to force you to follow your own advice.

In Persian we call this: "Joftak-zadan dar mazreh choghondar."!

Or we could also ask you nicely: "boro amou peye karet, kasheketo besab, bezar baad biyaad."


ideed bad idea

by Alborzi (not verified) on

Its going to be like the bay of pigs, only idiots think that these guys can be over thrown by Arabs or Baluchis. They had a much more substantial skirmish with kurds and they are still there. Its just going to be more excuse to supress minorities in Iran. Expect some fake confessions too. Its just an idiotic neocon idea, brought to you by the same guys who thought Iraq was such a good idea.


anon500: It is always bad

by Anonymous1234 (not verified) on

anon500: It is always bad timing when people want to get rid of the regime. what else is new...LOL


To Anonymous500

by Anonymous200 (not verified) on

You people grow up. You are not college kids anymore. Get real jobs. Get married and have kids. Start a new life. And don't forget to get dental insurance. Boro baba jan boro keh khoda omret bedeh.


Indeed Bad Timing for Akhunds!!

by Anonymous500 (not verified) on

Mr. Patrick Disney:

Since you speak on behalf of the NIAC unabashedly calling the most organized and patriotic part of the Iranian Resistance, the People's Mojahedin Oragnization of Iran, a "terrorist" organization, here is the response of Mr. Massoud Rajavi to you and your ilk in the NIAC. Let me remind you that a good number of honorable and politically savvy Iranian-Americans are quite suspicious of Your organization's political activities, purposes, funding sources, operational strategies, and linkages.

Considering the fact that it is very likely that your knowledge of Persian language is as lacking as your knowledge of Iranian history and especailly of Iranian Resistance, you may want to ask someone in the NIAC to translate this message for you.

تونى كلارك رئيس سابق حزب كارگر در اجلاس دوم فروردين 1380 گفت: «پيام من از اين جلسه به خانم رجوى و نيروهاى شجاع او كه شعله‌هاى آزادى را زنده نگاه مىدارند اين است كه از همهٌ شما متشكرم. اميدوارم در تلاشهاى خود موفق باشيد تا كشورى و جامعه‌يى را تأسيس كنيد كه همه در سراسر دنيا و نه فقط در ايران به آن افتخار كنيم. تروريستهاى واقعى ملايان هستند كه با ترور و وحشيگرى در ايران حكومت مىكنند. اين رژيم سزاوار هيچ‌گونه حمايتى از سوى دولت انگلستان نيست. بيش از هر زمانى شرم دارم كه ما حتى به صحبت در بارهٌ ممنوعيت كسانى نشسته‌ايم كه خواهان آزادى و عدالت هستند».
رابين كوربت، رادمردى كه درآن زمان نماينده مجلس عوام بود، به اعتراض برخاست و گفت:« شايد اين اولين بار در تاريخ باشد كه قربانيان يك تروريسم سازمان‌يافتهٌ دولتى خود تروريست خوانده مىشوند»
ديويدآلتون كه امرور نامش به نمايندگى ازسوى 35 پارلمانتر شاكى درصدرحكم دادگاه استيناف نوشته شده، در همان جلسه فرياد زد: « امروز روز غم‌انگيزى براى دموكراسى ما ست. ارزشهايى كه در دو دههٌ‌ گذشته در رابطه با ايران عنوان كرديم و ارزشهايى كه مردم در جنگ جهانى دوم به‌خاطرش جان باختندامروز با اين تصميم نقض شدند. حمايت از مجاهدين تنها به معنى حمايت از حق مردم ايران براى مقاومت نيست، حمايت از مجاهدين فراتر از حمايت از ارزشهاى دموكراتيك در انگلستان است. حمايت از اساسىترين حقوق انسانهاست. سخن ازمجاهدين، سخن از مردان و زنانى است كه جانشان را به كف گرفته اند و از زبان مقاومت سراسرى خودشان، از زبان شهيدانشان، از زبان فدا و پاكباختگى شان، پيامشان را مىرسانند».
اكثريت نمايندگان مردم انگلستان در مجلس عوام و 100 عضو مجلس اعيان در همان زمان در بيانيه خود، همصدا با اكثريت نمايندگان كنگره آمريكا، دردفاع ازمشروعيت مقاومت مردم ايران و درافشاى فريب خاتمى، بپاخاستند و نوشتند: «مجلس نمايندگان آمريكا، همانند قانونگذاران در ساير كشورها، تصريح كرده‌است كه جنبش مجاهدين در ايران، يك جنبش مشروع است.در ايران هيچ تغيير واقعى رخ نداده است. جناحهاى به اصطلاح “اصلاح‌طلب” و “ارتجاعي” تنها دو روى يك رژيم سركوبگرند. اين رژيم از مردم خود وحشت دارد و قتل سياسى را در داخل و خارج كشور به كار مىگيرد. دولت انگلستان بايد از ميليونها ايرانى پشتيبانى كند و نه از ملايان...».
گوردون اسلين، قاضى سابق دادگاه عدالت اروپا وحقوقدان نامدار انگلستان وجهان، دوست فراموشى ناپذير مقاومت ايران و مجاهدان آزادى در اشرف، همين چند روز پيش، در بحث رسمى مجلس اعيان گفت:« از آنجا كه گام اوليه براى ممنوعيت مجاهدين توسط دولت بريتانيا برداشته شده، دولت ما بايد پيشگام حذف نام مجاهدين ازليست ممنوعه اتحاديه اروپا بشود»،
بله، حق و حقيقت، روشن است و روشن بود. اما، نيروى شوم «تجارت سياسي» و «دجاليت آخوندي» و «دنائت اخلاقي» جَوَ لان داد و از نامگذارى ننگين تروريستى تا همدستى جك استرا براى استرداد و اعدام مسئولان مجاهدين پيش رفت...
در چنين روزگارغريبى بود كه مريم و زادگان آرمانى او صبر و پايدارى پيشه كردند و با همت هموطنانمان و پشتيبانان مقاومت ايران، غير ممكن را ممكن و محقق كردندو اكنون بجانب قله بعدى در اتحاديه اروپا مى شتابند.
بگذريم كه افعى شرزه ولايت و غاصبان حق حاكميت ملت نيز تا بالكل سرنگون نشده باشند، دست برنميدارند. همچنانكه امروزتايمز لندن نوشت، گاه ازهيأت وزيران دولت فخيمه ميخواهند قانون انگلستان را طورى تغيير بدهد كه بتوان دوباره به مجاهدين گير داد يا اينكه لااقل“بازوى نظامى اين سازمان ارتش آزاديبخش ملي” را هرچند خلع سلاح و نفر به نفر مورد تحقيق قرار گرفته و هرچه طبق قوانين وكنوانسيونهاى بين المللى داراى موقعيت حقوقى حفاظت شده است،در ليست باقى بگذارد ! والا رژيم ديپلماتهاى خود را از انگليس فراميخواند.....
منظورتكرار همان زد و بندها و معاملات كثيف و غيرقانونى است كه به اذعان بالاترين قضات بريتانيا،آنچنان كه در بخش غير علنى حكم دادگاه استيناف آمده است “جاى موضعگيرى و تأسف دارد” و نشان ميدهد “پروسه تصميم گيرى در اين پرونده به نحو بارزى با استانداردهايى كه قانون معين كرده است... فاصله دارد”.
هر چند كه امشب سخنگوى دولت انگليس در مجلس اعيان و مجلس عوام، بطوررسمى اين حرفها را تكذيب كرد وتاكيد نمود به اين قبيل درخواستهاى رژيم تن نخواهند داد.
بيچاره رژيم آخوندى كه دوام حكومت خود را در بازسازى سبوى شكسته و پيمانة ريخته اى مى پندارد كه مانند آب رفته،ديگر به جوى بازنميگردد و اگر هم برگردانده شود جز لوش و لجن و رسوايى و فضيحتِ بيشتر، نخواهد بود.
با آمادگى براى مقابله با پاتك ها و تشبثات مذبوحانه آخوندى، تكرار ميكنم : «در جايى كه هنوز يك قطره قانون و يك ذره آزادى و وجدان وجود دارد، ترديد نكنيد كه ما پيروز ميشويم. مبارزه بر سر حذف ياوه ى تروريستى،اكنون مبارزه اى است با پيروزى محتوم. برچسب زنان، هركه هستند، محكوم به شكست هستند. يكسال پيش درهمين ايام گفتم :« صبركنيد ببينيم اين نامگذارى پوسيده و در هم شكسته، چه مدت ديگر دوام مى آورد».
امسال اما اين رژيم است كه در انگليس دست به دامن دولت فخيمه شده تا قانونى را كه ديگر نميتوان از آن سرپيچى كرد عوض كند. در عراق هم به «تثبيت» اجتماعى و سياسى مجاهدين معترف است و در خلال لجن پراكنى و عربده هاى معمول آخوندى اذعان ميكند كه : اين وضعيت براى مجاهدين يك امتياز و افتخار سياسى - ايدئولوژيك بهحساب ميآيد.
به رژيم ميگوييم : بله ما “زن و مرد جنگيم” و اين نبردى است تا پيروزى.