by Jeffrey Steinberg
A number of extremely reliable Arab and American intelligence sources have reported that the Bush Administration already has ``boots on the ground'' inside Iran, running a multi-front ``Contra''-style destabilization. These operations, which are still on a
relatively small scale, involve ethnic and tribal paramilitary forces, conducting ambushes, assassinations,
and ``blind terrorist'' bombings--with the active involvement of American, British, Pakistani, and Israeli
``advisors,'' the sources report.
While some European governments are naively taking
this ``Contra'' program as a de facto assurance that the
Bush Administration has postponed any ``big'' air war
campaign against Iran until after the November elections
in the United States, such assurances are not all that
solid, particularly so long as Vice President Dick Cheney
and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld are still in
office, and are steering U.S. national security policy.
For now, there are three confirmed ``Contra'' fronts
being conducted (see the map): Attacks from the Kurdish
region of northern Iraq into Iran, using Kurdish assets
(Pesh Merga, etc.) with an Israeli involvement; attacks
from the Baluchistan region on the Pakistani border, with
Pakistani military assistance; and Mujahedin-e Khalq
(MEK) operations, also staged from border areas of Iraq,
where the MEK have large camps.
Two recent incidents underscore the operational
nature of this. In March, attacks launched from
Baluchistan killed an estimated 22 local government
officials; and an April Kurdish ambush killed five Iranian
Source indicates that the Israeli ``role,'' beyond
training and logistical assistance in Kurdish commando
operations into Iran, involves planned heavy attacks on
Hezbollah positions inside southern Lebanon, coincident
with a fullscale U.S. air campaign against Iran. This is
to preempt asymmetric warfare retaliation by Iran against
U.S. and Israeli assets. Arab sources say that Israel has
a Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld green light to deal with Syria if
it gets into the act by defending Hezbollah positions
inside southern Lebanon. Furthermore, Arab sources have
pointed to a recent naval basing agreement between the
United States and Turkey, granting the U.S. Navy access to
three Turkish ports--two on the Aegean Sea and one in the
Mediterranean. The latter could be important if the United
States became directly involved in strikes on Hezbollah
positions in southern Lebanon, backing up Israeli ground
and air assaults.
Above all else, this ``Contra III'' operation, now in
its early phases, is a revival of the thoroughly
discredited 1996 ``Clean Break'' scheme of Richard Perle,
David Wurmser, and Douglas Feith, to fundamentally alter
power arrangements in Southwest Asia, through ``regime
changes'' in key Arab states, Palestine, and Iran.
U.S. sources added a fourth ``Contra'' front to the
``regime change'' campaign inside Iran. During Azerbaijani
President Heidar Aliyev's meetings with President Bush and
Vice President Cheney the week of May 1, he came under
tremendous pressure to assist in the activation of Azeri
minority destabilizations inside the northwestern region
of Iran, bordering on Azerbaijan. One senior U.S.
intelligence source warned that, if Aliyev allows himself
to be drawn into the Bush Administration schemes, a more
likely consequence will be his own overthrow, given his
shrinking popularity and his country's longstanding
cooperation with Tehran. Dick Cheney, before becoming Vice
President, was a trustee of the U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of
Commerce, along with Richard Perle, Sen. Sam Brownback
(R-Kan.), and Zbigniew Brzezinski.
Sources have also reported on a flood of opium and
heroin streaming into Iran from Afghanistan, as another
feature of the U.S.-led ``regime change'' operation.
During the 1980s, the United States used narco-terrorists
as a key source of funding and logistics for both the
Nicaraguan Contras and the Afghan Mujahideen.
Both American and Arab sources also warned that these
on-the-ground provocations against the Tehran regime are
likely to backfire, driving the Cheney-Rumsfeld bloc
within the Bush Administration to quickly revive their air
war schemes to attack Iran's nuclear program sites. One
experienced U.S. military source warned that such
low-intensity operations are soon likely to result in the
capture or killing of an American ``advisor,'' and that
this will have serious diplomatic repercussions for a Bush
Administration that is already widely discredited in the
eyes of governments around the world.
From: "JJ Steinberg"
Subject: U.S. "Contra" Operations Target Iran
Date: Sun, 14 May 2006 11:58:51 -0400