Iran Cleric Calls for "Special Weapon"
Describing Ayatollah Mezbah Yazdi as Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's spiritual mentor is accurate, but hardly enough for a real understanding. Yazdi is a powerful leader within Iranian political and religious circles. Perhaps the best way to describe the nature of Yazdi's (and thus Ahmadinejad's) messianic belief structure is to imagine the most radical form of Islamic beliefs merged with a mixture of supernatural mysticism. (Have a look at the pious Ahmadinejad's ring finger, for instance.)
It is a scary sight to behold, and one so frightening that many cannot quite come to grips with the fact that such a radical, even nutty, group of individuals has fingers on the levers of state power anywhere in the world. It remains a fact, regardless of reluctance to acknowledge.
Within that context, incomprehensible as it may seem to many, consider the latest development coming out of Iran.
Ayatollah Mezbah Yazdi wrote a book, The Islamic Revolution - Surges in Political Changes in History, for limited internal distribution (approximately 3,000) around the time of the Iranian elections. A copy of this book has surfaced and the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center has translated the Farsi to English and released portions.
On top of past hints of nuclear weapons ambitions by the most radical religious leaders and parts of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Yazdi suggests that Iran not only has the right to but must develop "a special kind of weapon," an unmistakable reference to nuclear weapons. Judge for yourself.
"We have to produce the most advanced weapon inside the country, even if our enemies don't like it. There is no reason that they have the right to produce a certain special type of weapon, but that other countries not have that right" (The Islamic Revolution - Surges in Political Changes in History, p. 337).
Some may draw comfort in the belief that 'crippling sanctions' are on their way as mentioned by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton among others. But China and Russia both have come out against any 'crippling' sanctions, true to form and past patterns of behavior. Consider that both have veto power at the UN Security Council - the origin of any 'crippling' sanctions. Consider that it has been recently revealed that a Chinese firm - through obscuring shipping, payment and other trails - has recently provided Iran with banned sensitive equipment for its nuclear operations. Consider that Russia is still building Iran's Bushehr nuclear facility.
Consider also that Iran has been the subject of sanctions for decades, yet has been wholly undeterred by Western actions, whether penalties or incentives.
Furthermore, consider the words which directly followed the above excerpt from Yazdi's revealing book, which was never meant to be made widely public.
"In seeking to acquire the [necessary] technology Iran must be patient and not be deterred by economic shortages: Divine, messianic support has been the determining factor in the success of the Iranian regime during the various trying periods which have plagued it since its foundation...We cannot be broken because of temporary difficulties, they will pass, and Muslims must be patient and not be deterred by material or economic shortages, because if they do, it may lead them to be separated from [Islam]."
To be clear, the primary threat from Iran is, has been and remains its position as the chief state sponsor of international terrorism. Nearly every terror group has some degree of of Iranian fingerprints - whether wholly owned subsidiaries such as Hizballah, co-opted muscle such as Hamas, or willing students with a common American enemy such as bin Laden's al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The Iranian regime, in that context, with nuclear weapons should fill the West with a palpable fear. And it should address it directly and in the manner most likely to upset such a reality: Regime Change. As elaborated countless times before, this requires no invasion or air-strikes. Tangibly support the internal Iranian opposition against a regime that is widely unpopular.
Short of that, we are destined to confront the foremost state sponsor of international terrorism armed with nuclear weapons. And, if our past is any indication of the future, we will do so in a reactionary manner - meaning after a first catastrophc strike has been made, whether upon the West or upon Israel.
For more on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Mezbah Yazdi, see Understanding Ahmadinejad,a 2005 ThreatsWatch PrincipalAnalysis.