Breaking media coverage makes clear that Iran’s fingerprints are all over the violence in southern Israel. Who are we to ignore it?
Gaza has obviously grabbed the media’s attention – no business like war business. Can’t review everything, so let’s stay focused – this blog is only about coverage on Iran – starting with this item which updates:
On Monday, the Wikileaks site reposted on Twitter a link to a 2009 diplomatic cable, first leaked last year, detailing Israeli intelligence on how Iran was supplying Hamas with long-range weapons and how such artillery was being brought into Gaza.
That viewpoint is shared by retired General Barry McCaffrey, a security consultant and NBC News analyst, who told MSNBC’s Alex Witt: “I think the Iranians have manipulated particularly [Lebanon-based] Hezbollah but also Hamas. They’ve equipped them with significant amounts of rocketry. One of the unclassified figures was 120,000 rockets in either southern Lebanon or Gaza in the range of Israel, so the Iranians are actively promoting trouble in Syria and Lebanon and Gaza.”
Perhaps readers who won’t take the Americans or Israelis at their word will listen to the French foreign minister, widely quoted in the Arab-world media today:
“There are long-range weapons up to 75 kilometers [45 miles] and these are Iranian weapons. Iran bears a heavy responsibility.”
“One finds Iran in Lebanon, in Syria, in Iraq, in Gaza and each time with very negative intentions,” he told France Culture radio.
“The orientation of the Iranian government is extremely dangerous for world peace,” he added.
For those who won’t settle for even the French, the media has been so gracious as to provide confirmation straight from the horse’s mouth. Consider this quote
from the speaker of Iran’s parliament, the Majlis:
“We are proud to defend the people of Palestine and Hamas … and that our assistance to them has been both financial and military,” Ali Larijani said without elaborating, in remarks reported by parliament’s website, ICANA.ir.
And this quote (same report) from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards chief Mohammad Jafari:
The Fajr 5 missiles launched at Tel Aviv “have not been delivered from Iran, but their technology has,” Jafari said, adding that the missiles were being “rapidly produced” in Gaza.
The leader of the Palestinian branch of Islamic Jihad has confirmed that the longer range, more sophisticated rockets being launched at Tel Aviv and Jersusalem were supplied by Iran.
Notice that the Hamas isn’t quoted in the above. It’s being coy, but can’t evade the internet archives:
On 3 February, Khamenei affirmed that Iran had provided support to Hamas — a well-known policy, but one that Iranian leaders rarely state explicitly.
Haniyeh was quoted as saying that Iran was a “strategic reserve” for the Palestinians, and that Hamas would continue a strategy consisting of the “liberation of all the Palestinian lands, the pursuit of resistance and the rejection of peace talks.”
We have additional media reflections on this issue – perhaps another time. For now we’ll conclude with the Chicago Tribune’s latest editorial under the heading
“Iran’s Clients: Imagine if Hamas was Backed by a Nuclear State.”
The editorial states:
American and EU officials are reported to be considering the imposition of “a de facto trade embargo” on Iran by early 2013, according to The Wall Street Journal. Such a move would block all export and import transactions through Iran’s banking system. Current sanctions cover only oil-related transactions through Iran’s central bank. Result: Iran wouldn’t be able to pay its bills or collect its debts through the global banking system. That would be devastating. It can’t be launched too soon.
Such an embargo is likely the last chance to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions short of a military showdown. The stakes have been made clearer in the past week. The next Iranian missiles that fall on Tel Aviv may not be Fajr 5s.
Feel free to replace “Tel Aviv” with “Riyadh” (for example). Now please go back to the latest IAEA report – read about it here .
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