Sources: Sobh-e Sadegh , Date: 17 October 2011
In a front-page interview with Sobh-e Sadegh Brigadier General Yadollah Javani, the head of the Islamic Revolution Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Political Bureau and editor of Sobh-e Sadegh, gave his analysis of the recent allegations by the United States against Iran.
Javani denied that Iran had played any role in what the US alleges was an Iranian attempt to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, citing articles critical of the US narrative of events by the New York Times, ex-CIA agents Robert Baer and Jack Rice and others to back up his argument. He then repeated the Iranian government’s line that the plot was concocted by the US government to distract from its own domestic and foreign policy problems:
“Given America’s domestic situation, it appears that this scenario comes from weakness and has been designed clumsily and with haste, and based on this it is now apparent that its defeat is predictable. It is interesting to know that after the dissemination of this news and the ruckus created by Western press, the first to doubt and put a question mark on it were American experts themselves.”
Javani proceeded to explain why he believed the US had made the allegations against Iran, citing three main reasons:
“With these kinds of plots the Americans can never change the three current circumstances, [including] the intensification of the anti-capitalist movement of Wall Street, the ever increasing instability of rotten and Western-backed regimes in Middle East, and the ever increasing power of the Islamic Republic in the region and world.”
When asked about the specific consequences the White House could impose on Iran, Javani responded:
“…American officials have attacked Iran in the harshest of terms. For example, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, Obama’s foreign secretary, has said that the discovery of the plot to kill the Saudi Ambassador in Washington isolates Tehran and strengthens the security alliance in the Persian Gulf, and will provoke greater sanctions against Iran’s interests. Paying attention to the claims of the American foreign secretary shows what kind of actions they are after.”
When asked by the interviewer how senior Iranian officials had responded to the allegations, Javani said:
“Responses were firm, clear and pro-active. The Islamic Republic which is a religious regime and has been the victim of terrorism has always condemned terrorism, and has had fundamental problems with these issues [terrorism], and accordingly the officials of the Islamic Republic viewed the actions of the White House as a plot, a conspiracy, and have severely condemned it.”
When asked by the interviewer whether the current allegations could lead to a military intervention by the US in Iran, Javani responded to the effect that senior US officials such as Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Peter King had stated that all options were on the table. Javani did not seem to think that a military confrontation over this issue was likely, but added that if Iran was attacked:
“The response of the Iranian people to any assault will be harsh, firm, and cause them to regret [their actions].”
Javani’s interview characterizes the approach of much of the hardline media in Iran toward this issue. Interestingly, hardline media outlets such as Sobh-e Sadeh, Kayhan, Rahbord News and 598, typically strong in their anti-American provocations and vitriol, have strenuously denied that Iran has played any role in the alleged plot. In fact, they have uniformly condemned the US claims in the strongest of terms, sensing the potential dangers they pose to Iran. These include further international isolation through tougher sanctions, and a renewed confrontation in the Middle East with the US.
Sobh-e Sadeq, edited by Javani, are the official mouthpiece of the IRGC. Their commentary on the current situation may be significant because the Quds Force, the special operations unit which stands accused of attempting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US, is a branch of the IRGC. The Quds Force is believed to play a significant role throughout the Middle East, particularly in Iraq where it is believed to hold significant sway.