May 10, 2013 2 Comments
Last month, you may remember, a drone flying in Israeli airspace was shot down by an F-16. The same thing happened in October last year. These drones, launched from Lebanon, have been pinned to Hezbollah. Yet placing the blame on Hezbollah alone would only be partly accurate.
Bibi Netanyahu once claimed on Bill Maher’s show that there is no war between Israel and Hezbollah; the fight is really between Israel and Iran. As a force, Hezbollah could easily be described as a forward unit of the Iranian army. It receives between $100-200 million dollars a year from Iran, it uses Iranian weapons, it receives training from Iranians, and in many respects is subject to Iranian control. Any drones used by Hezbollah are certainly Iranian in origin and may very well be launched by Iranians operating on Lebanese soil.
The so-called Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, or the Revolutionary Guards, are at the heart of this effort. The Guards are notorious not only for their role in Iran’s military. They are an elite class and a powerful commercial conglomerate that may very well control one-third of the Iranian economy. According to Emanuele Ottolenghi, part of their mandate is to export the Islamist revolution of 1979 abroad. For this, they have a 12,000 strong ‘Quds Force’. These fighters have operated not only in the Middle East against Israel and America. They assisted Bosnian Muslims against the Serbs during the Balkans conflict in the 1990’s. The notorious 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, which killed 85, has been attributed to Hezbollah’s Imad Mughniyeh, taking orders from Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, and Ghassem Soleimani, the head of the Quds Force. Delhi has accused the Iranian Revolutionary Guards of involvement in an attack on an Israeli diplomat in that city last year. I could go on.
Islamist groups like Hamas have been proscribed by the EU and the UK for the same reasons the Revolutionary Guards should. The fact that they are not classed as such now seems like a glaring oversight. The Quds Force, specifically, was declared a terrorist organization by Canada last year, and by the United States before that. This is a positive, but to really cripple this army of international terrorism, the funding and accounts of all Revolutionary Guard members and businesses inside the EU ought to be frozen. Weakening the Revolutionary Guards would benefit the safety of people all over the world. However, standing up to Iran in this way would also mean that the country will find it much harder to ignore international efforts to stop their nuclear program.
And wouldn’t you know it, there is a petition calling on the EU and the UK government to proscribe the Iranian Revolutionary Guards right here. This is an initiative of the Zionist Federation, who have produced a handy six page brief on the matter, highlighting the group’s terrorist activities and extreme ideology.