Mullah-bound missiles

There was something strikingly fishy about the story that a timber-loaded cargo ship was, first, hijacked by ransom-demanding but somewhat passive pirates in the Baltic, and, secondly, disappeared for twenty-four days subsequently, until Russian forces recaptured it off the coast of West Africa. For a start, as critics pointed out at the time, no hijacker wants to be exposed to a lengthy operation miles from home. It’s a bad business model.

Now it turns out that everything was fishy:

Arctic Sea

Israeli and Russian security sources have questioned the Kremlin’s official explanation, instead arguing that the ship was carrying S-300 missiles, Russia’s most advanced anti-aircraft weapon, while undergoing repairs in the Russian port of Kaliningrad, a notorious Baltic smuggling base.

According to reports, Mossad is said to have briefed the Russian government that the shipment had been sold by former military officers linked to the black market, and Russia then dispatched a naval rescue mission. Those who believe Mossad was involved point to a visit to Moscow by Shimon Peres, Israel’s president, the day after the Arctic Sea was recovered.

The intrepid Russian journalist who broke the story, Mikhail Voitenjo, editor of Russia’s online Maritime Bulletin, has since fled the country in fear of his life.

“Once the news of the hijack broke, the game was up for the arms dealers. The Russians had to act,” said a former Russian army officer. “That’s why I don’t rule out Mossad being behind the hijacking. It stopped the shipment and gave the Kremlin a way out so that it can now claim it mounted a brilliant rescue mission … “

Crew members of the Arctic Sea have since told Russian news reporters that they have been told not to disclose “state secrets” further fuelling the speculation.

A Russian military source told The Sunday Times: “The official version is ridiculous and was given to allow the Kremlin to save face. “I’ve spoken to people close to the investigation and they’ve pretty much confirmed Mossad’s involvement. It’s laughable to believe all this fuss was over a load of timber.”

Good old Mossad. It seems we must all rely on the Israelis to look after our safety. It’s also striking how even senior Russian officials will nowadays brief against their own corrupt government, one only too happy to do business with the scarecrows of Qom.


In addition to the many fears that the regime has, listed below, there is the all-pervasive fear of public gatherings of any kind. Even popular football matches have been closed to the public for fear of spontaneous anti-government demonstrations. (Women are anyway not allowed to attend football matches.) These break out all the time regardless, for instance on the Metro. A three year old boy was filmed shouting Death to the dictator, with an immediate roared response from all the other passengers!

Now we hear that the regime is cancelling many of the traditional end-of-Ramadan gatherings for the same reason.

According to their websites, supporters of defeated candidates known as the greens plan to pour on to Tehran’s streets again in the annual state-sponsored Quds Day demonstration, which will be held this year on September 18.

Father of all donkeys

In case anyone thought that Ayatollah Khomeini, the ‘Imam’, was a refreshing green shoot of democracy, they should take a look at this selection from his writings and speeches. Grammatical mistakes are in the original (the Ayatollah was hardly educated). Farsi only.

Who’s in charge?

It is noticeable that the commander in chief of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, Mohammad Ali Jafari, is increasingly playing a national policy rôle and squaring up to the former ‘liberal’ President Khatami.

If Jafari is be taken at his words, even if in the official narrative the election had been won by Mir Hossein Mousavi, then IRGC would have had no choice but to enter the fray and overturn the results since such a victory would have brought to power people who wanted to undermine the Islamic Republic.

Sea-green incorruptibleTo an observer the question inevitably arises: Do the scarecrows of Qom still think they are in charge? Everyone else, at least, has noticed that the country is now a military dictatorship run by a clique with guns, like (say) Myanmar, and without any theological interests or pretensions. Public theological debate about the Velayat-e-Faqih (Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists) is now beside the point. Mullahs, used to vying with each other as revolutionary ultras to see who can be the most hardline and conservative, now have little influence. The green protestors were right all along: there has been a coup d’état.

The prototype massacre

An excellent documentary account, painstakingly researched, has been produced regarding the 1988 massacres of 4,000 Leftists and others in Iranian prisons:

This incident … is one of the worst atrocities committed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, and implicates many officials that are still in positions of authority. There is apparently a connection between impunity for the perpetrators of this crime against humanity and the willingness of the regime to commit the recent atrocities against protestors in Iran without fear of the consequences.

It was sparked directly by a fatwa from, yes, the Embodiment of Evil, Ayatollah Khomeini who, after the cessation of the Iran-Iraq war, was unable to drink his daily pint of blood.

Racism, anti-racism

The Six O’Clock BBC television news yesterday was blatant. Three ‘British Muslims’ had been convicted of the biggest terrorist plot thus far (the liquid bomb plot to blow up seven transatlantic airliners bound for America), which if successful would have had an impact similar to that of 9/11. The clips shown from the suicide videos bore the equally simple message: “Don’t mess with the Muslims.” The Ten O’Clock news added in more detail about the intelligence-revealed Pakistan dimension: “75% of terrorist plots have Pakistani links.”

This is all making the British public extremely angry with the large and unmeltable Pakistani-origin British Muslim minority. It is a gift to racist political groups, because everything they could possibly say is true!

If even the BBC is reporting this bluntly, then we have, as they say, a situation.

The following reached me by e-mail over the (unknown) name of John Harrison MBE, MIDSc. Some kind of prison service official, he presumably exists, though I am unable to ascertain what this qualification (MIDSc) means:

Eskenas with a messageLast month I attended my annual training session for maintaining my security clearance in the prison service. There was a presentation by three speakers from the Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim faiths, who explained their beliefs. I was particularly interested in what the Islamic Imam had to say about the basics of Islam, complete with video.

After the presentations, question time. I directed my question to the Imam and asked: ‘Correct me if I’m wrong, but I understand that most Imams and clerics of Islam have declared a Holy War against the infidels of the world and, that by killing an infidel (which is a command to all Muslims), they are assured of a place in heaven. If that’s the case , can you give me the definition of an infidel?’ There was no disagreement with my statement and, without hesitation, he replied, ‘Non-believers!’

I responded, ‘So, let me make sure I have this straight. All followers of Allah have been commanded to kill everyone who is not a follower of Allah, so they can have a place in heaven. Is that correct?’ The expression on his face changed from one of authority to that of a little boy who had just been caught with his hand in the biscuit tin. He sheepishly replied, ‘Yes.’

I then stated, ‘Well, I have a real problem trying to imagine Pope Benedict commanding all Catholics to kill Muslims, or the Archbishop of Canterbury ordering all Protestants to do the same in order to guarantee them a place in heaven!’ The Imam was speechless! I continued, ‘I also have a problem with being your ‘friend’ when you and your brother clerics are telling your followers to kill me! Let me ask you a question. Would you rather have your Allah, who tells you to kill me in order for you to go to heaven, or my Jesus who tells me to love you because He will take me to heaven and He wants you to be there with me?’

You could have heard a pin drop as the Imam remained speechless. Needless to say, the organizers of the Diversification seminar were not happy with this way of exposing the truth about the Muslims’ beliefs.

These are all the obvious thoughts that occur to the many well-meaning but puzzled heads bowed sincerely before their television screens night after night.

Hanging together

In addition to the appointment of a criminal (wanted for a 1994 bomb outrage in Buenos Aires) to the post of defence minister (‘a slap in the face for Israel’), the regime’s poodle TV station, Press TV, funded all over the world, including London, by Ahmadinejad’s oil revenues, has a senior official and English-language editor who is wanted by the FBI for the murder of an aide to the Shah in Baltimore in 1980. Don’t be fooled though; Hassan Abdulrahman is an Afro-American convert who keeps changing his name.

The madness of conspiracy theories

One American woman’s (relatively salubrious) confinement and interrogation is detailed in a newly published memoir, here. The reviewer in the Washington Times nicely captures the clash of realities as follows:

The strange saga of interrogation at the hands of state intelligence fuelled by its outlandish conspiracy theories, like something out of mad comics, ironically put[s] the greater burden on the interrogators, who needed to wrest damning proof out of their own cocktail of confusion, than upon the accused, who operated in a more mundane world of realities … While they desperately set about to extract a narrative of guilt and exposure of American machinations, they actually got nothing and seemed like mad hatters in the process.

Repressions continue

As I write, regime officials are moving against both Mousavi and Karroubi. Very dismal outlook.