An Argument against Ronen Bergman’s 'The Secret War with Iran' – 3

An Argument against Ronen Bergman’s 'The Secret War with Iran' – 3

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Israel played a more prominent role than others in upgrading dictatorship in Iran. Even during the last couple of months before the downfall of the Pahlavi dictatorship, Israeli intelligence services were insisting on strengthening the apparatus of suppression.

Iranian journalist and expert Abbas Salimi Namin has disproved the claims and opinions of Israeli analyst Ronen Bergman in the book ‘The Secret War with Iran’. ‘The Secret War with Iran’, written by renowned Zionist journalist Ronen Bergman, was published in 2008 by Simon & Schuster publishing company in the United States.

Born in 1972, Bergman is a graduate of Tel Aviv University in the Middle East political relations. He is a famous Zionist journalist and analyst in the military and security fields who has worked with Israeli newspapers ‘Haaretz’ and ‘Yedioth Ahronoth’, American dailies and weeklies such as ‘The New York Times’, ‘Newsweek’, ‘The Wall street Journal’, and British media groups including ‘The Guardian’ and ‘The Times’.

Bergman has been interested in topics relating to the enemies of the Zionist regime (particularly Iran, Hezbollah and the Palestinian resistance groups), as well as subjects on the history of the Israeli regime’s assassination operations, which are cited in his recent book ‘Rise and Kill First’.

In an interview with Persian TV channel ‘Iran International’, Bergman has pointed to the Iranian nuclear program and the issues surrounding it -particularly the Zionist regime’s secret attempts to halt the process of nuclear activities in Iran and assassinate Iranian scientists. He has also cited ex-CIA chief Michael Hayden as saying that the assassination of nuclear scientists is the best way to impede Iran’s growing process in that field, and has implicitly held Israel responsible for it.

In the book ‘The Secret War with Iran’, Bergman has written a history of encounters between Iran and the Zionist regime, while the bulk of the book relates to the Lebanese Hezbollah -Iran’s main ally in the battle against the Zionist regime since its formation until the 33-day War- focusing on the role of Martyr Imad Mughniyeh.

His book also includes sections about the final years of the Pahlavi regime and victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, short periods of the war imposed by the Ba’thist party of Iraq on Iran (focusing on the McFarlane affair), Iran’s role in supporting the Palestinian groups, and the Iranian nuclear program.

Bergman’s multiple undocumented and untrue comments as well as personal and purposeful analyses (with the main purpose of displaying Israel’s power, specially in a competition with the US) that have repeatedly come in his book make a critical review of the book necessary for Iranian readers.

Director of the Iran History Studies and Compilation Bureau, Abbas Salimi Namin, has written an extensive criticism in a book about ‘The Secret War with Iran’. Born in 1954, Salimi Namin is an experienced journalist and a renowned Iranian researcher in history and political sciences who has published many articles and books.


About ‘The Secret War with Iran’

Part 3:

Second, Tsafrir has acknowledged that in the midst of Iran’s national uprising that had struck fears into the hearts of Savak leaders, leading some senior officers like Parviz Sabeti (director of Savak’s high-profile Chapter 3) to flee, the Zionists were directly leading the intelligence service by giving instructions to it.

Third, this approach by Israeli intelligence services shows clearly that they played a more prominent role than others in upgrading dictatorship in Iran. Even during the last couple of months before the downfall of the Pahlavi dictatorship, Israeli intelligence services were insisting on strengthening the apparatus of suppression instead of recommending that Savak modify its pressure and crackdown.

It may be imagined that Mossad was not fully aware of the depth of crimes committed by Savak as some passages in Tsafrir’s memories give the impression that Israeli intelligence agents were opposed to Savak’s crimes and tortures.

“In any case, Bashi (a senior Savak officer’s nickname) said the Prime Minister’s instructions on refraining from exerting pressure and applying torture on the detained opponents have caused too much trouble and Savak agents have no idea how to gain necessary information from the detainees… Bashi asked me for advice. I took this chance to express what officials at our [own intelligence agency] Shabak (also known as Shin Beth) have said time and again that violence and torture were not consistent with the principles of democracy and offered no remedy… I was always opposed to such conducts. I believe that when someone is arrested he knows what fate would befall him if he chooses to remain tight-lipped. Such fear would be enough.” (Ibid, pp. 189-190)

In another passage, Tsafrir tries to create the impression that the Zionists disagreed in principle with Savak’s performance. Such contradictory allegations are too clear to need any explanation. However, in a bid to understand the Zionists’ fury with the nationwide uprising of the Iranian nation, which spelled an end to their dominance on this territory, we have to discuss them.

How can one accept the Zionists’ allegations of democracy while they were forcefully supporting Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s secret police and were involved more than its own directors in its administration? Even after Savak’s crimes were laid bare to everyone, leading the Americans and the Shah in person to seek disavowal, it was the Zionists who had put all their potential at the disposal of such notorious organization. The justifications forwarded by Mossad’s representative in Iran are worth noting: “One day, my friend Bashi and I had a prescheduled plan to visit the Counter-Terror Committee headquarters. I was wondering if my presence in this notorious place was a right decision. I have experience of uncovering and neutralizing terrorist operations in Israel and I have both carried out missions in this field and worked in the headquarters. It was important for me to learn about Savak and know it more than their rivals, i.e. guerrilla organizations, and understand their motivation vis- -vis Savak and know how dangerous they are to Iran’s security and us.” (Ibid, p. 192)

Such contradictory remarks would boost our knowledge of the Zionists because in 1978 no guerilla organization was operating in Iran and all armed fighter groups had collapsed in 1976 (through either infiltration or police widespread security dragnet across cities). Therefore, when Iranians rose up in 1977, the Mossad-trained suppression apparatus was virtually ineffective. Furthermore, armed struggles inspired by global Leftist guerrilla fighters failed to attract masses and remained limited to intellectual groups because of affiliation with Marxism, which our religious society did not favor. Mossad’s representative in Iran, while acknowledging the notoriety of Savak and its joint committee comprising police and army intelligence departments, spared no effort to preserve the secret police formed and nurtured for Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Therefore, attention to democracy and opposition to torture by the most dreaded police in the world are merely unsubstantiated allegations. Even after Savak’s unacceptable crimes were revealed, the Zionists did not even pretend to advocate human rights as the Americans and subsequently Mohammad Reza Pahlavi did and join calls at least in appearance for the dissolution of this notorious body. Rather, to the contrary, they boosted their own operational forces in Iran in the midst of a national uprising in Iran. Mossad’s representative highlights this issue as follows: “Here and there, I come across Israelis who have come to the conclusion that it’s no use staying here any longer. Most of them have come to Iran for business affairs and they see no bright prospect under such conditions. They are packing up to return home. Meantime, reinforcements are coming for me from Israel. My close friend Tsaduk Ofir has long experience of operations on the ground. He was a parachutist. He is now coming to serve as my deputy. He is planned to head professional affairs of military intelligence organs. That is why upon his arrival we will officially meet with a number of senior Iranian officials.” (Ibid, 191)

Mossad’s training programs for Savak did not end even in the final months of the dictatorial regime in Iran. That means even in the face of millions-strong protests only in Tehran (on Tasua and Ashura), the Zionists still believed that by applying torture and suppression they would be able to shatter this national independence-seeking movement. Of course, such belief, regardless of being mental, shows the Zionists did not car for the massacre of people who were just demanding liberation from foreign dominance. “Within the framework of Iran-Israel security cooperation, Israeli police were required to hold special training course for Iranian police forces in Tehran to teach them the latest methods of criminology and how to discover details on the scene of the crime. To that end, Israeli police dispatched prominent criminologist Ms. Sima to Tehran. Sima had not been impressed by the critical situation in Iran and came to Tehran on the mission already assigned her. She concluded the training course with full satisfaction of Savak officials and the trainees.” (Ibid, p. 232)

The regional head of Mossad in Iran knows quite well what training means in the final months of 1978 and early 1979. Therefore, he names “police” in a bid to divert attention away from training an organ whose notoriety he acknowledges. But in a stark contrast, he concludes the report saying Savak officials were happy with the training course. The Zionists have offered a variety of services to this notorious organization and its officials. In other words, their services were not limited to training the latest methods of quashing freedom-seekers; rather they were instrumental in plundering national wealth. “I noticed a note on my desk, informing me of senior Savak officer Gen. Fooladi demanding an urgent meeting with me. I first thought he was to announce something important about the situation in Iran. I quickly went to see him. Nobody has any idea what he told me! He sent me for foreign exchange dealer George, a Jew….George Lavipour is a Jew whose life resembles a legend… He had participated in a vital security operation to safeguard Israeli interests, but now he was mainly involved in private business… Of course I found George the dealer for Gen. Fooladi without even knowing why the latter wanted to see the former…George then came to me and told me something which deeply surprised me. George said when he arrived at Fooladi’s home, he was in the middle of a ‘secret operation’. Then he had given George a big box covered with vegetables and fruit to stash $400,000 in cash. Fooladi’s ‘humble’ request from George was to deposit this sum in one of his foreign bank accounts at his own discretion… Let me tell you that our beloved George met a disastrous fate as the revolution went on. He had traveled overseas for some family issues and business. His friends and close relatives had warned him against any return to Iran. But he came back to Tehran. As soon as he returned he was arrested and executed by the firing squad led by Khomeini forces. We always remember him. The Center for Commemoration of Intelligence Forces and the committee glorifying forces who sacrificed their life for Israeli security, in cooperation with George’s family, established a foundation to keep his memory alive.” (Ibid, pp. 223-225)

In this passage too, despite all cover-ups and lies, more is known about the anti-Iran actions of Israeli intelligence agents. Several months ahead of the triumph in 1979 of the Islamic Revolution, bank employees presented a long list of persons who had taken big sums out of Iran, saying they would no longer let affiliates of the Royal Court plunder national wealth through the banking system. One has to see what facilities Israeli security services had in Iran at that time that Savak officials, who enjoyed full authority, resorted to Israeli agents for their work. Another important point is that Mossad agents used to operate under cover in a bid to dominate all aspects of decision-making. Mossad’s representative in Iran has noted that George the dealer was a security argent, while it was initially said “he was mainly doing his private business.”

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