An Argument against Ronen Bergman’s 'The Secret War with Iran' – 4

An Argument against Ronen Bergman’s 'The Secret War with Iran' – 4

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Zionist regime’s activities in Iran were all focused on assisting Savak in arresting militants, conducting inhumane interrogations and applying torture leading to death or causing irreparable physical and psychological harms in order to quickly discover opposition groups.

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 4:

However, if foreign currency smuggling was not exclusively in the hands of Mossad agents, there would be no need for Gen. Fooladi to go through their head in Iran, and he could directly deal with George. Furthermore, had George not been an effective intelligence agent for the Zionists, no foundation would have been created for him by the “Center for Glorification of Intelligence Forces”. One may imagine that Israel’s intelligence network in Iran was limited to Mossad’s station; rather, researchers are presented with another fact when other works written on the Zionists are studied. For instance, Israeli Ambassador Meir Ezri has related his first meeting with Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Although he was not smart in politics, the Shah had asked the head of Tel Aviv’s diplomatic mission in Tehran a question that showed the person in diplomatic guise was a natural person. “The Shah asked me who I had met in Iran and who I preferred among them, but then he asked suddenly: ‘Who has sent you?’ I replied: ‘Some troubling shortcomings are seen in the friendship and ties between the nations of Iran and Israel…My nomination was proposed by Prime Minister Ben-Gurion and agreed upon by Foreign Minister Golda Meir.’ The Shah asked: ‘What do they expect you to do here?’ I was stunned by this question. In response, I briefed him on my previous presence in Iran and return to Israel and said: ‘Israeli Prime Minister Ben-Gurion has told me that I should make sure whatever I do in Iran would be in the interest of the Iranian nation and people.” (Festschrift, Meir Ezri, translated by Abraham Hakhami, printed in Beit ul-Moqaddas, 2000, vol. 1, pp. 217-218)

The questions and answers exchanged in this meeting show clearly that the Shah did not see Ezri as an ambassador like others. Normally, an ambassador is never asked who has named him or what mission he would be on. The mechanism of designation of ambassadors and the missions assigned to ambassadors are well known to everyone. Having asked such questions, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi intended to say he was well aware of Ezri’s missions in Iran under the cover of ambassador.

Ezri himself has also highlighted in his memoirs he was not a conventional diplomat. “After some assessment we learnt that we are under tight scrutiny and we have no option but to become as much mysterious as possible.” (Ibid, vol. 1, p. 84)

Such cover-ups in light of highly positive ties between the Zionists and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi explain why some purposeful questions were asked during the meeting with the Israeli ambassador. Furthermore, Ezri’s allegations that Ben-Gurion had recommended that the Israeli embassy work in the interests of Iranian people were untrue. The Zionists’ freedom of action on those days and lack of any sensitivity by the Royal Court and Savak to them may lead readers to wonder what Ezri and the Israeli embassy were doing in Tehran, which they did not even want their ally Shah to learn about.

Of course learning about various aspects of this issue and understanding the Zionists’ security-based ties with Iran is associated with the racist base’s self-definition in the heart of the Muslim world. As Sohrab Sobhani, whom the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) had proposed to serve as prime minister of Iran after their expected overthrow of the Islamic Republic in Iran, puts it, “Israeli-Iranian cooperation was not always confined to campaigns against common enemies outside their borders. By the early 1970s, as opposition to the Shah's modernization plans intensified, Mossad provided valuable information to Savak on the activities of urban guerrilla groups such as the Mujahedeen Khalq and Fedayeen Khalq which had PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) ties and offered to cooperate with Savak in neutralizing them. Such cooperation, however, remained a well-guarded secret. (The Pragmatic Entente: Israeli-Iranian Relations, 1948-1988. Sohrab Sobhani, Los Angeles, 1989, pp. 187-188)

Sobhani, who is strongly affiliated with Zionist circles, continues: “Iran's intelligence services were fortunate that some of the Israeli Embassy's new staff that had arrived in Tehran with Uri Lubrani were capable intelligence officers. The following secret memorandum from the U.S. Embassy on "Background Information on the Israeli Trade Mission" in Tehran is revealing in this regard: Arieh Levin, formerly named Lova Lewin, born circa 1927 in bran, is suspected Intelligence officer…. Abraham Lunz, aka Rami Luncz, born February 1931 in Tiberias, was Director of Naval Intelligence, IDF-Navy since 1971. Described as highly intelligent and capable line officer, experience in communications and electronics. Lunz and his Deputy, Moshe Moussa Levi, were both known personally and professionally to Defense Attaché’s Office Tel Aviv as outstanding intel officers... Lt. Col. Moshe Moussa Levi was Foreign Liaison Officer at IDF Hqs prior to Tehran assignment in 1974. In August 1966 one Major Levy (possibly identifiable) was reportedly assisting Iranian instructor at newly-established intelligence school; apparently helped arrange training schedules and organize instructional material.” (Ibid, pp. 254-255)

In fact, the author is trying to show to what extent the Zionists tried to save Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. On such ground, he releases widespread information that partly unveils the very nature of the Israeli political, diplomatic as well as business delegations to Tehran.

As the author shows, the Zionist regime’s activities in Iran were all focused on assisting Savak in arresting militants, conducting inhumane interrogations and applying torture leading to death or causing irreparable physical and psychological harms in order to quickly discover opposition groups as part of Israel’s effort to keep the Shah in place.

“In 1957 the Shah, recognizing the utility of Israel in terms of Iran's economic and security interests, dispatched the director of Savak, General Teymour Bakhtiar, to Israel to investigate areas of mutual cooperation between the two countries. During this period Iran-Arab relations were strained by Nasser's belligerent stance toward Iran's pro-Western foreign policy; to a large extent the Iranian decision to cultivate closer ties to Israel was based on the Iran-Arab Cold War. General Bakhtiar's talks with his Israeli counterparts were very successful, and after a series of meetings between Mossad and Savak officials, the foundation for a working relationship between the two intelligence services was established; henceforth, the major thrust of Israeli-Iranian relations would be handled by Mossad and Savak officials.” (Ibid, pp. 4-5)

That means the responsibility for safeguarding the Pahlavi dictatorship through violent acts had been assigned to the Zionists. Savak’s crimes had reached such a point that the CIA preferred a lower profile for it, and instead Mossad gradually became more involved with the administration of Savak. Few nations in the world were willing to be aligned with an internationally notorious dictator whose black record was now known to everyone. In those days, particularly after Iran’s nationwide revolt against dictatorship and foreign dominance, the entire world showed abhorrence particularly for systematic violent torture in Savak’s dungeons. Such atmosphere had toughened the conditions for dictatorship supporters, some of whom even disavowing Savak. But it was the Zionists who stood firmly by the dictatorial regime up to the end because they had never lent any credence to the public opinion.

Meir Ezri has acknowledged that Savak agents in Iran preferred to be trained by the Zionists. “In July 1995, based on notes I received from Col. Abraham Tordjman, I realized the daily growing cooperation between Iranian and Israeli police. Ruz Lieb had dispatched Col. Tordjman along with 2nd Col. Gabriel Cohen, military expert in sabotage and war engineering, to Iran. In doing so, Lieb planned to raise Iranian police officers’ knowledge of sabotage events and teach them advanced methods of organizing forces. A group of 30 well-trained police officers went to Israel to undergo special training for cracking down on saboteurs…One day Gen. Nassiri invited me to a special meeting of police officers to discuss terrorist and saboteur groups who were being hired by the USSR and Arab governments. After that meeting, Gen. Nassiri asked me to bring to Iran a number of veteran Israeli police officers well trained to deal with saboteurs.” (Festschrift, Meir Ezri, translated by Abraham Hakhami, printed in Beit ul-Moqaddas, 2000, vol. 1, pp. 146)

The ambassador notes in the same passage that torturers in the Army and Police (without naming Savak as the coordinator of these two organs) preferred cooperation with Israel.

“That is why Iranian Army and Police cooperation with Israel was seen more helpful and constructive than with the US whose apparatuses were also active in Iran.” (Ibid)

Well mindful of Savak’s unimaginable savagery and violence (because their trainers were all Israeli experts), Ezri is very careful not to mention Savak, little knowing that Savak chief Gen. Nassiri’s invitation of Israeli torture experts to train Iranian officers to deal with sabotage would imply Savak’s ties with Israel. First, it has to be noted that Nassiri was following up on affairs related to Savak and the anti-sabotage joint committee (Savak-run 2nd organ of Army and Police). Therefore, the Zionists can by no means deny or cover up their role in the brutal crimes committed by their own trainees. Second, the main issue in countering so-called saboteurs or militants was to extract information from them about centers that distributed revelatory night leaflets or cassettes of the Leader of the Revolution and identify other militants and combatants. Therefore, when Israeli officers are said to be more efficient it means that they were more expert in applying the latest methods of physical torture in extracting confessions from militants. Moreover, as it was noted, as Iranian student activists studying abroad disclosed the Shah regime’s crimes and the public opinion in all nations learnt about the nature of Savak, American trainers limited their activities within Savak; however, the occupiers of Palestine, who were experienced enough in torturing and killing residents of this territory, took the chance to follow in the US footsteps. By the end of the Pahlavi regime, Mossad experts in Savak outnumbered CIA experts – an issue the Israeli ambassador has clearly acknowledged. But why were the Zionists in Iran committing any crime through Savak in order to save the Pahlavi dictatorship? This issue may be understood only after studying their performance in the political, economic and military sectors among others.

An important point is that the last head of the Mossad chapter in Tehran, just like the Israeli ambassador, has given conflicting accounts of Iran. While Iran and many other nations knew quite well the very nature of Savak, he strongly denies any Mossad cooperation with Savak in quelling a nationwide revolt against dictatorship and foreign dominance.

“Some of Khomeini’s associates have raised some issues in their interviews that made us anxious…One of them has exactly said: ‘Israel is our enemy…Israel is acting like a real enemy. It has supplied torture tools to Savak and trained Savak officers for violent torture…’. What can one say after reading these sentences? The shameless liar who has been quoted as saying so should be told: ‘Lying has its own limits. Impudence is not boundless…What can be said to someone accusing Israel of training Savak in torture? Doesn’t this shameless person know that Israel-Iran security cooperation is directed against the common enemies of two states and two nations?” (Big Satan, Small Satan, Eliezer Tsafrir, translated by Farnoosh Ram, Autumn 2007, Ketab Corps., Los Angeles, pp. 337-338)

This senior Israeli security officer, with the same aggressive tone, writes: “It is clear that the firebrand supporters of the [Islamic] Revolution would by no means accept that we had no role in the Shah regime’s negative behaviors and Savak’s injustice…They hold Mossad responsible for any misery and injustice. They say impudently even Mossad was involved in the injustices of the Shah regime and Savak.” (Ibid, pp. 369-370)

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