An Argument against Ronen Bergman’s 'The Secret War with Iran' – 22

An Argument against Ronen Bergman’s 'The Secret War with Iran' – 22

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Savak’s documents show clearly that Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was trying his best to marginalize Imam Musa Sadr in Lebanon, but his efforts got nowhere because of his wide popularity among Shias and even Christians there.

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, especially 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 22:

Alam has also informed Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of his meeting with a prominent Lebanese politician about pushing Imam Musa Sadr aside. The Shah had welcomed the content of the meeting. “I had met with Lebanese Shia leader Khalil al-Khalil (most probably Kazem al-Khalil, secretary general of Lebanon’s National Liberal Party). I quoted al-Khalil as saying that if Iranian-born Musa Sadr, who has imposed himself as the head of Shias in Lebanon, turns out to be ineffective, thereby saddening His Majesty, what’s the fault with the Shias? I am now ready to bring together Shia leaders and take action so that the Shia cause and their hope in His Majesty would not be dented. His Majesty said he has been right and ordered negotiations with him.” (Ibid, p. 323)

Therefore, in 1974, Savak and the Shah’s diplomatic apparatus were trying their best to rid themselves of Imam Musa Sadr, but due to his growing popularity among Shias, efforts aimed at discrediting him and causing division in the Shia community do not bear fruits. Therefore, the next step could be nothing but physical elimination. In 1975, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi had billed Musa Sadr as Communist, the title attributed to Muslim militants in Iran. “On Monday, January 19, 1976… His Majesty said: ‘Respond to Musa Sadr’s request and strike his head onto the wall. He’s asking for my aid, this guy! Which Shia shall I help? A Communist Shia?” (Ibid, vol. 5, p. 406)

Other Shah quotes, as narrated by the Royal Court Minister, show that Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s main issue was, in addition to hostility to Imam Musa Sadr, Shiism in its very essence as a justice-seeking school of thought throughout history. That is why the Shah mostly believed in the followers of a sect developed by domineering powers. “Regarding talks I held with the US ambassador about the three main pillars of the Iranian government, i.e. Shiism, Persian language and monarchy, His Majesty said: ‘Unfortunately the Shias have proven to be bad guys. They do nothing in Iraq. So is the case in Lebanon. In Iran, all Tudeh members were Shia. The Sunnis are less numerous. There is nobody among Zoroastrians. No Tudeh activist has been found among Bahais.” (Ibid, vol. 4, p. 223)

Savak’s documents show clearly that Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was trying his best to marginalize Imam Musa Sadr in Lebanon, but his efforts get nowhere because of his wide popularity among Shias and even Christians there. The Shah secret police’s measures including distribution of leaflets against this person, bearing signatures of some Shah-affiliated figures in Lebanon, to be sent to the offices of Shia scholars in Qom, Mashhad and Najaf would have no result. The senior clergy even sends significant aid to Lebanon’s Shias through Imam Musa Sadr. Therefore, the policy of defamation was promulgated at the direct order of Savak top official Sabeti, a follower of the Bahai faith, through Letter No. 134/3283, dated January 10, 1977. “…It must be promoted among the clergy in Iran that Musa Sadr was the cause of misery of Lebanon’s Shias.” (The Traveler, Ayatollah Imam Musa Sadr, vol. 3, Center for Historical Documents Review, 2001, p.3)

Or Letter No. 222/1182, dated October 19, 1977, reads: “Currently, Iran’s monarchy can set aside Musa Sadr with the help of Syria’s government and then Ayatollah Seyed Mehdi Hakim will be able to install Sheikh Mehdi Shamsuddin in his place.” (Ibid, p. 292)

Interestingly, this issue becomes practical after Imam Musa Sadr was kidnapped. A telegram dispatched from Iran’s ambassador to Lebanon, coded 36/9/21-1656, reads: “This representative of His Majesty, with reference to instructions set forth in Letter No. 926 (about extension or renewal of Musa Sadr and his family passports)…has the honor to say in conclusion that in application of His Majesty’s orders about combating the treacherous act of this cleric, assigned to this diplomatic representation, we cannot expect the desired result.” (Ibid, pp. 342-4)

Iran’s ambassador to Lebanon has organizational connections with Mossad. He adopted the harshest tone vis- -vis Imam Musa Sadr. For this reason, when all-out efforts for dethroning Imam Musa Sadr failed to yield, he decides on behalf of Nassiri to send a Quran to Sadr in show of sympathy. But the director of Division of Operations and Inspection initialed the instruction as follows: “Given the background available and the discrepancy between Mr. Qadar and Musa Sadr, His Majesty presenting a Quran to Musa Sadr by ambassador is unlikely to remove grudges or to be a good deed.” (Ibid, p. 483)

Imam Musa Sadr’s actions like the formation of the military branch of Amal were not something to which the Zionists would not be sensitive. Furthermore, the Lebanese Shia leader gradually revealed his views, which infuriated Israeli intelligence service. In fact, the stance expressed by the Iranian ambassador indicated the fury of the Zionist regime as the diplomat was a Mossad agent. One week before the disappearance of Imam Musa Sadr on a flight from Libya to Italy, he wrote an article in Le Monde under the title of “The Voice of Messengers”, which encouraged his enemies to eliminate him. “…The opposition leader, the Great Imam Khomeini, in an interview with Le Monde enumerated the objectives of this movement clearly. Highlighting the originality of the movement, he expressed its national, cultural and freedom-seeking aspects. Ongoing tragic events in Iran would expose the world to some basic hypotheses.”

1. The unrivalled human experience currently under way in Iran is worth being studied by everyone interested in human issues and civilization and defend it against fake propaganda.

2. The Shah regime has failed despite all its power and authority. An unarmed nation is struggling a regime with the largest arms depot in the Third World.

3. The moral values of civilized humans in Iran are under threat and these values could not be protected as long as the regime is spilling blood under the pretext of defending progress and democracy, suppresses freedom and enjoys global support.

4. An internally destabilized regime is definitely concerned most with the point that the movement of Lebanon’s underprivileged class enjoys a special status in the eyes of Iranians. The endless and bloody massacres happening in Iran, which the regime seeks to cover up, calls on contemporary humans to feel responsible. The most important task assigned to humans is to rise up and show realities to the entire world.” (Ibid, p. 498)

As Imam Musa Sadr has clearly said, one should see which Satanic power was most concerned with the connection between Lebanon’s underprivileged groups and Iran’s national revolt against the US, Britain and the Zionists.

Regarding the involvement of Israeli intelligence service in the abduction of foreign nationals (Moroccan, Lebanese, Iranian and German nations among other), it would be interesting to refer to some cases Bergman has referred to in his book Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations:

1. Abduction and killing of Moroccan politician Mehdi Ben Barka on October 29, 1965: Disclosure of this crime embarrassed Israel. Bergman has described various aspects of this case.

2. Abduction of German Adolf Eichmann on May 11, 1960 in Buenos Aires (Argentina’s capital) and his execution in occupied Palestine the year after;

3. Abduction of Mustafa Dirani in October 1994 in Lebanon and his transfer to Israel and subjecting him to most inhumane tortures;

4. Abduction of Iranian diplomats via the Phalange Movement in Lebanon in 1982;

5. Many other cases which only the Zionists could have committed as they dominated the Capitalist world; otherwise, abducting a national in his own territory or in a foreign country would mean declaration of war.

The abduction of Iranian Ali Reza Asgari is among cases whose circumstances would be known gradually. Bergman has detailed the case of Asgari in Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations. Asgari, a deputy defense minister, had served as commander of Iranian forces stationed in Lebanon. He was kidnapped during a trip overseas. The Zionists have so far tried to create the impression that he had sought refuge in the US. However, no evidence has been produced to that effect and there is no sign of him. Ever since abduction, Asgari has had no contact with his family, strengthening the possibility of his transfer to the Occupied Territories.

But how come the Zionists, backed by Capitalist Western leaders, speak shamelessly about dozens of kidnapping and assassination of foreign nationals continue to keep Imam Musa Sadr’s abduction secret? To answer this question, an important point has to be taken into account. As we know, some family members of Imam Musa Sadr still think that former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi was behind the disappearance of the Lebanese Shia leader and they complain that Iranian officials have not exerted pressure on Libya sufficiently to shed light on the issue. Of course, after the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime, no document was found to prove his role in Sadr’s disappearance.

Under the present circumstances, in case the Zionists admit to this crime Hezbollah’s position will be strengthened. Ever since its formation, Hezbollah has laid emphasis on distinguishing the enemy and the accuracy of its political positions is becoming clearer. Many analysts in Lebanon and Iran believed from the very beginning that one of the objectives of this crime has been to prevent a cohesion of the Resistance front in Lebanon. As time passes, the enemy of nations in the region becomes further known. Therefore, the Zionists’ admission would definitely deepen and accelerate the pace of this political growth.

In this chapter too, Bergman spares no effort to pain an unreal image of Imam Khomeini. For instance, he repeatedly says he had chosen the title “imam” in order to sanctify himself. Such allegation is in conflict with all documents on the history of the Islamic Revolution. Even Imam Musa Sadr never did so.

Moreover, some issues including the countless crimes committed by the Phalange Movement during 18 years of occupation of Lebanon have been totally ignored.

In addition to what was said about incorrect knowledge of Lebanon, man other points are noted in this chapter that indicate the poor knowledge of Zionist intelligence services and the author. We briefly review some of them: Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah was never the deputy of Imam Musa Sadr; his deputy was Sheikh Muhammad Shamseddin. (p. 61)

Dr. Sadeq Tabatabei was not even a member of the Supreme Defense Council, not to mention a vice-president. There was no such position in the council at all. He was the spokesman for the interim government and after Saddam’s invasion of Iran he held no official position. (p. 67)

Seyed Abbas Mousavi was not deputy of Nabih Berri and he had no connection with the Amal organization. (p. 79)

Ali Reza Asgari was never commander of the Quds Force. He was appointed deputy minister of defense after his mission ended in Lebanon. (p. 80)

Not having knowledge of clear information shows the emptiness of allegations and muscle-flexing by those who have intimidated nations to push ahead with their behind-the-scenes compromises and betrayals by their installed rulers. But after the emergence of the Resistance front in the region even costly propagandistic efforts like Bergman’s works would give the contrary result. It proves clearly to investigators to what extent the rulers of Capitalist world in the region are empty-handed.

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