By Bob Bennett
Obama’s courting of Iran began with his inauguration speech. The New York Times reported on January 28, 2009, that Obama said:
“’And as I said during my inauguration speech, if countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us,’ Mr. Obama said in [an] interview, which was broadcast … on Al Arabiya television. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also said … that Iran had a “clear opportunity” to engage with the international community.”
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s response was less than warm. He questioned whether the change Obama offered would be fundamental or merely tactical:
“Change means that they should apologize to the Iranian nation and try to make up for their dark background and the crimes they have committed against the Iranian nation,” he said.
The history of our crimes against Iran went back to 1953, according to Ahmadinejad, with the coup that ousted the democratically elected government of Mohammed Mossadegh and installed Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, who ruled until he was ousted in the 1979 Islamic Revolution.”
We all know of Iran’s commitment to democracy since its 1979 Islamic revolution.
He also complained of the shooting down of an Iranian passenger jet, by an American warship in 1988, which America has said was misidentification of the airliner as an F-14. Of course, this was nine years after Iran’s kidnapping of our diplomats, and holding them for over 400 days—one incident Ahmadinejad did not mention.
Iran’s biting of Obama’s outstretched hand did not discourage our dear leader. He persisted in March of that year, with a video-recorded “Happy Nowruz” (Persian New Year) message directly to Iran’s leaders, offering mutual cooperation. And so the entreating went on.
In 2013, Iran’s new leader, Hassan Rouhani, didn’t join Iranian diplomats to hear Obama’s lengthy overture to his country before the General Assembly, then was a no-show at a luncheon of world leaders, and again, at a handshake event with Obama.
Nothing hurts like unrequited love.
The bootlicking continues in the present, with the FLOTUS hosting a gala Nowruz dinner, at the White House in March, and Obama’s virtual pleading with Iran to accept a nuclear deal that is clearly not in our interest.
Unquestionably, a nuclear Iran would be an unparalleled threat to America, Israel and the world, but Iran has also been busy setting up an ominous network in our own hemisphere. Obama should be embarrassed about this, if indeed he is capable of that emotion. But, then again: our secretary of state has announced that the “Era of the Monroe Doctrine is over.”
In January, Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman was about to reveal that the administration of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner had helped cover up Iranian involvement in a deadly 1994 bombing of the AMIA Buenos Aires Jewish center, when he was found shot in the head in his locked apartment, with the gun still in his hand. Though initially classified as a suicide, there is suspicion of something more sinister, because there was no exit wound, suggesting the shot came from a greater distance.
Nisman’s death has been called “a canary in the mine” — the overt sign of a two-decade-long conspiracy between Iran and two South American countries, involving sex, drugs and nuclear technology, and infiltration of two other countries—which progressed while Obama has been sucking up to Iran.
Business Insider reported that three onetime government officials, who had defected from the Hugo Chavez regime, told “the Brazilian magazine Veja about an alleged alliance between Argentina, Venezuela, and Iran, which included a deal in which Argentina would get Interpol to remove from its database the names of Iranians” involved in the AMIA Jewish Center bombing.
“Nisman alleged that the Fernandez regime engaged in the cover-up to secure an oil-for-grain deal with Iran” for energy-starved Argentina.
But there’s more: the magazine said the late Hugo Chavez had “helped broker a deal between Argentina and Iran that secured cash for Argentina (including funds for Fernandez’s 2007 presidential run) and nuclear intelligence for Iran on top of derailing the AMIA probe.”
Back in the ’80s, Iranian scientists had received nuclear training in Argentina. One them, Ali Akbar Salehi, was mentioned in Nisman’s report as later pushing a plan to delete the names of the bombing suspects from Interpol’s database.
Toby Dershowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies told Business Insider that he believed the Veja report was not only credible, “but underscore[d] the allegations prosecutor Nisman put forth about Iran’s longstanding desire to have Argentina restart nuclear cooperation with Iran.”
Veja reported on a 2007 conversation between Ahmadinejad and Chavez, witnessed by a military man who was in the room:
“Ahmadinejad — It’s a matter of life or death. I need you to help me broker a deal with Argentina to help my country’s nuclear program. We need Argentina to share its nuclear technology. Without their collaboration it would be impossible to advance our nuclear program.
Chávez — Very quickly, I will do that Comrade.
Ahmadinejad — Don’t worry about what it costs. Iran will have all the money necessary to convince [the] Argentines … I need you to convince Argentina to continue to insisting [sic] that Interpol take Iranian officials off their list.
Chávez — I will personally take charge of this.”
Iran was seeking a heavy-water nuclear reactor, which would have enabled Plutonium to be obtained from natural Uranium, with no need to enrich the Uranium. Chavez allegedly sweetened the deal by having Venezuela purchase $7.8 billion worth of Argentine bonds, which would have had no takers elsewhere, because Argentina was “a pariah of international markets since it defaulted in 2002.”
Ahmadinejad and Chavez are alleged to have set up a twice-monthly flight called Aeroterror, which flew from “Caracas to Damascus to Tehran” “carrying cocaine to be distributed to Hezbollah in Damascus and sold. The plane then went to Tehran carrying Venezuelan passports and other documents that helped Iranian terrorists travel around the world undetected.”
Business Insider reports that “the woman who was allegedly handling the Argentine side of negotiations was former defense minister Nilda Garre, who is now Argentina’s ambassador to the Organization of American States.
“Veja’s sources say she had a sexual relationship with Chavez, which could be heard throughout Venezuela’s presidential palace when they were together, according to one of the defected Venezuelan officials.
Nisman’s report indicates he was working to expose the entire extent of Iran’s Latin-American terror network.
In March, Brazilian investigative journalist Leonardo Coutinho, through a written statement, laid bare for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs his years of investigation into “Iran’s penetration of Brazil.”
The statement was titled, “Brazil as an operational hub for Iran and Islamic Terrorism.” It outlined not only Coutinho’s work in Veja magazine, but Nisman’s extensive investigation.
“Official investigations carried out by Argentine, American, and Brazilian authorities have revealed how Brazil figures into the intricate network set up to ‘export Iran’s Islamic Revolution’ to the West, by both establishing legitimacy and regional support while simultaneously organizing and planning terrorist attacks,” Coutinho said. This was in accordance with a “template” for spreading Iran’s Islamic revolution.
“Tony Badran, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, explains the template that the Khomeinist revolutionaries first set up in Lebanon 36 years ago by cloning the various instruments that were burgeoning in Iran as the Islamic revolutionary regime consolidated its power.”
“And now, according to reporting from Veja and Nisman, Iran and Hezbollah have been attempting the same in Latin America.”
Nisman’s investigation of the Jewish center bombing began in 2005, eventually generating a 502-page report, which is his legacy to the West, if we act on the intelligence it contains.
The report alleges that Chavez furnished Iranian and Hezbollah agents with “passports and flights that would allow them to move freely around South America and to Iran.” It involved “hiding in remote, lawless parts of Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, and other countries that lack the infrastructural, legal, and economic resources to root out Iran’s agents of terror.”
“Iran and Hezbollah, two forces hostile to US interests, have made significant inroads in Peru, almost without detection, in part because of our weak institutions, prevalent criminal enterprise, and various stateless areas,” Peru’s former vice interior minister told the House hearing, noting that Peru was not hostile to the US. “These elements are particularly weak in the southern mountainous region of my country.”
Nisman “tried to track the network of Mohsen Rabbani, who he believed led Iran’s cell in Latin America and was an architect of the AMIA attack.”
Rabbani’s main contact in Brazil was, according to Nisman, a cleric named Taleb Hussein al-Khazraji.
At that point, Iran’s Islamic Revolution in the West cast its shadow over the United States. “Both al-Khazraji and Rabbani were in contact with Abdul Kadir, a former politician from the South American country of Guyana who is now serving a sentence of life in prison in the US for plotting to attack New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport in 2007.
Kadir was prosecuted, with help from Nisman, by the woman who is now US attorney general: Loretta Lynch.
Bob Bennett is a New York-based writer who has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal and the NY Post, and has appeared on Fox and Friends and America’s Newsroom. He has traveled widely and written travel pieces for the NY Post, a cover article for the Jewish Press, and an op-ed for the medical journal Cancer Biotherapy & Radioimmunotherapy. Bob was also award-winning producer of a travel radio show heard on New York stations: WMCA, WNWK and 50,000 watt WOR and the national Sky Angel Network. He now blogs on Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Community and Red State Diaries.