First we had Bashar Assad threatening to attack Tel Aviv if NATO attacked it. Now Iran has piled on and is threatening to “make Israel burn” if the West attacks Syria. I admit I had to read the headline twice to check that Iran’s threat was in case of an attack on Syria, not on Iran itself.
Any crisis caused by military intervention in Syria would “envelop the Zionist regime,” Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said Wednesday.
According to the Tehran Times, Larijani was referring to calls by “certain US officials” for a military campaign against President Bashar Assad’s regime following the recent massacre of civilians, many of them children, in the town of Houla.
“US military officials probably have a poor understanding of themselves and regional issues because Syria is in no way similar to Libya, and (the effects of) creating another Benghazi in Syria would spread to Palestine, and ash rising from the flames would definitely envelop the Zionist regime,” Larijani was quoted by the Tehran Times as saying during a speech in parliament.
“It seems that the United States and the West are seeking to pave the way for a new crisis,” he added.
Well, no. It seems that Iran is seeking to pave the way for a new crisis, any crisis, to distract attention from its nuclear weapons program. Oh, and also to help their murderous old friend Bashar Assad.
In a breathtaking piece of hypocrisy, Larijani added:
in his speech, Larijani stated that the “Majlis (the Iranian parliament) supports democratic reforms in Syria that will help uphold the people’s rights, condemns terrorist actions and opportunistic interference by certain countries in Syria as well as the hawkish and unwise messages of the United States, and warns that it may seem easy to embark on such an act of adventurism, but it will definitely be difficult to end it.”
The only message anyone can take from this speech is that Iran is little more than an overgrown Mafia, who like to make “offers that can’t be refused”.
I expect a condemnation of these words by Western governments in 3…2…1….
Should I hold my breath?
And for a grand finale, here’s a bonus:
Earlier, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the West and certain Arab countries were interfering in Syria and were sending weapons to help bring down the government.
This is a case of outright projection. Iran itself has been helping the Syrian regime to evade the Western-sponsored sanctions by providing funding and weapons which are used to massacre its civilians.
Iran has been helping Syria bypass the international sanctions imposed on it for massacring civilians, according to documents from the Syrian president’s office obtained by Haaretz.
The documents show that Iran has given the Syrian regime more than $1 billion, which would help it overcome the oil embargo and other moves including restrictions on flights and sanctions against the central bank.
Furthermore Iran has been providing actual boots on the ground and has confirmed that it has sent troops to Syria to aid the Assad regime in its brutal suppression of the uprising.
Now it becomes clear why Iran is threatening Israel – which is an uninvolved player in the efforts to bring down Assad – if Syria is attacked. The Iranians reckon they are in a win-win situation. If the West attacks, Iran will attack Israel and obviously hope to destroy it. If the West is scared of attacking Syria in case Israel gets involved and takes the battle to Iran, then Iran wins too, together with Syria.
But they should remember the case of Saddam Hussein who did something very similar. He threatened to attack Israel if the Allies attacked Iraq to make them withdraw from Kuwait, and he carried out his threat with a 6-week barrage of Scud missiles on Israel.
But look where he is – or is not – today.