TEHRAN DENIES DIFFERENCES AMONG LEADERS REGARDING RESPONSE – 09/07/1988

”We suggest that the United States has some additional crimes stored away for Iran, and that is why we do not push for any revenge. Wise people understand why we do not take revenge.”

Hojatolislam Hashemi Rafsanjani, Speaker of Iran’s Parliament and commander of the armed forces

Today, Hojatolislam Rafsanjani said that it would be unwise for Iran to seek revenge for the downing of the Iranian Airliner by the USS Vincennes.

(NB. Documents declassified and released by Rafsanjani in late 2006 indeed indicate that Iranian military had reached the conclusion that they could not win the war due to the US support to Saddam Hussein. This issue will be discussed in more details on July 19. [1])

epa03610273 Iran's former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani attends the annual meeting of the Experts Assembly in Tehran, Iran, 05 March 2013. The assembly is the highest clergy body in the country which is even authorized to supervise the activities of the country's supreme leadership.  EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

Iran’s former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani

Speaking to a crowd of several thousand who had gathered in an open-air theater, Rafsanjani argued that Iran should wait and see. Next Tuesday – July 12 – the United Nations Security Council is scheduled to discuss the downing of the Civilian Iranian jetliner.

”If they give us justice, condemn the warmonger and tell the United States to leave the Persian Gulf, Iran may be satisfied,” Rafsanjani said.

Earlier this week, Rafsanjani sought to encourage international condemnation of the United States and to gain sympathy for the Iranian people. But not everyone in Tehran agrees with his pragmatism.

Grand Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri, who is considered the likely successor of Khomeini and is without doubt Rafsanjani’s leading rival for power, has called for attacks against American interests and property in response to the downing of the jet. However, the apparent difference between the two leaders may not be as sharp as it would seem at first.

In fact, Rafsanjani denied that there were any such differences among senior leaders of the Iranian Government. He said the seeming contradictions between his views and those of Ayatollah Montazeri were all part of a complementary policy debate.

Nevertheless, Montazeri appears adamant on the necessity of an act of revenge. In a message read on the Teheran radio, he asked Ayatollah Khomeini to order ”revolutionary forces and resistance cells inside and outside the country to target America’s material, political, economic and military interests.”

North Trial Scheduled Sept. 20.

Retired Marine lieutenant Colonel Oliver North has been charged with conspiracy to illegally divert profits from the sale of United States arms to Iran and use the profit to fund to the rebels fighting the Nicaraguan government.

North was dismissed as an aide to the National Security Council and John M. Poindexter, a retired Navy rear admiral and former White House national security adviser.

Earlier this week, Judge Gerhard A. Gesell ruled that North had demonstrated that highly sensitive documents were relevant to his defense. North claims, among other things, that the profit was used in combination with US Government money.

Consequently, Judge Gesell directed the independent prosecutor, Lawrence E. Walsh, to produce any documents to support North’s assertions. Arms dealer Albert Hakim and retired Air Force major general Richard V. Secord have also been indicted in the case.

Intelligence

Sanya Popovic was the girlfriend of UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson, who was killed when Pan Am Flight 103 crashed at Lockerbie, Scotland, on December 21 1988.

According to Popovic, following a July 9 1988 meeting between Mothashemi-Pur and Jibril, the PFLP-GC was awarded the contract to revenge the shot down of Airbus 665. [2] A former DIA operative has told me that he knew of the existence of this contract.

The death of Bernt Carlsson deeply affected the future of Namibia. The South Africa delegation was saved by destiny. All its members cancelled their reservation on Pan Am 103 on the day of the tragedy.

Looking in the mirror

As one looks back at the events surrounding the Iran-gate scandal and the Lockerbie bombing, it is hard to fail noticing many similarities between the two stories, as for instance the involvement of unsavory characters such as international arms and drug dealer Monzer al Kassar.  [3]

Soon after his extradition to the US last month, R. Marquise, the former FBI agent who led the Lockerbie investigation told me the following.

”When I read of al Kassar’s extradition, I sent emails to both the FBI agent handling Lockerbie as well as the DOJ attorney suggesting that he be interviewed.  I certainly have no more clout in the Government and can only suggest.  I am not sure what will be done to see how he responds to the allegations made by Aviv and company. ”

Some authors, including this writer, have alleged that in the second part of 1988, the Bush-Reagan administration was in contact with Tehran officials to negotiate the release of the US hostages held in Lebanon. (See – Was there a Second Iran-Gate?)

Al Kassar was allegedly working as a go-between Tehran and Washington. It is a fact that he had done the job successfully in the past for the French government.   In exchange, al Kasaar is alleged to have been allowed to export safely heroin from the Bekaa valley to the East coast of the US, transiting through Frankfurt and using Pan Am.

According to an Italian Court ruling, such activity did indeed occur. Moreover, various authors, such Roy Rowan writing for Time Magazine [4], have claimed – but never showed evidence – that the US covert operation had received a codename sounding like Corea, Courier, or Kourea.

According to Richard marquise [5], the DEA investigated the claim and concluded that no such operation ever existed. It did not however escaped the attention of this writer that a Bank Account in the name of KORE1 existed and was used by the Iran-Gate actors, as evidenced by a letter from Poindexter to CIA Director William Casey reveals. (PS. The reader will notice that the letter, dated May 27 1986 was also sent to Vice President Bush. PS. According to the official version of History, Bush learned about the affair in November 1988.)

NOTES AND REFERENCES

The Khomeini letter: Is Rafsanjani warning the hardliners?

Globe and Mail, Toronto, 27 November 1993, page A 17.

Monzer al-Kassaar was arrested in June 2007 in Spain on charges that he had attempted to sell weapons to the FARCs.

Pan Am 103 – Why did they die?

SCOTBOM, Evidence and the Lockerbie Investigation, p 65.

Iranian Plays Down Revenge

North Trial Scheduled Sept. 20

 

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