Khamenei Strategist Alireza Forghani: “In the name of Allah, Iran must attack Israel by 2014”

You can’t say we weren’t warned.

This was in the Jerusalem Post yesterday:

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s strategist provided the legal and religious justification for the annihilation of Israel and the Jewish people, in a document published on conservative Farsi website Alef. Reports of the document began to circulate the internet this week.

The document, written by strategy specialist Alireza Forghani, outlined the reasons why, “In the name of Allah, Iran must attack Israel by 2014.”

Hitler made similar comments prior to World War II. Here’s what he said in 1939:

If international Jewish financiers inside and outside Europe again succeed in plunging the nations into a world war, the result will not be the Bolshevization of the earth and with it the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.

And here he is saying it:


History may be repeating itself, but perhaps the WWII analogy is wrong.

Maybe the Iranian-Israeli stand-off is better framed as akin to the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, with Bibi Netanyahu, not as Winston Churchill fighting Hitler, but as General Curtis LeMay being a hot-head. (For those who don’t know, LeMay was one of President Kennedy’s generals at the time of the Cuban missile crisis. He was the lead person clamoring for a massive air strike on Cuba.)

It’s possible, I suppose, that the Iranians are just pushing antisemitic rhetorical buttons as a way of posturing (while still being, in behind-the-scenes diplomatic channels, rational actors).

Personally, I doubt this. I think the Iranians are dead serious. Their religion embraces martyrdom. I wouldn’t want to be Bibi Netanyahu or Barack Obama, trying to figure out how to respond.

2012 is shaping up to be a very, very nervy year. WWII or Cuban missile crisis 2.0?

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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9 Responses to Khamenei Strategist Alireza Forghani: “In the name of Allah, Iran must attack Israel by 2014”

  1. Gato Precambriano says:

    Iran’s rethoric is awful, but an iranian first strike is unlikely, given the precedent, as they’ve never started a war before. They can be nuts in many things and ways, but they’re not suicidal.
    I’m much more concerned with Israel as they HAVE a precedent in starting wars. Their rethoric usually match their actions.

    • Santi Tafarella says:

      I wouldn’t be complacent about the possibility that suicidal impulses are not in play within some social movements—most especially Islamism.

      I think of the Spanish fascist slogan, “Long live death.”

      Some people are drawn to apocalypse and destruction, even their own. I’m not at all convinced theists persuaded that martyrdom is good will regard a few million Muslim deaths as unacceptable if it also means that Tel Aviv is obliterated and Israel poisoned with radiation. This would force surviving Jews permanently out of the land of Israel. It’s a billion Muslims verses six million Israelis. The calculus for an acceptable exchange of lives may be very different for Iranians than for secularists like you and me.

      With such a “cleansing”, Muslims would assume that they would then occupy the land a century from now.


      • Gato Precambriano says:

        1)The fact is that so far Iran never started a war ever. They don’t did it before, I don’t believe they’ll do.
        2)Iran is shiite, palestinian muslims are suni. The scenario you devises assume that a whole shiite population would be glad to martirdoom in benefit of suni muslims who regard shiites as heretics. Really? Would be like South Baptists give themselves in sacrifice for the Pope. They’re all “christians” after all aren’t they?
        3)Your scenario also assumes that iranian elite would gladly give up their actual power, and a state building effort that dates back some centuries, in fact dates way back some englishman ever thought about colonize a place called “America”, and even before there was englishman at all. And that in exchange for what?
        I’m sorry but I think you’re buying the same snake oil US people bought in Irak’s case..

      • Santi Tafarella says:


        Your points are good ones, but I think your overconfidence that Iran is not a threat to Israel is not in keeping with various facts. The Iranians do play arms roles now in the region; they support terrorism (which is a form of war); and Israelis see Iran as an existential threat to them. It’s not because they’re stupid or simplistic in their thinking, or under a spell cast by Bibi Netanyahu.

        Also, Iran has a history of absorbing antisemitic propaganda (the Jews run the world, the Holocaust never happened, etc). And just because Iranians are well educated, it doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be reckless in a cause. Germany in the 1930s was also a highly educated country.

        But I agree with you that it is complicated and not as simple as, say, FOX News makes it.


  2. Gato Precambriano says:

    “The Iranians do play arms roles now in the region”
    Aw really? What do you expect? What they are suposed to do? Give up and surrender? Disarm themselves?
    “they support terrorism ”
    And you tink they’re the only ones in the game? Think again. The prison orders for Michael Mukasey, Fran Townsend, Andy Card, Tom Ridge, and Rudy Giuliani are on their way I presume…
    “Iran has a history of..” not starting wars. Your analogy with 1930s Germany is totaly flawed and a-historycal. I don’t believe Iran wouldn’t atack before been atacked because they’re well educated, but because they have a historycal precedent of not doing so.
    “it is complicated and not as simple as, say, FOX News makes it. ” I wish it was FOX News only

  3. Gato Precambriano says:

    Santi you really should take a look at Greenwald to have some perspective. Please.

  4. Arthur says:

    Absolute NONSENSE. This guy is nobody. He runs a blog. He’s never heard of. Khamenei’s strategist? is this a joke?

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