TEL AVIV – Iran is responding to President Donald Trump’s warnings against the Tehran regime by strengthening Hezbollah and Gaza-based terror groups as well as allying itself with Russia in exchange for economic and military privileges, an Iranian military source said.
In an article published on February 21 in the Iranian reformist news agency Amad News – Iran’s answer to WikiLeaks – an unnamed source from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) was cited as saying that the Islamic Republic was mulling its response to “increasing threats by America,” which have the potential to turn into an “extensive military confrontation.”
Political, security and military officials have held a series of meetings, the source said, and have come to the conclusion that “Iran should deepen its strategic ties with Russia, such that in the event of an extensive war, Russia will defend Iran from American threats.”
Russia would receive widespread compensation for such a strategic alliance, the source said. First, Tehran would grant Moscow access to oil fields in southern Iran, giving Russia annual profits of $50 billion. This would go some way toward assuaging the economic crisis Russia has suffered as a result of American sanctions over the Crimea issue.
“The second recommendation is to realize Russia’s decades-old dream of access to free waters,” the Farsi-language article translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) said, continuing “that if America attacks Iran, Russia will be able to defend Iran against the mighty sea and land strength of America.” Allowing Russia access to the Persian Gulf and control of its ports will also alleviate the sanctions against it, the IRGC source said.
The team of experts’ third recommendation is to divert U.S. attention away from Iran by triggering a war with Israel. Tehran would compel its proxy, Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah, and Palestinian groups to engage in a conflict with Israel, thereby sidetracking the U.S. so that it will become “too busy” to unite ranks with “other countries worldwide against Iran.”
“A new war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon, as well as with Palestinian groups, will completely divert global public attention from Iran and focus it on Israel. Such a war could become the focal point of the first four-year term of Donald Trump, and prevent an opportunity to fight Iran,” the source was quoted as saying.
The source said that the recommendations had been transmitted to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and added that the team of experts had already had some success in putting the plan into action.
According to the article, Khamenei attended the 6th International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Intifada in Tehran on the counsel of those officials. In addition, the team advised Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah to give an interview on Iranian state television on February 20 in which the Shiite leader threatened Israel with strikes on its vital infrastructure sites including the Dimona nuclear reactor and an ammonia plant in Haifa.
“These two things happened because of other recommendations by the team of experts,” the article said.
The article ended by rebuking the Iranian leadership for making such recommendations in the first place, saying they constitute an explicit contradiction of the goals of Iran’s Islamic Revolution and of the legacy of revolution founder Ayatollah Khomeini. Khomeini’s slogan, it said, was “neither East nor West – [only] the Islamic Republic,” i.e. that Iran should never rely on help from the outside and must remain independent.