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Iranian Ships Ahoy
Israel - Middle East
Friday, February 14, 2014
Alf Cengia

There has to be a lesson for the West somewhere when we see Iranian ships take to the high seas once again. One other time was when Iran sent two ships to the Mediterranean via Egypt's Suez Canal back in 2011. Then, in 2013, there was a five day naval drill dubbed Velayat-91, in the Strait of Hormuz.

The latter was seen by many as a defiant show of strength over criticisms of its controversial nuclear program.

Like the former excursions, these latest ships aren't your usual United States type floating restaurants with the typical bars, night clubs and sporting facilities. They're not out for a good time. These are war ships designed to send a message to its enemies. For the first time in history, Iran has sent warships to the Atlantic Ocean.

They mean business. Unless the West is in complete denial it should get that clear message.

I'm sure Iran's usual apologists will have no problem with Iran exerting assertiveness. After all, it's only natural and understandable for a country under severe economic sanctions siege to flex its muscles - unless, of course, that country is Israel defending its borders or national its sovereignty. In that case it's just not on!

Depending on who is doing the talking at any given time, and which way the wind is blowing, different reasons have been given for this latest naval excursion.

Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad of Iran’s Northern Navy Fleet told Fars News that:

“Iran’s military fleet is approaching the United States’ maritime borders, and this move has a message.” That "message" was that this three month naval exercise was a response aimed at countering "the U.S. Navy’s presence in Iranian waters."

The Times of Israel cites Rear Admiral Seyyed Mahmoud Moussavi:

"Iran has a message of peace and friendship for the nations of the world and only seeks to display its defensive power capabilities."

And yet, as they point out:

"...previous statements by high-ranking Iranian naval personnel had declared Iran’s intention to dispatch a [sic] next flotilla of warships to the high seas at around this date to protect the country’s cargo ships and oil tankers against pirate attacks."

But in case anyone has any doubts about Iran's clear purpose, Ayatollah Khamenei - if nothing else - is as honest as former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. According to FrontPageMag, even as the ships were sailing to their destination, Khamenei said:

'...nothing about the current negotiations, but explained that when dealing with the nation’s “enemies” Iran should be prepared to change tactics, even as it resists compromise on any of its primary principles. He also warned his nation to solve their own economic problems. “The solution to our economic problems is not looking out and having the sanctions lifted,” he said. “My advice to our officials, as ever, is to rely on infinite indigenous potentials.” (Emphases mine)

In other words: don't let any sanctions get in the way of doing what you have to do.

Still, the world is full of well-intentioned wannabe diplomats who want to give the Iranian regime the benefit of the doubt. If you make some time to reason with it you'll find that it's really a warm and cuddly regime. A classic example would be Sizer's "Expedition to Persia" where he rubbed shoulders with those lovable Ayatollahs.

“It came from the mouth of the rabid dog of the region - Israel - that Iran is a threat to the world! No, the fake regime Israel and its allies are the threat.” ~ Ayatollah Khamenei

“We are ready for the decisive battle with America and the Zionist regime (Israel)” ~ Iran’s chief of staff Hassan Firouzabadi

Sizer visit boasted a three-fold purpose for his expedition: 1) Give a series of lectures at Iranian universities to highlight Christian Zionism's destructive impact in the Middle East peace process. 2) To explain the Christian Zionism is a departure from orthodox Christian teaching. 3) To strengthen the faith communities in Iran who share commitment to justice, peace and reconciliation in the Middle East.

Number three has to be my favorite! Presumably he followed through with an exposition of Matthew 5:9. But perhaps another trip may be in order given the Iranian regime's continuing abysmal record on human injustice. Converts to Christianity and political dissenters are still being imprisoned, brutally tortured and executed.

Gatestone Institute reports on two cousins waiting to be executed by hanging. The method is:

"...most likely from a crane, commonly used for hangings in Iran to ensure the slowest and most painful suffocation. The method does not use a trap door, but instead the accused is hoisted up slowly so that death will not be instantaneous."

I have not provided a link due to the graphic content. Perhaps this incident can be slotted into the agenda of the next trip to "Persia" and placed under the Justice and Peace Bullet Point discussions.

Given the character of this Iranian regime, its naval exercises should signal its determination and defiance. If it wants nuclear weapons, it will get them. Caroline Glick issues a warning:

"It is happening in slow motion, to be sure. But we are witnessing how a nuclear armed Iran is changing the face of the Middle East."

Glick notes that: Saudi Arabia has cooperated with Pakistan by financing its nuclear weapons program; that Israel intervened in Syria's pursuit of that program by bombing its facility; and that "Jordan and Egypt have both raised the prospect of developing nuclear programs."

Concerning Iran's nuclear program, Glick also writes that:

"...the US does not have the capability to know when a country moves from breakout capacity to an actual arsenal....So given Rouhani’s previous subterfuge, there is every reason to assume that Iran is using its current negotiations to move from breakout capacity to a nuclear arsenal...This state of affairs has grave implications for Israel. (Emphasis mine)

But it isn't just Israel - a nuclear arms race in the Middle East has global ramifications.

Like I said: Ships ahoy!

About Alf Cengia

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