Lever for Destabilization (III)

TEHERAN/WASHINGTON/BERLIN | | iran

TEHERAN/WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) - The trail of an US-backed Iranian terrorist secessionist offensive leads back to Germany. Simultaneous with the bombing attack, end of last week, in eastern Iran, killing more than 40 people, terrorists have begun new attacks also in western Iran. The "Party of Free Life of Kurdistan" [PJAK), which for years had recruited its members in West Germany is behind these attacks. Its leader lives in Cologne and, just a few days ago, he reiterated that his organization can "strike anywhere" in Iran. Both attacks were aimed at decisively weakening Teheran's control over large sectors of the nation. Recently, the foundation affiliated with the party of Germany's incoming foreign minister (FDP) adopted the goals of wresting power from the hands of Teheran and giving extensive special rights to ethnic minorities, thereby promoting the destabilization of Iran, which is rejecting the Western concepts of stabilization. In German military circles it is being said that support for centrifugal forces in Iran are an appropriate "lever in Western policy below the threshold of direct military intervention."

Last week Iranian secessionists continued their efforts to destabilize the country with a bombing attack that cost the lives of more than 40 people. The attack targeted high-ranking military officers in the Sistan and Baluchistan Province, where a hefty secessionist struggle has been raging for years. The organization "Jundallah" is one of the main organizations that carried out ruthless ambushes throughout this struggle, and is held responsible for this recent massacre. Jundallah wants to see Baluchistan secede from Iran. Teheran is accusing the United States and Great Britain of supporting Jundallah, as a means of weakening its government and bringing pro-Western forces into power. As a matter of fact, over the past few years, US intelligence service circles have leaked confirmation of cooperation between the CIA and Jundallah, as well as with other Iranian secessionists to the press.[1] East Iranian insiders for example the brother of the Jundallah leader has also confirmed these suspicions.[2]

"Partisans in the Mountains"

Simultaneous with the dreadful ambush in eastern Iran, the "Party of Free Life of Kurdistan" (PJAK) recommenced its attacks in the northwest of the country.[3] As reported last Friday in the Kurdish media, PJAK members ambushed an Iranian state representative in Salmas, near the Turkish border. The PJAK is affiliated with the Turkish PKK separatists and is officially struggling for an Autonomous Region Iranian Kurdistan, along the lines of the Autonomous Region Kurdistan in Iraq.[4] But critics see this merely as an intermediate step toward the creation of a composite greater Kurdish state. The PJAK claims to have killed several hundred members of the Iranian repression forces over the past few years. Just before the latest attack, its leader had declared that the "partisans in the mountains" of northwestern Iran are "but a small portion of the PJAK."[5] The attack on the military airbase last year in the vicinity of Teheran, is proof "that we can strike anywhere."

German Office

The activities of the PJAK in Germany have been the object of media reports, on various occasions over the past two years. It was reported that the organization has not only recruited a large number of its militiamen in West Germany, but that its chairman even lives in Cologne (the state of North Rhine-Westphalia). According to a televised documentary, PJAK leader Haji Ahmadi succeeds in regularly traveling from Germany to his militias stationed in the Kurdish Autonomous Region of Iraq - under the surveillance of "Iraqi Kurdistan's" current ruling (Barzani) clan, which has close relations to Berlin.[6] As evidenced by official reports of the "Verfassungsschutz" (the "Federal Office of the Protection of the Constitution"), German authorities are well informed on the activities of the PJAK, yet - unlike in the case of the Turkish PKK Kurdish separatists - they do not intervene. According to media reports, the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) had maintained contact to PJAK leader Haji Ahmadi.[7] According to several research articles, the PJAK is also receiving support in the USA.[8] Even though at the beginning of the Obama administration, Washington placed it on its official list of terrorist organizations - to signal to Teheran a willingness to negotiate - effective sanctions against it are, to date, unknown.

Domestic Political Instability

Non-military Iranian secessionist organizations are receiving support from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FDP). Last June, the foundation held a conference, in cooperation with the "Society for Threatened Peoples," dedicated to the "ethnic question" in Iran. According to conference documents, the "time" has come to "more strongly focus international public opinion" on the needs of Iran's ethnic minorities, among which there is specific mention of the "Kurds" in northwest Iran and the "Balochs," in the east of the country.[9] "Up to 60%" of the Iranian population are members of ethnic minorities and should have special rights, declared the conference organizers, meaning a reinforcement of centrifugal force, linked with external intervention that could seriously threaten the survival of the state.[10] Critics of the Iranian military regime are warning against this sort of interference - the Iranian domestic opposition would be in great danger of "immediately being accused of taking orders from the West and its leaders, branded as collaborators."[11] A professor of the Bundeswehr University in Munich has even declared that ethnic secessionist movements are an appropriate "lever for destabilization." Iran is a "multi-ethnic nation." "This domestic instability could - and should (covertly, goes without saying) - be the lever of western Iran policy, below the threshold of direct military intervention."[12]

Diminishing Ties

Because of the enormous economic interests in Iran, Berlin had always sought a balance between threatening Teheran with an overthrow and making cooperation offers. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[13]) A shift in accent has begun to take place. Besides its support for Iranian secessionists, Berlin has now also begun to take on the intelligence service of Teheran's military regime. Last week the "Protection of the Constitution's" regional office in Hamburg announced that Iran's secret service was spying on oppositional Iranians in exile in Germany - a practice that has been known for years and tolerated by Berlin - often with bloody consequences for critics of the Iranian government. The mood has also changed in business circles, which in the past have been among the most ardent protagonists for cooperation with Iran. The "discouragement strategy" - the German government's efforts to induce companies to limit their business with Iran - is bearing fruit. Exports to Iran dropped by ten percent in the first seven months of 2009 in comparison to last year.[14] Intensification of activities to overthrow the government, running parallel with diminishing ties are accentuating tensions, heightening the prospect of further escalation.

[1] US funds terror groups to sow chaos in Iran; The Daily Telegraph 25.02.2007. Bush sanctions 'black ops' against Iran; The Daily Telegraph 27.05.2007
[2] Rigi's brother exposes US ties with Jundullah; presstv.ir 09.06.2009
[3] Kurdish PJAK rebels resume attacks in Iranian Kurdistan; www.ekurd.net 17.10.2009
[4] see also Feudale Sonderbeziehungen, (Irakisch) Kurdistan and Deutsche Brückenbauer
[5] PJAK-Rebellen: "Wir können überall im Iran zuschlagen"; Die Presse 15.10.2009
[6], [7] see also Lever for Destabilization
[8] Seymur M. Hersh: The Next Act; The New Yorker 27.11.2006. US wages covert war on Iraq-Iran border; Asia Times 28.11.2007
[9] see also Destabilisierungshebel (II)
[10] see also Anticipating a Coup
[11] "Endlich Freiheit"; www.boell.de 18.06.2009
[12] Die Zerrissenheit des Iran; Die Welt 07.03.2007
[13] see also Zwei Feuer, Traditional Role, Equilibrium rather than Exclusion and Potenzial zum Partner
[14] Die Deutsche Wirtschaft zieht aus dem Iran ab; Die Welt 04.10.2009