During a meeting with Under Secretary of State William Joseph Burns on August 17, 2007, the Israeli Mossad Chief Meir Dagan outlined his idea of instigating ethnic and sectarian conflicts in order to undermine the Iranian regime.
Dagan noted that minorities such as Azeris, Kurds and Baluchs in Iran were ‘tempted to resort to violence’, and suggested that the US could take advantage of underlying tension to foment regime change in Iran.
The idea was relayed as the fifth ‘pillar’ of Dagan’s five point plan to keep Iran in check, as reported in a diplomatic cable from the US Embassy in Tel Aviv (07TELAVIV2652) :
E) Force Regime Change: Dagan said that more should be done to foment regime change in Iran, possibly with the support of student democracy movements, and ethnic groups (e.g., Azeris, Kurds, Baluchs) opposed to the ruling regime.
The United States’ clandestine association with the heads of militant ethnic separatists in Iran was noted by the writer Seymour M.Hersch of The New Yorker, who argues that the US “has encouraged their efforts to undermine the regime’s authority in northern and southeastern Iran.” This was written without the knowledge of the cable in question that suggests that this tactic originated in the Israeli Mossad, with the US simply playing executioner.
Iran perceived the agitation of ethic conflict was, in fact, emanating from a foreign body. And on this occasion their attempts to point the finger at the so-called ‘great Satan of America’ had much substance. Subsequently, in the May 19 Sermon in Tehran, broadcast across the country by state radio as per routine, Ayatollah Mohammad Emami-Kashani pinned southeastern Baluchi violence on the United States and Israel.
Without seriously threatening the Iranian regime, as was Israel’s aim, ethnic conflicts in Iran certainly increased in the years following the events in the cable. Most notably, there were two consecutive attacks on police stations on April 24 and 25, 2009. 18 policemen were killed along with 10 militants from the Kurdistan Free Life Party; the group responsible for the attack. This militia were proven to be given ‘equipment and training’ by Israel in revelations from an American government consultant.
Israel routinely insist that their seemingly obsessive preoccupation with Iran is purely down to global concerns resulting from the expansion of their nuclear program; Israel’s approach towards nuclear disarmament treaties, however, suggests they are less perturbed about nuclear escalation in the Middle-East.
In an earlier cable from Tel Aviv (04TELAVIV6547_a), dated December 23rd 2004, Israel balked at the participation of the Arab League in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and insisted that the potentially ground-breaking conference should only be reduced to an ‘intellectual’ exercise that produced no ‘concrete deliverables’.
Israel’s belligerence resulted in the IAEA collapsing, and no equivalent treaty has been signed since.
The Iranian government never collapsed despite years of rife internal conflict. In 2015 they famously signed a nuclear non-proliferation deal that was snubbed by Israel, lifting sanctions that restricted crucial imports on the heavily-indebted nation. Israel is still not party to any biological warfare agreement, and is estimated to possess between 200-400 weapons of mass destruction.
Israel vehemently denies owning any form of nuclear arsenal, even in the face of overwhelming evidence produced by their close US allies. Until it opens its doors to the international community and foregoes conducting psychological warfare against its nuclear rivals it is essentially impossible to obtain a comprehensive account on chemical weapons caches throughout the Middle-East.
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