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The National Review

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2004 11:04 am    Post subject: IRAN (Islamic Mafia Regime) IS MOVING INTO AFGHANISTAN. Reply with quote

Inviting Terrorism
With Karzai's permission, Iran is establishing terrorist bases in Afghanistan.

by Jed Babbin

Last Saturday, the Iranian government made an extraordinary
announcement. The mullahs' Islamic Republic News Agency said that they
had completed construction of ten "border outposts" inside the Harat
province of Afghanistan. According to the report, these are in addition
to others all along the border, inside Nimrouz, Sistan, Baluchestan, and
Farah provinces. That the mullahs are doing this at all with the
apparent consent of the Karzai government and without any objection from
us is simply astounding. In effect, Karzai has invited them in to
foment terrorism and insurgency against our forces and against his
struggling government.

Iran is the central terrorist nation. Hezbollah the terrorists who
operate as functionaries of Syria are backed and paid for by Tehran,
as are several other terrorist organizations. Iran has admitted that
several of the al Qaeda leadership are in Iran, supposedly under arrest,
but more likely being given sanctuary and assistance. Iran, already well
armed with missiles and WMD, has built several nuclear "research" sites,
many of which are well buried to protect them from air strikes. They
don't want to be the recipients of a message from Israel like the one
that destroyed Iraq's Osirak facility in 1981.

As Undersecretary of State John Bolton explained last November, Iran's
nuclear program is despite what the Clouseaus of the International
Atomic Energy Agency say working hard to develop nuclear weapons.
Enriched plutonium, which even the IAEA managed to find at one Iranian
nuclear site, has no peaceful purpose. More than two years ago one of
Iran's leaders, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, said that if the
Islamic world can get nuclear weapons it should use them on Israel,
because they can destroy Israel while the Islamic world would survive a
nuclear counterattack. These are the people Karzai is inviting into his

The Iranians are being quite clever, saying that their Afghan outposts
will be manned by "special police" for a campaign against poppy
cultivation. Iran's interest in poppy production is the same as its
interests in nuclear weapons: They don't plan on using nukes on
themselves, and they have an active antidrug campaign that works against
the heroin traffickers who try to sell their wares in Iran. But others
cross Iran from Afghanistan to reach heroin labs in eastern Turkey and
in the northern Kurdish region of Iraq. Heroin sales are used to finance
terror. Intercepted al Qaeda shipments of heroin prove that well enough.
The Iranians' having antidrug cops inside Afghanistan may aid them in
stopping some shipments to local drug sellers, but it will also allow
them to provide safe conduct for those shipments that are meant for
their terrorist allies and operatives.

By allowing the Iranians in, the Afghans are providing them with the
best cover they can get: a legal right to operate inside Afghanistan.
The Iranians will catch a few "suspect" druggies to show the world that
they're good guys. To better achieve their "mission" against poppy
growing, Iranian forces will range over large areas of Afghanistan. They
will claim that any interference in any of their operations is unlawful
and only helps the drug smugglers. If American troops interfere in their
terrorist operations, the Iranians will fight. There will be small
skirmishes between Iranian "police" and our special-ops troops. But the
Iranians don't want an open war against the United States, at least not
yet. So they will complain to the Karzai government, which, having
trapped itself, will have to ask us to leave the Iranians alone. The
whole mess may end up in another drawn-out U.N. debate, which will blame
America for helping the drug smugglers. We can't let it get that far.

At this writing, there are still about ten thousand American troops and
eight thousand NATO troops in Afghanistan, trying to stabilize the
country so that democracy can take hold. Facing them or, more
accurately, operating in the shadows all around them are the resurgent
Taliban, al Qaeda, and agents of both the Pakistani and Iranian regimes.
Pakistan's military intelligence agency the ISI was instrumental in
the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan and is allied with terrorist groups
such as al Qaeda. Iran is more powerful, and thus more of an immediate
threat to Afghanistan. The dozen Iranian outposts are also a direct
challenge to the American and NATO forces. They will have to be watched
every moment, and movement of people beyond their immediate vicinity
will have to be stopped. This will tie up many of our special-ops
troops, who are also out chasing the Taliban remnants and bin Laden

The Iranians are setting themselves up to take Afghanistan by stealth,
gradually and certainly. They will use their outposts to smuggle al
Qaeda and Taliban operatives, as well as weapons and money, in and out
of Afghanistan. They must be stopped with whatever force it takes.
Otherwise, Iran's presence will grow, and so will its interference in
the Afghan government's ability to establish security for its own
people. The Iranians are preparing to fight a guerilla war against the
Karzai government and the Western forces now in the country. They are
readying the battlefield for a coming fight on their terms. We cannot
allow this to proceed, and we need to force them out, but before we can
we must persuade the Karzai government to reverse itself and deny the
Iranians permission to enter Afghanistan.

If Afghanistan is free or at least free of the Taliban regime for the
time being it is to President Bush's credit. But in Afghanistan, like
Iraq, the battle is far from over. Karzai must act quickly and withdraw
his permission for the Iranians to bring any police or troops into
Afghanistan. The Iranians should be told to pack up and get out of town
by sundown. If they don't, they should be evicted with whatever force
may be required. Closing these outposts will not end infiltration from
Iran, but it will make a stealthy invasion much harder.

NRO Contributor Jed Babbin was a deputy undersecretary of defense in
the first Bush administration.
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