February 8, 2012
By Keith Johnson
The short answer: Absolutely not!
Part of the long answer comes from Muhammad Sahimi, who recently told Antiwar Radio host Scott Horton that the inflammatory article published by World Net Daily (WND), entitled Ayatollah: Kill all Jews, Annihilate Israel is “totally bogus.”
Muhammad Sahimi is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Southern California (USC). He also frequently writes on Iranian politics for Payvand, the Huffington Post, Antiwar.com and several mainstream news outlets. He has a regular column for the Tehran Bureau of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and is fluent in Farsi.
According to Sahimi, the WND piece by Reza Kahlili is based entirely on an article by Alireza Forghani, who is described by Kahlili as “an analyst and a strategy specialist in [Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei’s camp.”
However, Kahlili provides no proof of this and expects the reader to take his word for it. In response, Sahimi says that Alireza Forghani is nothing more than an “Iranian blogger” who has “no ties to the Iranian government…no official post anywhere…doesn’t even have a job.”
Forghani’s article first appeared on the website Alef, which Sahimi says is indirectly linked to an Iranian Member of Parliament but has no connection whatsoever to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. According to WND’s Kahlili, the fact that Forghani’s article “now is being run on most state-owned sites, including the Revolutionary Guards’ Fars News Agency,” shows that the regime endorses Forghani’s doctrine.
And what is Forghani’s “doctrine,” pray tell? According to Sahimi, Forghani does talk about a pre-emptive strike on Israel, but only because Israel is threatening to attack Iran. Sahimi compares this to the “Bush Doctrine”—“…take the fight to the enemy overseas before they can attack us again here at home.”
Sahimi goes on to say that Forghani talks about different population densities in various parts of Israel and postulates that if Iran were to attack Israel, these are some of the places Iran’s Shahab-3 missles can reach. “Then [Forghani] talks about—if Iran is to attack Israel—places like railroads, airports, nuclear facilities and so on can also be attacked by Iranian missles,” says Sahimi. “That is what he is saying.”
When Horton asks Sahimi, “Does he say kill all the Jews in Israel?”
“No,” he replies. “I don’t see anything that says that.”
As for Kahlili’s assertion that Forghani’s article contains quotes from Ali Khamenei that calls for the killing of all Jews, and the annihilation of Israel, Sahimi says, “There are no quotes from Khamenei—the current Supreme Leader—but there are two quotes from Khomeini, the leader of the [Iranian] Revolution.”
The first quote, according to Sahimi, basically states that most problems that Muslims are suffering in the Middle East are because of Zionism and U.S. support for Israel. “This is well known,” adds Sahimi. “Khomeini has said this many times. Then there is a second quote: ‘If the enemy attacks the lands of the Muslims or their borders, it is the duty of all Muslims to defend them by any means possible, including the sacrifice of one’s life and expenditure of one’s wealth.’”
One important thing to note: In the WND piece, Kahlili claims to be quoting from Forghani’s article, and writes in the third paragraph:
It is a “‘jurisprudential justification” to kill all the Jews and annihilate Israel, and in that, the Islamic government of Iran must take the helm.”
Notice that Kahlili does not put full quotations around part of this sentence: no opening quotation>> to kill all Jews and annihilate Israel, and in that, the Islamic government of Iran must take the helm.”<<only a closing quotation
That’s because Forghani never wrote that, according to Sahimi. He goes on to say, “The Alef website itself says that this is the personal view of the author. The website does not support it, and it is not the policy of the Iranian government. This is one man’s opinion, and we should condemn it.”
Sahimi then points out the hypocrisy of those who are demonizing Iran over Forghani’s piece. “We have this kind of propaganda everyday among Israelis. Remember, for example in the 1980’s, Rafael Eitan, who was Chief of Staff for Israeli Defense Forces said, [“When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle.”] We have had all sorts of racist statements by citizens of Israel against Palestinians, against Muslims, against Iranians. But they don’t represent (at least officially) the view of the Israeli government. It’s the same case here. Some guy…somewhere…wrote a blog and said something…and all of a sudden this has become the official view of the Supreme Leader and the Iranian government? That’s just nonsense.”
As for the author of the WND piece, Sahimi describes Reza Kahlili as an “Iranian charlatan” who has no credibility. In fact, no one knows his true identity. He goes by a pseudonym and wears masks to conceal his identity when he gives talks. Kahlili claims to have been a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in the 1980’s, and that he worked as a double agent for the CIA, but decided to leave Iran in 1989. Sahimi points out that that was 23 years ago, and that the Revolutionary Guard of that era (during the Iran/Iraq War) was entirely different than what it is today. “So he has no insight or knowledge of what is going on in the Revolutionary Guard” says Sahimi. “More importantly, since he has arrived in the U.S., he has allied with the most extreme, warmongering factions. These guys look for anybody who may sound intelligent, and may be from Iran, in order to give credibility for the advocacy of war against Iran. Reza Kahlili is one of those.”
According to Sahimi, “In the Iranian community in the U.S., we have people who support sanctions against Iran. But even within that segment, [Kahlili] has no credibility. For instance, there are many Iranian satellite television stations here in L.A. that are constantly engaged in propaganda against the Iranian government. These stations have never interviewed this guy. It is totally amazing and frightening that the public is being this easily fooled by this propaganda.”
In other words, Kahlili is the type of guy that only fools the gullible Americans who have never met an Iranian, and get their daily dose of lies fed to them from the likes of Glenn Beck, Michael Savage and other nut jobs who have interviewed this creep.
In October 2011, Kahlili wrote a piece for The Washington Times, entitled KAHLILI: Iran already has nuclear weapons, where he asserts that “Not only does the Islamic Republic already have nuclear weapons from the old Soviet Union, but it has enough enriched uranium for more. What’s worse, it has a delivery system.”
The likelihood that even The Washington Times decided to pass on Kahlili’s recent piece says a lot about WND. They’re the bottom of the barrel, and have now taken center stage as America’s foremost purveyor of yellow journalism.