The Myth of Iran’s Anti-Nuclear “Fatwa” Returns

March 24 2021

Last month, mainstream American news outlets reported that Ali Khamenei, the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader, had issued a fatwa, or religious ruling, in the 1990s forbidding the production of nuclear weapons. The reports, based on a recent statement by the Iranian intelligence minister, are nothing new: mention of the fatwa has appeared in Western media for years, and it has been cited by policymakers and analysts as evidence that the deeply religious regime has no intention of putting its nuclear program to military use. But the problem with this line of reasoning, writes Sean Durns, is that no such fatwa exists:

Iran’s spy chief, [by citing the supposed ruling], is . . . engaged in a longstanding, and recently renewed, disinformation campaign. . . . Tehran has long used claims of a nuclear fatwa as part of its propaganda. . . . In his September 24, 2013, remarks before the UN General Assembly, then-President Barack Obama said, “The supreme leader has developed a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons.” Both Hillary Clinton and John Kerry echoed Obama’s remarks.

In April 2010, Khamenei wrote a letter to the Tehran International Conference on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation referring to nuclear weapons as prohibited. But this is not a fatwa. . . . Since 2004, Iran has published hundreds of newly issued fatwas online. They run the gamut from political to religious and cultural issues, addressing subjects as varied as dancing to taking medicine that contains alcohol. No fatwa against nuclear weapons has surfaced.

Although there isn’t any evidence of an Iranian nuclear fatwa, there is growing evidence of Iran’s nuclear activity.

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Read more at National Interest

More about: Ali Khamenei, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Iran nuclear program, John Kerry

Iran’s Dangerous Dream of a Triple Alliance with Russia and China

Aug. 16 2022

Unlike Hamas, which merely receives support from the Islamic Republic, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)—with which Israel engaged in a short round of fighting last week—is more or less under its direct control. In fact, the recent hostilities began with a series of terrorist attacks launched by PIJ from Samaria, which might in turn have been a response to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s call “to open a new front in the West Bank against the Zionist enemy.” Amir Taheri writes:

In Gaza, the Islamic Republic has invested heavily in promoting Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. . . . Islamic Jihad is in a minority in Gaza, hence the attempt by Tehran to help it create a base in the West Bank.

Reliable sources in Baghdad say that [Iran’s expeditionary and terrorist paramilitary] the Quds Force has been “transiting” significant quantities of arms and cash via Iraq to Jordan, to be smuggled to the West Bank. The Jordanian authorities say they are aware of these “hostile activities.” King Abdullah himself has publicly called on Iran to cease “destabilizing activities.”

But such schemes, Taheri explains, are part of a larger strategic vision of creating a grand anti-Western alliance even while engaging in nuclear negotiations with the U.S. and Europe:

Last month, Khamenei praised Vladimr Putin for his invasion of Ukraine. And this month, China’s ambassador to Iran, Chang Hua, praised the Islamic Republic for supporting China in “asserting its sovereignty” over Taiwan.

It is clear that some dangerous pipe-dreamers in Beijing, Moscow, and Tehran have fallen for the phantasmagoric vision of “three great powers” banding together and with help from “the rest,” that is to say, the so-called Third World . . . to destroy an international system created by the “corrupt and decadent.”

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: China, Iran, Islamic Jihad, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Russia, West Bank