An Argument against Ronen Bergman’s 'The Secret War with Iran' – 23

An Argument against Ronen Bergman’s 'The Secret War with Iran' – 23

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Imad Moughniyeh had bravely joined the struggle against occupiers of Palestine several years before Iran’s Islamic Revolution. Therefore, he had felt religiously compelled to join the Resistance movement, a fact which Bergman acknowledges.

Iranian journalist and expert Abbas Salimi Namin has disproved the claims and opinions of Israeli analyst Ronen Bergman in the book ‘The Secret War with Iran’. ‘The Secret War with Iran’, written by renowned Zionist journalist Ronen Bergman, was published in 2008 by Simon & Schuster publishing company in the United States.

Born in 1972, Bergman is a graduate of Tel Aviv University in the Middle East political relations. He is a famous Zionist journalist and analyst in the military and security fields who has worked with Israeli newspapers ‘Haaretz’ and ‘Yedioth Ahronoth’, American dailies and weeklies such as ‘The New York Times’, ‘Newsweek’, ‘The Wall street Journal’, and British media groups including ‘The Guardian’ and ‘The Times’.

Bergman has been interested in topics relating to the enemies of the Zionist regime (particularly Iran, Hezbollah and the Palestinian resistance groups), as well as subjects on the history of the Israeli regime’s assassination operations, which are cited in his recent book ‘Rise and Kill First’.

In an interview with Persian TV channel ‘Iran International’, Bergman has pointed to the Iranian nuclear program and the issues surrounding it -particularly the Zionist regime’s secret attempts to halt the process of nuclear activities in Iran and assassinate Iranian scientists. He has also cited ex-CIA chief Michael Hayden as saying that the assassination of nuclear scientists is the best way to impede Iran’s growing process in that field, and has implicitly held Israel responsible for it.

In the book ‘The Secret War with Iran’, Bergman has written a history of encounters between Iran and the Zionist regime, while the bulk of the book relates to the Lebanese Hezbollah -Iran’s main ally in the battle against the Zionist regime since its formation until the 33-day War- focusing on the role of Martyr Imad Mughniyeh.

His book also includes sections about the final years of the Pahlavi regime and victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, short periods of the war imposed by the Ba’thist party of Iraq on Iran (focusing on the McFarlane affair), Iran’s role in supporting the Palestinian groups, and the Iranian nuclear program.

Bergman’s multiple undocumented and untrue comments as well as personal and purposeful analyses (with the main purpose of displaying Israel’s power, especially in a competition with the US) that have repeatedly come in his book make a critical review of the book necessary for Iranian readers.

Director of the Iran History Studies and Compilation Bureau, Abbas Salimi Namin, has written an extensive criticism in a book about ‘The Secret War with Iran’. Born in 1954, Salimi Namin is an experienced journalist and a renowned Iranian researcher in history and political sciences who has published many articles and books.

About ‘The Secret War with Iran’

Part 23:

Chapter V

Chapter 5 of The Secret War with Iran begins with fabrications about the events that transpired Lebanon in the midst of popular resistance there. Like in previous chapters, the author has not provided any reference or document to support his narratives, thereby making any verification impossible. Even direct quotes have no source.

In his undocumented narrative, the author focuses on the Hezbollah-pivoted resistance movement in Lebanon and the role of such figures as Imad Moughniyeh. Due to the mysterious and largely classified nature of measures in Zionist circles, Bergman races ahead with his untrue allegations. For instance, when Israeli intelligence service continues to attribute the explosion in the city of Tyre to failure in the gas storage tanks of a building, how can one offer a conclusion to that effect unless a Resistance leader officially claims responsibility? Therefore, some issues that are being raised for the first time could not be verified precisely without any official stance even though the self-styled whistle-blower is indirectly tied with intelligence services. Furthermore, conflicting allegations have been pieced together. A case in point is a phrase in which Moughniyeh is highly praised. “His is one of the most creative and brilliant minds I have ever come across. He is a man with deep understanding, an excellent technical grasp and leadership ability. Unfortunately, a mixture of personal and geopolitical circumstances led him to channel his outstanding talents into the path of blood and destruction and to make him into such a dangerous enemy. (Chapter 5, p. 88)

The author has a quote from Major Barkai, commander of the large base maintained in the north of Israel by Unit 504 of Israeli Military Intelligence. Barkai is said to have been in charge of the Moughniyeh file, among others. However, insults are directed at Moughniyeh, in stark contrast with the initial praise. “Many intelligence operatives in many countries studied the figure known as “the Iranian Jackal.” (Ibid, p. 89)

This contradictory approach is rooted in efforts undertaken to cover up why such figures having joined the Resistance movement in the region. Would such prominent figures as Imad Moughniyeh ever take up arms had Zionists – the most extremist racists ever seen in history – not been moved to Palestine to displace residents by continuous massacres and intimidation? The impartial answer to this question is clear. Moughniyeh had bravely joined the struggle against occupiers of Palestine several years before Iran’s Islamic Revolution. Therefore, he had felt religiously compelled to join the Resistance movement, a fact which Bergman acknowledges. “In the late 1970s, after dropping out of high school, Moughniyeh joined Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement, and underwent guerrilla training…. In 1982, when the PLO was about to leave Beirut for Tunis as a result of Ariel Sharon’s invasion, many of its Shi’ite members, including Moughniyeh and his two brothers, Fouad and Jihad, decided to remain in Lebanon.” (Ibid, p. 90)

Such hero with a history of fighting racism and occupation is targeted by the ugliest insults only for having risen up against the occupation of Lebanon. Even his family is not spared. “The Moughniyeh family was already notorious in Lebanon. This clan, together with others with well-known names like Hamadi, Miqdad, and Mussawi, were the product of circumstances which made it possible for fanatical people with highly borderline personalities to act out their wildest fantasies.” (Ibid, p. 91)

That is while the author quotes the military secretary to Israel’s prime minister as giving a different account of Moughniyeh among Shias in Lebanon. “In his comprehensive PhD dissertation on Hezbollah, Brigadier General Shimon Shapira, a former senior Military Intelligence officer and military secretary to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, describes the family of the arch terrorist as possessing very high status amongst the Shias of Lebanon. One of its heads, Sheikh Mohammad Moughniyeh, was considered one of the most prominent religious authorities in Lebanon in the early 1970s.” (Ibid)

How is it that in a research work, the Moughniyeh family are described as one of high status in Lebanon five decades ago, but suddenly they are defamed in the wake of the escalation of Resistance-related developments following the Israeli occupation of Lebanon? The reason for such contradictory remarks is clear. In their scientific circles, the Zionists have no option but to make plans based on facts. However, in the propaganda domain, they describe as an infamous and psychopathic person anyone opposed to their occupation. The question that may arise in this context is to know whether or not the Zionists have a precise understanding of the issue of resistance. The answer to this question is negative at least about Mr Bergman who is the chief propagandist of this current. Resistance is just a social issue. It is directly linked with the public understanding. In other words, as long as the public has not been convinced the Resistance cannot take any step forward. On this basis, harbingers of resistance in a society constitute the most learned persons ready for any sacrifice. When foreigners occupy a country or dominate it by plotting a coup, they would try their best to counter any formation of resistance cores. Therefore, standard-bearers of resistance would have to be ready to face the most violent reactions of occupiers. But when the harbingers convince the society that only resistance can guarantee their dignity savage behaviors would no longer be instrumental in breaking national wills; rather, countdown will start for the demise of occupiers because when violent treatment of a nation would force it to show more resistance and sacrifice.

Did the Zionists really imagine that they could keep Lebanon occupied forever without facing any resistance? Of course it has to be acknowledged that it is very difficult to resist the Zionists who have developed the latest brutal methods for breaking the best children of nations and share their experience with all installed regimes in physical and psychological torture. But has there been any such imagination that Lebanon’s brave children would not prefer death to the shame of living under the rule of the most extremist racists ever seen in history after 18 years? At least Mr. Bergman is not well placed to speak on this issue because he somewhat criticizes torturing the Lebanese in a bid to make his propagandistic remarks sound more effective.

Of course, Iranians experienced to their flesh the impact of the Zionists’ expertise applied by Savak agents in torturing prisoners. With regards to Lebanon, what toughened the resistance was the existence of a cover like the Phalange movement. The Zionists had imagined that they could escape responsibility for most of crimes committed by their Phalange agents and intimidate both Palestinian and Lebanese people. A case in point is the massacre in the Sabra and Shattila camps. Bergman confirms the carnage occurred, but lays the blame for this horrible crime on the Phalange movement. Therefore, one has to see why the Zionists continue to imagine that they can force nations to submit by torture and humiliation. In response to this question, first and foremost one has to know that occupiers and putschists are always surrounded by the worst and the most ostracized native groups. Therefore, they would have no perception of learned groups and devotees of a society. To be more clear, their vision is limited to individuals who do not care for national pride and national interests, let alone they sacrifice their life for those values. In Iran, for example, the closest groups to the Zionists throughout the 1953 coup were such people as Sha’ban Jafari. The Israeli ambassador’s vision of such a person, whose face is too clear in Iran’s contemporary history to need any explanation, offers evidence to this fact: “Jafari’s friends were instrumental in mobilizing people and young athletes in Iran. Some believe that the CIA was involved. In any case, it was Shah supporters, led by Sha’ban Jafari, who rebelled against Tudeh and Mossadeq sympathizers, banished the prime minister to his natal village (Ahmadabad) and restored the Shah to power. Sha’ban Ja’fari had visited Israel time and again and became a good friend of people in this country.” (Festschrift, Meir Ezri, translated by Abraham Hakhami, printed in Beit ul-Moqaddas, 2000, vol. 2, p. 26-9)

When someone like Sha’ban Jafari, better known as Sha’ban the brainless, who was the head of hooligans and miscreants, is introduced as a close friend of the Zionists, it would be easy to imagine what impression the putschists would have of Iranian people. That sounds reasonable about Pahlavi-era politicians too as they were mainly freemasons who did not feel attached to financial interests.

As the Israeli ambassador puts it, “Among the officers in the 2nd division of Iran’s Army, I remember Lt. Gen. Azizollah Palizban who truly believed in friendship with Israel…One day he gazed at me with his piercing eyes and said: “Mr. Ezri, I really don’t know if I’m serving Iran or Israel the most?” (Ibid, vol. 1, p. 122)

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