The same day Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that Israel seized Iran’s archive of its military nuclear program and spirited it to Israel, a video was posted of IDF soldiers singing Soltane Ghalbha, a traditional Persian love song – in Persian.
Taken together, the two events demonstrate the purpose of Netanyahu’s revelation to the world of the Iranian duplicity. It was a message to two peoples – the insane gaggle of Mullahs, and the ordinary people of Iran.
Netanyahu’s detractors in the west called his presentation as a dog and pony show. “He didn’t tell us anything we haven’t known for years,” they sniffed.
Moreover, they brayed, Netanyahu’s presentation was actually counterproductive because he couldn’t show evidence that Iran is in breach of the nuclear deal it concluded in 2015 and so did nothing to persuade the Europeans to abandon the deal.
Neither claim is correct. Mossad agents who seized a half ton of documents and computer discs from a secret warehouse in Tehran brought absolute proof that Iran has been lying about its nuclear ambitions since 1999. The information was never more than guessed as possible by nuclear experts.
As for the nuclear deal, the archive itself is a breach of the deal; the deal bars Iran from conducting “activities which could contribute to the design and development of a nuclear explosive device.”
Since the only possible purpose of the archive was to enable Iran to build on the progress it already made toward designing and developing a nuclear explosive device, its very existence was a breach. They were not supposed to be able to renew their plans when the deal expired. They were supposed to quit.
As for who was impressed, and who wasn’t, this too misses the point.
The Trump administration wasn’t simply impressed with Netanyahu’s presentation. The Trump administration was a full partner in Israel’s decision to make the presentation. Netanyahu briefed President Donald Trump and his top advisers about the operation and its initial findings during his White House visit on March 5. The same day, the Mossad gave the CIA a copy of the entire archive.
Netanyahu coordinated his presentation with Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last Saturday and Sunday.
Which brings us to the soldiers singing a love song in Persian the day of Netanyahu’s speech.
Netanyahu had two main target audiences on Monday evening: The Iranian regime and the Iranian people.The power of his presentation rested on two key observations. First, the Iranian regime believes its antisemitic rhetoric.
At its base, Jew-hatred is a neurotic condition. Muslims both hate and fear Jews. They perceive them as all powerful. This neurotic worldview makes rational analysis impossible. Everything is a Jewish plot for them. Through circular reasoning, they see Jewish fingers in everything bad that happens to them.
Netanyahu’s presentation pushed all of Iran’s leaders’ neurotic antisemitic buttons.
Netanyahu opened by revealing the existence of Iran’s secret archive of its military nuclear program.
“Few Iranians knew where it was, very few,” he began.
And without missing a beat, as if stating the obvious, he added, nonchalantly, “And also a few Israelis.”
In other words the Mullahs heard Netanyahu say, “We knew all about it, did you think you could hide it from us?”
Netanyahu told the Iranians that just as they fear, the Jews know everything about them. The Jews know their deepest secrets. It doesn’t matter how closely guarded a secret is. The Jews know it.
That would have been enough to send the likes of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard into a foetal position, and enrage the Mullahs. But Netanyahu was just getting warmed up.
Netanyahu then showed photographs of the nuclear archive – first from the outside, and then from the inside. He might as well have written, “Bibi was here,” on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s bedroom door, and taken a leak on his Persian rug on the way out.
And then came the coup de grace. Netanyahu pulled down two black curtains and revealed the files themselves. Two hundred or so binders filled three bookcases. Two panels contained row after row of CDs – all taken from Iran.
Many spectators scratched their heads at the find. Why did the Mossad officers go to the trouble of removing the actual documentation? Why didn’t they just scan them into a flip drive and carry them out of Iran in their pockets? That way, they could have gotten access to the archive without tipping the Iranians off. The files could have remained in place.
This line of questioning misses a key purpose of the operation. Israel wanted the Iranians to know its agents seized the very files themselves.
For years, Israel’s enemies and allies alike have recognized its technological prowess. But ironically, rather even as it raised the fears of its enemies, Israel’s technological superiority also fed their contempt.
Israel’s enemies insist in the propaganda that is fed on TV and to the schoolkids that Israel resorts to indirect assaults because it is too afraid to have its soldiers face the enemy on a physical battlefield!!!
The very existence of the nuclear archive indicates that the Iranian regime bought into this line. The Mullahs and the Revolutionary Guard wouldn’t have risked placing the physical archive of Iran’s illicit military nuclear work under one roof if it had feared that Israel would send commandos to seize it.
To tell the truth neither would I. This isnt a get in, get it done, get out operation like an assassination. This was a coup like the brilliant raid on Entebbe where, incidentally, Netanyahu’s brother lost his life – the only casualty.
I suppose the air is thick with movie producers and writers on their way to Israel for the book and the movie rights.
Under the circumstances, if the Mossad had simply scanned the documents onto a hard drive and not taken the trouble to physically seize the files themselves, the effect of the raid would have been significantly diminished.
When Netanyahu pulled back the curtains, he exposed not only the regime’s perfidy, but its weakness. He revealed them as a bunch of clowns.
The Jews had breached its vaunted defenses and made off with a half ton of incriminating documents without being discovered. At least, during the raid.
There can be no greater humiliation.
The Arab world responded with glee to Netanyahu’s speech, it was a good laugh at Iran.
This then brings us to the Iranian public. How did the Iranian people respond to Netanyahu’s presentation? Iran’s anti-regime protests in December and January were widely covered. But the protests didn’t end in January. They are ongoing – and spreading.
When you ask Iranians where anti-regime protests are taking place in Iran today, they respond that the list of cities where anti-regime protests aren’t taking place is shorter than the list of cities where they are taking place.
Iranian women have had it with the regime’s religious coercion, which forces them to wear hijabs, forces them out of public events, and enforces misogynist regulations through female goon squads that patrol the streets searching for women with hair showing to beat and bludgeon.
Iranian traders have had it with the regime. Its proliferation of ballistic missiles and terror sponsorship caused the US to impose sanctions that severely limit Iran’s access to the international banking system.
Barred from open currency trading, the Iranian rial has sunk like a stone. Iranian traders cannot carry out commerce.
Their plight will only deteriorate and their anger at the regime will increase if the US reinstitutes its nuclear sanctions on May 12.
Residents of Isfahan have had it with the regime.
Its water policies have dried up the city’s river. For the first time in history, Isfahan is suffering from an acute water shortage.
Iran’s Kurdish, Baluchi and Arab minorities are sick of the regime that oppresses them due to their ethnic identities.
Anti-regime protesters who have taken to the streets since last December shout slogans attesting to their loss of fear of the regime. Israel’s stunning intelligence coup, and Netanyahu’s stone cold humiliation of the regime is not likely to persuade them to rally around their leaders. To the contrary, it will empower them to revolt.
And this brings us to Israel’s strategic goal. Netanyahu’s presentation indicates that Israel’s goal is to empower the Iranian people to overthrow the regime.
The first step toward achieving that goal is to make the regime lose confidence in itself. The US is Israel’s partner in achieving this step.
The day before Netanyahu made his presentation, massive air strikes attributed to Israel destroyed bases in Hama and Aleppo, Syria, that housed major Iranian assets. One base was a recruitment and training center for Iranian-organized Shiite militias. The other housed 200 precision-guided Iranian missiles.
Whereas Iran responded with threats of retribution after Israel attacked the T-4 airbase outside Palmyra on April 7, its response to Sunday’s attacks was muted. It just whinged and muttered.
Between the two attacks, a new reality presented itself to the Iranians.
Since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the US consistently shielded Iran and its proxies from Israel. In 1982, the US compelled Israel to remove its forces from Beirut. In 2006, the US insisted that Israel accept cease-fire terms in the war with Hezbollah that left Iran’s Lebanese proxy in charge of south Lebanon and paved the way for its takeover of the government in 2008. Obama carried on with praise of Iran and shielded Iran from Israel on multiple fronts.
Over the past several months, commentators have noticed that Israel has taken its gloves off in Syria.
The Iranians now realize that Israel has been given a green light from the US to defeat its forces in Syria.
Not just the US. Putin is blase about the whole thing.
Netanyahu’s critics have claimed that his presentation Monday, along with Trump’s anticipated announcement that the US is abandoning the nuclear deal increase the threat of war. Poppycock.
Hemmed in by an empowered US-backed Israel, and an angry, rebellious Iranian public that just watched its humiliation on Israeli television, it is hard to see the scenario where the regime embarks on a war it is now convinced it will lose.
Netanyahu’s presentation advanced that goal in a profound way. Declarations of friendship to the Iranian people, like the IDF’s Persian love song, further empower the people of Iran to bring down the regime that oppresses them and endangers the entire world.
Here is the love song for interest sake. I can’t agree that 50 soldiers in uniform standing on stage really capture the essence of this lovely song. Here it is as it should be sung – by a beautiful young woman.