A Futile Search for Iranian 'Moderates.' (Iran's Military Policy) (Column)

Article excerpt

Like Diogenes wandering through the world with his proverbial lantern, looking for an honest man, State Department emissaries are searching for a "moderate" Iranian with whom they can deal. The State Department is doomed to disappointment. The only "moderates" in Iran are dead, jailed or silenced.

There are a lot of melodramatic fireworks, which is a good thing, over the Iraq-U.N.-US. confrontation, and there will be more. But Iraq is a has-been power whose dictator can huff and puff, period. Saddam Hussein knows that he had better behave between now and Election Day because he has no friends anywhere. If the Iraq crisis has demonstrated anything it is that Arab unity is one of the great fictions of our time.

The menace to Middle East peace and stability today is not Iraq, but Iran driven by its theocratic imperialism. V.I. Lenin was once described as Genghis Khan with electricity. So Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani could be described as a more modern Genghis Khan with nuclear dreams. Ayatollist strategy seeks Iran's establishment as the regional superpower. Fulfillment of that strategy demands that Iran obtain modern arms at any price and eventual Western technological support for the manufacture of nuclear weapons.

Couple that strategy with an Iranian population of 60 million and growing that. if unchecked. could double in 25 years, and one can foresee unlimited military manpower in the years ahead. There is, however, a small black cloud to this prediction: The official Islamic Republic News Agency reported July 21 that one-third of the country's children under 5 years old are malnourished. However, the Rafsanjani regime seems untroubled by this report

What are the facts about Iran's arms-buying spree? From intelligence sources within Iran comes information, funneled through the opposition mujahideen encamped on the Iraq-Iran border, that, while it cannot be independently confirmed, is regarded by competent sources as reliable.

(1) In 1988, following the Iran-Iraq cease-fire, the regime created a secret program called the Great Plan, with a $200 million budget, since heavily increased, to pursue its nuclear ambitions.

(2) Iran created five major weapons projects at secret sites that are named: Isfahan, Karaj, Gorgan, Darkhovin and Moa'alem Kelayeh or Alamout. A nuclear section within the Iranian Revolutionary Guards carries out nuclear technology research and development. …