Enemies of US to gather in Tehran

Amir Taheri:

"THE other day at the World Economic Forum's inaugural session at Davos, Switzerland, Iran's President Muhammad Khatami repeatedly nodded his head in approval as forum founder Klaus Schwab called for the eradication of international terrorism. In his own speech, Khatami called for a 'dialogue of civilizations' as an alternative to war and terror.

"Meanwhile, militants from some 40 countries spread across the globe were trekking to Tehran for a 10-day 'revolutionary jamboree' in which 'a new strategy to confront the American Great Satan' will be hammered out.

"The event starts Feb. 1, to mark the 25th anniversary of the return to Iran from exile of the late Ayatollah Ruhallah Khomeini, the founder of the 'Islamic Revolution.' It is not clear how many militants will attend, but Iran's official media promise a massive turnout to underline the Islamic Republic's position as the 'throbbing heart of world resistance to American arrogance.'

"The guest list reads like a who's who of global terror.


" 'Today, mankind has a common enemy,' says Ayatollah Ahmad Janati, who heads the powerful Council of Guardians in Tehran. 'And that enemy is the American Great Satan. Anyone who fights the Great Satan for whatever reason is on our side, and anyone who does not is on the opposite side.'

"Nevertheless, it is clear that the Khomeinist regime is prepared to change aspects of its behavior and even concede some tactical retreats to weather what many in Tehran call 'the Bush storm.' But the regime's strategy - aimed at driving America out of the Middle East, destroying Israel and replacing all Arab regimes with 'truly Islamic' ones - remains unchanged.

"It is no accident that two words are popular in Tehran these days. One is détente, often used by Khatami and the so-called 'reformists.' The other, used by the more hard-line Khomeinists, is hudhabiah, which is the name of a truce signed by the Prophet Muhammad with a Jewish tribe in Medina at a time Muslims found themselves in a weak position.

"At the end of the truce period, the Prophet's army, having rebuilt its strength, attacked the Jews and massacred all its adult male members, seizing women and children as war booty."

If the "reformers" are sent out of "power" perhaps we can view Iran as the enemy it is and get to work on regime change.


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