ME Intelligence Update – Iraq’s ‘King of Clubs’

Editor’s Note – The following report was the subject of last night’s “Cowboy Logic” radio program on WDFP, and was hosted by Donna Fiducia and Don Neuen.

Their guests were the authors of the report and the show was riveting. You will learn things here that no outlet in the United States can provide.

Col. Najjar is a former Intelligence officer from Lebanon during the civil war there. He is now a long time US citizen and is a Lebanese Christian. He is also a member of the SUA Kitchen Cabinet and Col. Najjar is SUA’s International Intelligence Director.

As MG Vallely says, “I do not go anywhere overseas without Col. Najjar.” It was Col. Najjar who arranged the visit inside war torn Syria to the embattled city of Aleppo last year for himself and MG Vallely.

King of Clubs

“Cowboy Logic” WDFP Radio is the flag ship radio program of MG Vallely and Stand Up America US.

Latest Intelligence Update – MELT (Middle East Liaison Team) team from Stand Up America

By Col. Nagi N. Najjar and MG Paul E. Vallely (US Army-ret.)

General Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, the King of Clubs, is back and leading the Sunni Insurgency with the backing of the Iraqis national tribes, units of the Republican Guards and the Fedayeen of Saddam.

Both nationalistic and religious units are at odds with each other, two different trajectories – ISIS being led by Al Baghdadi wants the Caliphate, others (The Sunnis led by al-Douri) want the return of the old Iraq.

They are fighting together in the same trench and the same battle filed to remove Iran’s influence in the area and abolish the Iraqi/Maliki government in Baghdad.

Al-Douri first escaped out of Iraq in April 2003 and took refuge in Aleppo, Syria where he has planned and led the offensive/killing operations against the Shia and civilians throughout Iraq.

He has many dedicated officers and soldiers from the Saddam days and new recruits who make up his staff, field commanders and foot soldiers.

The precision and timely attack operations of the Iraqi tribes and former Iraqi army units is due to his planning and operational control. He also works closely with Saddam’s daughter.

Currently, they are conducting their operations from a command and control HQ from a clandestine location in Jordan.

General Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri - the 'King of Clubs' of Iraq
General Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri – the ‘King of Clubs’ of Iraq

Footnote: Now, after a decade as a fugitive, and believed by many to be dead, General Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri – one of the late Iraqi dictator’s most trusted Generals and confidants – has emerged as the spiritual and power figurehead of the movement dedicated to restoring Iraq’s current revolution against Iran’s take over.

The 70 year-old, on whose head the US set a $10 million bounty and who helped Saddam lead his 1968 coup, is leading a group of regime Sunni die-hards.

The action over the last 72 hours  was not an ISIS instigated show, rather ISIS jihadists are trying to climb on board and hijack the Iraq insurgency train towards a major Caliphate upsurge across the Middle East. What we are witnessing in Iraq is a major Rebellion in the move with more than 50% of the forces fighting are the Iraqi Sunni tribes allied with Duri.

Overwhelmingly drawn from the Sunni Muslim minority, their stated goal is to topple the Shia-dominated government of President Nouri-al Maliki, which they believe has been left vulnerable since the departure of US troops from Iraq 18 months ago and ensure that Iran will not dominate the region.

They are united against a common enemy for the moment, but there are strong tensions between the Iraqi loyalists’ tribes /al- Douri and ISIS and after the fall of Baghdad there will be a deterrence show between the two groups for command and control.

This is based on recent intelligence reports to the Middle East Liaison Team (MELT) from Stand Up America organization headed up by MG Paul Vallely and Col. Nagi Najjar.

Listen to the show here:

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ISIL Takes Mosul, Tikrit – al Qaeda Affiliate gets US Equip.

Editor’s Note by Scott W. Winchell, SUA

It is a mystery why President Obama wanted to release the Taliban five, yet sent a drone to kill Anwar al Awlaki, an American citizen in Yemen. He also sent in Seal Team Six to get Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, spiked the ‘football’ about it endlessly, yet he has said or done nothing about Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIL (Aka ISIS) in Iraq.

Many experts consider al-Baghdadi to be more dangerous than Osama bin Laden ever was, the “most powerful jihadi leader,” and that he hates the United States and Israel with more fervor to boot. In Syria ISIS suffered some great setbacks, yet they are now resurgent in Iraq and eastern Syria, creating what can now be called a new nation-state about the size of Syria and growing.

Iran’s armed forces are not likely to prevail in any attempt to retake what was newly seized, nor are they likely to hold other contested areas.

Now the second largest city in Iraq has fallen to ISIL, Mosul, with 500,000 refugees, in a lightening fast victory (The story in pictures can be seen here).

As many as 500,000 people have been forced to flee the Iraqi city of Mosul after hundreds of Islamist militants took control of it, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says. Troops were among those fleeing as the jihadists from the ISIS group took the city and much of Nineveh province. The head of the Turkish mission in Mosul and dozens of consulate officials have been seized. PM Nouri Maliki has asked parliament to declare a state of emergency.

Then Tikrit (Birth place of Saddam Hussein) just fell today to the al Qaeda linked group. Is Baghdad next? US arms and a lot of equipment are now in their hands, including helicopters. Will the British or US come to Maliki’s aid? The Brits say yes – ‘no question’ says British Foreign Secretary William Hague.Iraq isis

ISIL is unconcerned with international borders because they know they were arbitrarily set decades ago and recognize only the clan/tribe claims of old, but now they have redrawn the map for all intents and purposes. This outcome was foreseeable, and swelled and shrunk back only to reemerge stronger than ever. Tyler Durden at Zerohedge posted the following:

As reported earlier, and as most know by now, as if out of nowhere the al-Qaeda faction Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has, over the past 24 hours, stormed across northern Iraq, taken over key northern cities and even taken control over countless modern US weapons and military equipment including Humvees and Blackhawk helicopters. As we further reported, after looting nearly half a billion from the Mosul central bank, ISIS is also the “world’s richest terror force.” So weapons? Check. Money? Check.

In what was one prime Obama foreign policy failure in the past, not securing a new “Status of Forces” agreement before leaving Iraq, the fruits of the boondoggle are now apparent. What do we say for the $18 billion in treasure spent and 4,487 dead Americans, along with thousands of the maimed and wounded who are now seeking care from a domestic failure at home in the Veterans Administration, all just to give Iraq right back to the most evil and violent people on Earth?

Can anyone define Obama/Clinton/Kerry foreign policy for us? Now, thanks to them, Afghanistan will become a Taliban/al Qaeda stronghold again, Iraq is now in worse shape than when Saddam Hussein was dictator, Libya has no government, Syria is a bloody mess without end in sight, and Egypt is on its second government since Mubarak fell. Now the Saudis are mad at us, Israel has been thrown under the bus, Lebanon teeters, yet Qatar is his ‘go to’ team.

Didn’t we hear that al Qaeda was on the run in 2012? Yet Benghazi is a “bogus scandal,” and “Dude, this was two years ago. We’re still talking about the most mundane thing.” – Tommy Vietor. Don’t you feel safer now, with the “dudes” generation counseling and running this administration?

Do you feel safe about future prospects for national security if Hillary Clinton becomes President? She did hire the “dude,” Tommy Vietor, for “Benghazi spin control” in preparation of the Benghazi Select Committee Hearings soon to begin. Dudes, we cannot afford any more “dude advice” and glaring “dude” foreign policy failures.

Political reform in Iraq will stem the rise of Islamists

Earlier this year, as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) suffered major defeats by various rebel groups in Syria, it raised a defiant slogan: “Remaining and expanding”. A few months later, the slogan does not look as detached from reality as it used to. The group, arguably the most brutal in the region, is now in control of large swathes of lands stretching from Aleppo to Raqqa to Deir Ezzor, in Syria, and from Ramadi to Fallujah and Mosul, in Iraq.

Undated file picture released Jan. 29, 2014, by the official Web site of Iraq’s Interior Ministry claiming to show Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. (Iraqi Interior Ministry via AP)
Undated file picture released Jan. 29, 2014, by the official Web site of Iraq’s Interior Ministry claiming to show Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. (Iraqi Interior Ministry via AP)

The group’s remarkable successes defy basic military instincts. Consider the type of adversaries ISIL has fought since December. It fought the Iraqi army, backed by battle-hardened Shiite militias as well as Sunni tribal forces, and it unsuccessfully fought the militia in Anbar. In Syria, secular, Islamist and Al Qaeda-affiliated rebels fought ISIL in Aleppo, Idlib and Deir Ezzor, with little success except in Idlib. And yet, the group is still as strong as ever.

So the pressing question is: how can this numerically small group control large areas in two countries? Three main reasons can be identified for its resilience and expansion.

The first is the inconsistency of its opponents. In Iraq, the revival of the group since it was essentially wiped out in the wake of the country’s civil war in 2006 and 2007 was made possible in large part due the imprudent policies of prime minister Nouri Al Maliki. The biased anti-terror laws as well as the tendency to employ sectarian rhetoric in military campaigns against militancy in Sunni areas, as he did in his speech in December, have estranged the Sunni population, which has played into ISIL’s hands.

These policies lead Sunnis, even while they dislike ISIL, to feel they have no stake in fighting ISIL or resisting its presence because the government is just as bad. Additionally, there is a growing sense among Shiites that they have no stake in fighting in Sunni areas and leaving their areas exposed to danger. That leaves the Iraqi government forces with little appetite to face a brutal and resilient militia.

In Syria, ISIL’s opponents have not stood together, even on a factional level, in the fight against the group. Although ISIL has killed and humiliated the leaders of major rebel groups, many Islamists were reluctant to fight a fellow jihadi group rather than focus on the fight against the regime – regardless of ISIL’s day-to-day acts. This helped the group to establish a cult of fear across Syria, despite its relatively low numbers. The fear was broken as many groups declared war against ISIL, but the group has already become resilient and hard to defeat.

The second reason is, simply put, the clarity of its ideology and approach compared to other Islamists. In a business lingo, why would a potential buyer wait for a building planned for construction by a company that might and might not build it, when there is a building already under construction? The fact that ISIL has already announced an “Islamic state” that Muslims can join, and fight for its survival and expansion, appeals to a considerable number of people – even though its brutal tactics have alienated others.

ISIL is quietly expanding its following in the villages and towns dotting the Iraqi-Syrian border mostly because of the perceived reality of an Islamic state. In recent interviews with ISIL associates or their family members, it is clear that the group’s rigid yet clear ideology appeals to an increasing number of young people. These fighters currently travel to hotspots to fight with ISIL, and are not necessarily busy imposing its ideology in their hometowns.

The third reason is the group’s ability to gain substantial funding. As most jihadist groups, ISIL justifies extortion, ransom payments, takeover of weapons from fellow rebels and monopoly of resources by the fact that it considers itself as the only legitimate Islamic entity that represents the interests of Sunni Muslims. It acts as a state and other fighters can either pledge allegiance to it or be considered legitimate targets. While other rebel groups fight the regime, ISIL has busied itself with taking over areas under rebel control, seizing weapons from rebels under various pretexts. In eastern Syria, ISIL has taken control of oilfields, gas plants, factories and other lucrative resources.

Donors with deep pockets also prefer to sponsor an Islamic state in the making rather than a project for one. This tendency reflects an ongoing debate among Islamists from across the spectrum, mainly that attempts to establish an Islamic state by pragmatic groups through peaceful means have consistently failed thanks to an unreceptive regional and international political order. While such reality does not necessarily draw existing political Islamists towards the extreme, it encourages new recruits to join or support the more “realistic” forces to hit their enemies where it hurts.

As far as the recent events around Mosul are concerned, a caveat is in order. ISIL was not the only force that took part in the overrunning of Iraq’s security forces, even though it might be convenient for everyone to portray it as such. There are reports that other forces – including a Sufi-Baathist militia known as the Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order, which appeals to many Iraqi Sunnis as they offer a nationalist alternative to the brutish ISIL – have played a central role. In 2009, US officials warned that ISIL might be more dangerous than Al Qaeda because it had managed to build roots within society. The group was mostly based in Mosul and Kirkuk, the sites of this week’s advances.

Where does Iraq go from here? Given the recent performance of the Iraqi army, Baghdad is unlikely to be able to regain ground from these militias. The situation in northern Iraq resembles that of northern Mali in the early months of 2012, when insurgent groups overran government forces and took control of the region. The way to counter the influence of ISIL might be just what happened in Mali, a foreign military to pave the way for a peace deal. But a lasting solution could not be clearer: alongside a military campaign, Baghdad must be pressured into carrying out substantial and real reforms to include Sunnis in the political process.

Hassan Hassan is a Middle East analyst based in Abu Dhabi

Hezbollah terrorist absolved in Iraq – US failed foreign policy

Editor’s Note – Once again we want to post a story that points out how ludicrous it is that people think that Obama has one major asset that Romney does not have – foreign policy experience. Yes he does have more, the trouble is, its a long and consistent list of failures.

When this administration blew the negotiations to leave troops in Iraq, they forgot one guy, Ali Mussa Daqduq. A man responsible for five American deaths. Just how do you screw up that badly? Of course they spun that one to sound like it was what they were aiming for, due to his campaign promises, but once again, the truth is, the “keystone Kops” in the Obama administration got “punk’d” by Iraq. Now we see Iraq quickly melting into chaos and the hegemony of Iran.

Iraqi Court Absolves Terrorist Freed By U.S. After Killing Soldiers

Judicial Watch

Surprise, surprise the Hezbollah terrorist released by the Obama Administration to Iraq out of respect for the country’s sovereignty won’t make it to the U.S. to face trial for killing five American soldiers.

We all knew this would happen back in December when the commander-in-chief handed over the Lebanese militant, Ali Mussa Daqduq, to Iraqi officials. A mainstream newspaper presented it as a“dilemma” for the president as American troops prepared to exit Iraq. Daqduq had been in U.S. military custody in Iraq since 2007 for his involvement in a carefully orchestrated plot that killed, kidnapped and tortured American military officers.

The atrocities took place in a city called Karbala, south of Baghdad in early 2007. Around a dozen terrorists dressed in U.S. military uniforms opened fire on Americans after approaching a camp in five sports utility vehicles resembling U.S. transports. One U.S. soldier died at the scene and four others were kidnapped, tortured and executed. Daqduq, a Hezbollah commander, was the mastermind.

But President Obama didn’t want to remove the terrorist from Iraq without permission from the country, in order not to violate its sovereignty. He also refused to take Daqduq to the U.S. Naval base in Guantanamo Cuba, which houses other high-value terrorists, because the facility is an anathema in the Middle East and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki would not approve the “unacceptable” Guantanamo option.

So Obama handed Daqduq over to the Iraqis even though several members of congress pointed out that it would be the same as freeing him. Apparently, Iraq pinky promised to hold him accountable for murdering our soldiers. No one, probably not even Obama, really believed that and this week a nationalnewswire story confirmed it.

It turns out that two Iraqi courts have found Daqduq not guilty of masterminding the 2007 raid on an American military base and just a few days ago the nation’s central criminal court ordered that he be freed immediately. As far as the Iraqis are concerned, the legal case against him is over. That’s why authorities there refused the Obama Administration’s joke of an extradition request.

This may lead some to wonder if the administration really thought Iraq ever even toyed with idea of extraditing Duqduq, who is considered a hero among Islamists? The official line is that the government believes the Hezbollah commander is a top threat to Americans in the Middle East, which is why the U.S. even bothered filing the delusional extradition request.

The Iraqi court’s decision ends the Obama Administration’s laughable, last-ditch efforts to prosecute Daqduq. A Pentagon spokesman said Daqduq “should be held accountable for his crimes” and that the U.S. “”will continue to work closely with the Iraqi government to explore all legal options to pursue justice in this case.” The first part sounds good, but the second part is a crock.

Terrorists and Guns into Syria from Iraq

Editor’s Note – No matter how things turn out in Syria, we can trust in one basic aspect of its future, fanatical Islamists see an opportunity, a void, and will likely fill it and gain control. They have one goal, world dominance, and even their own fellow Muslims are seen as being in the way.

Hosni Mubarak kept the lid on them in Egypt, now the Salafists are taking over. Saddam Hussein kept a lid on them in old Iraq, and since our forces have left, the attacks increased almost immediately and Iraq is now a puppet of Tehran. Regional hegemony goals favor Iran.

Be careful what you ask for, you may get it. Its a very complicated dance between the power hungry, the manipulation of the masses, international finagling, and mixing in the ideology of Islam, fanatics will succeed every time. The big winner will be Russia, no matter who comes out on top, and Iran will be standing along side them.

Nineveh Province of Iraq - Route to Syrian for Jihadists and Weapons

Jihadists, weapons ‘moving from Iraq to Syria’

By Ammar Karim and Sammy Ketz (AFP)

BAGHDAD — Jihadists are moving from Iraq to Syria and arms are also sent across the border to opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, Iraq’s deputy interior minister said in an interview with AFP on Saturday.

Adnan al-Assadi also called private security firms “a danger to security,” and said that Iraq wants to reduce their number — which currently stands at 109 companies — and will not issue additional licences for them.

“We have intelligence information that a number of Iraqi jihadists went to Syria,” Assadi said, adding that “weapons smuggling is still ongoing” from Iraq into Syria.

Since March last year, Assad’s regime has carried out a bloody crackdown on an uprising in which more than 6,000 people have been killed.

While there are still regular civilian protests that turn deadly in Syria, the focus has now also shifted to armed conflict with regime forces.

“The weapons are transported from Baghdad to Nineveh (province), and the prices of weapons in Mosul (the province’s capital) are higher now because they are being sent to the opposition in Syria,” Assadi said.

He said that the price of a Kalashnikov assault rifle has risen from between $100 and $200 to between $1,000 and $1,500.

“The weapons are being smuggled from Mosul through the Rabia crossing to Syria, as members of the same families live on both sides of the border,” he said.

And “there is some smuggling through a crossing near Abu Kamal,” Assadi said, referring to a Syrian city.

There are large numbers of weapons in Iraq after three decades marked by multiple wars and a violent insurgency following the 2003 overthrow of now-executed dictator Saddam Hussein.

Assadi said some Arab jihadists have returned to their home countries to take part in revolutions there.

“In the past, Syrians were fighting in Iraq, and now they are fighting in Syria, and also the Egyptians are fighting in Egypt, the Yemenis in Yemen, and the Libyans in Libya.”

“Violence in Iraq is less now because Al-Qaeda has so many places to fight,” Assadi said.

Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarak “used to send jihadists to Iraq and financed them to fight in Iraq, and (ousted Libyan leader Moamer) Kadhafi used to have many organisations fighting in Iraq,” he said.

Assadi also discussed the issue of private security companies in Iraq.

Iraq deeply mistrusts such companies, and their employees have faced bureaucratic delays and detentions in recent months.

“When it comes to foreign security companies, we are between two fires — investment and development, and security,” Assadi said.

“The foreign companies do not trust our security forces, and the embassies also do not trust our police. That is why they prefer contracts with foreign (security) companies.”

“These security companies are a danger to security in the whole world,” Assadi said. “We are working to decrease the number of the security companies, and we are not issuing new licenses.”

He added that parliament should pass a new law on private security companies, including a provision increasing the guarantee they must pay the interior ministry to work in Iraq from $25,000 to $250,000.

Assadi said that of the currently 109 private security firms in Iraq, 36 are foreign. Overall they employ 36,000 people — 18,500 foreigners and 17,500 Iraqis.

He also referred to the case of Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, who has been charged with running a death squad and has been hiding out in the autonomous Kurdistan region in the north since mid-December.

Assadi said that 60 people, “including members of (Hashemi’s) bodyguard and two generals from the interior ministry,” have been arrested in connection with the case.

Another 16 wanted people are with him in Kurdistan, he said.

The Hashemi case centres on his bodyguards, who are accused of training for and carrying out assassinations.

Assadi said the defence ministry is currently responsible for the 250 bodyguards each protecting the prime minister, speaker of parliament and president of Iraq, and between 60 and 100 who guard their deputies.

The interior ministry is responsible for screening the 30 bodyguards who protect each minister and those who guard MPs.

The interior ministry employs 650,000 people, he said.

Do nothing, not a good business plan nor foreign policy advantage

Editor’s Note – Yet another senior military leader questions the current administration’s diplomatic skills, or severe lack thereof. Additionally, he questions Obama’s leadership, or lack thereof, and his advisers and their roles in counseling the President with current foreign understanding, and again, the lack thereof!

Sitting on our hands is no longer an option

By Adm. James A. Lyons

The Washington Times

Now that the last U.S. troops have withdrawn from Iraq, the question of how to deal with Iran’s aggression and its drive to develop a nuclear weapon remains less than clear. At the White House meeting on Dec. 12 between President Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, only passing recognition was given to these two issues.

Mr. Obama warned Iran not to meddle in Iraq. I am sure the fanatic mullahs will view the president’s warning as just another hollow gesture. The Iranian rulers know that when they directly confront the United States, they have nothing to fear because our leaders have shown they lack the political will to respond. Regretfully, this has included every administration from President Carter’s to Mr. Obama’s.

The political tenure of Mr. al-Maliki’s regime is dependent on his main ally, the anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who spends most of his time in Iran. One of the key conditions for his support, as dictated by Iran, was that there would be no U.S. military remaining in Iraq after Dec. 31. Furthermore, the Hezbollah-trained cleric has declared U.S. Embassy personnel as an “occupation force” that Iraq rightly should attack. So much for democracy in Iraq. How comforting.

After the U.S. has suffered more than 4,400 troop fatalities and tens of thousands injured, plus expending almost $1 trillion, why have we not been able to negotiate future arrangements with Iraq that better serve U.S. interests? The answer lies with Mr. al-Maliki’s and President Obama’s agenda.

Mr. al-Maliki’s uncooperative actions should come as no surprise. He fled Iraq on July 16, 1979, and spent most of his exile for 24 years in Iran and Syria as a “guest” of the regimes. Mr. al-Maliki has been in the service of the Dawa Islamic Party since his college days in Iraq. The Dawa Party was an organization of secret military cells with close links to the fanatical revolutionary regime in Iran. As a political officer for Dawa, Mr. al-Maliki developed close ties with the terrorist group Hezbollah and particularly with Iran. We can expect Mr. al-Maliki to do just enough to keep our dollars flowing.

Not surprisingly, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has said he has no confidence in Mr. al-Maliki. The king further stated, “I don’t trust this man. He is an Iranian agent.” He has opened the door for Iranian influence in Iraq. It is interesting to note that in 2007, then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Carl Levin, plus several other U.S. politicians, called for Mr. al-Maliki’s removal from office. Yet as secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton, along with the rest of the Obama administration, ignored Mr. al-Maliki’s stealing of the election in 2009 from pro-Western former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. Any other outcome would not have served Mr. Obama’s engagement agenda.

Mr. Obama’s engagement policy with our sworn enemies, more accurately described as “appeasement,” has weakened U.S. credibility and influence throughout the Middle East and elsewhere. The administration’s Arab Spring political tactics have been a disaster. Political factions representing both the Islamic Jihad and the Muslim Brotherhood have gained commanding positions in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. In Syria, the administration has failed to back the pro-Western opposition forces. In 2009, Mr. Obama also failed to support the “Green Revolution” in Iran because, he stated, it would be “counterproductive” for the United States “to be seen as meddling” in Iran’s domestic affairs. What nonsense.

When Muslim Brotherhood front representatives are brought in to provide advice to our military and government agencies, red flags should go up. This would have been like having KGB agents advise our government on how to combat the old Soviet Union. When this action is combined with the Obama administration’s repeated directives prohibiting the use of terms such as “Islamic terrorism,” “Islamist” and “jihadist” to describe radical Islam, one easily could conclude that we have a pro-Islamist administration in Washington.

Nonetheless, we still must deal with Iran’s unrelenting progress toward achieving nuclear-weapon capability. With the apocalyptic mindset of the fanatic mullahs, containment is not an option. Regime change is the only solution. Even though the Green Revolution was crushed in 2009, there are some encouraging signs that the anti-regime opposition forces are still alive. According to recent reports, there has been a fivefold increase in the number of explosions at Iranian pipelines and refineries. The massive explosions at Isfahan and the Bedganet air base where Gen. Hassan Tibrani Moghaddam was killed and about 180 Shabab-3 ballistic missiles were destroyed was encouraging.

While these are helpful signs, much more needs to be done. The recent sacking of the United Kingdom’s embassy in Tehran by the goons from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Basij paramilitary force has helped unite Europe. The United Kingdom has imposed sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank. We should support that move by:

  • Imposing sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank.
  • Supporting the United Kingdom’s call for a European embargo on Iranian oil. Europe buys about 25 percent of Iran’s oil exports, but that represents just 5 percent of Europe’s oil imports. We should broker a deal with Saudi Arabia to fill this gap to maintain oil price stability.
  • Encouraging the French to cut off satellite service to Iran. Iran’s TV networks are broadcast through the French-owned Eutelsat.
  • Covertly assisting anti-regime forces in continuing to sabotage Iran’s critical installations as well as nuclear installations.
  • Refining our plans for strikes on Iran to include not only its nuclear installations, but also military targets in order to assist opposition forces when they rise up to overthrow the regime. The fear that the general population would rally around the rogue regime is unfounded.

Finally, we need to actively support the opposition forces in Syria to rid Iran of a key ally.

Retired Adm. James A. Lyons was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.