Iran’s Bad Luck Must Continue | The American Spectator

Iran’s Bad Luck Must Continue
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Iran’s mysterious fires (YouTube screenshot)

There’s an element of chance that affects the lives of men and nations. You can make your own luck or suffer what the world imposes on you.

Napoleon, always one to make his own luck, once was criticized that he won his battles by luck alone. He is reputed to have responded, “I’d rather have lucky generals than good ones.”

Iran has had a long run of bad luck this year. We need to do everything we can to keep it going.

Last week, at least seven ships caught fire at the port of Bushehr. Two fires could be coincidental. Seven can’t be.  

In May, the Iranian regime reported that cyberattacks damaged computers at Bandar Abbas. That non-coincidence followed an Iranian cyberattack on Israel seeking to damage its water supply.

Iran’s bad luck continued in late June with what Iran contends was an accidental explosion at its Parchin military base. Parchin is, of course, where warheads and missiles are being developed. Around then, several damaging cyberattacks have reportedly occurred at other Iranian military facilities.

The best-reported explosion occurred on July 2 at the Natanz nuclear facility in a building where advanced centrifuges for enriching uranium were being constructed.

Gen. Gholam Jalali, the head of Iran’s civil defense organization, tried to blame the United States for the explosions but — in an enormously significant admission — conceded that “anti-revolutionary” elements might have committed sabotage.

Last week, at least seven ships caught fire at the port of Bushehr. Two fires could be coincidental. Seven can’t be.

On Saturday, a petrochemical plant and oil pipeline in western Kuzhestan province exploded, producing enormous fires.

About a dozen years ago, during a conversation with several other Fox News talking warheads, I recall making my usual dour prediction (which still holds) that eventually we will have to have a major war with Iran to deprive them of nuclear weapons. Everyone agreed, but there was another idea.

My friend Lt. Gen. Tom McInerny (USAF, Ret.) suggested that, before that war became necessary, Iran should become the world’s unluckiest nation. Tom’s suggestion embraced everything for which we (and the Israelis) could plausibly deny responsibility — cyberattacks, sabotage, and whatever other actions our evil geniuses can invent — to help bring down the Tehran kakistocracy.

Others were apparently thinking along the same lines. The 2010 “Stuxnet” computer virus attack, reportedly a U.S.–Israel joint venture, caused extensive damage to Iran’s nuclear program by making its advanced centrifuges run at so high a speed that they literally tore themselves apart. Neither we nor the Israelis admitted responsibility for Stuxnet, which is the beauty of cyberattacks.

From the many news reports we’re reading about Iran’s explosions and such, someone — presumably us, the Israelis, and Iranians fed up with the ayatollahs — is accelerating Iran’s bad luck on a growing scale.

The timing couldn’t be better. Iran’s economy, thanks to the sanctions imposed by President Trump, is the financial equivalent of a dumpster fire. Iran — which publishes little information about it — is also suffering from a tremendous outbreak of COVID-19 infections.

As reported by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), more than 60,000 Iranians had died of the disease by the end of June. The regime admitted that about 20 percent of the residents of Tehran had the disease. Both Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani — neither of whom give a damn about Iranian lives — have said that Iranians should just “live with it.”

Many Iranians are dissatisfied with the regime. It’s hard to tell how many, but some Iranian opponents of the regime are vocal in their desire to topple the ayatollahs.

NCRI is the parent organization of the Mujahideen e-Khalk (“People’s Mujahideen of Iran” or “MEK”). Its president, Maryam Rajavi, often meets with the press. I was in one such meeting about 10 years ago outside Paris. Mrs. Rajavi consistently preaches democracy and peace to journalists, but what form of government she and her followers would impose would have to be better than the ayatollahs. Moreover, it has never been clear whether NCRI or MEK have any substantial following in Iran.

In earlier years, the only gauge of the size of that following was the flow of significant intelligence information on Iran’s nuclear program, most of which was gauged to be correct. Whether there was a huge network of MEK followers in Iran producing that information, or only a few in key positions, has never been demonstrated. Which is natural, because intelligence sources should not be revealed.

The only certainty is that MEK (and NCRI) have been near the top of the ayatollahs’ enemies list for as long as they have been in existence. However numerous they may be, they are, at the very least, an ideological opponent that worries the Iranian kakistocracy.

The fact that the Iranian generals are admitting that the explosions at Parchin and Natanz may have been caused by “anti-revolutionary” elements shows how seriously the apparent sabotage is affecting the confidence of the regime.

Whoever has been causing these explosions and cyberattacks, these attacks are significant. I have been writing for years that we should have a concerted program of aid to anti-regime forces in Iran to assist them in toppling the regime. We need to ensure that Iran’s streak of bad luck continues and worsens.

We need not know whether or not U.S. intelligence agencies are helping the Iranian resistance, but that’s exactly what they should be doing. We should be trading intelligence with the resistance and giving them communications equipment as well as weapons for them to conduct sabotage against the now-weakened regime.

If we’ve learned anything in our nearly 20 years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is that Western attempts to plant Jeffersonian democracies in Muslim nations are doomed to failure. The religion-cum-ideology of Islam bars that from happening. Instead, an internal revolution of, by, and for other Muslims, has a far better chance of toppling evil regimes such as Iran’s.

Regime change in Iran is essential to our nation’s security. It can be done best by the Iranians themselves. Regime change should be our policy, and that policy needs to be pursued relentlessly.

If organizations such as NCRI are unsuccessful in toppling the regime, and Iran obtains nuclear weapons, we will be forced to remove the regime in a major war that could damage or destroy Israel and will cost a great many American lives.

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