Friday, September 01, 2006

The Times of London on Mullah Mohammad Khatami

C/O the so-called "The Center for Global Justice and Reconciliation", Reverend Canon John L. Peterson, and Jean F. Duff.

Look for the name Mohammad Khatami in the following January 16, 1985 article from The Times of London. For verification consult your library.



Khomeini Approves Suicide Hit-squad
The Times
January 16, 1985

Iran has set up a special military unit to recruit and train suicide squads-to carry out terrorist, operations in countries opposed to Ayatollah Khomeini's Islamic republic, according to documents obtained by an Iranian opposition movement and supplied to The Times.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and France are named as, prime targets of the unit, which is called the "independent brigade of irregular warfare in enemy territories".

A leading figure-behind the creation, of the new unit is said to be Mr. Husain Musavi, leader of the Islamic Jihad organization, which has claimed responsibility for suicide attacks in the past three years on American and French establishments, in Beirut, and Kuwait.

According to the documents, the secondment is being requested of specialized military instructors who should be under 30 years old, preferably bachelors and who "must be completely committed to martyrdom".

One of the documents is an invitation, dated May 19, 1984, from the Minister of Islamic Guidance, Ayatollah Muhammad Khatami, to 12 ministers, military commanders, heads of department and Ayatollah Baqer Hakim. a pro-Iranian Iraqi Shiite clergyman who leads the self-styled Supreme Assembly of the Islamic Revolution of Iraq in Iran, to attend a meeting at Ayatollah Khatami's office a week later.

The second document purports to be minutes of the meeting, though it only records the introductory speeches of the ayatollah and a mysterious figure referred to by the code name of Mirhashem.

"All your eminencies here are fully acquainted with his face," Ayatollah Khatami said in the minutes, "but for the sake of prudence, let us refer to him as brother Mirhashem." A spokesman for the London office of Dr. Shahpur Bakhtiar the former Iranian Prime minister, whose National Movement of the Iranian Resistance has acquired the documents, said the mystery man was Mr. Musavi. He is Iranian by upbringing and nationality, though he has for some time been based in Northern Lebanon.

Ayatollah Khatami said he and Mirhashem first took their plans for the suicide squads to Ayatollah Khomeini on May 14 and gained his approval immediately. "Whatever is necessary to destroy them must he done," Ayotallah Khomeini is reported to have said.

Ayatollah Khatami added that the plans, to be examined later by the meeting, were more than 200 pages long. Perhaps this, together with Ayatollah Khomeini's alleged approval of it, explains why the minutes do not contain any suggested amendments from the others present, though they included the Minister of Foreign Affairs, or one of his senior aides, and all the top commanders of the armed forces. According to the Ayatollah, the unit was to be built around the nucleus of "a few groups of 10 to 20 people each who are currently serving in Lebanon", Though officially a secret branch of the Revolutionary Guards or one of the other armed forces, "to avoid any legal difficulties" it would act independently and report directly to the Supreme Commander, Ayatollah Khomeini.

The meeting was then briefed by Mirhashem, who referred to the Lebanese groups under his command as being "known to the outside world as suicide groups". He said his organization had been "assisted by five Muslim brothers of occupied Palestine who have for many years served in the army of the occupiers of Jerusalem and who will be making all their knowledge available to us".

Mirhashem complained, however, that the increased vigilance of the Arab countries in the region, and the inadequacy, of the military training of his men had rendered Iran unable to topple the government's opposed to it "except by blows brought to hear from within".

He requested that specialized instructors from the armed forces be seconded to his organization by July 1, and some 1,500 to 2,000 men under 30 and preferably bachelors, be introduced by July 23. "They must be completely committed to martyrdom".

He also requested cooperation from the Foreign Ministry to send abroad, in the guise of military attaches, his intelligence agents. Other requests included a secure, isolated base for training.

He said, it would take at least until the next summer before his men would be able to go into action, and he feared the possibility of a lull in their activities in the meantime.

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