Anita Rai
(Author, Book titled: “Jihad and Terrorism”, UK)


After a large group of Iranian hardliners had rampaged two compounds of the British Embassy in Tehran on Tuesday 29 November 2011, Ali Larijani - the speaker of Iran’s parliament said, “the attack was Britain’s fault for interfering in Iran’s affairs and trying to dominate it over the decades.”  (Iran: UK diplomatic break is step into unknown, John Simpson, World Affairs Editor, BBC News, 30 Nov, 2011). Simpson also says that Ali Larijani “speaks for a great many people in Iran”.

On 17 January 2011, Iran hosted an international workshop on Hijaab in Athens, Greece. This workshop was called “Philosophy of coverage and Chastity”. Hojjatol Islam Mohammad Hassan Akhtari attended this programme. Akhtari, an extremely powerful cleric is a favourite with both Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei and its president Ahmadinejad. He was Iran’s ambassador to Syria from 1986 to 1997 and again from 2005 to January 2008.  At present, he is the head of the “International forum of Ahlul Bayt”. Akhtari works closely with Ali Larijani.

Ali Larijani openly admits that Iran takes pride in the fact that it supports Hezbollah. On 27 January 2011, in his meeting with Malaysian Parliament's Deputy Speaker Wan Junaidi bin Tuanku Ja’far, Ali Larijani is reported to have said, “The enemies of Islam try to accuse genuine freedom fighters like Lebanon's Hezbollah and the Palestinian Islamic resistance movement (Hamas) of terrorism.”

Ali Larijani is the son of Ayatollah Mirza Hashem Amoli and the son-in-law of Ayatollah Motahari, who belonged to Ayatollah Khomeini’s inner-most circle. Ayatollah Amoli was a prominent cleric, because of which his sons, Ali Larijani, Mohammad Javad Larijani, and Sadegh Larijani enjoy considerable level of influence with the Supreme leader, Khamenei. The Larijani brothers have successfully developed powerful clan-ish connections in the uppermost echelons of the regime’s political structure and are held in great esteem by the Supreme leader and his loyalists for their hard-core Islamism and clerical lineage. While Ali Larijani is representative of Ayatollah Khamenei to the “Supreme National Security Council”, his elder brother Mohammad Javad Larijani is secretary-general of Iran’s “High Council for Human Rights” and his younger brother Sadegh Larijani is an Ayatollah and the head of Iran’s Judiciary.

When Ali Larijani met Hasan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah in Damascus to plan the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers in July 2006, he was accompanied by Mohammad Hassan Akhtari.

In May 2008, Asharq al Awsat published an interview of Mohammad Hassan Akhtari entitled The Making of Hezbollah. In answer to the question, “Was there any disagreement between you and Hezbollah?” Akhtari replied: “… as far as we and Hezbollah are concerned, we are all of one religion and one faith. We and Hezbollah regard the United States as an enemy of Islam and Muslims. We regard Israel as a cancer in the body of the region and that the policy of confrontation and resistance is fundamental… As far as fundamentals, roots, and objectives are concerned, there are no differences between us.”

Through a highly organised web of trustworthy clerics, financers, and Hezbollah agents, Iran has been working its way of influence in the Balkans. Local &/or localized and “informal” channels &/or media help spread extreme ideas amongst small to huge sections of people. Greece at this moment is at her most vulnerable. She is yet to regain consciousness from a brutal financial and political battering. Given that Islamist terrorist networks are working in the region, the level of her security risks somewhat shoots up. Hezbollah agents &/operatives are known to have formed logistics base in Athens and every year Iran supplies Greece with natural gas and meets more than a quarter of her oil requirements.

 “Bank Saderat Iran” has a branch in Athens. This bank has been black-listed by USA for its alleged ties with Hezbollah. 85 American, Israeli, and Canadian victims of Hezbollah rocket attacks have filed a lawsuit against the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), Bank Saderat Iran and Bank Saderat, PLC of London. The suit, Kaplan v. Central Bank of Iran, was filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. Attorney Darshan-Leitner stated that: “CBI and Bank Saderat are major financial conduits between Iran and Hezbollah. Without the funds transferred by these banks, Hezbollah would have been unable to maintain its infrastructure, train its terrorist members or carry out the rocket attacks. These banks, which operate freely in Europe, intentionally aided and abetted Hezbollah terrorism…”.


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