A former member of Iranian intelligence says Iran has ordered Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic regime’s Quds Forces, to assassinate Bahrain’s monarch as part of a renewed effort to launch a popular uprising to overthrow the minority Sunni government.
According to documents obtained by Hamidreza Zakeri, formerly with the Islamic regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and National Security, or MOIS, the plan also includes assassinating the chief of intelligence and chief of public security, Maj. Gen. Tariq al-Hassan.
Zakeri testified at the federal District Court in Manhattan in the Halvish v. bin Laden civil lawsuit at which he provided proof that Iran had materially aided and supported al-Qaida before and after 9/11.
Iran has long sought to incite Muslims in the region with the goal of overthrowing U.S.-friendly governments. Their efforts fell short in Yemen, but with the current rebellion in Syria to oust President Bashar Assad, Iranian leaders have decided to go on the offensive and use all efforts to topple the government in Bahrain, which they see as game changer, Zakeri said.
Bahrain’s king, Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa, has frequently objected to the Iranian regime’s efforts to incite the majority Shiite population to rise up against the minority Sunnis ruling Bahrain.
Last year, Saudi Arabia, along with other members of the Gulf Co-operation Council, sent troops to Bahrain to defuse protests against the monarchy, drawing harsh criticism from Iran, which threatened to target Saudi Arabia.
The plan for the second phase of the uprising in Bahrain, code-named Shahid Abdolkarim Fakhravi, calls for terrorist acts against military and industrial targets and Bahraini officials, and incitement for uprising.
Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, one of the most influential clerics within the Islamic regime and a member of the Assembly of Experts (the body that chooses the supreme leader), has issued a fatwa for the killing of the Bahraini king.
On Oct. 11, Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, a senior military aid to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khaminei, publicly stated that the second wave of the Islamic Awakening will soon take place, which will result in a sharp decrease in “U.S. hegemony” in the region.
Safavi predicted major political and historical changes in the region and added that, “The U.S. and its allies are opposed to these developments, but the people of the region and the second wave of the Islamic Awakening (Arab Spring) will bring about this change.”
Bahrain is the home to the U.S. Fifth Fleet and strategically significant for the stability of the region and the flow of oil to the world. Iranian rulers believe that toppling the Sunni monarch, resulting in an Iran-friendly Shiite government, would minimize the U.S. role in the region, threaten the monarch in Saudi Arabia and drastically expand Iran’s power in the Persian Gulf.
Just days ago, Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, addressing the Manama Dialogue, criticized the Obama administration for failing to back Bahrain in its struggle with Iran and failed to mention the United States in the kingdom’s list of allies, instead addressing unidentified countries that criticized Bahrain’s leadership.
The documents obtained by Zakeri, quoting Soleimani in his request for permission to assassinate King Khalifa, charges that the Bahraini government has committed a “great sin” by killing defenseless Shiites, destroying Shiite mosques and insulting Shiite clerics. On Tuesday, Iran’s deputy foreign minister accused Bahrain of using “toxic gas” to suppress Shiite protesters. Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry immediately condemned those remarks.
Soleimani called the Bahraini government a tool of Saudi Arabia and the “Zionist regime” with a common goal of confronting the Islamic Awakening. The document also shows that under a 10-year plan approved by Khamenei, the regime has been working on toppling the Bahraini government.
Another source in the Revolutionary Guards intelligence also reported that in the past few weeks, Russian advisers, along with Guard commanders, have been visiting several islands under the control of the regime in the Persian Gulf, readying defensive and offensive capabilities as if the regime expects some major confrontation.
Reza Kahlili, a pseudonym, worked for the CIA inside Iran in the 1980s and ‘90s. He is the author the award-winning book, A Time to Betray, he serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran.