Ayatollah pushes Islamic ‘resistance’ army

WND: After calling for a regional military alliance under the banner of the Islam’s messianic “Mahdi,” Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, along with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is continuing the push for a regional “resistance” army against Israel and the United States.

Last week, WND reported Ayatollah Khamenei had called on the nations of Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan to unite militarily in response to the imminent coming of the Mahdi. According to a report in Al Arabiya, the purpose for uniting was to raise up a unified regional resistance to fight Israel and the U.S. ֠seen as the two greatest obstacles to the coming of the Mahdi and the age of Islamic “justice.”

Now, as reported yesterday in Payvand Iran News, the ayatollah, along with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has concluded a meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad, who traveled to Iran last week to discuss this developing unity between Syria and Iran.

According to Payvand, the ayatollah claimed that the growing relations between Syria and Iran are the result of the growing Islamic “resistance” to Israel and the United Sates in the region: “The result of this unity and its effects are perfectly obvious in the developments in Palestine, Lebanon, and Iraq as well as the entire region.”

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According to Khamenei, the present atmosphere and circumstances in the Middle East are ripe for the growth of an Islamic “resistance camp.”

“The tide is in favor of the resistance,” Khamenei added. “The resistance camp must use this great opportunity and further strengthen its relations and cooperation.”

He added that the power of the United States in the region was growing “weaker on a daily basis” and “in spite of its propaganda campaign, the Zionist regime has faced numerous internal problems, and it is falling into a genuine decline.”

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The news does not bode well for President Obama, who has bent over backwards in his personal efforts to apologize to the Islamic world on behalf of the United States while taking a sharply more dovish stance toward Iran and the greater conflict in the conflict in the Middle East.

Critics have repeatedly expressed that such a softening stance would communicate weakness to the Iranians. Now the ayatollah himself has clearly confirmed this.

“America’s blade has become blunter in the region,” said Khamenei, adding that Obama’s “new attitude” was the result of the United States “growing weakness” as opposed to any genuine ideological differences between President Bush and Obama.

“Western governments, particularly the U.S., have numerous problems in their countries as well as in the region and have so far failed to make any achievements in Lebanon and the region,” the ayatollah added.

According to Barry Rubin in the Jerusalem Post, the official foreign policy of the Obama administration is to pry Syria away from Iran through further interaction and dialogue.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently said, “Given what’s been going on in Iran and the instability that appears to be present there, it may not be in Syria’s interest to put their eggs into that basket.”

But Rubin elaborates on all that Syria has to gain from its growing alliance with Iran:

“There are, of course, a huge number of benefits Syria derives from its alliance with Iran, including Islamist legitimacy, protection against being attacked or pressured, money, weapons, cooperation in anti-Israel terrorism and spreading both countries’ influence among the Palestinians, Lebanese and Iraqis. Once Iran gets nuclear weapons, which is on the horizon, the alliance’s value for Syria will rise dramatically.”

The Obama administration is also still recovering from Syria’s sudden scrapping of Obama’s Syrian-Israel peace plan.

In last week’s meeting, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad affirmed both the reelection of Ahmadinejad and his support for the ayatollah while poking further jabs at Washington:

“The failure of the efforts of some Western governments after the recent post-election events in Iran was a great lesson for those governments. They realized, through the vote of the Iranian people for Ahmadinejad, that the people of Iran follow Imam Khomeini (r.a.) and the path of resistance.”

In the meeting the call for a regional Mahdi army including Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria was once more reaffirmed.

Payvand reports:

“Ayatollah Khamenei later expressed his agreement over the formation of a unified group composed of Iran, Syria, Turkey and Iraq and said that the current relations between Syria and Iraq will produce positive results. He further stated that the Iraqi government should be helped in solving the current problems of the country.”

For his part, Assad agreed with the ayatollah, adding the recent visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to Damascus showed that Iraq is also ready to cooperate.

But the alliance between Syria and Iran is certainly not the only critical aspect of this story. After WND’s article last week about the ayatollah’s call for the regional Mahdi army, literally dozens of articles and television programs appeared in the Turkish media examining the Ayatollah’s inclusion of Turkey among the nations to which he called for unity under the Mahdi. Some have expressed concern the ayatollah’s inclusion of Turkey may be because of behind-the-scenes discussions between Iran and Turkey’s Islamist leadership. Last year, President Ahmadinejad traveled to Turkey to meet with President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After years of tense relations during the 1980s and 1990s under the leadership of the AKP Islamist party, Ankara has forged much stronger ties with both Syria and Iran in recent years. This shift toward the Middle East stands as a sharp contrast to previous administrations in Turkey, when the primary effort was to see Turkey welcomed into the European Union.

In April of this year, Adem Ozkose, a writer for the Turkish Gercek Hayat magazine, interviewed Ayman Khalid from Kuds al-Arabi, one of the Arab world’s most prestigious newspapers. In the interview, Ozkose asks Khalid the following question:

“Certain Turkish activists and writers have said that the border between Turkey and Syria should be lifted and that such a move will constitute the kernel of an Islamic Union. What does the Arab world think of that idea?”

Khalid’s response is one that is in perfect agreement with the vision of Ayatollah Khamenei:

“We support the idea with all our hearts. The statesmen who make this idea a reality will go down in history. There are in any case no borders in the minds of the Turkish and Syrian peoples. The Syrian people attach great worth to the Turks and love the Turks very much. ŠTurks and Arabs share the same religion and culture and are children of the same lands. In my opinion, together with Egypt, Syria is the most important country in the Arab world. In addition, the Syrian government wants to further improve relations with Turkey and wants these two nations to become brothers. If Turkey can win Syria’s heart, it can win that of the whole Arab world. Because Syria is the gateway to the Arab world for Turkey. The Turkish government must open that door still further, and the borders between Syria and Turkey must be lifted at once.”

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