Merchant of Death
Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible

Blood from Stones

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Press Releases

Iran Willing to Step into the Breach for Palestinian Authority
My European contacts say Iran's Shi'ite regime is gearing up to rescue the Hamas-led, bankrupt Palestinian Authority with significant amounts of cash.

This move would serve two purposes: deeply embarrass and humiliate the Sunni-led regimes in the Gulf, who so far have failed to come up with a way to help Hamas despite repeated vows to do so; expand Iran's influence at a time when the threat of isolation from the West is growing. Swelling oil revenues have given the Iranian regime the revue they need to be able to pull this off.

While Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other government struggle to overcome the banking obstacles they would face in funding Hamas, the Iranan leaders appear willing to take significant risks to win the race and claim the mantle of protectors and defenders of the Palestinians. It would also expand Iranian influence in a region where it already controls Hezbollah, giving it two military factions that could be called on internationally should there be military action against Iran. Both have a strong presence in the United States and Latin America as well, should retaliatory strikes be Iran be deemed necessary.

The consequences of Iranian funding of Hamas could also be more widespread. It was the success of the 1979 Iranian revolution that spurred the Saudi Salafists to pour billions of dollars into the global expansion of fundamentalist Sunni Islam. The Iranian revolution had the radicalizing effect of unleashing the salafist resources across much of the world, and it could further hinder the already-feeble steps toward reform and cutting off of terror finance the Saudi royals claim to be enacting.

The PLO of Arafat provided protection to Ayatollah Khommeni when he flew in from exile to assume his place at the head of the Iranian revolution in Tehran. The Ayatollah and his entourage were in the first plane, with the PLO security on the second. The third plane was filled with members of the international Muslim Brotherhood led by Ghalib Himmat. The Brotherhood's relationship with the Ayatollah soon soured, but it showed the clout the group had, cutting across the Sunni-Shi'ite divide. It will be interesting to see what role the Brothers will now play in this latest bit of geopolitical theater.
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