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Former advisor to Iranian president: Geneva agreement like Treaty of Hudaybiyyah

By Missing Peace

Mohammed Sadeq Al-Husseini, a senior Iranian political analyst and former advisor to president Khatami, told Syrian News TV on December 11 2013 that the so called Geneva deal between Iran and six world powers is comparable to the Treaty of Hudaybiyya.

Al-Husseini said: “There is no honeymoon. We are engaged in a fierce war with the Americans on all levels. This is the Treaty of Hudaybiyya in Geneva, and it will be followed by a “conquest of Mecca.”

 

He also told Syrian News:

“The Geneva agreement was achieved due to three things. The first was our strategic patience. Iran has maintained strategic patience for a very long time – 10 or 11 years. We have been patient, preparing for the day that comes after those 10 years. We were preparing a large quantity of enriched uranium, so that when it is reduced… Incidentally, for your information, when you conduct political negotiations with Iran, you lose even when you think you have won.

The [Iranians] have raised the level of uranium enrichment far beyond the level they really needed, so that when the level would be lowered, they would emerge victorious”.

In the year 628 CE, Muhammad (whose forces already controlled Medina) agreed to a 10-year truce (Treaty of Hudaybiyyah) with the pagan Quraysh tribe of Mecca, primarily because he realized that his forces were not strong enough to take the city at the time. Islamic doctrine in fact forbids Muslims from entering into a jihad or battle without the reasonable certainty of being able to prevail. In such cases, as with Muhammad, Muslims are permitted to enter into a temporary ceasefire or hudna, with the proviso that no such truce may exceed 10 years (because that’s the length of the agreement Muhammad signed). And so, Muhammad agreed to the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah. But just two years later, in 630 CE, now with some 10,000 fighters under his command, Muhammad broke the treaty and marched into Mecca. 

Al Husseini also revealed that Hezbollah in Lebanon has a new weapon that makes Israeli airplanes go blind. He said that Nasrallah, the leader of the resistance (Hezbollah), managed to deliver a 17-minute speech, and the Israeli airplanes were unable to reach the southern suburb of Beirut, or to fly over Lebanon.

This is the first time that such a thing has happened. This means that we have a new strategic weapon in Syria, in Iran, and in the southern suburb of Beirut, which can prevent Israel from attacking, according to Al Husseini.

He added that ‘”Saudi Arabia is on its way to perdition. Its role is over because the Iranians have reached the Mediterranean Sea.

You’ve begun to analyze the political situation correctly. There is a change.

The day Greece reached the Mediterranean coast, Persia fell to Alexander the Great for 300 years. Today, now that the Iranians are reaching the Mediterranean coast at Tyre, we are looking at 300 years of defeat for the Americans and the Westerners”.

Clare Lopez writing for AIM commented on this:

When a senior political commentator such as Mohammad Sadeq Al-Hosseini, who lives and works in Tehran, appears on an international TV broadcast interview and refers to the agreement (however tentative) reached by the P5+1 and Iran in Geneva as a “Treaty of Hudaybiyya,” we may be sure that he has chosen his words carefully. We also may be fairly certain that the Iranian regime and its sly and smiling Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, at least tacitly agree with Al-Hosseini’s characterization.

We can only hope that someone tells senior Western leaders what the reference means, because there is no doubt that the Muslim world, especially the Sunni Muslim world, got it immediately. The Saudi royal family in particular clearly is under no illusions about Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions-and is deeply alarmed, as much over the millennialist zeal of the arch rival Shi’ite Persians as the perceived perfidy of an American administration that has just switched sides, leaving Riyadh scrambling to cobble together a new defense policy. Thus the deliberate leaks about possible discussions with Pakistan concerning a nuclear weapons capability for the Saudis and the astonishing sight of a senior member of the Saudi royal family publicly shaking hands with a top Israeli diplomat.

Jennifer Dyer a retired US Naval intelligence officer added:

To recap: a “treaty of Hudaybiyyah” is an agreement you break as soon as you’re able to.  Its function is to constrain the other party and buy time for you.  The treaty is also known among scholars of Islam as the inaugural event in the expansion of Islam in the 7th century.  The hiatus between conclusion of the “treaty” and the march on Mecca was the interval in which Mohammed sent his series of letters “calling the kings and rulers of the world” to Allah.  Analogies with Hudaybiyyah have more than mere tactical import.

But a separate tactical drama is unfolding in the Iran-nuclear saga, with a duel between the national assemblies in Washington, D.C. and Tehran.  So brilliant has been our scheme of maneuver in this diplomatic campaign that the Iranians now propose to use the sole whimper of backbone from us – Congress’s threat to pass a stronger sanctions bill – as justification for advancing right to the precipice of nuclear weaponization.

Reportedly, the Iranian majlis is threatening, if the U.S. Congress votes to tighten sanctions, to pass a law requiring uranium enrichment to 60% purity.  This percentage is short of the 93.5% representing weapons-grade purity, but any development of higher-purity stock will reduce the already-brief time required to enrich enough 93.5% uranium for a warhead test.  This gambit, of course, is meant to alarm Western governments and ensure that Obama will veto whatever comes out of Congress.  But to say that is not to say that the Iranians won’t hold the possibility of such legislation in reserve as a real threat in a game of brinkmanship.

Remember that estimates run from one to four weeks for the “dash” to weapons-grade enrichment, depending on which centrifuges Iran uses for the task.  Based solely on Iran’s existing network of centrifuge arrays, the dash time from today would be closer to four weeks; reducing it to 7-10 days will require bringing more of Iran’s newer-generation centrifuges online.  There are no technical impediments to doing that, but any such move would probably be interpreted as the beginning of the “dash.”  We can expect the Iranians to try to time the move to avoid retaliation (presumably from Israel).

In theory, introducing an even newer generation of centrifuges could reduce the dash time further, allowing Iran to enrich enough material for multiple warheads in a matter of days.  Such a capability, established in place but not yet in use on an industrial scale, might make it difficult for even Israel to make the strike decision on a shorter timeline than the length of the dash.  Creating this condition requires tacit acceptance of the newest-generation centrifuges from the IAEA and Western governments.

Accordingly, the head of Iran’s atomic energy agency has just announced the development of a new generation of centrifuges – a public notification that would be odd if the Iranians actually had any long-term intention of curtailing their enrichment activities.  They don’t, of course.  Ali Akbar Salehi is merely following the pattern the Iranians have followed for more than a decade now, to desensitize the UN and Western powers to the installation and light-off of new centrifuges as they become available.

To create the impression that Israel has the least excuse for taking action, the time for Salehi to herald the new-generation centrifuges is now.  They might or might not be ready for operation in 2014; out of an abundance of caution, the Iranians will install them in numbers only when things look politically propitious.  The art lies in edging closer to the fateful day, until it’s clear that the Western powers know they won’t do anything about the next installation, regardless of its implications.

How long that might take is less predictable now than it would have been 4-5 years ago.  The extent of our remaining sensitivities might not be certain – reactions might be surprised out of us that would give Israel a pretext for action – but after Geneva, and under our current leadership, it is crystal clear what we are.  We’re chumps.  If Israel can be held off, Iran is in a position to start her dash at any time.

She’s never been here before.  All bets, including how long new programmatic moves typically take, are now off.  And so, there’s plenty of taqiyya to go with the Hudaybiyyah.  If Geneva was “Hudaybiyyah,” then Iran’s next move, other than calling the rulers of the world to Allah, is “marching on Mecca.”