December 14, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 11020

Iranian Regime Mouthpiece 'Kayhan': 'The Most Important Strategy Of The Resistance Front... Must Be To Create Horror In All [Global] Relationships And Commerce With The Zionist Regime... By Means Of Reinforcing And Expanding The [Attacks By The] Resistance At Sea, With Missiles And Drones, And All Other Possible Ways'

December 14, 2023
Iran, Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 11020

Although the Iranian regime insists that it does not order its proxies in the Islamic resistance axis (comprising Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hizbullah, the Shi'ite militias in Syria and Iraq, and the Houthis in Yemen) to attack Israel or U.S. bases in the Middle East, the Iranian regime mouthpiece outlet Kayhan, in a December 11, 2023 article, called on Iran's proxies to target any naval vessels connected to Israel "with missiles and drones, and all other possible ways." This is in order to apply maximum economic pressure on Israel to end the war in Gaza and stop its dismantling of Hamas, as well as to isolate it economically and politically as part of the process of destroying it. Kayhan went on to call for making it very costly to support, trade, or maintain political relations with Israel.

The article, titled "Maximum Pressure With A 'Balance Of Horror And Fear!'", explained that maximizing pressure on Israel by establishing a "balance of horror and fear" is the resistance's "trump card" that "could "determine Israel's fate." The October 7, 2023 Hamas massacre, it said, had already created a balance of horror with Israel, and now it was up to Iran's proxies in the resistance axis to arrive at a balance of fear with it, in the form of economic terrorism in the international shipping lanes against it and against any country that helps it.

Kayhan logo

Noting that it was Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the father of the Islamic Revolution and the Iranian regime, that pioneered the "horror and fear" strategy against the West and who had called for attacks on U.S. vessels in the Persian Gulf, the article went on to underline the effectiveness of Iran's policy regarding fighting the U.S. and using its proxies in the resistance axis against it. This, it said, is because the U.S. does not dare confront Iran militarily due to the "balance of fear" that Tehran has created with it in the past few years.

Kayhan also acknowledged that Iran had operated outside its territorial waters to apprehend Western soldiers and vessels, and had "has now created a powerful, effective, and viable means of deterrence in the Persian Gulf and in international waters, and has forced its will on the Americans."

Enumerating terror operations carried out by Iran and its resistance axis proxies against Saudi Arabia, the article boasted that because of this, Iran had succeeded in forcing a pro-Iran policy on it – i.e. getting the Saudis to end their fighting against the Houthis in Yemen, start negotiating with Iran, and announcing a suspension of their normalization initiative with Israel (see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7612, Statements By Top IRGC Official Gen. Sha'bani Published By Fars News Agency: 'We Told The Yemenis To Attack The Two Saudi Tankers, And They Attacked', August 7, 2018).

In addition, the article stated that Russia and China are joining hands with Iran and advancing Iran's interests because they understand how powerful Iran and the resistance axis are militarily, economically, and politically. It said: "The  Tehran-Moscow-Beijing triangle is, in fact, part of the puzzle of the policy of the resistance [axis]."

Iran, the article boasted, is even now reaping the fruit of the "balance of terror" it created against Israel, as Egypt and Azerbaijan, which are working together with Israel, have mustered their courage to act in contradiction to their former policies. The article added that Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the U.S. and countries in Europe are beginning to change their policy vis-à-vis Israel because its status is being degraded due to Tehran's balance of horror with it.

Adding that any country that maintains relations with Israel must pay a heavy price for doing so, the article added that this could be "by means of the weapon of oil or of the drones of the resistance, or by means of diplomacy" – any of which could "determine Israel's fate."

The following is a translation of the December 11, 2023 Kayhan article.

Kayhan: "The Military Bases, Energy And Transportation Lines, Oil And Gas Wells, Planes, Vessels, And Any Country's Military [Or] Commercial Ships Heading Towards Israel – Even The Embassies Of Countries That Support Israel – Will Constitute A Legitimate Target" For The Resistance

"When military officials came to the Imam [Khomeini] to receive orders after American ships were sent to the Persian Gulf to support the Iraqi Ba'athist regime, [Khomeini] bravely said: 'If it were me, I would attack the first American ship that arrives, so that the second ship does not dare enter the Persian Gulf!'

"Today, in adherence to Imam [Khomeini's] school of thought, the only way to confront America's belligerent policy, and to deter and isolate the Zionist regime, is to apply maximum pressure by means of 'a balance of  horror and fear.' Operation Al-Aqsa Flood [Hamas's October 7, 2023 invasion of southern Israel] created a 'balance of horror' with regard to the existence of the Zionist regime. But from now on, as far as the resistance [axis] is concerned, any ship departing from, stopping at, or headed for Israel will constitute a legitimate target for the resistance, that is, creating 'a balance of horror.'

"The most important strategy of the resistance front, after increasing and using its military power, must be to create horror in all [global] relationships and commerce with the Zionist regime, and make it more costly, and this must be by means of reinforcing and expanding the [attacks by the] resistance at sea, with missiles and drones, and all other possible ways. The entire world, and every government, near or far, must understand that any assistance to the enemies of the resistance and to trade relations with the child-killer Israeli regime has a price, and they must pay this price. This price must be so high that when calculating costs, the costs in the puzzle of these countries' interests and national security will be greater than the benefits.

"As the Islamic Republic [of Iran] did in the past by shooting down an [American] Global Hawk drone [over the Strait of Hormuz in June 2019] and by attacking America's Ayn Al-Asad Airbase [in Iraq following the January 2020 assassination of IRGC Qods Force commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani], as well as by capturing European ships and oil tankers and taking their naval forces captive in its territorial and extra-territorial waters [emphasis by MEMRI], [Iran] has now created a powerful, effective, and viable means of deterrence in the Persian Gulf and in international waters, and has forced its will on the Americans. Moreover, amidst threats, sanctions, and an American economic war [against it, Iran] has sent oil tankers and commercial ships to the American continent [i.e. South America] under the nose of the White House, and neither the United States nor the states controlled by America could do anything about it. America itself could do nothing about it, due to this balance of fear.

"As the Yemeni resistance [i.e. the Houthis] did with regard to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, including by means of the [September 2019] attack on the Aramco [oil facility in Saudi Arabia], it [the Yemeni resistance] charged Saudi Arabia such a high price that it could not continue with the war, and was forced to go in the direction of the Islamic Republic [of Iran, i.e. in the agreement with the Saudis to begin a dialogue with Tehran in March 2023 after seven years of severed relations].

"In the past, we have said that since Operation Al-Aqsa Flood [on October 7], the resistance has become an 'intolerable threat' for America and Israel, with even more trump cards on its table. Now, step by step, with the resistance's new trump cards, countries that either support or maintain trade with Israel will pay the price for supporting it, and Israel itself will also pay the price for its crimes by means of siege and economic [and] military sanctions.

"As [Iranian Foreign Minister] Hossein Amir-Abdollahian warned in phone calls with his Qatari counterpart, [it is] with perfect coordination between the [military] arena and the diplomatic [front] that the 'coming days will be very terrible for the Zionist regime.' [Similarly, IRGC commander Hossein] Salami said: 'The Palestinians' method of fighting will change, and they will definitely be supplied with weapons.' Defense Minister [Mohammad Reza Ashtiani] stressed: 'If the war continues, the supporters of the racist Zionist regime will definitely pay for their support.'

"Hence, military bases, energy and transportation lines, oil and gas wells, planes, vessels, and any country's military [or] commercial ships heading towards Israel – even the embassies of countries that support Israel – will constitute a legitimate target for the Iraqi resistance in the Persian Gulf: for the Ansar Allah [Houthi] movement, in the Gulf of Aden, Bab-el-Mandeb, and the Red Sea; for Hizbullah and the Syrian resistance, in the Mediterranean Sea; and for other global resistance groups, elsewhere in the world."

United Kingdom Maritime Trade Organisation update and warning for shipping in Bab-el-Mandeb, December 11, 2023

Kayhan: "It Is Now Possible To Force All The Countries, For Any Reason And On Any Level Of Relations With Israel, To Reconsider Their Political, Economic, Commercial, And Even Military Relations [With Israel] By Intensifying The Balance Of Horror"

"After the Yemeni resistance [the Houthis] seized Israeli oil tankers and attacked an American ship, it implemented a ban on foreign ships entering Israel, and warned that 'it does not matter who owns the ship – every ship headed for Israel is a legitimate and legal target for us, and we will prevent them from passing and will send the Israeli ships to the bottom of the Red Sea, from the Gulf of Aqaba all the way to Bab-el-Mandeb.' Likewise, the [Houthis] have issued an ultimatum against Saudi Arabia and the UAE: 'If you interfere in any possible Israeli attacks on Yemen, we will harm all your oil and gas wells, and will destroy all your commercial ships!' The pro-Gaza obstruction of several tankers belonging to the Israeli shipping company Zim with Palestinian flags in Melbourne was an expression of the will of the global resistance groups!

"China and Russia realistically understood that any cooperation with America and expanding relations with the Zionist regime ultimately constitute a threat to their [own] national security. The  Tehran-Moscow-Beijing triangle is, in fact, part of the puzzle of the policy of the resistance [axis]. The Financial Times reported that China is cutting back its investment and its business and economic activity in America, from a peak of $48 billion in 2016 to $2.5 billion in 2022.

"The fact that under the current circumstances [Russian President] Putin's plane crosses Iranian airspace accompanied by a Russian Sukhoi 35 and in full coordination with Tehran on the way back from Saudi Arabia, and an Iranian fighter plane accompanies it to the border, and then Putin says at a meeting with [Iranian President Ebrahim] Raisi, 'I wanted to land at Tehran airport while crossing Iranian airspace,' and Raisi replies 'We would have been ready,' is highly significant for military experts.

"It is now possible to force all the countries, for any reason and whatever their level of relations with Israel, to reconsider their political, economic, commercial, and even military relations [with Israel] by intensifying the balance of horror. Thus, if with Operation Al-Aqsa Flood most of the countries sensed the initial stages of the establishment of a balance of horror, they are [now] awakening and finding the courage to distance themselves from America and Israel. As Riyadh announced, it has stopped the entire process of normalization with Israel.

"In the current situation, the difference between the Islamic Republic [of Iran] and Saudi Arabia is that the Islamic Republic, with the tools at its disposal, is an undisputable side in the regional game, and is protecting its interests and national security. But Saudi Arabia is forced to move from a negative balance to a positive balance – that is, not to play openly on America's playing field, and to calculate the authority and strength of the resistance axis in the cost and benefit [analysis] of its national interests. This means 'stay away from America!'

"Even Egypt has threatened to sever relations with Israel, warning America and the Zionist regime, and Azerbaijan is trying to end the war that took place [with Armenia and indirectly with Iran] based on the policy and involvement of America and Israel in arriving at the [recent] peace agreement with [Iran's ally] Armenia.

"After the Iranian government left the UN climate summit in Dubai, the Saudi and Qatari delegations were forced to leave the meeting [as well], and the leaders of these two countries refused to speak because of the presence of the president of the Zionist regime [Isaac Herzog]. Thus, the UAE was forced to cancel the Israeli president's speech.

"After the Pentagon announced that 66 people had been killed and wounded in 78 attacks on the American forces in Syria and Iraq since October 17, several politicians and elements in the countries supporting Israel and in the international institutions controlled by America were forced to take a stand against Israel's current policy, due to the growing pressure of public opinion and the establishment of the balance of horror and fear.

"The prosecutor at the Hague declared that Israel's actions are war crimes, and several American senators are openly declaring that they voted against providing an aid package to Israel so that it would not be used against the Palestinians in Gaza! Likewise, the Belgian prime minister said that he had to talk about the citizens of Gaza in order to preserve Belgian acceptability and credibility! And, 400 philosophers in the world issued a statement against [the German philosopher Jurgen] Habermas's support for Israel, and asked the world to not remain silent against America and Israel.

"Even the UN secretary general [António Guterres], who was photographed with the Zionist president in Dubai to show his support for Israel to public opinion, was forced to ask, in a letter to the Security Council, to hold an urgent meeting by activating Article 99 of the UN Charter, for the first time since 1989, in order to reduce the pressure of global public opinion. This annoyed Tel Aviv, and America vetoed it. This is a handful of examples of 'disruption of the American policy in the region and the distancing from the American policy,' in the words of Supreme Leader [Khamenei].

"The important point in the creation of the balance of horror and fear is that the Israeli newspaper Maariv published as its headline 'Yahyah Sinwar Has Managed To Create Terror In Our Israeli Hearts And Is Continuing To Do So.' Even more importantly, according to the American and Western media, '[President] Biden fears worse attacks and threats, and widescale conflict with the greater resistance front, and due to his inability to deal with the Yemenis [Houthis], he [chooses to] not consider their attacks to be important!'

"Therefore, part of the Tehran-Moscow-Saudi Arabia talks in recent days, during Putin's and Raisi's visits [to the Gulf and Moscow, respectively], is an intensification of this balance of horror and fear. Reuters wrote, after these meetings, that 'by means of pressuring America, Saudi Arabia has asked Biden to restrain [his reactions] to the Ansar Allah attacks, because Riyadh is very concerned about the expansion of the war in the region.'

"From now on, whether or not Israel stops the madness of killing Gazans, the resistance front must continue to expand the policy of the balance of horror and fear, in advance of reducing the supply of oil and increasing its price, both by means of weapons, as the American base was attacked at the Conoco oilfield [i.e. Mission Support Site Conoco, in February 2023] by the drones of the resistance, and by diplomacy, as an important part of the talks between the Iranian and Russian presidents in Moscow, Riyadh, and Dubai that focused on reducing oil production, which will be an important blow to America.

"Venezuela has also [now] given the American and European oil companies 90 days to leave Guyana. The intensification of the continuation of the halt in the supply of natural gas to Europe is also a means of intensifying the balance of horror for Israel's Western supporters, and therefore 'the balance of horror and fear' and 'the oil weapon' are trump cards in the hands of the resistance, that could determine Israel's fate."[1]


[1] Kayhan (Iran), December 11, 2023.

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