Yossi Alpher, a former Mossad agent and current intelligence consultant, has released a new book on Israel’s relationship with other countries in the Middle East, called “Periphery: Israel’s Search for Middle East Allies.” In it, he alleges that Iranian officials once asked Israel to assassinate the Ayatollah Khomeini for them.
Back in the 1970s, before that country’s revolution, Israel actually had some very strong security ties with Iran. That country sold Israel oil and Israel sold Iran weapons and did maintenance on its air force planes.
There was also a much more clandestine aspect to the relationship and as the years go by, more and more about it is revealed to the public.
The latest, apparently just before the revolution, the last Iranian prime minister under the Shah asked Mossad agents in Tehran to kill Khomeini.
As Alpher told Ynet News, “Mossad director Yitzhak Hofi announced at the beginning of the meeting that wasn’t prone to support the request on moral grounds but asked to hear the opinions of those who were present. I told the heads of the Mossad that I had difficulty supporting the request because we didn’t know enough about who and what Khomeini was. I really regret not supporting that request.”
From Amazon.com’s description of the book:
“Since its establishment after World War II, the State of Israel has sought alliances with non-Arab and non-Muslim countries and minorities in the Middle East, as well as Arab states geographically distant from the Arab-Israel conflict. The text presents and explains this regional orientation and its continuing implications for war and peace.
“It examines Israel’s strategy of outflanking, both geographically and politically, the hostile Sunni Arab Middle East core that surrounded it in the early decades of its sovereign history, a strategy that became a pillar of the Israeli foreign and defense policy.
“This “periphery doctrine” was a grand strategy, meant to attain the major political-security goal of countering Arab hostility through relations with alternative regional powers and potential allies. It was quietly abandoned when the Sadat initiative and the emerging coexistence between Israel and Jordan reflected a readiness on the part of the Sunni Arab core to deal with Israel politically rather than militarily.
“The book analyzes Israel’s strategic thinking about the Middle East region, evaluating its success or failure in maintaining both Israel’s security and the viability of Israeli-American strategic cooperation.
“It looks at the importance of the periphery strategy for Israeli, moderate Arab, and American, and European efforts to advance the Arab-Israel peace process, and its potential role as the Arab Spring brings about greater Islamization of the Arab Middle East. Already, Israeli strategic planners are talking of “spheres of containment” and “crescents” wherein countries like Cyprus, Greece, Azerbaijan, and Ethiopia constitute a kind of new periphery.”