An Iranian academic with ties to the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei reportedly threatened that if President Barack Obama goes ahead with a military strike on Syria, one of his daughters will be kidnapped, raped and killed.
The quotes were initially reported by Reza Kahlili in the Daily Caller – and are now getting prominent play in the Middle Eastern press including on Al Arabiya and as the lead story Sunday morning on the Israeli newspaper Maariv’s website, NRG.
The threat was reportedly made by Alireza Forghani, the former governor of Iran’s southern Kish Province who serves currently as an analyst in a think tank aligned with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
“We should remind Obama that if you are a bastard, there are other bastards all around the world who can assault Sasha,” Forghani reportedly said, referring to the president's younger daughter.
Reza Kahlili - who first reported the former official's quotes - says he has served as a CIA agent in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
The Israeli website Maariv/NRG reports that the threats were made on Forghani’s personal blog. The adviser wrote that Obama’s daughter as well as relatives of senior administration officials will be kidnapped within 21 hours of an attack.
According to Kahlili’s report, Forghani’s threat was posted both in both English and Farsi, “but in the Farsi version, Forghani clearly stated that Sasha will be raped by someone who has been able to get close to the Obama family.” Here is the link Kahlili provided to Forghani’s Farsi post.
“Obama will attack Syria and then you’ll go to hell, and the world’s public opinion will accept that you deserve to be attacked and assaulted, so please attack,” Forghani wrote according to Kahlili.
“Hopefully Obama will be pigheaded enough to attack Syria, and then we will see the … loss of U.S. interests [through terrorist attacks],” Forghani wrote.
“In just 21 hours [after the attack on Syria], a family member of every U.S. minister [department secretary], U.S. ambassadors, U.S. military commanders around the world will be abducted. And then 18 hours later, videos of their amputation will be spread [around the world],” he wrote.
Kahlili explains that while Forghani currently holds no official position, he serves as a strategy specialist in the supreme leader’s camp and has close ties with the head of the Iranian government’s Ammar Strategic Base think tank, which means he “speaks with the blessing of the Islamic regime.”
No word was given as to how the Iranian government planned to carry out such an ambitious kidnapping campaign on the families of senior officials.
When making public appearances, writer Kahlili appears with a mask on his face, and in fact Reza Kahlili is not the writer’s real name. According to a Washington Post article in 2010, Kahlili’s “previous accounts have been greeted with widespread skepticism,” including reporting that Iran planned nuclear suicide bombings with “a thousand suitcase bombs spread around Europe and the U.S.”
Kahlili disputes that characterization of his work. By contrast, the Los Angeles Times last year wrote that Kahlili has become “one of the most influential and outspoken voices in the U.S. advocating the overthrow of the Iranian government.” Rep. Peter King (R-New York) has praised his writing.
Iran is a close ally of the Syrian government and has voiced numerous warnings against any U.S. military strike on President Bashar Assad’s forces.
This post has been updated.