Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Iranians behind Israel's rescue missions

In this interview in Farsi, Colonel Ramtin Sebti says he would be willing to undertake a rescue mission to Iran if necessary

Name one country (apart from Iran) where Iranians have reached the highest ranks in the military.  Yes, it's Israel. (Come to think of it, Iranian Jews would never be appointed to senior military posts in Iran).  Ramtin Sebti is the Iranian-born commander of the IDF rescue mission to the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan. Meir Javedanfar explains in the Times of Israel:

First was Shaul Mofaz (formerly known as Shahram Mofazazkar). He was one of the commanders of the elite Israeli special forces team which flew to Uganda to save Jewish and Israeli hostages as part of the legendary operation Entebbe.
The Esfahani origin, Tehran born Mofaz’s job was to command a team which destroyed all of the Ugandan air force MiGs on the ground. Failure to do so could have enabled Idi Amin who was helping the terrorists to use these planes to chase the Israeli planes after they had taken off. Mofaz’s team had to do this while other Israeli commandos fought off Ugandan forces and Palestinian and German terrorists who were keeping the hostages.
That was in 1976.

And  just days ago, Colonel Ramtin Sebti another Iranian commander in the IDF, commanded an Israeli rescue mission of a different kind: to the Philippines to help the victims of typhoon Haiyan. The mission consists of 148 specialists, a field hospital, 100 tons of humanitarian and medical aid.

Colonel Sebti, originally from Tehran’s Yousef Abad neighborhood, belongs to my generation of Iranian immigrants. He left Iran 26 years ago in 1987 at the age of 15, and was smuggled across the Iranian border to Pakistan, much like many of my school friends. Today he heads one of the most coveted forces in the Israeli army, the National Search and Rescue Unit. This unit is in charge of rescuing victims of missile attacks as well as natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons. It has taken part in rescue operations in places such as Haiti, Kenya, Turkey and now the Philippines.