Crack Reporting on Iraq-Iran

From Cernig at Newshoggers, one of the best sites for Iraq (and especially Sadr, Iran, intra-Shia) out there on the web.

The news reported today is that an Iraqi delegation consisting of members of al-Maliki’s Dawa and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC), an ally of Maliki and the chief Shia rival of the Sadrist movement, went to Iran. The American military line is that this delegation was sent to tell Iran to stop funding and arming through the Quds force the Mahdi Army.

Michael O’Hanlon, everyone’s favorite security expert, was on Hardball last night and repeated this ludicrous line (first uttered I think by Lieberman) that 1/2 of all American deaths in Iraq recently–which are seriously back up btw–are due to these special groups with direct support of the Iranian regime.

Cernig:

equal opportunity arms sales over porous borders and into a regional black market at an all-time high has always seemed like the Occam’s Razor explanation of Iranian weaponry in Iraq – especially given the way U.S. weapons “mislaid” in Iraq so quickly turned up in the hands of pro-Kurdish terrorists in Turkey. No-one’s alleging that American policy at the highest levels is to kill Turks in the same way CIA director Hayden is claiming Iran’s policy in Iraq is simply to kill Americans. That seems to me to be a dangerously simplistic and beligerently hyped analysis of Iran’s complex motives. Some Qods guys are likely getting rich at the expense of their nation’s arsenal.

Not to mention (as Cernig does) that if the Iranians are funding/arming anybody the biggest recipient would be in fact the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council–which was started in Iran and whose leadership still receive pensions from Iran as de facto members of the Revolutionary Guards.

From an AP article cited by Cernig:

“Moqtada al-Sadr did not permit his leaders to meet the Iraqi delegation,” said Sheikh Salah al-Obeidi, his spokesman in the central holy city of Najaf.

“Sadr insists that the crisis can be solved only through a parliamentary initiative backed by President Jalal Talabani and speaker Mahmud Mashhadani.”

Obeidi did not elaborate, but Talabani has been holding talks with Sadrists to resolve the crisis.

So it doesn’t appear they were there to discuss de-arming miltias–which are likely being armed by black market anyway, but rather to put an end to the intra-Shia fighting. Not entirely clear but Iran seems now to be leaning more towards the al-Maliki/Hakim group with Sadr using this as a moment to play his Iraqi nationalist and anti-US cred. [Calling for the Kurdish and Sunni parliamentary leaders to deal with the issue not the Iranians]. Perhaps Sadr suspects a ceasefire is really a prelude to an another assault by the combined forces of the US army and Badr Brigade (i.e. “Iraqi” security forces).

But if the government of Iran were honestly the prime cause of 1/2 of US deaths–and not say through certain Iranians moonlighting on the black market–I mean that would be a cause of war. So what is more disturbing I think is the increased saber rattling and laying the groundwork for some strikes.

Hell even the HuffingtonPost is reiterating the argument that Iran is increasing supply trains to al Sadr.
The American military said that they were holding the evidence they have to give the Iraqi government a chance to show it to the Iranians. If they are going to keep making these claims, they need to show some proof and establish that they are not black market sales.

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Published in: on May 1, 2008 at 1:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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