Title:: Iran May Be About Ready To Become Iraq's Closest Ally!
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THE CUTTING EDGE
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Can you imagine any greater insult to President Bush? Last week, the newly appointed Shi'ite dominated Iraqi government made major overtures to the current major enemy of the United States, that "Axis of Evil" nation, Iran. Cutting Edge has been warning for some time now that the Iraqi leadership was slowly moving toward a major and a permanent relationship with the hardline government of Iraq. Such a rapprochement would be seen throughout the world as a direct slap in the face of the United States, since President Bush has been threatening Iran with attack since the Summer of 2003, thereby making Iran the most hated government in the world in the view of the current White House.
Let us review the current story and then address the question, "WHY" Iraqi leaders -- who owe their very jobs to the Bush Administration -- would be cozying up to America's current most hated enemy.
NEWS BRIEF: "Iraq Poised to Become Main Iranian Ally", Newsday, May 29, 2006
"TEHRAN, Iran -- .... While Iran and Iraq were arch enemies during the rule of Saddam Hussein, all signs point to an increasingly robust relationship now that Shiites have achieved a dominant role in the Iraqi leadership. It's a bond that has yet to reach its potential -- in large part because the U.S.-led invasion is responsible for Iraqi Shiites being at the top of the political heap for the first time in modern history."
Do you remember the many, many months it has taken for the new Iraqi government to form following their much-heralded election? For so many months after that election, repeated attempts to form a new coalition government failed and failed again. Finally, the White House agreed to give Shi'ites a significant role in the new government. Saddam Hussein had kept the majority Shi'ites from wielding any power when he was the dictator, preferring the minority Sunni faction.
The major problem with allowing Shi'ites to exercise political power within the newly formed Iraqi government is the danger that they might find common cause with their Shi'ite brethren in Iran! Ever since the invasion, Iran has used this "Shi'ite-to-Shi'ite" link to foment continual rebellion against the American fight in Iraq. Now, apparently, that connection is reaching new - and more official - heights within the new Iraq government.
Let us return to this story for more confirmation.
"But Iran and Iraq share a Shiite Muslim majority and deep cultural and historic ties, and Tehran's influence over its neighbor is growing. Iran will likely try to use Iraq as a battleground if the United States punishes Tehran economically or militarily, analysts say."
In NEWS1910, entitled, "Has Iran Lighted 'Many Fires' To Set Off Regional Middle East Wars?", we noted that the Iranian strategy which was put into diplomatic motion within hours after the Coalition invasion of Iraq, foresaw that America would be allowed to "conquer" Iraq easily, but then would become bogged down in the "swamp" which Iran intended to create out of Iraq. Certainly, this trap has been expertly set and even more expertly sprung, as Shi'ite militias in Iraq played a huge part in keeping American forces on the defensive. Listen to how close to Iran these current Iraqi Shi-ite leaders are; some of them actually lived in Iran for a number of years!
"Many key positions in the Iraqi government now are occupied by men who took refuge in Iran to avoid oppression by the Saddam's former Sunni Muslim-dominated Baathist regime. Iraq's powerful militias, meanwhile, have strong ties to Iran and have deeply infiltrated Iraqi security forces. They can be expected to side with Iran if the West should attack, said Paul Ingram of the British American Security Information Council." (Ibid.)
Literally, many Shi'ite majority leaders today form a sympathetic pro-Iranian "fifth column" deep within the fabric of Iraq. Were America to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, these pro-Iranian militants are expected to launch immediate and potentially devastating attacks against the dramatically weakened Coalition Forces. The potential for destruction is so great that some analysts believe that President Bush and his advisers are actually restrained from attacking Iran.
Certainly, this "fifth column" threat, coupled with the Iranian forces amassed on the Iraqi southern border opposite Basra, could logically restrain President Bush!
This next segment shows that Iran's involvement in the Iraqi insurgency is truly great and has yet to reach its full climax.
" 'Iran has ties with Iraq which have not been mobilized as they could have been', Ingram said. 'The militias based in Iraq received much of their training from Iran and they have not taken any instructions yet'. The Mahdi Army, loyal to firebrand anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, and the Badr Brigade, the military wing of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, both have significant links to Iran. The latter group is led by Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, the turbaned pro-Iranian cleric who headed the Shiite ticket that won Iraq's national elections in January. If Iran is attacked, 'Iraqi Shiites will not take this lightly. They will not sit and watch', said Diaa Rashwan, a Cairo-based analyst." (Ibid.)
In this above news segment, this political analyst is issuing several warnings:
1) Iran has not yet "mobilized" the military and para-military forces awaiting orders in Iraq.
2) Militant militias within Iraq have, indeed, received much training from Iran, and probably fighting equipment as well, just the White House has been charging for many months now. This reality is inherent in Iran's "Lighting Many Fires" strategy, as we outlined in NEWS1910, entitled, "Has Iran Lighted 'Many Fires' To Set Off Regional Middle East Wars?"
3) The militant militias within Iraq are most probably a significant threat to Coalition Forces should Iran be attacked. In fact, this specific warning by Mr. Ingram presupposes that Iran has specifically trained these militiamen as to the exact targets to be hit and the tactics to be used during the attack.
However, this next news segment tells us that Iran has been quite busy extending the "hand of brotherly assistance" to an Iraq increasingly desperate since the invasion three years ago.
"Iran's reach in Iraq goes well beyond the links to the powerful armed groups. After the U.S.-led invasion three years ago, the Iranian government quickly dispatched medical, humanitarian and religious assistance, especially to the predominantly Shiite cities in southern Iraq. Iran now is waiting for its investment in Iraq to accrue interest. 'Iran has a clear strategic depth in Iraq and there is an alliance between Iran and the upcoming Iraqi powers', said Iranian political analyst Mashallah Shamsolvaezin. 'Iran hasn't utilized that option yet and it's a card that will be very influential'." (Ibid.)
Last week was very significant in this growing relationship between Iran and Shi'ite Iraqi government officials.
"... Iran got a boost last week when Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Tehran had the right to peaceful nuclear research -- a stance that ran counter to U.S. efforts to force Iran to stop all nuclear activities amid fears it is seeking to develop atomic weapons. Zebari's comments came during a visit by his Iranian counterpart, the second high-level visit by an Iranian delegation since Saddam was ousted in April 2003." (Ibid.)
If only I could have been a "fly on the wall" when the new Iraqi Foreign Minister uttered this incendiary words! Can you imagine an American puppet Foreign Minister siding with Iran in its verbal and diplomatic battle against the United States over its nuclear program? President Bush must have been livid.
Just Trying To Survive?
Is this new Iraqi government seeking to survive after the American and British forces withdraw? Is this the reason they are cozying up to the Iranians now? After all, once Coalition Forces are withdrawn, Iran will be the new regional superpower. Once the Americans begin to seriously withdraw, Iraqi leadership -- both civilian and military -- will be left to face the insurgency without American firepower and manpower. Since top officials have already been assassinated, some just outside their homes, these Iraqi leaders must cultivate a very powerful friend which shall protect them from the insurgency.
Are Iraqi leaders currently turning toward any single nation? Yes, they most assuredly are!
They are turning strongly to Iran -- and Iran is reciprocating!
Believe me, "saving the new government" is the order of the day for Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari! If he can save his government, he can likely save his life. Conversely, if he cannot save his government, he will likely forfeit his own life! Now, you must admit, that is motivation! You see, Foreign Minister Jebari can see the "handwriting on the wall"; he can see that the Americans are likely to leave the country without first destroying the insurgency -- a force he knows his ragtag army and police forces can never withstand.
Iran is rebuilding Iraqi factories, cement plants, industrial and mineral industries, certain infrastructure activities such as banking and insurance services, airports, and petrochemical facilities! Can you see the handwriting on the wall for the American war effort? After two full years of successfully fighting a guerilla war against Coalition Forces, using Iraqi insurgents buoyed by foreign fighters, Iran seems to be now stepping forward to implement the next stage, i.e., drawing the new Iraqi government into Iran's regional "Sphere of Influence".
As American and British forces leave Iraq, will they see Iran in their rear view mirror? You be the judge.
Meanwhile you have to sympathize with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari -- he is just trying to stay alive.
The hour seems to be approaching rapidly when everyone will realize that the Iraqi War is lost. At that point, will American and British forces leave Iraq? Or, will they stay behind, possibly to be a "flashpoint" for the Regional Middle East war which will trigger the planned Third World War?
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