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Thursday, November 11, 2010     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Report: As U.S. moves out, Iran moving into Iraq

WASHINGTON — Iran has significantly expanded its intervention and is ready to transform Iraq into a proxy, a report said.

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The Center for New Politics and Policy asserted that Iran was filling the vacuum left by the U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq. In a report titled "Iraq's Shi'a Leadership Crisis and the Iranian End Game," the Washington-based center said Iran was using both Shi'ite and Sunni militias to destabilize Iraq to prevent the emergence of a pro-U.S. government in Baghdad.

"Teheran is now transitioning to a post-U.S. occupation end game strategy — the transformation of Iraq into an Iranian proxy state," the report, authored by senior fellow Webster Brooks, said.


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The Iranian effort has been led by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. In June 2010, IRGC was said to have replaced its Quds Force commander Qassim Suleimani with Iranian parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani. IRGC also helped force the dismissal of Iranian ambassador Hassan Kazemi-Qomi and replaced him with former Quds commander Hassan Danafor, Middle East Newsline reported.

The report said Iraq was likely to resolve its eight-month-old political stalemate by forming a non-Shi'ite government coalition led by Iyad Alawi, once deemed the most likely successor of then-President Saddam Hussein. Teheran was expected to pressure lame duck Prime Minister Nour Al Maliki to resign.

"The key to Iran's short-term success is removing Nouri Al Maliki as prime minister and coopting Iyad Alawi in a leadership role that minimizes his ability to threaten Iran's strategic interests," the report said.

[On Nov. 11, Iraqi parliamentarians agreed to support Al Maliki for another four-year term. Parliamentarians said Sunni groups would ensure that Al Maliki would achieve a majority for the proposed government.]

The report said Iran intended to shape Iraq's next coalition that would push Alawi or Al Maliki into an alliance. Another goal was for Iran to deploy its proxies to control what the report termed "critical areas of Iraq's new government." Alawi heads the Iraqiya party and Maliki leads the Shi'ite dominated Iraqi National Alliance (INA).

"While there are many contentious issues involving an alliance between the INA and Iraqiya, Iran's primary concern is who will control the military, internal security and intelligence forces," the report said.

The report said Iraq, which conducts $4 billion in trade with Iran, has been moving away from the United States. Brooks cited what he termed the cool reception received by Vice President Joseph Biden during his visit to Baghdad in July.

"Having emerged as an economic force in Baghdad capitalized by diverse hard and soft power assets, Iran appears ready to move from condominium with the United States over Iraq to consolidating Iraq as a strategic proxy state," the report said. "Bridging the divide in Iraq's Shi'a House and shaping the next governing coalition is the focus of Iran's transition to its end game strategy."




Comments


The country of Iraq that we hear so much about in the news these days is a creation of the colonial powers and it did not existed before WWI. Iraq has always been a part of Iran and the name "Baghdad" is an Iranian name. The Persian/Iranians lost that city to the Ottoman empire and were not able to regain it. The Ottoman empire was dismantled by the France and the British after WWI and Iraq, Kuwait and others came to existence. God willing there will not be any borders between Iran and Iraq once again.

Esther Haman      6:06 p.m. / Friday, November 12, 2010

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