More on Iran and Iraq
Or, Part 13 of the Rumsfeld Follies
Anna Badkhen of the San Francisco Chronicle, who has reported from southern Iraq, examines the claims by US officials that Iran is sending bombs to Iraq to be used in the Sunni guerrilla insurgency.
The claim, by Rumsfeld and others, is so ridiculous that the proper response is to fall down laughing and to get off some kicks amidst the hilarity.
Michael O’Hanlon of Brookings is quoted as saying he could imagine the Iranian Revolutionary Guards arming Sunni Salafis to blow up the Badr Corps, the decades-long proteges of the IGR. All I would say is that if so, O’Hanlon has quite an imagination. What is it about Iran that reduces American analysts to making such absurd allegations?
Badkhen notes that the British officer corps in Iraq is extremely skeptical of the American claims. Since they actually deal with Iranian influence in the South, they are much more likely to know whereof they speak.
Iran does not want Iraq to break up, because they are as afraid of an independent Kurdistan as Turkey is. (I am quoted on this issue, which O’Hanlon most unwisely dismisses; it is a very serious question for Tehran.) Iran wants a united Iraqi state with a Shiite predominance. I.e., their strategic interest generally overlaps that of the US, except that they also want US troops out (eventually).