Rumors of Iran Connection to Arrest of Saddam Questioned
Ali Nourizadeh, writing in the London-based Saudi daily, ash-Sharq al-Awsat, reports that rumors have swirled in Iraq that Iranian intelligence played a role in ferreting out the location of Saddam Hussein. Nourizadeh discounts these reports, because, he says, Iranian security is in the hands of the hardliners, and he thinks it is highly unlikely that the hardliners would want to do anything to hurt the Iraqi insurgency against the US. The instability of Iraq is one of the few things they have going for them, as they head into next year’s elections. (I think Nourizadeh is right about this.) Nourizadeh was told by an Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs official that their main source of information about such things inside Iraq was Jalal Talabani, the Kurdish leader, and it was his office that informed them of Saddam’s capture.
What Nourizadeh does not say is that the rumors of a positive Iranian role in capturing Saddam must be disinformation, intended to detract from the gratitude owed to the US by the Iraqi Shiites, and the prestige garned by the Americans for this coup. The source of the disinformation is likely the Sadr Movement, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or the al-Da`wa Party, though Iranian SAVAMA agents in Iraq may be acting on their own.