Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, and the chairman
of the Assembly of Experts, Hashemi
Rafsanjani: Does Tehran
plan to 'swallow up' Iraq when the Americans leave in 2011?
are those in Iraq that fear exactly that, and want the U.S.
remain there to prevent such an eventuality.
Sotal Iraq, Iraq
Withdrawal and Iran's Unquenched 'Appetite for Expansion'
"Iraq will require American forces beyond the agreed date - not just for training, but for actual combat against the remains of al-Qaeda and all terrorists - and to address other threats, most importantly, Iranian expansion. ... The Americans are a great obstacle to Iran's ambition to swallow up Iraq politically, economically and socially.
appetite for expansion is more evident than ever these days, from claiming
ownership over Bahrain to guardianship of the Palestinian cause; from seeking
to intimidate Egypt and veiled threats to Syria to Khamenei's warning to
[Iraqi] President Maliki about the likelihood that the Americans would renege
on the execution of their agreement to withdraw from Iraq."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Turkey's President Abdullah Gul at Turkey's Presidential Palace in Ankara, Mar. 7. Turkey has said that it is willing to consider allowing the United States to use Turkish bases for the withdrawal from Iraq. It was also annonced that President Obama will visit Turkey next month.
Successive visits of Iranian officials
to Iraq cannot be ignored. These visits are tied to President Obama's remarks
that the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq will not significantly differ
from plans outlined in the Status of Forces
Agreement, although Obama has said more than once that he would
continuously consult with commanders on the ground. For our part, we believe
Iraq will need American forces beyond the agreed date, not just for training, but for actual combat against the remains of
al-Qaeda and all potential terrorists - and to address other
threats, most importantly that of Iranian expansion.
The U.S. military presence
disturbs Iran, not because American forces might attack from Iraqi soil, but because the Americans are a great obstacle to
Iran's ambition to swallow up Iraq politically, economically and socially,
and to convert it into a follower of the Guardianship
of the Islamic Jurists.
[Editor's Note: The
constitution of Iran calls for a "guardian jurist" to serve as the
Supreme Leader of the government. In Iran, guardianship of the jurists is often
referred to as "rule by the jurisprudent," or "rule of the
Iran's interference in Iraqi
affairs began after the fall of Saddam, and its influence has since expanded at
all levels: intelligence, the arming of terrorists, its support of the [Shiite]
militias and even al-Qaeda, as well as commercial, religious and economic
interference - even linguistic interference. All of this is well known, with a
myriad of articles, reports and other evidence having been published about it.
Iran's appetite for expansion
is more evident than ever these days, from claiming ownership over Bahrain to
guardianship of the Palestinian cause; from seeking to intimidate Egypt and
veiled threats to Syria to Khamenei's warning to [Iraqi] President Maliki about
the likelihood that the Americans would renege on their
agreement to withdraw. All of these warnings are nothing but thinly
In all of these positions,
the Supreme Leader [Khamenei] speaks the language of a caretaker and ruler -
and with an arrogant superiority: we don't know whether this is evidence of an
expansionist tendency inherited from the Shah, or if they are just part and
parcel of Teheran's current concern over international isolation??
[Former Iranian President]
Rafsanjani's recent visit created a stir in Iraq, and it didn't take long to
see the impact on conservative political positions. We'd like to say that the
visitor [Rafsanjani] has no official government status and so has limited political
influence at home, which is why it's so baffling that Iraqi officials received
him as though he were President of the Islamic Republic, where he lost the 2005
elections. Moreover, how is it that we consider his visit, "a favor and
blessing from Allah?!"
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
[Editor's Note: The author
says former President Rafsanjani has no "official government status."
While it's true that he in no longer an elected official, he is chairman of the
Assembly of Experts,
which, under Iran's Constitution, is responsible for electing the Supreme
Leader and "supervising his activities." Rafsanjani also chairs the Expediency
Discernment Council, which is meant to resolve conflicts between various
Unidentified members of Iran's Assembly of Experts -
the body that 'elects' and is supposed to oversee
activities of the Supreme Leader.
Rafsanjani can be described
as a flexible, pragmatic politician. He supports an economic opening to the
world along the lines of the Chinese pattern. But at the same time, he is
accused within Iran of representing the "oil mafia." The accusation
doesn't come from us, but is taken from a book that mentions him called The
Mullah's Fortune, which was recently published in four articles in Elaph.
The man is also accused of
having prolonged the war with Iraq
after [Ayatollah] Khomeini appointed him head of Iran's military command. Even
after Iraqi forces withdrew from Iranian soil, the war lasted for years.
Additional information published about him in books and other sources hold him
responsible for the "Iran-Gate" deal with Israel in 1986 [aka/Iran-Contra], and along
with Khomeini, the poisoning Khomeini's son, Ahmad Khomeini. He is also
regarded as a key instigator of a wave of abuse against intellectuals and
academics, assassinations of the regime's opponents, and for the massacre of
Kurdish leaders in Vienna in 1987.
The purpose here is not to
review Rafsanjani's biography as has been revealed in published sources, but to
express our fear and deep concern at Iran's diplomatic "attack" on
Baghdad and the Iraqi government and presidency's unprecedented enthusiasm for
these visits. We also refer to the issue of the People's
Mujahedeen, about whom we
wrote in a previous article in reference to Iraq handing them over to Iran - at
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
the People's Mujahedeen is a militant Islamic Socialist organization that advocates
the overthrow of Iran's current government. They were aligned
with Saddam and operated from Iraqi territory].
Rafsanjani seemed pleased
that "Iran's friends" are in power. This undiplomatic and dramatic
statement has great significance. One wonders what his reaction would be if
during a visit, an American or British official said he was happy to see
friends of his country in power. After all, those who hold power in Iraq owe it
to the soldiers and sacrifices of the Americans and British; Iraq
"owes" Iran nothing but sabotage, the arming of terrorists, the
pervasiveness of the Quds
Force, and the harboring of al-Qaeda leaders in Iran.
[Editor's Note: The Quds Force
is said to report to Supreme Leader Khamenei and organizes, trains, equips, and
finances foreign Islamic revolutionary movements].
Yes, we are in great need of
stronger relations with our eastern neighbor, but on the basis of equality and non-interference
in one another's internal affairs. Iran has a long border with Iraq and old and
historic relations with it, but that doesn't justify the continuous
interference in Iraqi affairs, as though Iraq were Lebanon, Palestine, Bahrain,
Yemen or many other places; and it doesn't justify Supreme Leader Khamenei's
use of the language of rulership with senior Iraqi officials, which they
receive with such decency and reserve.
Finally, one would like to
ask: have all of the reciprocal visits resulted in any concessions from Tehran
on the "compensation" the Mullah's demand from Iraq?! One supposes
that the silence from both parties on the matter, after recently having read
that Iran is asking for $100 billion, that Iraq's President has failed to
convince them to forgo the demand. This is what one reads and we don't know
whether the news is accurate, which is precisely why we call on Iraq's
government to explain whether or not the situation has been resolved and
therefore no longer relevant, or, as they say, is still under negotiation. At a
time of such sever financial crisis, this is a sensitive issue, especially
because it was Saddam and not Iraq that began the war, that [Ayatollah]
Khomeini prolonged it for six years, and that if actual damages need to be paid
- they need to be paid by both parties!
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