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Thread: And the Winner is .... Iran

  1. #1
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    And the Winner is .... Iran

    This story appeared buried in the New York Times the other day:

    "In political developments on Saturday, Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari led a high-level delegation to Iran for a three-day trip intended to mend relations. The new Iraqi government has sought to repair ties with Iran and end tensions that peaked during the Iran-Iraq war from 1980 to 1988. Prime Minister Jaafari's three-day visit is his first to Iran in his new official role.

    During Saddam Hussein's rule, Iran was a haven for many Shiite opposition leaders, including Mr. Jaafari, and Iran was among the first to recognize the Iraqi government.

    Iran promised last week to contribute $1 billion to Iraqi reconstruction efforts after Defense Minister Sadoun al-Dulaimi of Iraq made a formal apology for the war crimes committed under Mr. Hussein and pledged not to allow Iraqi soil to be used for attacks against Iran.

    In a major agreement announced this month, the countries agreed to build a pipeline between the two southern cities of Basra in Iraq and Abadan in Iran to trade oil.

    The two countries resumed diplomatic ties in 2003, when Foreign Minister Naji Sabri went to Iran. But the two countries have not yet signed a peace treaty. Iraq has also demanded that Iran return 22 planes that Mr. Hussein sent to Iran before the Persian Gulf war in 1991. Iran has said it will return the planes only if the United Nations asks for them.

    The United States has accused Iran of meddling in affairs of Iraq, but the departing Iranian president, Mohammad Khatami, said last week that Iran did not want to export its Islamic revolution. In Iraq, he said, "Even though the majority of Iraqis are Shiite, we never allowed ourselves to impose our model on them."


    Please explain something to me. The USA has spent billions propping up this
    new government in Iraq. But now we have the leader of this new government
    being buddies with the axis of evil in Iran. I thought Iran was funding terror and building nukes. Is this what our soldiers are putting their lives on the line for? What a fiasco. You'd think this would be a front page story.

    Maybe I'm missing something. Can any of you pro- Invasion guys explain this to me.?

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  3. #2
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    Re: And the Winner is .... Iran

    A squirm-inducing short excerpt from another article on this topic.

    Not surprisingly, the warming relations between Tehran and Baghdad have greatly alarmed Iraq's Sunni Muslims. They know that Iranian offers of help in training Iraqi security officers, and Iranian professions of support for a united, peaceful Iraq are code for the suppression by Shiite troops and militias of the Sunni Arab guerrilla movement. Many Iraqi Sunnis believe that the Sunni Arabs are the true majority, but that millions of illegal Iranian emigrants masquerading as Iraqi Shiites have flooded into the country, skewing vote totals in the recent elections. This belief, for all its irrationality, makes them especially suspicious of Shiite politicians cozying up to the ayatollahs in Tehran. A recent BBC documentary reported that the Sunnis of Fallujah despise Iraqi Shiites even more than they do the Americans, in part because they code them as Persians (in fact they are Arabs).

    Although officials in Washington felt constrained to issue polite assurances that they want good relations between Iraq and Iran, the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency, and hawks in the Bush administration all have a grudge against Iran, and would as soon overthrow the mullahs as spit at them. But thanks to the Iraq debacle, that is no longer a viable option. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack revealed the true amount of influence Washington has in Baghdad when he admitted that the Bush administration has not "had a chance" to discuss Jaafari's trip to Iran with the prime minister.

    The Iranians hold a powerful hand in the Iraqi poker game. They have geopolitical advantages, are flush with petroleum profits because of the high price of oil, and have much to offer their new Shiite Iraqi partners. Their long alliance with Iraqi president Jalal Talabani gives them Kurdish support as well. Bush's invasion removed the most powerful and dangerous regional enemy of Iran, Saddam Hussein, from power. In its aftermath, the religious Shiites came to power at the ballot box in Iraq, bestowing on Tehran firm allies in Baghdad for the first time since the 1950s. And in a historic irony, Iran's most dangerous enemy of all, the United States, invaded Iran's neighbor with an eye to eventually toppling the Tehran regime -- but succeeded only in defeating itself.
    I'm sure I remember hearing before the war that one of the big advantages of bringing democracy to Iraq was to inoculate it against turning into another Iran.
    /r/reds

  4. #3
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    Re: And the Winner is .... Iran

    This is where I don't think we Americans get it. While we've had our share of racial strife, we've never had the kind of ancient ethnic/religious hatred that most of the world experiences - especially the mideast. Its not just Arab/Jew. Its Arab/Turk, Turk/Kurd, Arab/Persian, Sunni/Shia, Muslim/Christian and on and on. Seems to me if we want any part of that, we need either A) overwhelming force or B) selective meddling. We chose C) just enough power to get us into trouble.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle


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