Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ambassador Galbraith on Kyl-Lieberman Amendment

Amb. Peter Galbraith, Diplomatic Fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation said this today about the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment No. 3017 to the 2008 Defense Authorization bill:

The Lieberman-Kyl Amendment asserts "[i]t is increasingly apparent to both coalition and Iraqi leaders that Iran, through the use of the Iranian Republican Guard Corps Qods Force, seeks to turn the Shi'a militia extremists into a Hezbollah-like force to serve its interests and fight a proxy war against the Iraqi state and coalition forces in Iraq''.

In fact, the Iraqi state is dominated by a political party (SIIC formerly SCIRI) that was founded by Khomeini in Tehran in 1982. The Iraqi Army and National Police are dominated by officers from the Badr Corps, a Shiite militia associated with SCIRI, that was created, funded, trained, and armed by Iran and still supported by Iran. SIIC and Dawa (PM Maliki's Party) are close allies of Iran. The US (Bremer and CPA) appointed SCIRI and Dawa officials to key leadership positions in Iraq's central government and in the 9 southern Governorates. Bremer put the Badr Corps into key positions in the American created army and police. By contrast, the radical Shiite militias, including the Mahdi army, take a more Iraqi nationalist (and anti-Iranian) stance. It was the Bush Administration that installed Iran's best friends as the Government of Iraq and it is wrong to use our mistake a pretext for an open ended declaration of hostility to Iran.

Below are some recent quotes by top Iranian leaders on the Iraqi Government:

"The Iraqi government and nation are close friends of Iran," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in an interview this week. "We are natural allies."

“The fact is that because of our great love for Iraq, we agreed to come here and sit at one table with our enemies,” Statement by Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Baqiri at an international conference in Baghdad Sept 9, also attended by the US.

Asked if Iran was undermining the Iraqi Government, Iran's other Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi told the Financial Times May 10 “The whole idea is unreasonable. Why should we do that? Why should we undermine a government in Iraq that we support more than anybody else?”

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