Kuwaiti paper reveals Iranian “plan” for Iraq after Al-Asad`s fall
BBC Monitoring Middle East
January 07, 2013
Report by Basil Muhammad: “Al-Siyasah reveals details of Iranian plan to deal with post-al-Asad Iraq; Tehran advises Al-Maliki to declare a Shi`i state to take over oil fields; Anticipated state includes Najaf, Karbala, Maysan, Dhi Qar, Al-Diwaniyah, Wasit, Basra, and Babil; Turkey Keeps GCC, EU, United States, Egypt posted”
With protests expanding to new Iraqi cities against Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a high-level source in the Justice and Development party in Turkey has said that there is a link between incidents in major Sunni cities and the rapid field developments in Syria.
The source, known to be close to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has exclusively told Al-Siyasah that the Iranian leadership proposed to the Shi`i-led coalition government, chaired by Al-Maliki, to move towards establishing a big Shi`i state that includes the governorates of Najaf, Karbala, Maysan, Dhi Qar, Al-Diwaniyah, Wasit, Basra, Babil, and Al-Qadisiyah, in addition to Al-Rasafah District in Baghdad, after the collapse of the Al-Asad regime in Syria.
The Turkish source added that Al-Maliki is so enthusiastic about this Shi`i state enterprise, because he believes that the collapse of the Al-Asad regime would give rise to a strong regional coalition among Turkey, Egypt, the Gulf states, Jordan, and a new regime in Syria - a coalition that would support the Sunnis in Iraq and seek to overthrow his [Al-Maliki`s] government. That is why he [Al-Maliki] believes that a pre-emptive step should be taken and that there should be an escalation [of the situation] against the Sunnis, as has been manifest in the detention of more than 200 of the security guards of Finance Minister Rafi al-Isawi.
The source also said that those in power in Iran, led by Supreme Leader Ali Khamene`i, consider the establishment of a strong Shi`i state in Iraq far better than a weak Shi`i rule after the collapse of the Al-Asad regime. Political analysts in Tehran think that the victory of the Syrian revolution would strengthen the Sunnis in Iraq and weaken the rule of the Shi`i majority in Baghdad. Therefore, “dividing Iraq” is better for the Shi`is and Iran.
The highly-informed Turkish source highlighted that among the most important objectives of the Iranian leadership is to divide Iraq and contribute to building a strong Shi`i state. This newly-established state would take over more than 70 per cent of oil in Iraq, and, together with Iran, would act as an oil reservoir and an important hub for energy-related exports worldwide.
According to the Turkish source, through the establishment of a Shi`i state in Iraq, the Iranian leadership wants to lay the foundation for a confederation with the anticipated state, and, of course, Iran would practically and strategically claim the upper hand and be the decision maker in it.
The source noted that Iran has been thinking this way for years. The plan was initially built on a Syrian-Iranian support for an absolute control by Al-Maliki over Iraq, followed by an Iran-led regional Shi`i crescent that includes Iraq, Syria, and Iran. However, the rapid developments in Syria prompted a change of plan and an effort to build a Shi`i state in Iraq and a confederation with Iran.
The source also noted that the Turkish leadership met with Iraqi Shi`i leaders, including Muqtada al-Sadr and Ammar al-Hakim, in Ankara, where they discussed the risks of involvement in the Iranian enterprise to establish a Shi`i state after the collapse of Al-Asad`s regime. However, the Iraqi leaders have always shown lack of seriousness about dealing decisively with the Iranian interference in Iraq.
The source expressed the conviction that the aim of top Iranian leaders behind such move of building an oil-rich Shi`i state in Iraq is to fortify themselves against what Iran calls the “Islamic-Sunni tide” in the region, brought forth by the Arab spring. There are, therefore, fears this tide would reach Al-Ahwaz Province, where Sunni Arabs are a majority, which means that the leadership wants to bolster its domestic, national, and regional security through a Shi`i state in Iraq.
The source pointed out that the Turkish Government discussed the Iranian plan to split Iraq with the Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] member states, Egypt, the United States, and several EU members. The source added that Washington has already brought up with Al-Maliki the plan of building an Iraqi-Shi`i state and a confederation with Iran, yet the Iraqi prime minister denied there is such inclination. However, it was after this deliberate escalation against the Kurds and Sunnis that top figures in the US Administration reached the conviction that Al-Maliki has now become an integral part of Iran`s new regional enterprise, which would be established on the ruins of Al-Asad`s regime - an enterprise to split up Iraq and build a Shi`i state and a confederation with Iran.
According to the Turkish source, the opposition within the Shi`i National Alliance to the Iranian enterprise seems to be limited and weak. Based on that, the wager is now on the liberal Shi`i forces, as well as Arab tribal forces in the South, which will not accept dividing Iraq for the sake of a confederation with Iran. There are fears of a breakout of an intra-Shi`i strife if Al-Maliki stubbornly continued his war on the Sunnis and Kurds and pushed for division. The Iraqi prime minister believes that this policy might convince the Shi`i pubic, especially those opposing the inevitability of establishing a Shi`i state in Iraq and a union with Iran.
Source: Al-Siyasah website, Kuwait, in Arabic 6 Jan 13
© 2013 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
Iran paper accuses Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey of creating chaos in Iraq
BBC Monitoring Middle East
January 07, 2013
Text of commentary by Sa`dollah Zare`i: “The sedition against awakening in Iraq” by Iranian newspaper Keyhan on 5 January.
As was predictable, America and the affiliated regional regimes have arranged provocations to create rebellion in Iraq. The aim of these uprisings is to disrupt “order” and a “system” for which the people of Iraq have sacrificed hundreds of thousands of people. For a quantitative grasp of the nature of the matter, it is essential to note the following points:
1 - On 23 Khordad [ 17 June] Nuri al-Maliki declared in a media interview that he has evidence of participation by the leaders of the Al Iraqiyah Coalition - a coalition of several parties led by Ayad Alawi - in terrorist activities. In continuation a source close to Nuri al-Maliki said he has evidence that Osama Al Najifi - speaker of Parliament - Saleh Matlak - deputy prime minister - and Rafe Al-Issawi - Iraq`s finance minister, all three of whom are prominent figures in the Iraqi Coalition, played parts in terrorist activities.
He added that some of this evidence, which was obtained from the “hypocrites mini-group,” and other evidence shows that Matlak has given financial support to the terrorist mini-group in Diyala - the location of its headquarters. There is other evidence showing that Osama Al Najifi cooperated with a terrorist mini-group after the Kurds were persuaded to leave the northern Province of Nineveh. This mini-group was completely destroyed in the year 1386 [21 March 2007 - 20 March 2008].
Some other evidence, which according to Supreme Judicial Council Spokesman Abdul-Sattar al-Biraqdar was given to the office of the commander-in-chief of Iraq`s armed forces by the American embassy in Baghdad, indicates that Iraqi Finance Minister Rafe Al Issawi, a public figure in the Iraqi Coalition, has taken part in terrorist crimes and has built a secret hospital for treating injured Arabs who took part in terrorist acts. There were many debates about these matters all last summer in Iraq, but this matter was largely contained over time, especially with the effective help of Iraq`s President of the Republic Jalal Talabani and with the serious help of the Islamic Republic. The Al Iraqiyah faction also gave up on its plan to impeach Maliki. It thought with the help of the deputies from the Kurdistan Democratic Party - Barzani`s elements - and some of the unhappy Shia groups it would be able to oust Maliki.
2 - In the months of Ordibehesht and Khordad [20 April - 20 June] there was talk of participation by the Al Iraqiyah leaders mostly under the influence of the formation of a domestic-regional front in support of Tareq al-Hashemi. Tareq al-Hashemi has been Iraq`s vice-president since 1385 [21 March 2006 - 20 March 2007]. On 1 Dey last year [ 21 December 2011] he was officially accused of having a hand in terrorist activities; these included a terrorist attack on Iraq`s Parliament which led to the killing of several people.
About four and one-half months after that on 14 Ordibehesht [4 May] Hashemi was tried in absentia. Based on the evidence and clear confessions by his guards the court condemned Iraq`s vice-president to death for participating in close to 300 terrorist acts. However Tareq Hashemi went to Kurdistan and received protection from Massoud Barzani, the region`s leader. Hashemi was received warmly by Gul, Erdogan and Oglu and after that his periodic trips to the Arab nations south of the Persian Gulf began. In all of these nations he was received as an official public figure. Of course at the same time despite the official request from the prime minister and the Government of Law Coalition, Iraq`s president of the republic refused to dismiss Tareq al-Hashemi from the position of vice-president. Talabani`s reasoning was that the court`s action was not consistent with Iraq`s interest, which is the preservation of peace.
At the same time Talabani made every effort to keep Maliki and the Kurdish Sunni coalition - in other words the cooperation betwee n Barzani and Hashemi - from falling and to keep Iraq from having a vacuum in the government. After about three months this effort produced a result and the impeachment issue was effectively removed from Parliament`s agenda.
3 - In the period since the month of Azar last year [22 November - 21 December 2011] there have been many efforts in the region and beyond to bring down Nuri al-Maliki`s government and in general to nullify Iraq`s present order and system. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are considered the main axis inciting sedition against the government and people of Iraq. In this 13-month period terrorist measures have intensified, especially against the Shia, and these have extended to the holy cities of Karbala and Najaf. These measures were anticipated in a specific prediction.
From the point of view of the planners of the terrorist acts against the Shia, the other side is reacting in a harsh way that cannot be restrained, especially when it attacks its holy cities; this causes the conflict to spread to all parts of Iraq, especially the provinces - like Baghdad - that have a combination of Shia and Sunni. They think when the rebellion is drawn to the capital the government will fall and the relatively secure environment which had an important place for the resistance front will become extremely insecure.
If we take a look at some of the slogans that have been produced these days at networks such as Al-Arabia and Al Jazeera and are then repeated by some of the protestors, we will understand that the ones who are running these insurgencies are insisting on driving the process towards the breakup of Iraq. In fact this shows that the reaction to the verdict by Iraq`s judiciary against Tareq Hashemi and Rafe Al Issawi is nothing more than a pretext because this is not enough to break up a country or take it back to the time of the previous regime.
On 30 Azar [20 December] (17 days ago) Iraq`s security forces went to the office of the minister of finance and arrested nine of Rafe Al Issawi`s guards by judicial order and based on Article 4 of the Anti-Terrorism Law. One day later Supreme Judicial Council Spokesman Abdul-Sattar Biraqdar announced that the official in charge of Issawi`s guards had confessed to conducing terrorist activities.
Immediately after that the Province of Al-Anbar Council asked the people to go into the streets in support of Al Issawi. On that same Friday (1 Dey) Issawi claimed in the presence of Osama Najifi, speaker of Parliament and Deputy Prime Minister Saleh Matlak that without a judicial order and by the personal order from Maliki “paramilitary forces” had arrested 200 of his office agents, guards and supporters, which also included a group of women. This was the spark igniting measures that had been planned at least 13 months ago.
In some of the Sunni provinces the insurgents quickly used slogans on the need for Al Anbar`s independence and the protestors carried the flag of Saddam Hussein`s regime showing Iraq`s return to the black period of the past.
At the same time to highlight the protests a Western-Arab front undertook to show the fall of the government and to depict an environment that is as harsh as possible. In fact the same front that for almost 22 months has fed and managed the insurgents in Syria has moved to Iraq, but of course everyone knows first that this joint terrorist front has been defeated in Syria and second that to a great extent conditions in Iraq are different than those in Syria and there is no possibility for the terrorist measures in Iraq to achieve a result.
5 - Although what we have seen in the last two weeks in three to four provinces in Iraq is the result of a plan that has been underway at least 13 months, at the same time one can say that the measures by Iraq`s judiciary and government have not been smart enough. From the beginning there has been no doubt that in the period between 2003 and 2011 and afterwards the Coalition and especially the prominent Al Iraqiyah figures have played a serious role in terrorist incidents, and there is much evidence of this. Six years ago in a note titled “The Dalimi House of Secrets,” which was published in this very column, this writer discussed some of this evidence.
Even now we have no doubt that the blood of innocent Shia is being spilled in Iraq with joint Saudi, Qatar and Al Iraqiyah measures. This is the price the followers of the chaste Imams (pbut) are paying for Iraq`s independence and freedom, but at the same time conditions are such that the government produced by the votes of the people and the present order, which is considered a strategic achievement, must act with more intelligence, and as we will note the intelligence that led to action against Issawi was not reliable.
This matter has greater sensitivity in the absence of President Jalal Talabani, who acted as a counterweight in developments, even though bringing order to the post of president of the republic - the Kurdish share is based on the 2010 agreement - needs special help from the Shia who have a majority of the 270 seats in the Parliament and the government.
6 - A look at the remarks by the spokesman for the Iraqi Judicial Council and the remarks by one of those close to Maliki tells us it is quite likely that behind the scenes of these measures and schisms that have appeared between parts of Iraq`s government, there are other seditionist hands that have targeted Iraq`s peace, security and stability. One report we mentioned in part of a note indicates that the American Embassy gave the report on the construction by Rafe Al Issawi of a secret hospital for treating Arab terrorists to the office of the commander-in-chief of Iraq`s armed forces - in other words Nuri Maliki`s military office -- and the evidence for Saleh Matlak`s financial support for the Hypocrites mini-group in Diyala was given to the Office of the Prime Minister of Iraq by the Hypocrites themselves.
Likewise the evidence for Osama Al Najifi`s support for a mini-group - which was destroyed in 2007 - was provided by elements of the same mini-group and now in the period from 1386 to early this year relations between these three people and especially the relations of Najifi and Issawi with Nuri Maliki have been friendly; these two have made numerous trips to Iran, among which one ought to mention Issawi`s trip to Tehran last year in the month of Tir [22 June - 22 July 2011].
Of course the evidence America, the terrorist mini-group or the remnants of a destroyed mini-group provide could at the same time be correct and have judicial validity, but obviously the Hypocrites, who are part of the anti-Iraqi terrorism and the Americans, who have cordial relations with Tareq Hashemi, Saleh Matlak and others, have not provided this evidence to Nuri Maliki`s office to reveal the truth.
Based on the Koran teaching that says whenever a sinner brings a report you should “interpret” it - make an effort to find the facts and the intent behind providing the report - Maliki should have known that exacerbating conflict and after that making it a Shia-Sunni issue is the most important strategy of the enemies of Iraq for wearing it down and bringing it to its knees. Of course at the same time both Maliki and the Shia as well as the Sunnis of Iraq know very well that with conflict the two sides will lose what they have and nothing will be added to it. Iraq has an urgent need for active talks among its parts and the horizon is bright for such an initiative.
Source: Keyhan website, Tehran, in Persian 05 Jan 13
© 2013 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.