[Marxism] From Juan Cole website: Beginnings of Iran-Iraq military cooperation

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Tue Aug 9 16:03:48 MDT 2005


An item from Cole's, in my opinion, very useful website that I neglected
to send in a month ago.  Along with the difficulties in the war with the
Sunni-based resistance, this item may contribute to explaining why there
is mounting criticism  in Washington and the US media of the Iraqi
occupation government's Defence Ministry.
Fred Feldman

 Agence France Presse -- English

July 7, 2005

Iraq to launch military, anti-terror cooperation with Iran

TEHRAN July 7

Iraq's defence minister, on a landmark visit to Iran, called Thursday
for reconciliation between the two neighbours and former arch-foes and
pledged not to allow Iraqi soil to be used for attacks against the
Islamic republic.

"We have come here to turn a painful page and to open another," Saadun
al-Dulaimi said at a press conference with Iranian counterpart Ali
Shamkhani.

"I have come to Iran to ask forgiveness for what Saddam Hussein has
done," he said, referring to Saddam's attack on Iran in 1980 that
sparked a bitter eight-year war and led to hundreds of thousands of
deaths.

Dulaimi pledged that the two sides would begin military and
anti-terrorist cooperation, but nevertheless asserted it was too soon
for US and other foriegn troops to pull out of his country.

Iran is concerned about the US military presence on its borders and has
repeatedly called for their withdrawal, but Dulaimi asserted that "given
the present situation, if foreign forces leave Iraq there will be
nothing but chaos and more trouble."

"Iraq will not be a source of insecurity and instability for any of its
neighbors. Nobody can use its soil to attack Iraq's neighbors," Dulaimi
insisted, in response to Iranian concerns over a possible American
attack.

Tensions between Iran and the US are high over Washington's claims the
clerical regime here is seeking to arm itself with nuclear weapons.
Tehran has also been accused of backing Iraqi insurgents and Palestinian
militants.

Shamkhani announced the formation of joint committees for military
cooperation, the fight against terrorism, clearing minefields and
investigating the missing soldiers from the 1980-1988 between Iran and
Saddam's Iraq.

The military committee is aimed at "equipping the Iraqi army ... to
create an independent and self-sufficient Iraqi army", he said.

The Iraqi minister pledged that the United States could not oppose the
cooperation between the two countries: "We are going to cooperate and no
one can stop this cooperation".

The two ministers, however, agreed that more sensitive issues such as a
peace treaty and war reparations were far from being resolved. The
United Nations resolution that ended 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war did not
provide for reparations.

"We have come to our Iranian brothers to ask them for help and we have
not yet started on the more sensitive issues," the Iraqi minister said
about the massive reparations -- up to 100 billion dollars -- claimed by
Iran.

"Our Iranian brothers have promised us a billion dollar aid as a loan,"
he added.

About a peace pact, the Iranian defence minister said "it is still too
soon, that will be the final step in cooperation".

The two ministers also discussed the continued presence in Iraq of
Iran's main armed opposition group, the People's Mujahedeen, which
Saddam supported in its cross-border raids on Iran.

"The Mujahedeen can stay in Iraq if they act like political refugees but
they will have no place if they act against Iran," Dulaimi said.

Shamkhani said the Mujahedeen would be on the agenda of the
anti-terrorism committee.

Tehran and Baghdad resumed diplomatic relations in September 2004, and
Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi paid an historic visit to Iraq in
May this year.

Dulaimi arrived in Tehran on Tuesday night for a three-day visit. '





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