[Marxism] Iran to Host Iraq Security Conference

Michael Hoover mhhoover at gmail.com
Sat Jul 8 05:57:38 MDT 2006

On 7/8/06, Yoshie Furuhashi <critical.montages at gmail.com> wrote:
> What is exactly Tehran's policy toward Iraq and various factions in
> it?  If the statements quoted below are expression of true intentions,
> even Khamenei isn't as dumb as Sistani and Abdel Aziz al-Hakim.
> Iran to host Iraq security conference
> Saturday, July 08, 2006 - (c)2005 IranMania.com
> Tehran will this weekend host a regional conference on security in
> Iraq, with the Islamic republic likely to use the event to again call
> for a withdrawal of foreign troops from its neighbour.
> Yoshie
> <<<<<>>>>>

Iran's government has held conflcting positions regarding U.S. wars in both
Afghanistan and Iraq.

Regarding the former, Iran wanted the Taliban out for reasons of both
national and regional security. Recall that the Taliban murdered scores of
Afghan Shiites for the crime of "nonbelief" and that the regime kidnapped a
number of Iranians, killing several government officials in the process (the
remainder were eventually released). Of course, Iran was concerned that the
U.S. military presence in Afghanistan as well as in Central Asian "staging
areas" countries would become a permanent fixture, as it has become. Iran's
"official" position of refusing to support a U.S. war on the Afghan Muslims
and its reticence (for obvious reasons) about the U.S. becoming its
"neighbor" were apparently offset - for a time, at least - by its desire to
oust the Taliban. Thus, Teheran indicated that it would assist with efforts
to find U.S. pilots who might be forced to make emergency landings in Iran,
that it would "beef up" its presence along the Iran-Afghanistan border, that
it would use its influence with the Northern Alliance to form a coalition
government headed by the pro-U.S. Karzai, and that it would pledge money for
Afghanistan's reconstruction.

U.S. met above, which was in line with Iranian "pagmatism" of the Khatami
years, with Bush's "evil empire" remarks. The U.S. invasion of Iraq
presented Iranian political leaders with another dilemma. Their "delight" at
the toppling of Saddam Hussein's government was tempered by the prospect of
having the U.S. as a western neighbor. Early on, however, they indicated
willingness to continue "cooperating" with the U.S. by agreeing to block
Baathist regime officials attempting to enter Iran, by preventing Iraqi
Shiite milita living in and identified with Iran from crossing the border
and taking part in the the fighting, and by helping (as in Afghanistan) with
search and rescue mission of U.S. pilots that ended up on the ground in
Moreover, in the run-up to the U.S. war, Iran had allowed Ahmad Chalabi -
Washington's favorite at the time - to open an office in Teheran.

On one hand, a U.S.-contolled Iraq is - quite obviously -  a danger to Iran.
On the other hand, Iran has some ability to influence political goings-on in
Iraq; for it to do otherwise would, in fact, endanger its national interests
(not to mention, broader Middle East security). The Khatami-era policy of
rapproachment (a process, in effect, of "regime change") failed - utterly so
- to produce any substantive changes in U.S. government attitudes or
behavior toward Iran. Iranian political leaders got what they wanted in both
Afghanistan and Iraq with the fall of the Taliban and the Hussein's regime.
Unfortunately for them, the U.S. has repeatedly shown itself willing to
"punish" those who "have the gall" to oppose it.     Michael Hoover

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