Friday, May 04, 2007

Documents Reportedly Tie Iraqi PM Maliki to Iranian Revolutionary Guards

An Egyptian Government weekly has published photos of documents that link Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
According to the Middle Eastern Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which translates publications in Arab-language media:

An investigative article by journalist Mahdi Mustafa, published March 31, 2007 in the Egyptian government weekly Al-Ahram Al-Arabi, featured photographs of documents indicating that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki has ties with Muqtada Al-Sadr and with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
The first document, labeled "secret, personal, and urgent," is a January 2007 letter from Al-Maliki's office to the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad, with copies to the presidency of the [Shi'ite party] Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and to the Al-Shahid Al-Sadr organization." In it, Al-Maliki requests that the commanders of the Mahdi Army, who have ties with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, be pulled off the Iraqi frontlines, in order to protect them from being arrested or killed.

The two other documents presented in the article reveal that Al-Maliki ordered that Iranians who entered Iraq illegally be released from prison.


If accurate, this revelation could have serious implications for the success of U.S. endeavors in to create a diverse democratic government in Iraq. The first document ties Al-Maliki to both the Iranian regime and to anti-American Shi'ite militant leader Muqtada Al-Sadr, who founded and heads the Al-Shahid Al-Sadr organization.

However, one must insert a note of caution--in Egypt the press only publishes what the Egyptian government wants to be read. That is true even of privately owned media, and is all the more true of the government-owned the Al-Ahram Al Arabi. The Mubarak regime in Egypt is greatly disturbed by the domination of post-Saddam Hussein Iraq by Shi'ite Moslems. Whether genuine or not, Al-Ahram Al Arabi published these documents to embarrass Al-Maliki and Iran, and to strengthen the hand of the Sunni Iraqi resistance to his government.

All of which goes to further evidence the complexity of America's role in Iraq and the Middle East at large.

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