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Did Iran start the Iraq War ?

  1. Jan 10, 2005 #1

    Gokul43201

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    Sorry for the slightly misleading thread title - that was just a marketing ploy ! :wink:

    Now here's the deal...and I'm sure this might sound like a conspiracy theory to some, but all I'm doing is asking.

    We know that Chalabi was feeding the Pentagon some very doubtful intel, do we not ? Also, it is now known that Chalabi had some strong ties with Tehran, and had met with senior Iranian leaders several times. It has even been suggested that he was something of a double agent for Tehran. Whether that's true or not, there seems to have been a belief in the Intelligence community, that Chalabi had passed on sensitive operational intel to Tehran. I remember this caused a bit of an uproar about 6 months back.

    Now, it looks not unlikely that the Iraqi elections may be won by one of the Iran-friendly shiite leaders, most of whom have been operating out of Iran for the last decade or so. While a lot of moderate shiites will not vote for this Iranian brand of Shiite power, there may just be enough votes to ensure a victory. And the fact that there more than a 100 parties fielding candidates for this general election, the odds of a shiite goverment based on Iran's model is quite possible.

    Isn't the Allied invasion of Iraq and resulting deposal of Saddam Hussein all Iran's ever wanted ? Could it not be possible that Tehran, through the Chalabi network, was feeding the Pentagon with much of the spurious humint ?

    Did Tehran help the Bush Administration make up their minds about this invasion ?

    There's nothing "ooh-aah" about all this. It's just a thought that struck me as I was reading a BBC synopsis of the election process in Iraq, where in the bottom, it says :

     
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  3. Jan 11, 2005 #2

    plover

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    In the upcoming Iraqi elections, votes are not cast for specific candidates, but for slates of candidates sponsored by various coalitions. The United Iraqi Alliance includes SCIRI and Dawa which are the chief explicitly Shi'i parties, but also includes many secular parties.

    I find this sentence from your quote a little strange:
    Al-Hakim's prominence on the list and his close relations with Iran give ammunition to many secular and non-Shiites to attack his coalition, saying Iraq's political future will mirror Iran's Shiite-run establishment if he and his supporters gain power in Iraq's 275-member National Assembly.
    From all I've heard, this seems misleading. The coalition was not organized by al-Hakim, but by Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. Sistani also has ties to Iran, but has a great deal of respect in Iraq, even among non-Shi'i. All indications seem to be that, while Sistani supports a constitution informed by Islamic law, he does not support the Khomeinist doctrine that gives clerics a direct role in governance.

    Middle East scholar Juan Cole posts regularly about the Iraqi elections and the various coalitions. This post in particular concerns recent statements from the Sistani camp.

    Another good site by a Middle East scholar is here.
    It has been noted that what has happened in Iraq is favorable to Iran, and Chalabi is certainly one of the slimier operatives out there, but most of the suspicions that Iran may be trying to control the upcoming elections have their roots in ex-Ba'athist propaganda and/or delusions. (For example, there are some Sunnis who seem to believe that Sunnis are the majority population of Iraq and that Iran has infiltrated a million (!) Shi'i into Iraq since the U.S. invasion in a bid for power.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2005
  4. Jan 12, 2005 #3

    BobG

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    To put Chalabi in perspective, I think the Bush administration was committed to invading Iraq, regardless of what the intel indicated or who provided the intel. I'm sure Iran was happy to provide any 'encouragement' they could, but the administration's reliance on Chalabi is more indicative of how far the administration was reaching for justification than true manipulation by Iran. (I'm still lost as to why they pushed so hard to find a reason for the invasion).

    plover's post provides a pretty accurate picture of Sistani's aims. Sistani would probably love an Islamic theocracy, but he's also a pragmatist. It wasn't easy for Hussein to hold the country together and it won't be easy for Iraq's new government to hold together. A secular government that's a lot friendlier to the Shiites, but accepted by all, would be a much better environment than an ongoing internal civil war that ruins everyone in the country.

    I would think Sistani would find a Shiite controlled theocracy imposed by force (maybe even with the aid of Iran) would be a viable fallback position if all the factions in Iraq can't find a way to live together peacefully. No sinister ulterior motives - just looking for a realistic way to find something a lot better than what the Shiites went through under Hussein.
     
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