Wednesday, April 4, 2007
The Kurdish Connection
I ran across this interesting, if slightly dusty, piece on Iranian involvement in Iraq's civil war while doing some research for an unrelated article (Honest, I really was hoping for a couple Iran-free news cycles):
Then, on October 1, 2001, representatives of the Badr Corps and representatives of the KDP, which is led by Massoud Barzani, met in a Salahadeen resort located about 20 miles from Irbil, Kurdistan. The intent of the meeting was to renew and reinforce the Badr Corpsí ties with the KDP. During this meeting, Badr Corps leaders also asked the KDP representatives about the United Statesí current and future intentions toward Iraq.
On October 2, 2001, the Badr Corps leadership met again with Massoud Barzani, head of the KDP, to discuss different ways to reinforce relations between the Badr Corps and the KDP. The Badr Corpsí representatives inquired about U.S. intentions in Iraq and asked Barzaniís permission to allow the Badr Corps to open an office in Irbil.
The Badr Corps is the armed wing of SCIRI, which is now an Iranian-aligned Iraqi Shiite political party. But before the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, they were "organizationally indistinguishable" from Iran's Revolutionary Guards.
So in other words, the office that was raided this past January (think the Cockburn story from a couple days ago) was established as a result of Iranian-Kurdish contacts going back six years, to well before the American invasion. Which could explain why the Kurds were willing to get into a tense armed standoff with American forces to protect the Iranian intelligence officers we were after.
Not only is there a lot we don't know about the Irbil incident, I'm guessing it's pretty damning stuff. Something along the lines of our good friends the Kurds, the one success story of the entire invasion, are actually buddy-buddy with our worst enemy, Iran.
What's Christopher Hitchens going to say?†