The Iranian general 'secretly running' Iraq

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by A.V., Jul 30, 2011.

  1. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    There's a story that the new CIA director, David Petraeus, likes to tell which harks back to his days as a four-star general in Iraq.

    Early in 2008, during a series of battles between the US and Iraqi army on one side and the Shia militias on the other, Petraeus was handed a phone with a text message from the Iranian general who had by then become his nemesis.

    The message came from the head of Iran's elite al-Quds Force, Qassem Suleimani, and was conveyed by a senior Iraqi leader. It read: "General Petraeus, you should know that I, Qassem Suleimani, control the policy for Iran with respect to Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza, and Afghanistan. And indeed, the ambassador in Baghdad is a Quds Force member. The individual who's going to replace him is a Quds Force member."

    Petraeus hardly needed to be told. Much of the US military's work with Iraq's Shia Muslims had been undermined by Suleimani and the client militias of the Iranian general's al-Quds force. So too had US government diplomatic efforts elsewhere in the Middle East, especially in Lebanon.

    Petraeus last year told a thinktank, the Institute for the Study of War, about the problem Suleimani created for him: "Now, that makes diplomacy difficult if you think that you're going to do the traditional means of diplomacy by dealing with another country's ministry of foreign affairs because in this case, it is not the ministry. It is a security apparatus."

    As he prepared for the job of the US's most senior spy, Petraeus would surely have been preparing for further shadow boxing. Suleimani's reputation as the most formidable operator in the region has not diminished in the past three years. By some measures it has actually increased: Syria now also comes within Suleimani's sphere of influence.
    Full article here:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...iraq-influence
     
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