Is Iran behind Iraq's crisis? If so, why now? What are the risks?


by FG

Less than a week after American troops left, an earthquake-like crisis is growing rapidly in Iraq.  Some folks had warned that Iran would move to replace the Americans while others said Iraqi nationalism would prevent that.  It's starting to look like the first group was right.

Admittedly, I claim no evidence of Iranian involvement.  However, is it even conceivable that Maliki could dare make such bold and undemocratic moves without the endorsement and support of The Big Neighbor?  Arresting the heads of opposition parties on made-up charges is a perfect copy of Khamenei's style (the jailed Mousavi and Karoubbi).  Recent shoot-yourself-in-the-foot moves by Iran's mullahs suggest a tendency to gamble.  With Assad going down, Iran is desperate for a replacement and another Islamic republic next door would do just fine.   Pull it off and it's a nice gain for a regime that needs good news.

Of course the operating assumptions look weak: A. Iran would be able to set up a friendly puppet state easily and B) no one would notice Iran's involvement until it was a fait accompli. But since 2009 the regime has a history of operating on bad assumptions. In one outrage after another it took for granted that no one would pay much attention (blatantly rigged elections, subsequent crimes, the Saudi Ambassador plot). One reason may be that occasionally Khamenei got away with it (covert military aid in Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and possibly in Syria at present).

What would Khamenei prefer for Iraq if successful?  An identical twin headed by Supreme Leader Al Sadr or an appendage that defers to Khamenei as a sort of  Shiite Pope?  Khamenei is not known for tolerating potential rivals.  On the other hand, insisting on Iraqi "deference" approach might arouse nationalism even among supposed "friendlies." 

For now Khamenei would be playing a role similar to Milosevic in Bosnia.  He would encourage sectarian dominance next door and--rathen than send armies openly, he would "loan" weapons, offer trainers and send well armed "volunteers," stripped of their usual uniforms as the regime did in once prosperous Lebanon.   He also can hope to promote ultranationalism at home and a "rally around the leader" mood to compensate for his recent loss of popular legitimacy.  Unfortunately events since 2009 have primed Iranians to suspect anything Khamenei says these days.  Don't expect many volunteers willing to act as human mine field clearers these days.  Anyone that crazy won't be mourned by most Iranians who know what such types do for the leader back home in Iran.


I doubt Iran's neighbors would sit still for all this--not Saudi Arabia, not Turkey, not other most Gulf States and not
Israel.  Unlike the poor Bosnians, the Iraq minorities being targeted can expect lots of outside help.  They know how to make IEDS and suicide belts as well as Al Mahdi army types.    It's only fair if the discontented Iranian majority and oppressed minorities accoss the border get similar help. 


If approved, an oil boycott on Iran could bring down this regime in less than a year. Approval requires that the Saudis ramp up oil production to  to keep prices level.   It's bad enough to have an aggressive neighbor with imperial ambitions with a record of encouraging, and training mini-Hezbollahs.  Worse, Iran is seeking nukes.  In this cauldron even the slightest suspicion of Khamenei's meddlng in Iraq should be enough to overrule any reservations about assisting sanctions.  Whatever it may cost in the short run is worth it if the aggressive mullahs aren't around two or three years from now.

As usual, the Iranian government will deny any involvement in Iraq's crisis but those denials will have little effect.  No one believes a thing that regime has to say these days.  That's the downside of relying on the Goebbel's propaganda model.  Now the regime is put in the position of having to do the impossible (prove the negative).  The general attitude of Iranians and Arabs is, "You denied so many things we know beyond doubt to be true so why should we believe you this time?"


more from FG

what happened to Liberty's

by vildemose on

what happened to Liberty's blog? On HR-1905?


Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

It's not enough that faith claims to be the solution to all problems but is now demanded that such a preposterous claim be made im



by BacheShirazi on

In fact, the recent American withdrawal occurred in spite of pleas from
Sunni and Kurd minorities to stay and is prima facie evidence
contradicting your conclusion.  


FG, your blogs are just ridiculous. You seem to have this idea that Iran is the big bad guy in the world and everyone else is completly innocent.Sorry, but it doesn't work that way. Iran is just another bad guy in a world filled with bad guys. Sunnis where begging America to stay? Are you seriously talking about the Sunni population of Iraq? Kurds, yes, but Sunnis?  All polls indicate that the majority of Iraq's people wanted America out.  Let me just show you some facts. 



 Almost four in five Iraqis say the U.S. military force in Iraq provokes more violence than it prevents.


 This in on attacks on U.S troops

 About 61% approved of the attacks — up from 47%
in January. A solid majority of Shiite and Sunni Arabs approved of the
attacks, according to the poll. The increase came mostly among Shiite


More broadly, 79 percent of Iraqis say that the United States is having a
negative influence on the situation in Iraq, with just 14 percent
saying that it is having a positive influence. Views are especially
negative among the Sunnis (96% negative)
, and the Shias (87% negative).
However, a plurality of Kurds (48%) say that the United States is
having a positive influence, while just 34 percent say its influence is





The Goebbels allusion fits

by FG on

A conspiracy theory that acquires "truth" only by constant repetition is exactly what Goebbels meant.  

RE:  America did not go through all this just to hand Iraq over to IRI. Or anyone else including Iraqis themselves!"

You believe it MERELY because you and others repeat it long enough.  You may not like what I'm saying but it's hardly insulting EXCEPT to the overly touchy.

The quote above is yours.  It's untrue and unproven.  It is indeed the kind  self-generating nonsense Goebbels aimed to achieve in his "repeat it long enough" argument. 

So if the shoe fits...


Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


You are obviously not up to a debate indicated by your insults. Then in desperation you bring in Goebbels. What the heck does he got to do with an intelligent debate. But I will try for benefit of others.

Regarding paranoia. My point is being paranoid does not mean there is nothing going on. It is my opinion and if you don't like it fine. But there are facts in the world. One is the name of a body of water known as "Persian Gulf". 

In Summary:: your generalizations are ridiculous beyond reason. I thought you might have some points but now I know better. Yes I am just like the Serbs as if all "Serbs" are one person! Actually I am the reincarnation of Nicholas Tesla! 



Contradicting the "Prophet"

by FG on

re:  "America did not go through all this just to hand Iraq over to IRI. Or anyone else including Iraqis themselves!"

The above is your OPINION--a conspiracy THEORY stated as if it were fact with no supporting evidence and implying mind-reading abilities, as in "prophet." 

In fact, the recent American withdrawal occurred in spite of pleas from Sunni and Kurd minorities to stay and is prima facie evidence contradicting your conclusion.  

Next I expect you'll point to a large embassy, its guards or privately contracted trainers who remain at the REQUEST of the Iraqi government and because such training is desperately needed as "proof" of your conspiracy theory.  This despite the fact the the Iraqis totally lack an air force and have no training in large scale defensive maneuvers against invasion.

Inevitably you will do next what all lovers of conspiracy theories do: Demand that I prove it's NOT true (a logical impossibility known as "proving the negative). 

Every conspiracy theory uses the same trick.  "You can't prove it's not true THEREFOR it must be true" does not follow.  Anyone can make something up and use that argument. I can say there is an actually planet 10 million light years away made of green cheese.  You can't prove otherwise.  Hence such a planet exists.  That's your "logic."

As Goebbels noted--in his 'big lie" theory of propaganda, if you repeat an idea loudly enough and often enough--you make it "fact" in most folks minds.


re:  "Yes I am paranoid with reason"

How can one be "paranoid WITH REASON."  Paranoia is by definition misplaced.  One can be fearful with reason in which case reason can be established.  (Example: Protestors fear of the Basilj).


re:  Please remember "Just because you’re paranoid, don’t mean they’re not after you". 

Cutey Pie bumper sticker slogans can't compete with reason.  If there is factual or actual reason to fear--as in my example from above)--there by definition there is no paranoia.  The latter implies the cause is imaginary.


Having been prep-programmed  by authoritarian dictatorships that promote and thrive on xenophobic and paranoid theories to survive (a means of diverting attention), people in the region are naturally prone to such--AS MANY IRANIANS AND OTHER MID-EASTERNERS HAVE OFTEN POINTED OUT.  

I've noticed the Serbs are the same way even though it  is the Albanians, Bosians and Croats who have reason to fear them.  During the Kosovo War, we were constantly told "It's all about oil" even though Kosovo has no oil.  the latter didn't matter. 

In fact both Kosovo andthe humanitarian mission in Somalia which led to "Blackhawk Down" are two examples of American intervention, costly in men and materials, that can't in any way be attributed to self-interest.  The motives were clearly humanitarian. However, you suggest that never happens.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Regarding Iraq

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


If anyone missed it American troops have not left Iraq. Nor are they going to anytime soon. In reality America has a huge base in Iraq. The American embassy is bigger than Vatican. There are American forces all over.

Therefore it is silly to think America is out of the picture. America did not go through all this just to hand Iraq over to IRI. Or anyone else including Iraqis themselves! So don't worry about it. USA is there for the long haul. This is just for domestic politics.

This is also repositioning of troops and allows them to be freed up. That is bad news for IRI since it allows USA to prepare for a possible attack. Not anytime soon but at least opens the door to it. If anything this is bad news for Islamic Republic.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Dear FG

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


Yes I admit I am touchy. Yes I am paranoid with reason. Please remember "Just because you’re paranoid, don’t mean they’re not after you". 

Words matter a great deal. When you say "Iran" instead of "Islamic Republic" you put the blame on Iranians.  "Gulf States" was coined by BBC as a deliberate attempt to muddy the waters.  I noticed that BBC also says things like "an Egyptian holding an America passport" instead of "an American" or "American of Egyptian origin". Why: because to them race is most important. They never accept a person from Egypt as American. No matter what America says! 

I do not have any special abilities. Please do not put words in my mouth. I simply noticed and pointed out inaccuracies. Anyone could have done it.

By Amir do you mean Amirparviz or Amir1973? I often disagree with Amirparviz.  I do not know that much about Amir1973 and have not debated him.

Regarding being rigid. I am rigid in using the right names. I am not rigid with ideas. What you say reminds me of some schools. It is now "hip" to accept 2+2=6 as "well it is their way of expression". No: to me 2+2=4 and you bet I am rigid over it.

If you want to discuss things we need to get the names right. Saying Iran instead of Islamic Republic or Gulf instead of Persian Gulf is just wrong. Debating political views is a different matter.  I will gladly be open to ideas but not facts and names.


Reading problems or just touchy?

by FG on

Re: "This sounds like another "trash Iranians" blog"

Re: "
Or be honest with the goal: always blame Iranians no matter what.

In my college days, I had a classmate who was genuinely paranoic (later arrested for beating a girl who took the risk of dating him).  People would be talking to him innocuously and suddenly he'd get mad and say, "I can read between the lines!" just as you claim to do.  

Nothing in my posts blames anyone other than the regime for various outrages or views the Iranian people as anything other than victims.  Show me the sentence where you see otherwise.  No one else does.

Only a pedantic finger wagger would insist that each time any writer uses the word "Iran" as a synonym for the regime and no matter how obvious the context, the writer must replace it with "Iranian Republic." Why not also ban personal pronouns (he, she) as well, even where the reference is clear?

RE: What is "Gulf States". Do you mean Persian Gulf? If so would you please state it properly. 

Your tag hints of  special abilities that qualify you to instruct us ordinary blokes.  Nevertheless, by common usage the term "Gulf States" is a shortcut for "Persian Gulf" not for "Arabian Gulf" which strikes me as PC revisionism.     

Your reprimands suggests a preference for ideological rigidity and  dogmatism.  Communists, extreme Islamists and Hirohito-style facist-monarchy all promote xenophobia toward western secular democracies solely out of self-interest and for an identical reason: the subject of such attacks is  simply way too attractive as a rival countermodel to their own "products."

I'm a centrist with no patience for ideology or jealous religious sects  that lead to dictatorships of one sort or another.

I've disagreed strongly with Amir, the "Secular Monarchist" who frequently complains about western secular democracy.  Amir's thesis is that most Iranians want secularism may be correct up to that point.  What I question is his other assumptions--that Iranians want a crowned head who otherwise resembles ruler Samoza or Mubarek (both highly praised) or that Iranian protestors are only faking their democratic demands (human rights, democracy, a real justice system, open and fair elections, etc.)

By Amir's thesis, Iranians don't mind being stomped under jackboots so long as it is the right jackboots. The sole benefits strike me as improbably and antiquated--the vacarious pleasure of breathing the same air and enjoying what the monarch gets to enjoy without having the same treats, much like Germans under the Kaiser or Russians under the Czar.

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan

Just to be

by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


fair I do not in any way support IRI and people know it. What I do not like is calling it "Iran". IRI is no more Iran than Vichy was France. By all means beat the *** out of IRI. But I will defend the name of "Iran".

Veiled Prophet of Khorasan


by Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on


This sounds like another "trash Iranians" blog. 

I will explain why in detail below.

  • FG: What is "Gulf States". Do you mean Persian Gulf? If so would you please state it properly.
  • Why do you say Iran when it is the "Islamic Republic". 
  • Responsibility: People of Iraq need to take responsibility. If they are blowing each other up then the ultimate responsibility is theirs. Why is "Iran" not doing this to Kuwait or Saudi? It is not for a lack of desire. The final responsibility is on the people doing it. It is funny I hear some blame "Iranians" for IRI regardless of obvious Western involvement. Because Iranians must "take responsibility". But then blames "Iranians" for Iraq problems because "it is outside interference" that is responsible. Well make up your minds. Or be honest with the goal: always blame Iranians no matter what.


It's not just Iran

by BacheShirazi on

No one in the middle east is innocent. Iran backs the Shia's in Iraq,
true. But you must also mention that Saudi Arabia backs the Sunnis in
Iraq, and has actually sent troops to fight in Bahrain. Iran trains
Hezbollah, true. But Saudi Arabia also finances Sunni terrorism all
around the world. The U.S knows this, everyone knows it yet no body
wants to say it. It's not as simple as Iran being the bad guy interfering in everyone's affairs. 



 Saudi Ambassador plot


Was Iran even proved of being behind this? 

Maryam Hojjat

FG, Thanks

by Maryam Hojjat on

Great info & optimistic analysis.


Gulf states warn Iran on meddling, Syria on 'killing machine'

by FG on


Simultaneously A third bad guy in crisis: Great news from Egypt

by FG on

It looks like three bad guys--Makili, Khamenei and Egyptian generals--are now having simultaneous crises as a result of their own stupid moves.

This one makes you understand why Iran's extremist mullahs have been so hard on women, espcially those associated with the million women petition who have been arrested let and right.


Thousands of women, enraged by images of female protesters being
dragged through the streets by soldiers during weekend protests, marched
Tuesday in central Cairo to decry the Egyptian military’s recent use of
force against demonstrators.

The rare public outpouring by women, young and old, religious
and secular, appeared to turn up the pressure on the country’s ruling
military council. The generals, who had shown no remorse for the recent violence,
quickly issued a statement Tuesday evening offering “sincerest
apologies to the great women of Egypt for what happened” and promising
that those responsible would be reprimanded...

The military leadership has tried to paint demonstrators as paid thugs and conspirators intent on destabilizing Egypt.

as the women chanted for an end to military rule and waved to
bystanders to join them, they seemed to signal renewed solidarity among
Egyptians. In recent days, activists and politicians have increasingly
called for presidential elections no later than the end of January to
remove the military council from power.




FG notes: The regime compouded its offense by trying to paint the woman who was publicly stripped and beaten as soldiers smiled and laughed as a "slut" and prostitute.  That went over big.    Dumb move atop dumb move. The values and mental outlook of all these dictators seem identical whether clerical or secular.

Maybe my heading above should be rewritten to say "a fourth bad guy" but Assad in Syria has managed a break for himself, temporarily, by agreeing to the Arab League conditions.  His respite won't last.



Persian Gulf or Gulf ?

by darius on

" I doubt Iran's neighbors would sit still for all this--not Saudi Arabia, not Turkey, not other most Gulf States and not,," What is correct? Persian Gulf, Gulf State  ?  " COMMENT: C'mon oil sanctions!  Let's get that production up Saudi Arabia!  This could be it for the theocracy if the EU boycotts Iran's oil exports.    Dump your rials before they are worth nothing." Don't you  think your blog fits into  the category of  : Khoud Gooey va Khoud Khandi,  ajab marde honarmandi"?


Iranians must sabotage any mullah move to escape sanctions

by FG on

But first a correction re: Iran crisis deepens after Khamenei-style false confessions on TV.  The header to that post should say Iraq.


Sanctions may be about to do in the regime, especially oil sanctions if the Fars admission is accurate.  I can't imagine how much greater panic wil get once sanctions come into play.

The mullahs are running so scared they may try to deter an oil boycott and remove sanctions by offering concessions on nukes.  Iranians can't let it happen or the regime will get a new lease on life.  They must ask themselves this question:

"Isn't it better to have economic collapse now than civil war with far more extreme economic, human and property losses later?"

To sabotage any such regime move, Iranians will have to come out in the street spontaneously, in droves and everywhere and once and persist in it like Syrians.  

That will make it harder for the West and Saudis to drop sanctions uncluding the the oil boycott idea.  The more  brutally the regime responds the less likely the West and Saudis will back down over nukes alone. They'll have to take their lumps--like Syria's people--but it will be worth it.   It will spur on sanctions.

Security forces whose pay in rials is dropping fast and who also must fear an oil boycott and continued sanctions may be less likely to support a hated regime with the usual enthusiasm.


I wonder how many of the recent gold buyers are IRCG generals and other regime insiders in a typical "save ourselves first" move.  It wil drive gold prices up further inside Iran.  Many insiders can't have that much cash abroad where it can be seized--especially those on sanctions lists. So they've got to be worried.

G. Rahmanian

Good News For Iranians!

by G. Rahmanian on

Good News For Iranians! Bad news for the mullahs and their IRGC goons! The economy, the major part of which is controlled by IRGC, will eventually come to a standstill. Inflation is on the rise and people's purchasing power is diminishing by the day. Looking forward to a Soviet Union type implosion in Iran!


Iraq crisis deepens after Khamenei-style false confessions on TV

by FG on

More mullah-style behavior in what looks more and more like an Iranian puppet in its tactics.  


Iraqi's vice president escaped to Kurdistan ahead of the warrant.   Tariq al-Hashimi provided his account of the charges Tuesday, saying they were trumped up and the work of Maliki.

“Everybody feels now they will be targeted sooner or later,” Hashimi said.

COMMENT: Just like Kurd, Bahia and Sunni minorities in Khamenei's Islamic Republic


Panic in Iran. Fars: Rial now down 15% in since Friday

by FG on


Iranian currency drops amid jitters over regional trade




Iran’s currency plunged against the U.S. dollar Tuesday, continuing a
sharp drop exacerbated by jitters over tightening international
sanctions and uncertainties about the domestic economy and regional

The plummeting value of the rial forced officials to backtrack
on statements that Iran had cut trade relations with the United Arab
Emirates, a major trading partner, for political reasons.


Iranian officials including the ambassador to the emirates, Mohammad
Reza Fayyaz, initially confirmed Tuesday that Iran had cut trade ties
with its third-largest trading partner, the semiofficial Mehr News
Agency reported. The Iranian Econews agency also quoted Mehdi
Ghazanfari, the minister of industries and business, as saying that
trade with the United Arab Emirates was halted because of its
“anti-Iranian positions.”

Following the statements, the rial fell
to unprecedented lows against the dollar Tuesday, amounting to a 15
percent loss in value over the past three days, the Fars News Agency

Adding to the confusion, the Iran-U.A.E. Chamber of Commerce said it had
received a letter from the Central Bank of Iran banning all trade in
dirhams, the U.A.E. currency, starting Tuesday.

The episode highlighted the increasing sensitivity of Iran’s economy to
fresh sanctions, as well as the unintended consequences of some erratic
Iranian decisions, analysts said...

....Even before the steep drop of the rial over the past three days,
Iranians appeared increasingly to be losing faith in their currency. In
recent weeks, customers have formed long lines to buy gold, forcing the
government to halt all direct official sales last week.

“People fear that the government is running out of money, and they are taking their measures,” said Hadi Lari, an economist...

COMMENT: C'mon oil sanctions!  Let's get that production up Saudi Arabia!  This could be it for the theocracy if the EU boycotts Iran's oil exports.    Dump your rials before they are worth nothing.


Other nations ask Iran to teach them how to run an economy

by FG on

Funniest quote of the day comes from Mahmoud:

"Many countries are asking Iran to help them with
economic plans. A number of them have even asked us to help them with
the management of their economies."--Fars quotes Ahmadinejad speech yesterday.


 President: World States Asking for Iran's Help with Economic Reforms