Iran Brokers Truce Between Sadr, Iraqi Forces
Wall Street Journal / Gina Chon
12-May-2008 (12 comments)

BAGHDAD -- The showdown between Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr and the Iraqi government came to a halt this weekend after Mr. Sadr agreed to a truce brokered by Iran, a sign of Tehran's growing influence in Iraqi politics. In the past five years, as Shiite political parties have dominated the Iraqi government, Iran's scope of influence has widened. This puts the Iraqi government at a precarious position between two important friends, the U.S. and Iran.

Jahanshah Javid

wide influence?

by Jahanshah Javid on

If by influence you mean Iranians can talk to various factions and achieve a greater rate of success, then yes, Iran has greater influence. But that's largely because of shared culture. When it comes to national interests, the Iraqis, the Kurds, the Afghans, the Lebanese and other regional states would rather talk to Iran than the U.S. which has not been able to win many friends with military might and money. But this does not mean that these nations are bowing to the Ayatollahs. Rather they are desperate and to survive, they turn to anyone that understands their language and culture. But if they feels the Islamic Republic is trying to dominate or twist their arm in any way, they will stop dealing with Tehran. What does the IRI get from all of this? Nothing but propaganda as a peace broker. I think the Americans tend to exaggerate Iran's true power and believe Tehran's leaders to be a lot smarter than they are. They just don't understand their mindset... Anyway, I'm not so sure of what I'm saying either. I just think IRI leaders are a bunch of cowards but they sure know how to talk big.



anony7: Hizballah has lost

by Anonymousx2 (not verified) on

anony7: Hizballah has lost credibility with his recent action in Lebanon.

"With Sunni rage rising and Mr. Hariri discredited in the eyes of many, some now worry that al-Qaeda-style radical Islamists could fill the void and give deadly direction to the anti-Shia sentiment, as in Iraq."


Hizballah has also ethnic cleansed the Druze in West Beirut, which will come back and haunt them.

If you want more information check out //



a hubris' mistake! (Re: Anonymousx2 )

by Anonym7 (not verified) on

Anonymousx2 says: "Hizballah and Iran have fallen prey to what the US has prepared for the region. tHIS IS THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF MULLAHS AND HIZBALLAH. THIS IS A PRICE YOU PAY FOR HUBRIS AND BEING BUNCH OF EGOMANIACS."

Despite their similarities, IRI and Hezbollah (and other Shiite movements for that matter) have some serious differences. As a result lumping them together is a big mistake that could lead to idiotic ideas such as "regime change in Middle East", which will hurt US as well as the people of that region. Remember the HUBRIS EGOMANIAC Ramsfeld who said (about Iraq):
"....It could last, you know, six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."!!!????
For example a very visible difference between IRI and Hezbollah is their level of popularity among those whom they lead. Corruption and neglect of poor has significantly eroded IRI's early days popularity, while Hezbollah (currently) is popular among Lebanese Shiites .... and enjoys support of some Christians and even Druz.


If other countries vote to

by Anonymousx2 (not verified) on

If other countries vote to become Islamic is not because of Iran's success, it is because of other's failures. The best success Iran can claim is not collapsing, yet. One day we wake up and we see the riots we saw during gas rationing has changed into something more. We've seen stranger things happen in the last 30 years in the world's politics.

Thank you anonmouse. You summed it up clearly and concisely.


I think the Americans tend

by AnonymousX2 (not verified) on

I think the Americans tend to exaggerate Iran's true power and believe Tehran's leaders to be a lot smarter than they are.

Keen observation. So, what's the motivation behind this exagerration?

1. They know the mullahs are insecure, powerless little thugs who love nothing more than feeling powerful and mighty. 2. the mullahs are so stupid that they've bought this cheap flattery at their own peril and act as if what the US says about them is true.

Hizballah and Iran have fallen prey to what the US has prepared for the region. tHIS IS THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF MULLAHS AND HIZBALLAH. THIS IS A PRICE YOU PAY FOR HUBRIS AND BEING BUNCH OF EGOMANIACS.

War With Iran Might Be Closer Than You Think

"There is considerable speculation and buzz in Washington today suggesting that the National Security Council has agreed in principle to proceed with plans to attack an Iranian al-Qods-run camp that is believed to be training Iraqi militants.

The proverbial surgical strikes as opposed to the good old ‘shock and awe!’

And how many NSC ‘senior’ members were opposed to this? - One according to Giraldi
Of course a surgical strike would be conducted in the hope by the moronic, warmongering NeoCONS that Iran would strike back and they could proceed with their wider war; HENCE, THE CIVIL WAR IN LEBANOAN, WHICH WILL KEEP HIZBALLAH BUSY AND IMPOTENT TO LAUNCH ROCKETS TO ISRAEL. GOOD JOB, IDIOTS.




Anonymouse good points

by Abarmard on

I could agree with you. I can make the argument both ways. please note that when I said they have plans, doesn't mean that they have plans that looks for great accomplishments! anyways, you brought up good points.


Be realistic as to actual deeds

by Anonymouse on

The only items I can see and agree with your assesments are 1) some training in Afghanistan 2) training in Iraq 3) hezbollah in Lebanon 4) palestinians in Gaza (mostly) and West Bank 5) some naz and ghamzeh with Syria

These are by far the most Iran has done in the middle east and most of them prior to 9/11 and Bush's invasion of Afganistan and Iraq.

1) In Afghanistan do you remember when Iran backed out of a war after Taliban killed their diplomats? When you want influence and have a "plan" you don't back down from few drug smugglers become Taliban.

2) Training in Iraq before US went there.  US trained Iraqis and Saddam killed them all.  After the war he and his cronies were executed for crimes against the same people.  Sadr and others were in exile and Saddam ruled by killing them.  It is like saying Iraq had influence in Iran with Mujahedeen. Influence maybe but how much in reality?

3) Hezbollah in Lebanon is by far the most IRI can claim as accomplishment.  Again as far as reality how much was/is Hezbollah able to do? At best restart of the 80s civil war.  At best.

4) Palestinians in Gaza.  Palestinians are torn themselves and again the best Iran can do is have an unending civil war.

5) Syria couldn't even do anything after Israel attacked their so called nuclear building which at best was just at it's infancy. One day Syria may ignore Iran alltogether when they get tired of them.

So the question of even ruling own waterways like Persian Gulf is not something Iran can claim with a straight face.  They are going to loose in any war as much as any other country who may start it, probably more.  Look what the Iraq war did to us.

Sure we're stronger, but by how much?  How much more can we do with our current military power? The next war is not like the Iraq war.  So I'd still agree with JJ that by far the most IRI can claim is just a lot of hot air.  Even claim of influence in the middle east is a lot of hot air. In reality they can only claim failures of others not their success.

If other countries vote to become Islamic is not because of Iran's success, it is because of other's failures.  The best success Iran can claim is not collapsing, yet.  One day we wake up and we see the riots we saw during gas rationing has changed into something more.  We've seen stranger things happen in the last 30 years in the world's politics.


Well maybe but not likely

by Abarmard on

Iranian policies towards the east and the middle east has been clear. What does Iran stand for? Long before the US invasion of Afghanistan, Iran was actively fighting the Taliban to gain momentum on good old khorasan province (Herat). Iranian support had noting to do with whether US is there or not.

Iran had been training Iraqi Shia opposition inside the country long before there was any possibilities for US to go into Iraq. Iranian regime might have gotten a big help that boosted their agendas far more a head that they ever could imagine(thanks to Bush), but the plans were there all along. I would not see it too far fetched to think that if the US did not invade Iraq, you would see Sadr and some other Shia army fighting against Saddam forces, in the south.

The Support for Syria and Hezbullah is clear and the ultimate plan is to create a military buffer to secure their ideological regime.

If there is 50 years oil left in the region and more than 75000 products originates from oil, you can grasp the vast amount of the power any nation would gain by influence/control any portion of this kind of sources.

This could easily be a long article, so to make it short I have to disagree with you. I don't underestimate the IR although it's easy to do so. They are after all Mullahs, but I tend to think differently about the entire IR system. It's unfortunate that they are trying to go full gear to accomplish their Madineh Fazeleh, or to create a Islamic Union in the Middle East. Probably it would be more realistic if they looked to gain some economical advantages at this point, but the regime doesn't think this way.

Anyways, to conclude I would say definitely they have had a detailed plan in tack in order to gain some geopolitical advantage in the region. Actually the IR has a very aggressive agenda to be the superpower and the sole controller of the Persian Gulf. The "look to the East" although sounds unimportant, might be one of the main reasons that has angered the west.
Unfortunately today my brain is not as active as I would like it to be, so I will stop here.


Abarmard you're giving them too much credit

by Anonymouse on

Had US not invaded Iraq, what would have been Iran's long term plan? It is like they see this situation fallen on their lap by accident and now they are trying to take advantage of it.

Now what plan do they have for Iraq after US leaves?  Taliban style Govt run by Shiites so they can muzzle everyone else and sell oil and have contracts with Iran? Future of Iraq is anyone's guess and it does NOT look good for anyone.

I just don't think Iran is in any position to have strategic plans for the region.  They know they are outnumbered and the slightest military move against any country would mean war with the full backing of not just US but other countries.

I know Iran doesn't have military ambitions to invade any other country or even the military power/man power.  So what else are they going to gain other than tough talk and a few contracts at most?


Long term plans vs quick answers

by Abarmard on

US foreign policy in Iraq and the Middle East has been based on quick answers to a difficult cultural misunderstandings. Iran on the other hand has a long term plan and all along has been staying in course. The question therefore is not who is smarter, but who provides a more realistic answers to the regional needs. Long term plans normally tend to give better answers since to create such plans require many different aspects of the geopolitical situations. that is what we are witnessing from Iran's role playing in the area.

Another important point to keep in mind is that Iran has been taking advantage of the shortsighted US policies. That shows that the country is heavily involved in information gatherings and has plans to respond accordingly. These are not accidental moves from the Iranian regime.

All along Iran has been playing chess while US has been playing poker. In foreign policy, Iran is doing well based on their agendas.


JJ I think you're 80% right.

by Anonymouse on

You are correct that IRI gets nothing more than just propaganda for themselves.  I think the other 20% is that they also stir the pot.  For example in Lebanon when they help them with arms and money, what do they get in return?!

Just stir the pot for god knows what reason.  Some would argue that it is because of "arabization" crap or other invented words, but I think they just don't know.  Trial and error.  Help them and see what they MAY be get in return.


"armed criminal elements"!?, please!

by farokh2000 on

Please, they think people are totally stupid and forgot who is the real "Criminal Element"?. Who invaded Iraq and Afghanistan?. Who has killed hundreds of thousands of the innocent people there?

The Mullahs are criminals for sure but they don't come close to the crimes the U.S. government has committed since World War II.

I am sure they are learning from the masters though.