Iran Anger at US for Planning Peace Keeping Force for Iraq

Posted on July 22, 2010

Tensions with Iran are heating up in Iraq as the US announces it is planning a peace-keeping force – possibly with UN forces – to remain after troop withdrawal. “[P]ro-Iranian Shiite militias appear to be planning attacks on American forces [as a result].”

Iranian sources report that Tehran refuses to countenance the transformation of the 24,000 US troops remaining in Iraq into UN peacekeepers for three reasons:
1.  Their blue caps will authorize them to enforce UN Security Council sanctions against Iran in the Persian Gulf region.

2.  In their dual role as US combat troops, there may be pressed into service for an American military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Iran’s leaders took note of recent US media reports that the Obama administration had put a military option against Iran back on the table of Pentagon planners.

3.  Intelligence-gatherers in Iraq have warned Tehran that the Obama administration is resolved on a harder line against any Iranian meddling – military or political – in Iraq. They understand that Washington is determined to install a power-sharing government in Baghdad between the incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his rival Iyad Allawi, whose Iraqia party won the last elections.
This coalition would push Iran and its Shiite pawns out of the new administration’s governing institutions.
Tehran has roped friendly Syrian president Bashar Assad into a scheme for thwarting the American design.
At his invitation, the pro-Tehran Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr visited Damascus on Saturday, July 17 together with Allawi, for talks on a combined scheme to torpedo Washington’s plans for Iraq.

Until now, it was assumed in Washington and Persian Gulf capitals that Iran would only activate its terrorist surrogates in Iraq and the region in response to a direct US or Israeli strike against its nuclear facilities. [DebkaFile]

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Posted in: Iran, IRAQ, MILITARY - US