posted on Oct, 27 2005 @ 03:38 PM
I was interested in the post from Iran by an individual
that stated the US had invaded Iraq for oil. I found
this interesting for several reasons. First, the oil
revenues are going to the new Iraqi government and the US is
making sure that the new Iraqi government will be ran
by Iraqis, not Iranians. It is also interesting in
that Iran has been complicit with the U.S. in getting
the war in Iraq going. Iran has played a major part
in the background and Iran was actually working to
promote the war of US against Iraq. I wonder if the
poster from Iran was aware of that.
As long as we are on this subject of who was behind the
U.S. going to war with Iraq, I thought it would be
good time to tell of Iran's efforts to get it done.
Iran has faced threats from Russia in the north and
Iraq to the west throughout much of its history.
During and after World War II, the Soviets occupied
part of Iran. When the Soviet Union fell apart, this
relieved some tension in Iran, but in the west Iraq
had been a threat. Iraq's defeat in Desert Storm was
welcomed by Iran, decreasing the Iraqi threat, but Iran
wanted to see the collapse of the Saddam Hussein regime
and have it replaced by a government more neutral toward
Iran and preferably under Iranian influence, so in this
regard Iran Developed a plan with these goals.
(1) Iraq should not pose a threat to Iran.
(2) Iran wanted to shape Iraqi behavior to guarantee that it
would not become a threat, but it could not do this alone.
It needed outside help, the U.S., to further Iranian
interests. In other words Iran expected the U.S. to
invade Iraq and it intended to position itself favorably
when that happened.
Iran has patiently pursued these goals. Following Desert Storm,
Iran began a covert program to weaken Hussein's regime and to
gain influence in Iraq, with concentration on Iraq's Shiite
If Hussein fell or were overthrown by U.S. effort, Iran
wanted to be positioned to neutralize the Iraqi threat.
To do this Iranian strategy had 3 parts:
(1)Take no action to discourage the U.S. from military
action against Iraq. Let it be known that Iran would in no
way hinder a U.S. action.
(2) Make information available that would help persuade the
U.S. to take down Iraq. The Iranians understood the methods
of Central Intelligence Agency and designed a program to
enhance those in the U.S. who believed that Iraq was a threat,
and they provided the U.S. with intelligence that emphasized
the perception of Hussein as a threat. This program went way
back and was even in place before the 2003 invasion and it also
preceded the Bush administration. Desert Fox, the air campaign
launched by the Clinton administration in December 1998, was
influenced in part by the same information as the 2003 invasion.
(3) Prepare a force in Iraq whose loyalty was to Iran. The
Shiite community, had many of the same interests as Iran and
Iranian intelligence services carried out a long, patient program
to organize the Iraqi Shiite community in preparation for the
fall of Hussein.
It was becoming apparent in 2002 that the U.S. was searching
for a follow-on strategy after Afghanistan that included
denying nuclear weapons from terrorist hands. The Iranians
saw this as an opportunity, and although they could not
direct the U.S. into action against Iraq, they could provide
help toward that goal by reducing the threat the U.S. felt
from Iran. They also increased, to the maximum, intelligence
available to those in the U.S. who supported the invasion.
To reduce any felt threat from Iran they had formal meetings
in Geneva and back-channel discussions around the world. They
sent the message that Iran would do nothing to hinder a U.S.
invasion, nor would it seek to take advantage of it on a direct
basis. The process to maximize intel to the U.S. was done
by filling the channels between Iraqi Shiite exiles and the U.S.
with what appeared to be solid information. This was where
Ahmed Chalabi played a role.
It is speculated by some that Iranian intelligence knew some
things that it intentionally left out of their relayed intel.
One thing was that Iraq's weapons programs had been abandoned
or at least hidden well enough no one knew where they were.
When Iraq stonewalled UN inspections, it gave the appearance
that they were hiding programs and gave a justification.
Iran did not volunteer the information that they believed
the programs were pretty much shut down, on the contrary
they gave any information that appeared to support WMD.
Iranians probably thought that none would be found, and did
not bother to relay this to the U.S., it being in their
interest to not give any information that talked against
invasion. Another thing believed by some is that Iran knew
Iraq was actually planning a guerilla war as their main
strategy. This they also did not relay to the U.S. but
they liked this fact, as it would make the U.S. more needy
of help from the Shiite community for success, and the
Iranians had influence into this community. The worse
things became in Iraq, and the less the U.S. prepared
properly, the more eager the U.S. would be in seeking help
from the large majority of Shia in Iraq. In a guerilla
war with the Sunnis in the north and the incoming jihadists
cropping up, the U.S. situation deteriorated in the summer
and fall of 2003, the U.S. needed a friendly Shia. The idea
of a Shiite rising and cutting lines of supply in the south
was driving U.S. thinking. It also pushed the
U.S. toward an accommodation with the Shia, and therefore
at least a partial accommodation with Iran.
So it was accepted in the fall of 2003, that the government
would be dominated by the Shia, and with this the government
would have some Iranian influence. During the Ramadan
offensive, when everything was coming apart in Iraq, the U.S.
was prepared to accommodate almost any proposal.
After the capture of Hussein in mid-December 2003. Iranians
started to make clear that they were defining the depth of
the relationship. When the U.S. offered to send help to
Iran after the earthquake, the Iranians vetoed
it, saying it was too early in the relationship. The
Iranians believed they had the Americans where they wanted
them and slowly increased pressure for concessions.
As George Friedman said "the U.S. started to suffer buyer's
remorse on the deal it made". Since the guerrilla threat
appeared to be decreasing in early 2004, the deal did not
look nearly as good as it had in November 2003. So the U.S.,
did not move then toward a Shiite government. Instead
the U.S. began talks with the Sunni sheikhs and thinking
of an interim government in which Kurds or Sunnis would
have veto power.
With this, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani,an Iranian, began
to give evidence that trouble was brewing in Iraq. He staged
demonstrations in January, calling for direct elections now.
This would have meant a Shiite government. Now the U.S., without
being pressured so badly by Sunnis and growing uneasy about
the power of the Iranians coming to foreground in Iraq, pressed
on with plans for the interim government, and they also started
leaking that they knew the game the Iranians were playing. The
release of the news that Chalabi was an Iranian agent was a key
part of this process.
The Iranians and al-Sistani tried to convince the U.S. that they
were willing to send Iraq up in flames. During the Sunni rising
in Al Fallujah, they permitted Muqtada al-Sadr to rise as well.
The U.S. asked al-Sistani for help, but Al-Sistani did not lift
a finger for days. Al-Sistani was betting the U.S.would reverse
its political plans to get Shiite support, but the opposite
happened. The U.S. concluded that the Shia and Iran were not
reliable, and that they were not necessary. Rather than negotiate
with the Shia, the Americans negotiated with the Sunni in Al
Fallujah and reached agreement with them. Then the U.S. went
ahead with a political solution for the interim government that
left the Shia on the margins. This brought back cooperation
from the Shia. The U.S. made it clear to al-Sistani and others
that they could be included in the coalition, in a favored
The U.S. reversed the process by trying to drive a wedge between
the Iranians and the Iraqi Shia, and it appeared to be working,
with al-Sistani and al-Sadr seeming to shift positions so as not
to be excluded.
In that moment the Iranians saw more than a decade of patient
strategy going down the toilet. To try and get back in the
game. first, they created a crisis with the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over nuclear weapons that was
certain to draw U.S. attention. Second, they seized the
British patrol boats. They were letting the U.S. know that
it was on the verge of a major crisis with Iran.
There is more to be played out here. The U.S. cannot let
Iran get nuclear weapons, and the Iranians know it. They will
probably rattle the nuclear development saber hoping to get
more influence in the Iraqi government in turn for stopping
the rattling of the nuclear development saber. We will just
have to wait for this chapter to unfold.
[edit on 27-10-2005 by MajorCee]