Saturday, 14 February 2009 00:46

Baghdad-Tehran Axis Grows

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MottakiLess than two weeks after Iraq’s provincial elections, the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki welcomed a large high-level delegation from Iran. Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki led the delegation, which visited Baghdad on February 11 and included representatives from the Central Bank and oil, trade, and energy ministries. Mottaki met with his Iraqi counterpart, Hoshyar Zebari, as well as Prime Minister al-Maliki and President Jalal Talabani.

President Talabani congratulated Mottaki for Iran’s 30 years of revolution and praised the Ayatollah Khomeini’s revolution as an “auspicious event” for the entire Middle East region. Talabani also called for the development of “strategic ties” between Iran and Iraq. “We are sure that Iran is inclined to expand its relations with Iraq,” he said in a meeting with Mottaki. “As the Iraqi part has the same inclination, our ties should be expanded more than ever.”

In a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, Mottaki said all-out relations between Tehran and Baghdad will expand more swiftly in the future. “The relations between Iran and Iraq have always been positive and growing, and we hope this trend would continue.” Al-Maliki, for his part, called for strengthening relations between Iraq and Iran. “We call for the expansion of economic and trade ties with Iran, especially now that the security conditions of our country have improved.”

Only a few weeks previously, al-Maliki had concluded a two-day trip to Iran, his fourth in the past two and a half years. "We are interested in availing ourselves of Iran's experience and expertise for Iraq's reconstruction and further want expansion of ties in all fields," al-Maliki stated at the conclusion of his visit.

Following his meetings with Iraqi officials in Baghdad, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mottaki headed to Arbil, the capital city of autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan region for a visit with Massud Barzani, president of the Kurdish regional government (KRG).

As a public pose, Motakki frequently denounces terrorism. But, of course, he serves one of the world’s premier terror-sponsoring regimes, and has been intimately involved in Tehran’s terror operations for three decades. As a fervent disciple of Ayatollah Khomeini, Mottaki joined the infamous Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which have trained and supplied Hezbollah and other terrorist groups. Motakki has been accused of kidnapping, torturing, and murdering Iranian and Kurdish opponents of the Khomeini regime and was kicked out of Turkey by the Turkish government for his terrorist activities while serving there as Iran’s ambassador.

While Mottaki was in Iraq, his fellow revolutionaries in Iran’s terror regime were welcoming terrorist leaders to Tehran. On February 12, Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), was hosted in Tehran by Ayatollah Ali Khameini, President Ahmadinejad, Iranian parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, and other top officials. Shallah, who is on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” list, posed as a peaceful professor at the University of South Forida in Tampa, before leaving in 1995 to take over leadership of the PIJ, a group well known for bombings, suicide bombings, kidnappings, murder, and extortion. Dr. Sami al-Arian, his PIJ comrade and a former USF professor, is now serving time in a U.S. federal prison on terrorism charges.

Talabani visited Iran in 2005, the first Iraqi head of state to do so since the 1960s. He hit off famously with Iran’s Ahmadinejad and announced at the conclusion of the three-day trip he was "sure that we will enjoy the Iranian government's co-operation in our struggle against terrorism." When Ahmadinejad made his historic journey to Iraq in 2008, he was greeted with kisses from Talabani, who fondly asked Ahmadinejad to call him “Uncle Jalal.”

Photo of Mottaki (left) with Zebari: AP Images

For more information, see "Iraq Elections No Victory for U.S." and "Talking With Iran's Terror Regime."
 

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