Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Al-Hayat roundup

In connection with the widely-reported threat by the ISI leader Omar al-Baghdadi to wage jihad against Iran, Al-Hayat juxtaposes this:
Iran joined the race that the American forces and the Iraqi government are already involved in, to win the love of the Sunni tribes [of Iraq], by inviting some of their leaders who are well-connected to armed groups, to visit Tehran and meet with Iranian authorities, in order to "put an end to mutual suspicions". Meanwhile, the "emir" of the "Islamic State of Iraq" issued warnings about a strike against Iranian assets and Sunni businessmen in the Gulf who do business with Tehran if it does not stop its support for the "rejectionists" (Shiites) in Iraq. ...Al-Hayat has obtained reliable information confirming that the Iranian government issued invitations to influential Sunni tribal leaders who are close to armed groups to visit Tehran "to meet with senior political and religious figures there," and they [subject missing here] said this is part of the Iranian aim of "dissipating suspicions" about its role in Iraq, and the invitees are going to convey their concerns about Iranian aims, and urge Iran to play a participatory role in guaranteeing the unity of the country.
Al-Hayat includes considerable detail from the ISI tape that was disseminated on the internet, but says nothing further by way of elaboration or support for this report about an Iranian invitation to the tribal leaders.

With respect to al-Baghdadi, lest anyone has forgotten their skepticism, I would like to refer back to the self-explanatory post "ISI chief reportedly had Saudi-intelligence connections". Not to mention, for overall orientation, the indications of a black-ops background to Fatah al-Islam in Lebanon, and the well-documented alliance between the USA and Dahlan in Palestine. (War in Context today notes that the recent interview with a Hamas official suggests it was US-ally Dahlan who impeded the earlier release of the BBC journalist Johnston).

The Al-Hayat reporter moves on to other issues. Following a roundup of the latest Maliki-Sadr confrontation news, he turns to the Iraq-Saudi situation.
On another issue, Saudi security officials said they are going to put an Iraqi security-diplomatic delegation, meeting them in Jedda today, in the picture respecting the "disturbing situation" Riyadh is suffering from as a result of the "enormous volumes of smuggling" of weapons and drugs from Iraqi territory, in addition to Iraqi infiltrators, and the question of cooperation in fighting terrorism.
And he quotes the head of the Gulf Research Center as stressing two points the Saudis are particularly interested in: One is the volume of drug and weapons smuggling from Iraq, and the other is the return to Saudi Arabia of Saudi nationals held in Iraqi prisons, whether these prisons are run by the Iraqis or the Americans. Abdulaziz bin Saqr said it would be in the interests of the Iraqis and the Americans to return these people to the Saudi authorities, because it would help them fight the local terror networks that are involved in Iraq.


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