USADI Dispatch

A publication of the U.S. Alliance for Democratic Iran

Volume V, No. 2                                                                                                                                        January 18, 2008

Commentary by U.S. Alliance for Democratic Iran



Qods Force: Enemy No. 1 in Iraq

Last July, in the little-noticed Executive Order 13438, the United States made it possible for the Secretary of the Treasury to block “Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq” in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense.

The Executive Order sanctions persons or entities “to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing, an act or acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq; or undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people.”

On January 9, the Department of the Treasury appropriately blacklisted a top general of the Qods Force described as “the regime's primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists and Islamic militants” along with three other individuals and one entity. The announcement put to rest the recent hype, primarily fueled by ayatollahs’ apologists, over an impending “thaw” between Washington and Tehran given the latter’s “reduced” involvement in transfer of Explosively Formed Penetrators (EFP).

General Raymond Odierno, the second highest US general in Iraq, told reporters on Thursday that Tehran is still training and funding militants attacking coalition troops in Iraq. "We know that they continue to train Iraqi extremists in Iran, we know that they continue to pay some of these extremists," he told reporters. Last weekend, Gen. David Petraeus, US top commander in Iraq, stated that attacks against US forces using EFP’s supplied by Tehran had in fact increased “by a factor of two or three” in January.

Similarly, the Treasury’s report on specific terrorist acts and operations these individuals have committed proves beyond any doubt that there is indeed no “reduction” and the ayatollahs’ are vigorously intent on advancing their campaign in Iraq.

The Department of Treasury imposed sanctions on “Iran-based Ahmed Foruzandeh, a Brigadier General in the IRGC-QF,” who “leads terrorist operations against Coalition Forces and Iraqi Security Forces, and directs assassinations of Iraqi figures.”

In addition to several of QF’s border garrisons acting as the command and control centers of their destabilizing campaign in Iraq, Tehran’s embassy in Baghdad plays a key role in distributing funds among various proxy groups and plotting subversive operations by these groups. A significant number of the embassy’s staff belongs to the Qods Force. Tehran’s top diplomat in Iraq, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, is a Qods Force commander.

Earlier in the month, nearly 500 Iraqi tribal leaders and sheikhs called for the closure of all of Tehran’s diplomatic centers in Iraq and demanded the complete evictions of the IRG and Qods Force operatives and proxy groups from Iraq. Iraqi tribal leaders who figure significantly in the political and social landscape of their country correctly targeted the main culprit in the ongoing bloodshed and insecurity there.

Gathering in the first "Congress of Iraqi Tribal Alliance for Support of Nationalist Alternative" they declared their support for a national reconciliation government. Calling for early national elections under the auspices of the United Nations the transfer of security to local tribal leaders, the tribal leaders also demanded the continued presence of Iran’s main dissident group the People’s Mojahedin (MEK) in Iraq as a strategic counter-weight to Tehran’s fundamentalist regime.

The MEK whose members, residing in the Camp Ashraf northeast of Baghdad, were granted “protected person” status under the Forth Geneva Convention in July 2004, has dedicated its facilities and resources to the national reconciliation in Iraq and promotion of a non-sectarian democratic and independent Iraqi political alternative.

Given its growing success to raise awareness to the clear and immediate threats the clerical regime poses to the integrity of Iraq and sovereignty of Iraqi people, the MEK has increasingly been the target of Tehran’s multi-faceted campaign aimed at pressurizing or at best expulsion of this potent anti-fundamentalist Iranian group from Iraq.

Tehran’s anti-MEK campaign has been primarily advanced by its surrogate groups and officials in all three branches of the Iraqi government. More than a year ago, the flow of water, electricity, fuel, and basic food staples to the Camp Ashraf were reported to have been cut off by the government.

A good number of these ploys have, however, failed and, on many occasions, have severely backfired on Tehran and its proxies, thanks to the deep roots the MEK has established among independent Iraqi political dignitaries, tribal leaders and ordinary Iraqi of all religious and ethnic background.

The Times of London yesterday published the statement by nearly 300,000 Iraqi Shiites of southern provinces who denounced efforts by Tehran’s Iraqi surrogates against the MEK and to meddle in Iraq. The statement, calling for the complete eviction of Iran’s regime from Iraq, said that the Iranian Mojahedin, adhering to a democratic and anti-fundamentalist Islam, acted as an alternative and counter-balance against the regime in Iran and that it was a bulwark against Tehran’s meddling in Iraq.

Washington should heed to these calls and thwart Tehran’s ploys aimed at undermining the admirable contribution the MEK – despite the limitation of resources and the sever pressure it is subjected to by the Nuri al-Malki’s government - is making to the very same political and security objectives the United States and independent Iraqis are working for. Revoking the blacklisting of the MEK will remove the main justification Tehran and its Iraqi proxies are using to undermine the MEK in the ongoing battle for a democratic Iraq free of ayatollahs’ dominance.  (USADI)


USADI Commentary reflects the viewpoints of the US Alliance for Democratic Iran in respect to issues and events which directly or indirectly impact the US policy toward Iran

The US Alliance for Democratic Iran (USADI), is an independent, non-profit organization, which aims to advance a US policy on Iran that will benefit America through supporting Iranian people’s aspirations for a democratic, secular, and peaceful government. The USADI is not affiliated with any government agencies, political groups or parties.
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