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Friday, August 13, 2004

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 Iran Battling US In Iraq

Senior intelligence sources in the US and officials in the Middle East claim that the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has made a strategic decision to confront American forces in Iraq's Shi'a heartland.

"The rhetoric coming out of the Bush administration has convinced Iran that military conflict is inevitable and rather than await an attack at a time and place of America's choosing, the Iranians will try to inflict significant damage to US forces on Iraqi soil by means of the Mahdi Army and other Shi'a groups," an informed intelligence source said.

Senior CIA officials refused to comment on these reports, but a former senior intelligence officer said that the conclusion was 'a no brainer: "If you had US troops on your doorstep and George Bush calling you a part of the axis of evil you would take steps to protect yourself. And it would be better to protect yourself on Iraqi soil than to have to do so on Iranian soil. That is what they are doing. Are we surprised? We shouldn't be."

I am not surprised for three reasons:
  1. It's a matter of public record that the war with Iraq is largely the brainchild of a group of neoconservative intellectuals, who view it as a pilot project.
  2. In August 2002 a British official close to the Bush team told Newsweek: "Everyone wants to go to Baghdad. Real men want to go to Tehran."
  3. In February 2003, according to Ha'aretz, an Israeli newspaper, Under Secretary of State John Bolton told Israeli officials that after defeating Iraq the United States would "deal with" Iran, Syria and North Korea.

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