Stop Fundamentalism, July 9 â€“ Paul Bremer, the former Civil Administrator of Iraq in an exclusive interview with the Arabic language television Al-Hurra on July 7 called Iranâ€™s involvement in Iraq a â€œdangerous and very negative role.â€
Bremer who was answering questions said, â€œSince the outset, Iranians never played a helpful role in Iraq. In the past year, Iran intervened most in the internal affairs of Iraq.â€
â€œIranians have brought some techniques into Iraq that led to serious damages to British, American and Multi-National forces. Iranians have had the most activity in support of Iraqis who are at war with the MNFIâ€ said Bremer.
About the Iranian intelligence activities in Iraq Bremer stressed, â€œThe Intelligence and Propaganda ministries have been active in Iraq. In some instances, at least when I was the administrator in Iraq, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards sent units to Iraq and occasionally the Qods Corps’ forces were present in Iraq. General Sulaimani who commands the Qods forces, was present in Iraq. It seems to me that Iranian have thus played a dangerous role in Iraq.â€
On the subject of Iran supporting violence by Sunnis Bremer agreed that, â€œIt is very possible that the Iranians indirectly support the Sunni insurgents in Iraq. It is simplistic to think that Iranians are Shiite and the insurgents are Sunni and for this reason Iranians could not be collaborating with the Sunnis. While if you look at the Hamas movement, you see a Sunni religious movement whose greatest sponsor are Iranians. When they see that collaborating with the Sunnis is beneficial to them, nothing can prevent them in this regard.â€
Bremer headed the governing administration appointed by the coalition forces after the occupation of that country by the multi-national forces and the consequent fall of the previous regime.
Commenting on Iranian involvement with Shiites in Iraq, Bremer said, â€œIranians have secret and long-time relations with some Shiite parties in Iraq, including the Addawa Party, the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution in Iraq and recently with Muqtada Sadr. Therefore, through them, Iran can play a negative and worrying role in Iraq.â€
When the interviewer asked about his greatest personal mistake in Iraq, Bremer admitted, â€œI think the greatest mistake I personally made in Iraq was in the manner of execution of de-Baathification.â€ Bremer continued, â€œI gave the responsibility of implementing the plan to a political group, i.e. the Governing Council of Iraq at the time. I should have given the responsibility of executing this important program to a judicial system and agency and not allow it to become political. I think this mistake, was my greatest mistake in Iraq and resolving it has taken up a lot of our time, so far.â€