Iran – Here comes Sahraroodi

Mousa Afshar
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad"The international community must recognize participation rights of all countries, especially when it comes to problem solving for the whole world. They cannot eliminate one or two countries," Manouchehr Mottaki, the Iranian foreign minister stated on Iranian media on May 4, 2007.

This was the mullah’s foreign minister’s assessment of the recent Sharm El-Sheikh Conference. This conference has been the largest international gathering about Iraq so far. The mullahs complain they were excluded from the conference even though they were allowed to attend.

The head of the Guardian Council, the top council above parliament, mulla Jannati made an even bigger objection and called the Sharm El-Sheikh conference “invalid”. He said: "Do the people of this region want their guardians to be from the US and the UK?  Do they want these countries to make decisions for Iraq?" 

The Islamic Republic newspaper reflecting the Supreme Leader’s views described the conference as “Barren”.

Iran’s reaction to the world’s response to its interference in the future of Iraq was clear at the Sharm El-Sheikh conference:

• One of the Iranian requests was a timetable for a US military withdrawal from Iraq.  The mullahs don’t want to lose the opportunity to take control of Iraq’s future.  Their request for US withdrawal was dropped from the final declaration of the conference.

• Next the mullah’s requested that the Maliki government be supported; a government whose key posts are dominated by the Quds force.  The conference decided that support for Iraqi government should only be contingent on political progress.

• During the conference, the Saudi Arabian foreign minister refused to meet with maliki and other Iraqi officials. This was a bad signal to the mullahs since the main regional power did not give any credibility to the Maliki government.

• In the conference’s declaration, Egypt requested the Iraqi government to build its army on national basis, not on the religious divide. This was in deep contrast to Tehran’s request that the Shiite Para-military forces control the Iraqi Police and Interior Ministry.

• The conference declaration called for Iraq to resolve its religious segregation and to disembark and dissolve all illegal militias with no exception.

• The conference’s declaration called for political participation of all Iraqi people. This is contradictory to the Iranian regime’s agenda in Iraq.  In contrast to Arab countries, Iran wants to keep Iraq’s Sunni minority from having any role in the new government.

• The conference called for adjusting the Iraqi law to stop attempts to eliminate the Ba’th party members in Iraq.  This is in direct contrast to what has happened so far under pressure from Iranian mullahs.

• The conference reiterated the Arab League’s request to convene the Iraqi Unity Conference which has been postponed for nearly one year. This declaration states that the international community wants to support Iraq, but there must be internal agreement and the Iraqi government must stop the violence first.

The Egyptian foreign minister, who was heading the conference, emphasized that there is no end in sight for the current Iraqi crisis except through a political agreement guaranteeing interests of all Iraqis.

The conference’s declaration is part of an international and regional process to deter Iranian mullahs and their Iraqi proxies. This process will break the mullah’s strategy as it expands.

The Sharm El-Sheikh conference was not only to isolate the Iranian regime’s meddling in Iraq. It also demonstrated the miscalculation of those who were counting on negotiations with Iran. They believed the Sharm El-Sheikh conference would be an opportunity to negotiate Iran’s role in Iraq, in order to make it change its behavior in Iraq. That explains the US State Department’s leniency toward Iran. The US Ambassador in Baghdad even met Ali Larijani, the head of mullah’s National Security Council.

How did Iran’s mullahs respond? They brought Jafar Sahraroodi (a known Iranian agent responsible for violent attacks in Iraq) as part of the Iranian delegation. The US government is well aware of Sahraroodi’s role. The US Military attacked an Iranian-owned building in Erbil, Iraq on January 10 to arrest Sahraroodi. He managed to escape to Iran.

The mullahs will never negotiate in talks aiming at stopping the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Iraq. If they do, they must abandon the religious theocracy in Iran. Therefore, we say to all those who want to negotiate with Iran: "Here you go, this is Sahraroodi."