Iran Daily, June 23: Supreme Leader to US “Stay Out of Iraq”

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LATEST: MP Calls for Prosecution of Ahmadinejad

The Supreme Leader appeared to bury any prospect of Iran-US cooperation over Iraq’s crisis on Sunday.

Ayatollah Khamenei told senior judiciary officials:

We strongly oppose the intervention of the U.S. and others in the domestic affairs of Iraq.

The main dispute in Iraq is between those who want Iraq to join the U.S. camp and those who seek an independent Iraq. The U.S. aims to bring its own blind followers to power since the U.S. is not happy about the current government in Iraq….

We believe that the Iraqi government, nation, and religious authority are capable of ending this sedition and will end it, God willing,

The Supreme Leader’s statement completed more than a week of backlash against the Rouhani Government, which had invited Washington to work with Iran in checking the rapid insurgent advance in northern and western Iraq. Senior officials — including Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani; the head of Iran’s armed forces; and the Secretary of the National Security Council — responded by accusing the US of fostering the Iraqi insurgency, including the Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham.

Rouhani effectively conceded defeat on Sunday, replacing any overture to the US with the denunciation that some countries “feed terrorists by their petrodollars”:

We stress and advise all Muslim states and all those who unfortunately help the terrorists with their money and petro dollars to know that it will be their turn tomorrow….The barbarous terrorists will go after supporters of terrorism in the future.

The change in Presidential rhetoric not only put the US at arm’s length but also threatened his attempt at rapprochement with Saudi Arabia.

In his Sunday statement, the Supreme Leader — echoing appeals by Iraq’s top Shia cleric, Ayatollah Ali Sistani — called for all Iraqis to unify in defense of the country and to avoid sectarian conflict.

He then added another jab at the US: “What is happening in Iraq is not a war between Shias and Sunnis, but actually part of a plot by the hegemonic powers.”


MP Calls for Prosecution of Ahmadinejad

Gholamali Jafarzadeh, a member of Parliament’s Planning and Budget Commission, has called for the indictment of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“We must not have any fear of prosecuting the former government,” Jafarzadeh said; “Ahmadinejad must be held accountable for all his actions and scores of offences committed by his government.”

The MP claims the Government had illegally diverted revenues, as Ahmadinejad did “whatever he wanted with the National Development Fund”, and said that the President left about 5,000 projects on hold and unfinished.

Jafarzadeh said the cost of the misdeeds to Iran was 70 trillion Rials (about $2.5 billion).

Sentenced Analyst Zibakalam Still Featured in Iranian Media

Prominent analyst Sadegh Zibakalam, handed an 18-month prison sentence last week, is still being featured in Iranian outlet.

Mehr News posts an interview with Zibakalam on the latest nuclear discussions between Iran and the 5+1 Powers, in which the political scientist says, “We could not say that nuclear talks have failed totally; I may use the metaphor of a group of mountaineers who have faced a relatively impassable block of hard rock.”

Zibakalam identifies the chief obstacles to an agreement as the level and number of Iran’s centrifuges and the US-led sanctions on Tehran.

However, he is firm in his support of the negotiations — “Iran and (the 5+1) Powers are serious in their job” — and maintains that it is in the Islamic Republic’s interest to get an agreement.

Zibalakam was sentenced to prison last week for “defending the efforts of the government for resolving the country’s nuclear issue” and questioning the judiciary over verdicts in its prosecution of a $2.6 billion bank fraud.

See Iran Daily, June 19: “Cooperation Between Tehran and America Will Never Happen” over Iraq

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2 COMMENTS

  1. The narrative painted by the Supreme Liar on Iraq is, unsurprisingly, completely false and paranoid delusional. Iran seems scared that their plans for a Shiite dictator in Iraq who is subservient to Tehran are in danger.

  2. The quickly deteriorating situation in Iraq is so similar to what is happening in Syria where a strongman leader in Maliki, who has chosen to govern solely from a Shiite power base closely aligned to Iran, has actively alienated large Sunni and Kurdish populations in Iraq which is sparking this uprising. And just as in Syria, terror groups such as Al-Qaeda have sought to take advantage of the situation by jumping in.

    Iran’s decision to send in troops from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is nothing more than a pre-emptive attempt to keep another regime upright that is falling to popular discontent and preserve the string of friendly governments it is seeking to boost in the region. Iran’s mullahs recognize correctly that their precarious hold on regional power under strict Shiite control is in danger of slipping and as such have to go all in to preserve it. It’s an old recipe for them they have already practiced in Syria for two years. The irony here is the perception that the West and Iran might both be on the same side of supporting Maliki which is a dangerous assumption to make.

    Just as backing other strongmen in the region has turned out poorly for the US, sticking by Maliki would also be a mistake. It should set off warning bells anytime the US and Iran find themselves on the same side of any issue.

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