July 25, 2007

US-Iran Talks Creating A 'Purge Committee'?

Stratfor takes a look at the high-level talks that took place yesterday between the American ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, and the Iranian ambassador, Hassan Kazemi Qomi. After Crocker declared that the trilateral talks will continue despite accusations from the US and Iran of undermining Iraq, the analysts look at what common ground the two nations may have found (subscription required):

Iran and the United States now appear to have made enough progress to begin implementing agreements from the May meeting. After the second round of talks, Crocker said the U.S., Iraqi and Iranian governments plan to create a security committee to discuss containing violence in Iraq, addressing everything from "support for violent militias" to al Qaeda to border security.

Translation: The two countries will create a purge committee; the United States will kill any Iraqi Sunnis who do not cooperate, while the Iranians do the same to rebellious Iraqi Shia.

Now that the expectations have been set, the coming days will give us an idea of who will sit on this committee and when it will begin operations. But there is still one large task at hand. After all, though Washington clearly has more cards to play with the Sunnis, and the Iranians pull substantial weight among the Shia, this does not mean compliance will come easily. We use the words "purge" and "kill" for good reason; there are many in (and beyond) Iraq who are terrified of any U.S.-Iranian detente.

If the US and Iran have begun to cooperate on Iraqi security, the building blocks of that cooperation would come within the spheres of influence now in Iraq. Clearly the Sunni see us as a shield against Shi'ite retribution for decades of official oppression, as well as an ally against the bloodthirsty al-Qaeda organization that terrorizes all Iraqis in the western provinces. They do not want us to leave until they can be assured of their own security against a sectarian-driven army and police forces.

We have not heard a lot about Baghdad and the surge lately, which could tend to support the Stratfior analysis. Iran could be pressuring Sadr and his militias to stay quiet while the US tries to settle the violence in the capital, seeing that as the most direct route to our withdrawal. The Shi'ites will have a natural affinity for Iran, and seeing that grow stronger is disturbing -- but it may be the only way at this point to get a temporary respite from the violence. If so, it seems to be working.

However, if Stratfor's blunt analysis is correct, the new policy will not win many allies here in the US. It sounds as if all of the bad consequences of the ISG strategy will have come to fruition, only with our overt assistance rather than just passive neglect. We don't want to leave Iraq as an Iranian satellite any more than we want it as a chaotic terrorist haven. We certainly shouldn't be participating in a "purge committee" that acts on an extra-legal basis just to enforce a deadly form of realpolitik.

Their analysts believe that the recent Iranian invitation to the IAEA for an inspection of their Arak nuclear facility came as a result of these talks. The Iranians used their nuclear program to gain a leading position in talks about Iraqi security -- or conversely, the US leveraged their concerns over our foothold on one of their borders to put pressure on their nuclear efforts. If that horsetrading results in an end to their nuclear program, then it's a good trade, but that has to be a verifiable conclusion, and not just another series of promises by the mullahcracy.

There may be many in and out of Iraq who fear an Iranian-US detente, but there are many more who question what such a truce would buy us and the region, especially considering the nature of the regime in question.


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Comments (5)

Posted by Adjoran | July 25, 2007 12:27 PM

Interpreting this as "creating a purge committee" to kill those who don't cooperate isn't "blunt analysis" at all: it is pure-D, 100% speculation.

Of course, I don't subscribe, so if they present any evidence for this interpretation beyond mere assertion, I don't get to see that.

Posted by Rose | July 25, 2007 2:50 PM

All a mush to me - but one thing is clear as crystal - any way you slice it, we have too many souls who are absolutely determined to aid the fulfillment of the Book of Revelations prophecies for Babylon to become the seat of all evil, for at least 7 years on this earth. The last 7 years before the Battle to end all battles.

And there is only one group who does NOT fit that profile - THE CHRISTIANS are NOT trying to destroy Iraq and turn it over to the most evil people the world has ever known as a nest for their terror.

But SOMEONE is. And their "sleight-of-hand" manipulations have all the finesse of a bull in a china closet. A very angry bull.

If the audience weren't so busy sleeping in a pot of boiling water, the "magician" would never be able to fool them.

Posted by patrick neid | July 25, 2007 4:18 PM

"There may be many in and out of Iraq who fear an Iranian-US detente, but there are many more who question what such a truce would buy us and the region, especially considering the nature of the regime in question."

Detente? When pigs fly. Iran eats our lunch whenever they are hungry. Pause for a second and think what a hoot this is, that we are asking/begging for Iranian help to, get this, slow the violence in Iraq. You know as well as I do, the mullahs are laying on the floor with their legs up in the air laughing themselves silly.

Everyday the leaders of Iran, Syria, Sudan, Hamas, Hezbollah and al sadr sit around, as they have for many years now, planning more interesting ways of killing us. Meanwhile we cower in the corner and fete them at the UN and our politicos look for photo ops.

Bush and company are pathetic--this from a supporter. Him and his crew can't leave office soon enough. I hope we elect a dem who surrenders and lets the genocide begin or elect rudi and lets win this thing. This bullshit texas two step is getting us killed.

from the grave old bin continues to be right....

Posted by Terry Gain | July 25, 2007 9:02 PM

It's not wise to draw broad conclusions based on narrow facts.

Bush is lacking communication skills but he's not an idiot- unlike the leaders of the other party who clearly want the U.S. to leave Iraq with its tail between its legs - if that will further their political ambitions..

Posted by crossdotcurve | July 26, 2007 8:31 AM

Um...I thought we didn't negotiate with terrorists?

So now we plan strategy w/them? While they aid in the killing of our soldiers?

Hopefully after '08 the adults will be back in charge of foreign policy.