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Links between Iraqi terrorists and Iran

April 11, 2004

 

 

Rita Cosby: Well, in a disturbing new development, evidence shows links between Iraqi terrorists and Iran. Is the recent violence being encouraged by Iran and what can we do about it. Someone’s been talking about this for a long time; Alireza Jafarzadeh is President of Strategic Policy Consulting and also a Fox News contributor.

 

Alireza, this is not news to you, this is news I think to a lot of people but you and I have been talking about this for a long time. How much of an impact do you think Iran is having on Iraq now? 

 

 

 

 

Alireza Jafarzadeh: Well, Rita, as you said, I’ve been talking about this for more than a year. In fact right after the fall of Baghdad. Iran has been heavily involved in the affairs. They’ve been sending arms, huge amount of money….

 

Rita Cosby: Troops?

 

Alireza Jafarzadeh: Well the Revolutionary Guards, the Jerusalem Force of the Revolutionary Guards have been all over Iraq. I recently found out that within the past few months, the headquarters of the Jerusalem Force have been moved from Tehran to the border city of Mehran, right on the Iran-Iraq border line. Two tactical bases of the Jerusalem Force have been moved from the provisional capitals of Kermanshah and Ahwaz, again, to the border line. I know for fact that a number of the top commanders of the Revolutionary Guards have been spotted in Al-Amarah, recently.

 

Rita Cosby: What is there to say that the Jerusalem Forces right there at our border region, we’re suppose to be watching the border region as our Iraqi forces. Are we doing a good job?

 

Alireza Jafarzadeh: Well, I tell you honestly, this 900 miles of Iran-Iraq border is extremely porous and the Iranians are all over it. As many as 30 thousand a night, many of them pilgrims are crossing into Iraq freely.

 

Rita Cosby: Wait, 30 thousand a night!?

 

Alireza Jafarzadeh: Yes, 30 thousand a night, and among them are many agents of the Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guards. Iran has formed its own groups in Iraq, Hezbollah, modeled after the Lebanese Hezbollah is headquartered in Al-Amarah; they have offices in Kut. Iran has the 15th Shaban group in Nasiriyah and the Seyyed-ol-Shohada group in Basrah.

 

Rita Cosby: One of the people you haven’t mentioned, Muqtada Al Sadre, what role does Iran or any of these other foreign groups such as Syria and Lebanon, as some suggest, play a role particularly with this sort of very fiery fighters backing him? Do we know if there’s a direct connection?

 

Alireza Jafarzadeh: Well, certainly Tehran is connected to all kinds of groups and figures there. They are playing their cards; not relying only on one figure but various groups and individuals. And I think what is significant is not this or that figure. I think the most important factor is how the whole country, Iran, with all the resources is behind this and how they can overpower everything else in the future developments of Iraq. Look at the Iranian revolution; it wasn’t the most senior clerics who actually took over, even right now, it’s the mid level clerics who are ruling the country. So, I think it’s important to see who has the money, the gun and the network and that’s exactly what is coming from Iran.

 

Rita Cosby: Thank you very much. Alireza, thank you for your insight.

 

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