Sunday, March 30, 2008

Gen. Suleimani, commander of the Quds brigades of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, played key role in brokering Iraq cease-fire...

In McClatchy's, here
"....The backdrop to Sadr's dramatic statement was a secret trip Friday to Qom, Iran's holy city and headquarters of the dominant Iranian clergy, by Iraqi lawmakers.
There they held talks with Brig. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, commander of the Qods (Jerusalem) brigades of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps and signed an agreement with Sadr, which formed the basis of his statement Sunday, members of parliament said.
In addition to Sadr, who is in Qom pursuing religious studies, Iraqi lawmakers met Suleimani, said Osama al Nejafi, a legislator on the parliamentary committee formed to solve the Basra crisis.
The Qom discussions may or may not bring an end to the fighting but they almost certainly have undermined Maliki - who made repeated declarations that there would be no negotiations and that he would treat as outlaws those who did not turn in their weapons for cash.
In another blow to Maliki, his security advisor, Saleem Qassim al Taee, known as Abu Laith Al-Kadhimi, was killed in the fighting in Basra...."
Col. Lang's comment, here
If it is true that the commander of the IRGC Quds Force mediated the intra-Shia fracas, then the US policy in Iraq of favoring the ISCI/Dawa/Badr dominated Maliki government is in serious trouble.
The role of "Wasit" (intermediary) is highly significant in the Middle East. For the Iraqis to assign that role to the Iranians would indicate an acknowledgement of what they think the situation is going to be in the future.
A Reminder: The Quds Force is the IRGC element that the US Senate branded a terrorist organization some time back pl

Dated signature and seal of Shi'a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr as appearing on a statement issued March 30, 2008.

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