Monday, March 12, 2007

Talibani - US, Iran to discuss Iraq security in Washington

Two quick hits from the "news less travelled" section.

The first is an announcement from President Talibani of Iraq. He has said, from his sickbed, that US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad has told him there will be direct talks between Iran and the US about Iraqi security issues, to be held in Washington.
BAGHDAD, March 12 (KUNA) -- The US and Iran are to hold meetings in Washington on security and stability in Iraq, a statement by the Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's office said Monday quoting US ambassador in Baghdad, Zalmay Khalilzad.

Khalilzad had visited Talabani in hospital in Amman where he acquainted him with the outcome of the security conference held in the Iraqi capital earlier this week, the statement added.

The presidential statement also quoted Khalilzad saying the US delegation met with Iranian counterparts at the Baghdad security meeting, stating meeting outcome was 'positive'. The two sides decided to meet again for talks on achieving security and stability in Iraq and the region.

No date was set for the proposed meeting, nor who will attend.

The Baghdad Conference had entrusted the Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari with making necessary arrangements for a meeting of Foreign Ministers of Iraq's neighbor states and the G8 countries. Nothing about talks between Washington and Tehran was mentioned.

Talabani expressed gratitude to the US ambassador for his efforts to hold a meeting between Iran and the US hoping "this would lead to positive results that could incur security to Iraq and the entire region."
It will be interesting to see if this is true or not. There's a possibility that Talibani is trying to make it true by announcing it, hoping Khalilzad won't make him a liar.

The other is from the Iranian state broadcasting service IRIB and concerns the MKO, also known as the MeK:
Iraqi Supreme Criminal Court will conduct trial of the ringleaders of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), Iraqi Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme Criminal Court Jaafar al-Mousavi said on Sunday.

The court has evidence of war crimes and involvement in the crackdown on Iraqi people during rule of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein by Mujahedin Khalq grouplet, al-Mousavi said.

He said that the Iraqi Supreme Criminal Court has compiled documents about the killing of Iraqi people in the context of Saddam's crackdown against the people in return for huge amount of money from Iraqi public fund.

The MKO had been involved in a crackdown operation against Shia Muslims in 1991 in southern Iraq and Iraqi Kurds in northern Iraq.

Currently 4,000 MKO members are at Ashraf camp under protection of the American troops.
I assume the trial will be in absentia since none of the MeK's leaders is in Iraqi custody.

However, if the Iraqis make such a trial open and transparent, rather than a show-trial, and ensure it is well publicized, it will give closure to one of the open sores of Saddam's reign. It will also, as a side-product, strengthen Iran's negotiating hand in any dealings with the US. The MeK are one of the major Iran regime change groups and have received backing from particularly neoconservative elements in the US. It's been alleged by Iran and Western journalists that the Bush administration is using the MeK as a proxy force for attacks in Iran fom their camp at Ashraf in Iraq. A trial which was open and thorough would de-legitimize the MeK and seriously weaken the neoconservative's narrative for war with Iran.

Yet the MeK seriously need to be de-legitimized. They are an Islamist/Marxist cult with a leader - Massoud rajavi - who believes himself to be the actual twelfth Imam. The MeK assisted the Hussein regime in suppressing opposition within Iraq, and performed internal security for Saddam as his personal bully-boys. They are listed by the State Dept. as a terror group. Massoud's ex-wife Maryam Rajavi (the MeK's leader forced all his followers to divorce after having a vision that marriage was no longer wished by Allah) is a constant poison drip of made-up "intelligence" designed to push the US and the West towards war with Iran. She heads the MeK's political wing - the National Council of Resistance of Iran - which has provided much of the iffy intelligence the US has relied upon in accusations about Iran's nuclear program and meddling in Iraq. If you see a report in the conservative media about intelligence from "Iranian dissidents" then the NCIRA are usually the group being alluded to.

Watch to see if either of these stories hit the corporate media.

No comments: