Thursday, June 19, 2014

1998 report: Clinton administration had no problem with Iran intervening in Iraq

Al-Kadhimiya Mosque in 1998 (AP Photo/Murad Sezer)
Noteworthy in light of the speculation and analysis's regarding Iranian intervention in Iraq today is this November 20 1998 newspaper report which reminds us that back in 1998 the United States openly declared that it had no problem if Iran would intervene to assist the then oppressed Shiite majority there.

Of course today a considerable amount of the controversy in Iraq stems from the fact that many Sunnis feel marginalized in the political process under the present Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Nevertheless one mustn't readily forget those days when the Shia were marginalized by the Tikriti mafia clan which ruled Iraq for decades.

The 1998 Associated Press report quotes then State Department spokesman James P. Rubin outlining how, "We are not going to complain about any effort Iran makes to assist Shiites or others suffering under Saddam's rule. But we are not working with them [the Iranians] in any shape or form or soliciting their support."

Those comments were also made when there was a considerable thaw in post-1979 Iran-U.S. relations. While the report stresses the fact that the U.S. maintained Iran and Saddam's Iraq were sponsors of terrorism the Clinton administration was nevertheless interested in the potential prospects for change the considerably more moderate tone coming from Tehran under then President Khatami could present.

Similarly today we have a president in Tehran who promulgates a more moderate policy and says he seeks a more productive relationship between Tehran and Washington. Indeed it was this president who only yesterday suggested that Iran may intervene in Iraq in order to protect Shiite shrines there. A statement that can be interpreted as a possible plan for direct military intervention into Iraq against ISIS.

Contrary to the inaccurate statement frequently repeated by numerous media outlets reporting on the possibility of American/Iranian cooperation in Iraq today such cooperation in the post-1979 era would certainly not be "unprecedented", as the Herat campaign of November 2001 clearly proves.


Anonymous said...

Paul, is there any reason why your blog doesn't cover the thousands of stories that show Iran fur the disgusting terrorist hell it is, such as this one?

Anonymous said...

Paul,I hope you realize that the "Rouhani government" is the same cloth cut from the evil valih-e-faqih ?
Which amounts to the same oppressive system of terrorism against the Iranian people.