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Breakthrough with Iran On Iraqi War Issues

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It seems as if open negotiations between Iran and the United States are just around the corner. According to the Stratfor Geopolitical Intelligence Report, they will meet soon on the ambassadorial level. It seems as if some of the “sticking” points between the two countries have already been smoothed out behind closed doors. According to Stratfor, the US political situation is the main reason for this turn of events. Congresses refusal to “go along” with this administration and the public outcry against this war has driven the administration to seek another solution to its problems rather than just using brute force. The Report from Stratfor also claims that the Iranians would rather deal with a weak president than a strong one. Bush’s presidency has been weakened by this war and Iran knows it, they would rather deal with him than a stronger President later.

The United States according to Stratfor wants the following:

1. The United States wants Iraq to be a unified and independent state. In other words, Washington knows a pro-U.S. regime in Baghdad is impossible at this point, but Washington is not going to permit an Iranian-dominated state either.

2. The United States does not want jihadists operating in Iraq.

3. The United States wants to be able to withdraw from security operations, but not precipitously, thereby allaying Sunni Arab states' concerns.

The Iranian demands are, according to Stratfor…many. Supposedly the Iranians don’t want coalition forces taken out immediately. In fact, May 5 article. The Saudi-owned, U.K.-based daily newspaper Al Hayat established the details of this paper in a May 5 article. The key points made in the presentation include the following:

1. Iran does not want an abrupt withdrawal of coalition forces from Iraq for fear this would lead to reshuffling the cards and redistributing power. Instead, there should be a fixed timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. and British forces from Iraqi cities and relocation at bases and camps inside Iraq, provided the Iraqi forces have reached the point at which they can provide security. The Iranians also stated that they would extend all possible assistance so that foreign forces could exit "honorably" from Iraq.
to the United States that they are willing to cooperate so the Iraq withdrawal does not look like another Vietnam scenario for the U.S. administration to deal with at home.

2. Iran is "strongly opposed to all attempts to partition Iraq or impose a federal system that allows for regional autonomy." No region should be allowed to monopolize the resources in its territory and deprive other regions of the revenues from these resources.

3. Iran wants a plan, involving the Kurds and Sunnis, drawn up to root out the transnational jihadist forces allied with al Qaeda in Iraq. Sunni tribes should also assume the responsibility of confronting jihadists, whether they are Iraqi citizens or are from other Arab and Muslim countries.

4. Iran clearly states that the negotiations over Iraq cannot be separated from other regional issues and Tehran's nuclear file.

5. Iran wants a new regional formula that would make Iraq a region of influence for Tehran.

The United States will not, according to Stratfor, let Iraq become a satellite state of Iran and Iran know this, but a Shiite government in place in Baghdad would probably suffice.

The Iranian paper outlined several key concessions it would offer the United States and Iraq's Sunni faction if its demands were met.

1. Iran would help the Iraqi government rein in the armed Shiite militias and incorporate them into the state security apparatus.

2. The de-Baathification law can be revised to allow for the rehiring of former Iraqi army personnel, the bulk of whom are tied to the Sunni nationalist insurgency. However, Iran wants assurances that former Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and other former Baathists will not be allowed to hold the position of Prime Minister when the time comes to replace current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

3. Iran would be willing to see fresh parliamentary elections, the formation of a new Cabinet and the amendment of the Iraqi Constitution to double the Sunni seats in parliament to 40 percent, with the Shia retaining 60 percent. Tehran has said nothing about what would be left for Kurdish political representation, however.

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Tim Gatto is Ret. US Army and has been writing against the Duopoly for the last decade. He has two books on Amazon, Kimchee Days or Stoned Colds Warriors and Complicity to Contempt.

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