Friday, January 02, 2009

Iraq plans to close Iranian dissidents' border camp.

Any hopes nurtured by the Bush administration that Iraq were going to be their natural allies in their ongoing ideological war with Iran have surely been dashed with this news:

Iraq plans to close a camp for Iranian dissidents who used to cross into Iran to mount assassinations and sabotage - a decision that has sharpened political differences between Baghdad and Washington.

Camp Ashraf, about 80 miles north of Baghdad, came under Iraqi control yesterday in a broad security handover that forms part of the US withdrawal agreement concluded late last year.

Iraq's national security adviser, Mowaffaq al-Rubaie, led a delegation of defence and interior ministry officials to the camp last weekend, warning its 2,500 male and 1,000 female inmates that "staying in Iraq is not an option". The Iraqi government said it "is keen to execute its plans to close the camp and send its inhabitants to their country or other countries in a non-forcible manner".

It's notable that this is almost the first thing the Iraqis have done the moment they regard their sovereignty as being restored.

Under the security deal Iraq yesterday took over the Green Zone and Saddam's former presidential palace. The prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, declared a national holiday, saying it amounted to the moment when sovereignty was restored.

Once Iraq elected a Shia government it was inevitable that relations between Iran and Iraq would improve, no matter what the Bush administration desired. Indeed, under the new US/Iraq security agreement the Iraqis have insisted on a clause which states that the US cannot use Iraqi soil for an attack on any other country.

This will no doubt enrage the John Bolton's of the world who are salivating to attack Iran but, for the rest of us, this is good news as improved relations between Iraq and Iran will aid Obama as he tries to find a diplomatic solution to the US/Iranian standoff.

For the past few years we have had the Bush regime complaining that Iran were behind all kinds of attacks within Iraq whilst the Iraqi Prime Minister was claiming that Iran had a "constructive" role in "fighting terrorism" in his country. The two viewpoints were always totally contradictory.

Now, at last, the Bushites can be removed from the equation and the Bolton's of this world can be left to shout bile from the sidelines whilst adults try to sort things out by negotiation rather than by threats.

Click title for full article.

Tags: , , , ,

No comments: