"Iraq Will Be a Colony of Iran"

[Washington Post] David Ignatius - Gen. Mohammed Shahwani, the head of Iraqi intelligence since 2004, resigned this month because of what he viewed as Iraqi Prime Minister Nouria al-Maliki's attempts to undermine the U.S.-trained Iraqi National Intelligence Service (INIS) and allow Iranian spies to operate freely. Without the backstop of U.S. support, Iraqi authorities are now desperately vulnerable to pressure, especially from neighboring Iran. An early warning was the brazen July 28 robbery of the state-run Rafidain Bank in central Baghdad, apparently by members of an Iraqi security force. Some of the money has been recovered, but the rest is believed to be in Iran, along with some members of the robbery team. Since the INIS was formally created in 2004, 290 of its officers have been killed, many targeted by Iranian intelligence operatives. With Shahwani's resignation, the intelligence service is commanded by Gen. Zuheir Fadel. Some of Fadel's key officers are said to be fleeing for safety in Jordan, Egypt and Syria - fearing that they will be targets of Iranian hit teams if they remain in Iraq. A top Iraqi intelligence source, pressed about what his country would look like in five years without American help, answered bluntly: "Iraq will be a colony of Iran."

2009-08-26 06:00:00

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