Monday, June 30, 2008

Preparing the Battlefield: Iran

In light of Seymour Hersh's latest article, "Preparing the Battlefield," about stepped-up US involvement in Iran, here's post I wrote over 2 years ago on the topic:

Keep an Eye on Khuzestan

And a graphic of the oil resources and ethnic makeup of the region worth a thousand words:


Robert Martini said...

Cool, an Arab vs Persian civil war over oil?

pero said...

I notice in the post you link to--in comments--you mention slant drilling in Iraq. I'm a knowledgeable person and this is the first I've heard of this (or maybe it just didn't stick). Do you have any links?

Jeff Vail said...

See notes 10 - 14 on that page. Certainly not conclusive, and I have no idea whether Kuwait was or was not slant drilling, just that Iraq claimed they were--the interesting point, I think, is just how we brush over Iraq's allegations that their invasion was justified because that claim doesn't fit our desire to keep the issue clear for the American public.

Anonymous said...

I'll block quote an article from the Asia Times recently that is directly on point:

Reportedly, the $400 million is to be spent by the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) on arming terrorist groups like the Mujahideen Khalq (MEK), supporting minority groups such as the Ahwazi Arabs, Kurds, Azeris and Balochi. That is, the 40% non-Persian citizens of Iran are being singled out to break the regime from within.

Vali Nasr, an Iranian professor at Tufts University in the US, notes, "Just because Lebanon, Iraq and Pakistan have ethnic problems, it does not mean that Iran is suffering from the same issue." He added, "Iran is an old country, like France and Germany, and its citizens are just as nationalistic. The US is overestimating ethnic tension in Iran." Nasr notes that the groups being groomed by the Americans are either weak, or, at best, marginal, adding, "You can always find some activist groups that will go and kill a policeman, but working with the minorities will backfire, and alienate the majority of the population."

One of the groups sleeping with the CIA, for example, comprises Sunni fundamentalists, known as Balochis, who produced Ramzi Yousef, one of the key players in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, an organizer of the September 11, 2001, attacks. Another group is Jundullah, a Salafi organization, while a third is the MEK, which has been on the US State Department's list of A-class terrorists for over 10 years.

The Americans realize, however, these groups are not too strong, nor are they capable of bringing down a strong regime like the one in Tehran. Any strike on Iran that does not bring down the regime will only make it stronger. But at least, and if their activities are accompanied by Israeli strikes on nuclear sites in Natanz and Asfahan, then this might pressure Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to abandon his country's nuclear program.

Sami Moubayed, Tehran puts on a show of strength, (July 2, 2008).

Big Gav said...

Regarding slant drilling, I remember laughing a few years ago when the new Iraqi government promptly accused the Kuwaitis of slant drilling once again.

They didn't invade this time, probably because they had other, more pressing, issues to attend to...

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