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IRAN and Iraq
The US simply expresses anger and disgust at European criticism of its plans for war against Iraq, it pays virtually no attention to Arab opinion as expressed at the Arab League conference in Sharm El-Sheik, and Iran is mentioned only as a member of the crooked Axis of Evil. Yet Iran is the major power in the region and deserves our intelligent attention., A Reuters report (3/5/02) on the Iranian position is titled: "Iran calls for democratic regime change in Iraq". Will Iran replace the US as the major force for democracy in the region?(!).
Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi called for a UN-supervised referendum to bring about a power transition in neighboring Iraq as part of a plan to avert a US-led invasion of Iraq. Kharrazi also called on Iraqi opposition groups to reconcile with President Saddam Hussein to avoid bloodshed. "The Iraqi government should accept and allow a power transition to take place in Iraq under UN supervision," Kharrazi said. "We believe this is a genuine move, that the Iraqi people elect their real representatives in a referendum supervised by the UN," he said. Kharrazi stressed that Iran's proposal was different from a United Arab Emirates proposal to exile Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to avert a war. "We want a referendum in Iraq under UN supervision and national reconciliation between the Iraqi opposition leaders and the current Iraqi regime," Kharrazi said. While no friend of Hussein - who launched an attack on Iran in 1980 which sparked a brutal eight year war - Iran is greatly concerned about the regional impact a US invasion of Iraq. Analysts say Iran is also concerned war would lead to a flood of Iraqi refugees, leave the Islamic Republic bordered on both sides by US client regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. Iran has adopted an official stance of "active neutrality" over Iraq, repeatedly announcing its opposition to a US attack while calling on Hussein to disarm. "Iraq has caused much damage to us during the past two decades, but the Iraqi people deserve to be helped to decide their future," he said".
RH: The US strategy does indeed seem to be to pinch Iran between Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ronald Hilton - 3/5/03