Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sending Weapons to Taliban

Kate Clark's special program broadcast on BBC Newsnight showed Taliban commanders claiming they receive weapons from the Islamic Republic. As usual however, the official reaction by the UK government is cautious and conciliatory towards the Islamic Republic. UK official wording in reaction to the claim point to 'elements within the Iranian state', but it is not clear who these 'elements' are and why it is by 'elements' and why the Iranian state as a whole can not be held accountable?!

Imagine during the cold war, when the Russian missiles were placed on Cuban soil, the official US reaction was, 'It appears elements within the Soviet state have given missiles to the Cubans'!
Or when the Libyans were supplying arms to the IRA, the official reaction was 'Elements within the Libyan state' supplied arms to the IRA. Someone somewhere would immediately ask well, who are these 'elements'?

What does 'elements within state' mean and who exactly is the Iranian state? It seems despite all the research by all those academics, think tanks, Iran experts and other advisers, no one in the British government has a clue as to who or what the Iranian state is or may be, ambiguous mambo jumbo like 'elements within the Iranian state' have to be used to avoid other 'elements' - the good cops presumably - within the Islamic Republic state from being offended.

So as a layman who has followed Iran related news for the last 28 years on a daily basis, let me say who ordinary Iranians like me view as the major decision making bodies of the Iranian state. No major security policy such as arming the Taliban or the insurgents in Iraq would be made without the approval or consultations with these bodies: Supreme Leader, his advisers and his son Mojtaba, the Revolutionary Guards top commanders, National Security Council, Expediency Council and the Guardian Council. This collectively is the Islamic Republic establishment which runs the show. Forget the Majlis, the Assembly of Experts, different political factions etc, even the president.

So which 'elements' specifically are the British referring to and why can they not be named?
I think ordinary Iranians would find it difficult to believe that one of these bodies has acted alone without the knowledge of the other bodies in sending weapons to the Taliban, even though the
The British ambassador in Kabul, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, made a point of emphasising 'not necessarily with the knowledge of all other agencies of the Iranian state', when he said:
"We've seen a limited supply of weapons by a group within the Iranian state, not necessarily with the knowledge of all other agencies of the Iranian state, sending some very dangerous weapons to the Taleban in the south.


Anonymous said...

Listen, why in the hell would the IRI supply the Taliban with ice, let alone weapons? Don't you know that the Taliban is an enormous security threat in the eyes of the Iranian leadership. You must have thought since they're both "turban-head" groups, they must get along. Wrong.

In fact, the US actually had systematic, low-level security discussions (after 9/11) until 2003 with IRI officials aimed at defeating the Taliban - given Iran's vast intelligence network and experience in the region.

Don't you know the Iranians almost went to war with the Taliban in 1998? Don't you know that the Iranians materially supported the Northern Alliance. Don't you know that one of the biggest weaknesses of the IRI, with respect to hostile Sunni Muslim states, is Iran's downtrodden Sunni population, also known as Tehran's "Fifth Column"- referring to how if this population was mobilized inside Tehran, in the case of a conflict with a Sunni state like Afghanistan or Saudi, it could lead to a protracted civil war or emboldened secessionist movements.

The IRI despises the Taliban (who are networked with Jundallah and other separatists groups within Iran) and view them as infidels that have to be defeated. Iran feels more threatened by the radical Sunni Islamist presence in Pakistan and Afghanistan than it does by the US on its Eastern and Western fronts. Therefore, they supported Musharav, and tacitly, American aid to Musharav (and not to mention, the War in Afghanistan itself!).

So when the British say "elements within the Iranian state," they say it because they KNOW it wasn't the people/government bodies you mentioned. It would be counter intuitive to even think that the IRI is even morally supporting the Taliban, let alone materially.

be salamat,

Azarmehr said...

Because as they say my enemy's enemy is my friend. The Islamic Republic is more concerned with creating havoc for America and wearing it down than concerned about the Taliban.

In fact it is along the same lines when Americans helped the 'Mujahedin' in Afghanistan against the Soviets. their primary concern was to wear down the Soviets.

Or when the Germans helped Lenin get back to Russia and create havoc, because the priority for the Germans was to weaken the Tsar whose armies were fighting them.

Perhaps if we were living back then, you would have asked why would German capitalists want to help the Bolsheviks who wanted to overthrow capitalism?

Anonymous said...

It is definitely not the same situation. You can't just boil down such complex geopolitics to a platitude like "my enemy's enemy is my friend." And even if we did apply such a theme to Afghanistan, the friend would by the US.

The Iranians are not stupid enough to believe that the US presence will outlast the Taliban's resilience in Afghanistan. America's presence in Afghanistan has much more to do with other factors (like American domestic politics) than military successes. Thus, they are on America's side in Afghanistan (in order to weaken the Taliban as much as possible) - even if they don't say it or act like it.


p.s. The Germans supported the Bolsheviks by sending Lenin because they wanted to get the Russians out of the war before America had a chance to get her armies across the Atlantic (it had nothing to do with being capitalist). In this case, Iran is not interested in having America leave Afghanistan. Instead, Iran wants to see the Taliban (Bolsheviks) destroyed.

And it is definitely not like the Mujahideen situation in Afghanistan when the Soviets were there - this might not be clear to a laymen, so instead of reading garbage books by Kasra Najji, maybe you can read a book about the geopolitical situation in the Middle East:)

Azarmehr said...

yeah sure :)) By the way Hamas are Sunnis, how comes the IRI helps Hamas? or is it as you said before , but soon admitted the errors of your thinking, it is to help the Iranian econmy by SELLING arms to Hamas? Of course soon you admitted that Iran does not sell HAMAS anything, it gives it to them tehrefor ecan not possibly have anything to do with helping Iran's econemy and creating employment :))

Oh, Hamas is also another case of my enemy's enemy is my friend. The Israelis set up Hamas to weaken PLO. Are these cases not covered in your geopolitics text books?

Anonymous said...

You have no idea what you're talking about. How can you compare Hamas to the Taliban? Hamas doesn't have the potential to control a country and mobilize an entire Sunni army across Iran's eastern border (like the Taliban did in 1998). And as far the Hamas, PLO thing - that's another case of you not knowing what you're talking about.



I was playing devil's advocate and I admitted that. And if I were to list all the retarded garbage you've said before I would have to start a whole new blog. But lucky for you I don't obsess over your statements enough to remember them all. But I'll start with remembering your comments on this thread:)

Winston said...

regime change in iran is the only solution

Bahramerad said...

Non-islamic Non-republic of Non-Iran supplies weapons to anyone stupid enough to want to kill the americans and the NATO forces.The idiots who try to say otherwise are crazy sons of bitches.

Anonymous said...

the more you argue with this moron Kid, the more he feel legitimized. Stop arguing with this moron, please. It boils my blood.