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Friday, August 13, 2004

Iranian Fighters

The Guardian UK is reporting that 30 Iranians have been captured in Kut, fighting for Sadr's Mahdi Army. I suppose it could simply be a case of "true believers" coming across to fight what they perceive to be a righteous jihad against the American occupiers, but somehow I doubt it's that pure. Iran most definitely has a horse in this race, in a big way, and it's not the American horse at all:

Security officials in Baghdad were last night urgently investigating the background of 30 Iranians who were caught fighting for a rebel Shia cleric in Iraq, amid mounting concern over the involvement of the Tehran regime in the uprising.

The Guardian has learned that the most senior members of the Iraqi government were briefed about the capture of the men yesterday, and also told of other evidence that fighters and equipment have been crossing the border from Iran.

The 30 men were captured in the southern city of Kut on Wednesday and officials are trying to establish whether they have any links to Tehran.

"We are checking their identities but if they are found to have links to the Iranians then that would be tantamount to a declaration of war by them," said a senior Iraqi source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

And I suppose that, given such a declaration of war, Mr ANonymous Senior Iraqi Source (who says they're not growing an American-style-democracy?) Iraq would have no choice then but to engage the Iranians.

Only one question: You and what army?

Oh yeah. Ours.

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