Chalabi Pushes Iran Card in Last Ditch Self-Promotion OffensiveIraq
’s Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Chalabi has been playing hard ball with Bush administration officials during his eight day trip to Washington D.C.
According to senior associates of the Iraqi official, who have accompanied him to meetings with Bush administration officials, Mr. Chalabi has been threatening his friends in the Bush administration that if they do not support his candidacy to become the next prime minister of Iraq that there will be no way to contain Iran. He has told them in no uncertain terms that he is the only one who can make the Iranians behave.
Such threats, whether accurate or not, ring sweetly in the ears of an administration desperately in search of solutions for a troubled region. Under harsh pressure from Israel’s Prime Minister Sharon to do something about Iran, the White House has approved a series of “highly intrusive and provocative’ intelligence operations against the government of Iran”, according to a highly placed official who formerly worked as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency. These intelligence monitoring operations consist of everything from aerial surveillance missions that straddle Iranian airspace that are launched from Iraq and Kazakhstan, to even more controversial operations that shall remain nameless for the time being.
Last Monday, the Iranian government announced that it had found the wreckage of two U.S. unmanned spy planes. Iranian officials described the crash of a Shadow 200 RQ-7 drone in Ilam Province and of a Hermes drone in the Khoram Abad area of Iran. The Pentagon issued no comment to the Iranian claims.
Mr. Chalabi, a convicted embezzler in Jordan, is a known friend of Iran. He visited that country before arriving in Washington D.C. earlier this week. In his last ditch quest for power, Chalabi reiterated to U.S. officials that Iran’s unpredictable President Ahmadinejad may decide to play the oil card as a weapon against the United States. Specifically, he told them that President Ahmadinejad might team up with President Chavez of Venezuela, thereby withholding substantial amounts of oil from the international marketplace, as a means of driving up the price of a barrel of oil. At present, the United States relies on 7.4% of its petroleum products from Venezuela. Meanwhile, Iran provides 5% of all oil production globally. “If Iran and Venezuela decided to team up and squeeze the United States, Uncle Sam might have to scream uncle,” explained one of Chalabi’s friends.
Chalabi also took advantage of uneasiness within the Bush White House over Iran’s desire to manufacture a nuclear weapon. Though he acknowledged U.S. and European efforts to move Iran’s nuclear activities to Russia, he said he was the only one to convince Iran not to use uranium enrichment conversion for unsafe purposes.
The Bush administration knows Chalabi is a friend of Iran
, perhaps too close of a friend, given that he is currently under investigation for passing vital U.S.
intelligence secrets to Tehran.
Article from The Institute for International Mediation and Conflict Resolution.
Read the real lowdown on Chalabi from Justin Raimando here.