SIXTH COLUMN

"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

A Different Wrinkle - Are Iraqi Militants Really Proxies Fighting for Iran?

From a report in the news.telegraph:

The Iraqi firebrand cleric, Moqtadr al-Sadr and the chief of the armed Shia group Hizbollah in Lebanon, Hassan Nasrallah, held separate consultations with leading officials in Teheran.

Al-Sadr commands thousands of fighters in Iraq, with the power to destabilise further the country and target British and American troops, while Hizbollah's missile-wielding fighters are stationed on Lebanon's southern border with Israel. The revelation of their visits to Teheran has stoked fears that Iran's Shia clerical rulers are drawing up plans to wage a co-ordinated proxy war, using foreign Shia militias, in the worsening dispute with the West over its nuclear ambitions...

The visits of al-Sadr and Nasrallah to the Iranian capital went unmentioned in state-controlled media, but were reported on the Iranian expatriate internet site, roozonline, widely regarded as a reliable source of information from inside the tightly controlled Iranian regime.

While Iraq and Lebanon are home to the most powerful Shia militias, the voice of Iran's ruling clerics also holds sway with Shia minorities and Iranian communities in Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Its capacity to destabilise the Middle East also extends to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Stay tuned for further developments.

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