Saturday, March 25, 2006

US/Iran Dialogue

Mehran Riazaty: Iran Analyst
October 01, 05- Fars News Agency reported that Abdul Aziz Hakim, the head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), said that Iran is playing a positive role in Iraq.

March 23, 06- Mehr News Agency reported Abdul Aziz Hakim said that Iran is a big country and has a large and experienced intelligence and security services which could help Iraq to fight against terrorism and bring peace into the region. Hakim added that the United States call to hold direct talks with Iran is not new. He noted that in the past the United States has showed many signs to communicate with Iran, but the Iran authorities were not interested.

During recent Iran’s Presidential Election, the reporter asked Ahmadinejad’s opinion on possible relationship between Iran and the United States, and he said “in the past, the Americans broke off relations with Iran to create pressure. If they want to re-establish them now it is for the same reasons. We do not want to have imposed relations.” “The US administration cut off ties unilaterally to lay waste to the Islamic Republic. They want to restore them today for the same reason.”

A main point is that so far, Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Chairman of the Expediency Council, have not said anything about Iran's stand on holding talks with the United States on Iraq. February 24, 2004- Rafsanjani said that he is open to the idea of dialogue with the United States. He added that “For me, talking is not a problem. But this is only if it was for me to decide on personally.” Friday 27, 2004-Rafsanjani in the Tehran Friday Prayers said that the Iranian foreign policy has put a stop on its agenda the détente policy (towards U.S.), and that Iran would keep its door open to all states for cooperation except the United States and Israel.

In the past, the Iranian authorities have constantly said that the security in Iraq is not possible until the withdrawal of the Multinational Forces. On March 18, Fars News Agency reported that the Member of the Iran Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy commission stressed that a withdrawal of the occupying troops from Iraq is the most significant prerequisite for attending talks with the United States.

The main question is why Abdul Aziz Hakim has asked Iran to hold negotiations with the U.S. on Iraq. Hakim is head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). The former head of SCIRI, Ayatollah Baqir Hakim (brother of Abdul Aziz Hakim) was named by Ayatollah Khomeini as the head of an Islamic Republic of Iraq. Ayatollah Baqir Hakim was killed on August 29, 2003 in Najaf. As the name of SCIRI indicates Abdul Aziz Hakim and his group is after establishing the Islamic Republic not a secular government in Iraq.

Mehran Riazaty: a former Iran analyst for the Central Command of the Coalition Forces in Baghdad.