Daily Revolt

December 23, 2007

Iran Cited In Iraq's Decline in Violence

I thought Iran was behind the bloodshed in Iraq. What does this mean? Is it because they are afraid of George? Or is it because Iran is not the bogeyman the neocons would like us to believe:
The Iranian government has decided "at the most senior levels" to rein in the violent Shiite militias it supports in Iraq, a move reflected in a sharp decrease in sophisticated roadside bomb attacks over the past several months, according to the State Department's top official on Iraq.

Tehran's decision does not necessarily mean the flow of those weapons from Iran has stopped, but the decline in their use and in overall attacks "has to be attributed to an Iranian policy decision," David M. Satterfield, Iraq coordinator and senior adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, said in an interview.

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan C. Crocker said that the decision, "should [Tehran] choose to corroborate it in a direct fashion," would be "a good beginning" for a fourth round of talks between Crocker and his Iranian counterpart in Baghdad. Although the mid-December date scheduled for the talks was postponed, Crocker said he expects that the parties will convene "in the next couple of weeks."

The Pentagon has been more cautious in describing Iran's role in changes on the ground in Iraq. A Defense Department report released Wednesday emphasized that support for militia groups by Tehran's Shiite government remains "a significant impediment to progress." And Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Friday that "the jury is out" on whether Iran is playing a less-destructive role.

Apparently the NIE report took the wind out of the White House's plan to attack Iran, thus the rhetoric has toned down. This is obvious to those in the know, like former UN weapons inspector, Hans Blix:
Former UN weapons inspector Hans Blix says the NIE report on Tehran's nuclear program may preclude a US military strike against Iran.

In an interview with Der Spiegel, Blix said Washington is apparently attempting to take a closer look before accusing other countries of possessing weapons of mass destruction, due to the past blunders which led to the Iraq war.

"There are many indications that the White House was in fact planning an attack," said Blix.

"The United States traditionally justifies its attacks with its doctrine of pre-emptive self-defense. But now that the official word is out that Iran neither has nor is developing weapons of mass destruction, this is no longer an option," he added.

Related Article:
Ambassador skeptical of Iran's plan for Iraq

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