February 25, 2007


US funds terror groups to sow chaos in Iran (William Lowther and Colin Freeman, 25/02/2007, Sunday Telegraph)

In a move that reflects Washington's growing concern with the failure of diplomatic initiatives, CIA officials are understood to be helping opposition militias among the numerous ethnic minority groups clustered in Iran's border regions. [...]

Such incidents have been carried out by the Kurds in the west, the Azeris in the north-west, the Ahwazi Arabs in the south-west, and the Baluchis in the south-east. Non-Persians make up nearly 40 per cent of Iran's 69 million population, with around 16 million Azeris, seven million Kurds, five million Ahwazis and one million Baluchis. Most Baluchis live over the border in Pakistan.

Funding for their separatist causes comes directly from the CIA's classified budget but is now "no great secret", according to one former high-ranking CIA official in Washington who spoke anonymously to The Sunday Telegraph.

His claims were backed by Fred Burton, a former US state department counter-terrorism agent, who said: "The latest attacks inside Iran fall in line with US efforts to supply and train Iran's ethnic minorities to destabilise the Iranian regime."

Foreign Devils In The Iranian Mountains (M K Bhadrakumar, 26 February, 2007, Asia Times Online)
In a rare public criticism of Pakistan, the Tehran Times commented last week that an exclusive Islamabad-Washington nexus is at work manipulating the Afghan situation. The daily, which reflects official Iranian thinking, spelled out something that others perhaps knew already but were afraid to talk about publicly. [...]

The Iranian outburst was, conceivably, prompted by the spurt of trans-border terrorism inside Iran's Sistan-Balochistan province, which borders Pakistan. Ten days ago, a militant group called Jundallah killed 11 members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards in an attack in the city center of Zahedan. Iranian state media reported that the attack was part of US plans to provoke ethnic and religious violence in Iran. Balochs are Sunnis numbering about 1.5 million out of Iran's 70 million predominantly Shi'ite population.

Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi alleged that in the recent past, US intelligence operatives in Afghanistan had been meeting and coordinating with Iranian militants, apart from encouraging the smuggling of drugs into Iran from Afghanistan. He said the US operatives were working to create Shi'ite-Sunni strife within Iran.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 25, 2007 9:53 PM

When did the Bush administration ever believe in diplomatic initiatives?

Posted by: erp at February 26, 2007 9:07 AM

I wonder if the state media in Iran is correct - that we are trying "to provoke ethnic and religious violence in Iran?" Just because our intelligence agaencies have a reputation for being less than competent doesn't mean that they can't do things like that.

Posted by: Brandon at February 26, 2007 9:10 AM

They took the Iraq War to the UN.

Posted by: oj at February 26, 2007 11:53 AM

Confusion to the enemy.

Posted by: Lou Gots at February 26, 2007 12:32 PM

"US funds terror groups to sow chaos in Iran"
If true, it's the best news I've heard in awhile.

Posted by: jd watson at February 26, 2007 1:39 PM

Just wait until the IEDs start going off in Tehran and Qom. The mullahs will get the message. Ahmadinejad might not, but the turbans will. They know how fragile their position is.

Posted by: ratbert at February 26, 2007 8:56 PM