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Iraq’s Iranian ruler | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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On July 3, 2009 I wrote an article entitled ‘Iraq: The Biden-Suleimani Battle’. In that article I commented on President Barack Obama sending his vice president Joe Biden to Baghdad in order to pursue inter-Iraqi reconciliation, paving the way for the decision to withdraw US troops from Iraq. I said that the biggest obstacle that Biden would face would be the Iranian general, Qassem Suleimani.

I wrote at the time: ‘I asked an Iraqi source close to al Maliki and familiar with the details of Baghdad’s official relationship with Iran about the meaning of it. He said that it means “the formation of a tripartite alliance comprising of the Islamic Dawa Party, the Sadrist current, and the current that is led by [Abdulaziz] al Hakim [i.e. the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq Party].” The source added that the architect of this coalition, or to quote him word for word the “maestro behind this coalition is Qassem Suleimani, the commander of the Quds Force that takes its orders directly from the Supreme Leader of Iran…Many US and Iraqi sources have also confirmed that Suleimani has a large influence in Iraq.” The article also said, ‘It is apparent that US President Barack Obama charging his Vice President with the task of pursuing political reconciliation in Iraq will accelerate a difficult political confrontation between Washington and Tehran in Baghdad. This battle might feature Vice President Joe Biden and the Supreme Leader’s proxy Qassem Suleimani…” End of quote.

Last Friday, on July 29 2011, The Guardian newspaper published an extremely important report, which was re-published in Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper last Saturday in agreement with the British paper. It said that not only is Qassem Suleimani the secret ruler of Iraq, he also controls the policy for Iran with respect to Lebanon, Gaza, Afghanistan and more recently, Syria, as Tehran helped to suppress the popular Syrian uprising. The Guardian’s report began with the following fascinating story: ‘There’s a story that the new CIA director, David Petraeus, likes to tell which harks back to his days as a four-star general in Iraq. Early in 2008, during a series of battles between the US and Iraqi army on one side and the Shia militias on the other, Petraeus was handed a phone with a text message from the Iranian general who had by then become his nemesis. The message came from the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, Qassem Suleimani, and was conveyed by a senior Iraqi leader. It read: “General Petraeus, you should know that I, Qassem Suleimani, control the policy for Iran with respect to Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza, and Afghanistan. And indeed, the ambassador in Baghdad is a Quds Force member. The individual who’s going to replace him is a Quds Force member.” End of quote.

Therefore the aim of recalling the July 2009 article ‘Iraq: The Biden-Suleimani Battle’ and the Guardian report that was published in the same month of this year, i.e. approximately two years later, is in order to emphasise the legitimacy of my question at the time, which was ‘who will win in Iraq: Biden or Suleimani?’ The aim here is not to brag rather to state two things: the first is that when my article was published an American source said to me at the time, “you’re exaggerating,” and now we The Guardian confirming that Suleimani is the one who that battle. The second point is for the Arabs, all Arabs, and it is that your calls fall upon deaf ears!