To all appearances, the US Administration will have to treat its potential allies more carefully in the struggle against the regime of Saddam Hussein. As it turned out, the leaders of the two strongest movements, Kurdistan’s Democratic Party and Kurdistan’s Patriotic Union, cooperated with Iran. Washington has been keeping long close contacts with the leaders of these movements. Attitude of the USA toward Iran is known to everyone already. Recently Iran’s Defense Minister Admiral Ali Shamkhani made a statement saying that contacts with Masoud Barzani (the leader of Kurdistan’s Democratic Party) and Jalal Talabani (the leader of Kurdistan’s Patriotic Union) had been established long before the Iran-Iraq war and are still kept up. This very statement may become disagreeable for Washington. It is disagreeable not because of the contacts between the leaders of the Kurd opposition and Iraq. As was stated by Ali Shamkhani, this cooperation is quite natural because of the territorial closeness of Iran’s western territories and Iraq’s districts inhabited by Kurds. There are also many Kurds living in Iran itself.
However, Barzani and Talabani keep in touch with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, which has been the basic support to the power of the Ayatollas since 1979. This very fact may be considered as extremely criminal by Washington: the Corps is obviously not the force for the Iranian reformers to rely upon. Leaders of this organization were steady opponents to the USA; they always tried to annoy America. It is very likely that these very facts are not very essential under the present-day conditions. In the end, it is highly unlikely that the US intelligence were unaware of the contacts between Barzani, Talabani and the Iranian special services. But if this information was openly published, someone in Iran probably wants it to be spread. But for what purpose?
It has been rumored long ago already that Washington and Teheran achieved some agreements concerning their mutual strategy in case of a war against Iraq. It was alleged that Iran was ready to allow American planes to cross its airspace. However, this information is persistently refuted by both, the USA and Iran. After the statement by the Iranian minister of defense, it seems that Teheran and Washington have much in common and just few discrepancies in their attitude to Saddam Hussein. After all, Iran remembers perfectly well the bloody war with Iraq that lasted nine year, from 1980 to 1989. It is very likely that Iranians will try to improve relations with the USA at the expense of Iraq. And it depends upon the USA whether Iran will be a success with it or not.
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://accidents.pravda.ru/accidents/2002/10/35/285/4562_kurd.html