Reprinted from
Iraqi PMHolds Secret Meeting In Tehran

Kenneth R. Timmerman

Monday, Nov. 20,2006

/EdenRoc/Users/krt/WebSites/ WASHINGTON -- Former Iraqi PrimeMinister Ibrahim al-Jaafari was in Tehran on Friday, where he heldsecret meetings with Iranian government officials, sources in Tehrantold NewsMax.

 Jaafari, the leader of Iraq's Islamic Dawa party, was electedprime minister by Iraq's first freely elected parliament in April2005 and remained in office until early 2006, when he was replaced byhis former deputy, Nouri al-Maliki.

 During most of Saddam's reign, Jaafari and other Dawa partyleaders were based in Iran and funded by the Iranian regime.

Jaafari was met by Iranian intelligence officers while staying atTehran's Estaqlal hotel (the former Hilton), and taken in a motorcadeto meetings with government officials. Journalists were banned fromthe hotel during his stay, NewsMax has learned.

Jaafari's visit to Tehran comes on the heels of a previouslyunreported attack on the Iranian embassy in Baghdad.

At approximately 8:15 a.m. on Monday, November 13, a car bombexploded in front of the Iranian Embassy, which is located directlyacross from the entrance to the heavily guarded International Zone incentral Baghdad, formerly known as the Green zone.

U.S. government sources in Baghdad confirmed the bombing, whichdamaged dozens of cars but caused no fatalities, and speculated thatit might be retaliation by Sunni or other forces who oppose Iran'sdeepening involvement in Iraq's internal affairs.

 Triggering the bombing, they believed, was the recent trip toIran by the speaker of Iraq's National Assembly, Dr. Mahmoudal-Mashadani, an outspoken opponent of Operation Iraqi Freedom and ofthe U.S. involvement in Iraq.

 Prime Minister al-Malaki owes his election to support fromMuqtada al-Sadr, whose faction has 30 members in Parliament.

 The al-Sadr faction initially supported Jaafari to continue asprime minister, but threw its support to Malaki when the voteremained deadlocked.

 While Malaki and Jaafari have kept their distance from Sadr inpublic, behind the scenes they have called on Sadr's "Mahdi Militia"(MM) as an "enforcing militia," informed sources in Baghdad said.Sadr's forces have also been implicated in many of the attacksagainst U.S. forces in Iraq.

 Muqtada al-Sadr is related by marriage to former Iranianpresident Mohammad Khatami, and has gone to Iran four times over thepast three years. He continues to receive $8 million to $10 millionper month from the Iranian regime, according to publicly availableestimates.

 Mahdi militia members captured two months ago during sectarianfighting near Khan Beni Saad, a predominantly Sunni area 20 milesnortheast of Baghdad on the road to Baquba, were carryingIranian-made 81mm mortars.

The old Iraqi army, whose arsenals were looted and have been used bySunni insurgents, used 82 mm mortars, which are incompatible with theIranian weapons.

 Photographs obtained by NewsMax showed that the militiamen hadbeen equipped with an electronic mapping and targeting device bearingthe stamp of the Iranian Defense Industries Organization -Electronics and Communications Industries Group.

 An instruction manual for the device bore the samemarkings.

Malaki and Jaafari also have close ties to the Supreme Council of theIslamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) and the Badr brigade, theIranian-backed militia that controls much of southern Iraq.

 The Badr brigade crossed into Iraq from Iran during the chaoticdays following the U.S. liberation of Baghdad. The United Statesmilitary was aware of the Badr brigade movement into Iraq, but didnothing to stop it.

 Over the past two years, the Badr brigade has refrained fromattacks on U.S. troops. Instead, it has spearheaded an Iraniangovernment effort to assassinate former Iraqi army officers who wereinvolved in the 1980-1988 war with Iran.

 "Badr brigade has been given a list of former Iraqi generals bythe Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and they are systematicallytracking down and assassinating the individuals on that list," awell-informed Western source in Baghdad told NewsMax.

 Many former Iraqi generals have fled the country and takenrefuge in other Arab countries or in Europe.

 Late last year, Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps begansupplying the Badr brigade with a new type of armor piercing shapedcharge that has been used by insurgents in attacks against U.S.troops and armored vehicles.

 The Iranian-made shaped charges are so powerful they haveripped through the armor of M1-A2 Abrams tanks, sources in Baghdadtold NewsMax.

 The U.S. military intercepted a large shipment of explosivesfrom Iran in August 2005, including "dozens of shaped chargesmanufactured recently," NBC News reported at the time.

U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzhad, told the Washington Timesin May that Iran "has ties to extremists, including some militias. Itsupports some of these extremist groups and militias with arms,including the deadly EFP technology," a reference to explosivelyformed projectiles, or shaped charges.

 The Iranian regime has been cooperating with Sunni insurgentsas well, Khalilzhad said. He specifically identified a group known asAnsar al-Sunnah, which is tied to al Qaeda, and which operates innorthern Iraq along the Iran border "It would be surprising that thegovernment did not know of their presence in northwest Iran andcoming across," he said.

 Two former aids to Jaafari when he was still prime ministershowed up in Serbia earlier this week, seeking to buy medium andheavy weapons, ostensibly for the new Iraqi army.

 The two men presented letters to a top weapons manufacturer inSerbia claiming they were top defense ministry officials withprocurement authority, "but neither of them have such positions inthe current government or contracting authority," knowledgeablesources told NewsMax.