May 9, 2007 Special Dispatch No. 1573

Documents Exposed by Egyptian Government Weekly Allege Ties Between Iraqi PM and Iranian Revolutionary Guards

May 9, 2007
Iran, Egypt, Iraq | Special Dispatch No. 1573
An investigative article by journalist Mahdi Mustafa, published March 31, 2007 in the Egyptian government weekly Al-Ahram Al-Arabi, featured photographs of documents indicating that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki has ties with Muqtada Al-Sadr and with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.[1]

The following are the main points of the article:

Al-Maliki Calls to Withdraw Iranian Revolutionary Guards Commanders from the Iraqi Front in Order to Protect Them

The first document, labeled "Secret, personal, and urgent," is a January 2007 letter from Al-Maliki's office to the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad, with copies to the presidency of the [Shi'ite party] Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and to the Al-Shahid Al-Sadr organization."[2] In it, Al-Maliki requests that the commanders of the Mahdi Army, who have ties with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, be pulled off the Iraqi frontlines, in order to protect them from being arrested or killed. The following is a translation of the document:

"Secret, Personal and Urgent

"Based on a phone conversation with Sayyid Muqtada Al-Sadr and [after] consulting with [Iraq's National Security Advisor] Dr. Muwafaq Al-Rubai'i, in order to preserve our great achievements and in light of what the present circumstances demand, we ask to temporarily conceal the commanders of the Mahdi Army, who are connected to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, [and to remove them] from the front line [of battle] in order to protect them from being arrested or killed by the American forces. [The names of the commanders] are listed below. It would be best to send them to Iran for the time being, until the crisis passes.

"In addition, [we ask] to send the commanders from the second line [of battle] to the southern regions, since we know that intensive efforts are underway to persuade the Americans to leave the situation [there] as it is. All administrative and security arrangements for the transportation of these commanders have [already] been made.

"We ask you to implement [these orders] and report to us.

"[Signed,] Nouri Al-Maliki, Prime Minster [of Iraq]

"[List of commanders]…


"The Iranian Embassy [in] Baghdad,

"The presidency of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq,

"The office of Al-Shahid Al-Sadr."

Al-Maliki Orders Release of Iranians Who Entered Iraq Illegally

The two other documents presented in the article reveal that Al-Maliki ordered that Iranians who entered Iraq illegally be released from prison. The first of these documents is a letter from Al-Maliki to the presidency of the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council, with copies to several Iraqi ministries, including the foreign ministry, which was asked to inform the Iranian embassy of the letter's content.

In this document, Al-Maliki presents a list of Iranians accused of entering the country illegally, and orders to "release them [from prison] and suspend all judicial [proceedings against them]... except for those who have already been sentenced..."

In the second document, Supreme Judicial Council President Madhat Al-Mahmoud confirms that 442 of the Iranians on the list have been released in accordance with Al-Maliki's order.

[1]Al-Ahram Al-Arabi (Egypt), March 31, 2007.

[2] Al-Shahid Al-Sadr is a welfare agency founded by Muqtada Al-Sadr, named after his father Ayatollah Muhammad Muhammad Baqir Al-Sadr, who was killed by the Saddam regime along with his two sons.

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