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Iran's Contribution to the Civil War in Iraq

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Occasional paper

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While the press debates whether or not there is a civil war in Iraq, there is a strong history of Iranian-sponsored unrest in Iraq that continues to the present. Captured Iraqi intelligence documents, now maintained by the Foreign Military Studies Office, show Irans deep penetration in Iraqi society and institutions. Iran clandestinely supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq and took measures to turn it to her advantage. The Iranian government maintained armed formations, such as the Badr Corps, inside Iraq prior to the U.S. invasion. While Saddam Hussein felt that he could dissuade a U.S. invasion through world opinion and the United Nations, Iran anticipated and welcomed the U.S. invasion since it would destroy her chief enemy in the region. Iran has now moved covertly and overtly onto Iraq to subvert Iraqi institutions and eventually to assume total control. Iran has now entered a wider and more dangerous game by subverting the Iraqi police and armed forces into a greater Shia cause, which Iran hopes will lead to the fragmentation of Iraq and the inoration of oil rich Shia lands into Iran. This Jamestown Foundation Occasional Paper contains three parts. Part I addresses Irans Preparations for the U.S. Invasion of Iraq, including the Badr Corps Leaders Meetings with Allies and the Badr Corps Military Meetings and Preparations. Part II examines Irans Presence in Iraq after the U.S. Invasion, including Iraq as a Strategic Line of Defense for Iran Different Forms of the Iranian Presence in Iraq Irans Ideological Control over Southern Iraq Assassination of Scientists, Professors, Officers, and Key Sunni Figures Irans Control of Southern Iraq Iranian Involvement in Iraqs Election and its Aftermath and Federalism. Part III briefly summarizes the current state of Iraqs Civil War.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Unconventional Warfare

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