Richard Moore

Original source URL:

Richard Walker

May 17, 2006

Behind the increasingly shrill rhetoric and saber rattling over Iran¹s nuclear 
ambitions America and Israel are engaged in a secret war against Iran that has 
echoes of the years when the CIA supported the Afghan mujahideen against the 
Soviet Union.

This time, the United States and Israel are running covert operations with the 
help of Kurdish militias and rebel Iranian fighters. For some observers, 
training and arming Islamic fighters smacks of the days of Soviet rule in 

Then, the Soviet army, which was the second most powerful military in the world,
was defeated by Islamic militants, including men like Osama bin Laden.

Now the U.S. military, with Israeli commandos lending a hand, is arming and 
secretly training a different breed of mujahideen, or Islamic fighters‹Kurdish 
militias with links to ethnic Kurdish communities in Iran and Syria, and 
fighters from the Iranian Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK), which has bases in southern 
Iraq and has provided the United States with information about the Iranian 
military and Iran¹s nuclear sites.

From the perspective of Washington and Tel Aviv, the history of the Kurds makes 
them ideal recruits for a covert war against Iran and Syria.

During and after Saddam Hussein¹s rule, the Kurds of northern Iraq longed for an
independent Kurdistan. When the so-called "no-fly zone" was in place over Iraq, 
the Kurds had protection from the U.S. Air Force and U.S. allies. That enabled 
them to build a large militia force and to develop a burgeoning economy.

But, since the fall of Saddam the Kurds have become disillusioned with the 
country¹s slide into chaos and have hinted that they would be happy to see Iraq 
divided into three parts. In that event, they would establish an autonomous 
region called Kurdistan and the rich northern oil fields of Kirkuk would ensure 
their prosperity for decades to come.

Not everyone favors creation of an independent Kurdistan. The Turks, Iranians 
and Syrians are united in a belief that it would generate instability by 
encouraging large ethnic Kurdish communities in their countries to demand 
separation and an alignment with Iraq¹s Kurds.

In the 20th century ethnic Kurdish demands for autonomy led to more than 30,000 
of them being slaughtered by the Turks. In Iran, they were brutally suppressed 
in three provinces they dominated.

As part of a covert scheme to destabilize and soften up the Iranian regime for 
possible Special Forces attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities, Washington has 
turned to disaffected Iranian Kurds for help and to Iranian dissidents in the 

Using fighters trained by the United States in secret bases in southern Iraq, 
the MEK has carried out a series of attacks in Iran. In recent months, there has
been increasing instability inside three Iranian provinces dominated by Kurds, 
as well as attacks on Iranian troops near the border with Iraq. A Kurdish 
guerrilla group claimed responsibility for two of the attacks, saying they were 
in retaliation for Iranian shelling into Kurdish areas of northern Iraq.

New York journalist Seymour Hersh claimed in December 2005 that U.S. combat 
troops were already in Iran. Following that report, there was an incident near 
the Iran-Iraq border in January when an Iranian military cargo plane carrying 10
top Iranian Revolutionary Guard commanders mysteriously crashed. Later, there 
were rumors it was brought down by U.S. Special Forces within Iran.

In April 2006, Iran said it shot down a U.S. surveillance drone flying over the 
country. Israel has been running its own black operations with the help of Kurds
it has trained. The Kurds reportedly have strong ties to Israel because it 
supports the creation of an independent Kurdistan. From an Israeli perspective, 
such an entity would provide Israel with an ally in a region in which it is 
totally isolated and would keep Iraq destabilized.

It was Israel¹s neo-con friends in Washington who once believed a new Iraq would
be Israel¹s best ally, but the more that vision has turned to nightmare, the 
more Israel has looked to the creation of a separate Kurdish state in Iraq as 
the next best thing.

Israel¹s relationship with the Kurds goes back a long way. During the Iran-Iraq 
war, the Israelis supplied the Kurds with weapons to attack Saddam Hussein¹s 
forces. Then, after the first Gulf War, when the United States and its allies 
abandoned the Kurds, Israel continued to provide them with weapons and training.

To that end, Israeli special forces and Mossad have been training and recruiting
Kurds for clandestine operations and surveillance in Iran and Syria. The 
advantage of having Kurdish fighters carry out operations is that they can 
easily blend into ethnic Kurdish communities and sow dissent.

They can also recruit rebel elements and build bases for future operations. 
Kurdish militiamen and fighters from the MEK are seen by Israel as ideal 

Richard Walker is the nom de plume of a former mainstream news producer who now 
writes for AFP so he can expose the kinds of subjects that he was forbidden to 
cover in the controlled press.

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