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Iran, China and Iraq

In all the reports and essays being written on the supposed imminence of a U.S. bombing campaign against Iran, has any really addressed the possible Iranian responses? What would the mullahs do if, tomorrow, they awoke to find Bushehr reduced … Read More

By / October 18, 2007

In all the reports and essays being written on the supposed imminence of a U.S. bombing campaign against Iran, has any really addressed the possible Iranian responses? What would the mullahs do if, tomorrow, they awoke to find Bushehr reduced to rubble courtesy of American smart bombs? Would they dispatch the Quds Force into Baghdad; turn the entire nation into a latter-day Basiji martyrdom "wave" and try to drive the MNF-Iraq into the Gulf? Or would they start lobbing missiles of their own into Haifa and Tel Aviv, more or less guaranteeing if not World War III, as President Bush ominously phrased it, then at least the greatest international crisis the Middle East has yet known?

Or, given that a fear of regime change impels each and every policy decision and PR blitz undertaken by the mullahs, would their response be more rhetorical than martial? What would do more damage to long-term American interests in the Middle East: Iran's waging a disastrous war against us that it can by no means win, or expanding its interests in the infrastructure of Iraq?

Bomb us and we'll blackout Sadr City after giving its residents unhindered electricity for the first time in four years. Bomb us and we'll create economic chaos to add to your quixotic "political reconciliation." Bomb us and we'll stoke enough sectarian fire in Iraq to make you nostalgic for the razing of the Golden Mosque.

BAGHDAD, Oct. 17 — Iraq has agreed to award $1.1 billion in contracts to Iranian and Chinese companies to build a pair of enormous power plants, the Iraqi electricity minister said Tuesday. Word of the project prompted serious concerns among American military officials, who fear that Iranian commercial investments can mask military activities at a time of heightened tension with Iran.

The Iraqi electricity minister, Karim Wahid, said that the Iranian project would be built in Sadr City, a Shiite enclave in Baghdad that is controlled by followers of the anti-American cleric Moktada al-Sadr. He added that Iran had also agreed to provide cheap electricity from its own grid to southern Iraq, and to build a large power plant essentially free of charge in an area between the two southern Shiite holy cities of Karbala and Najaf.

Iraqi Contracts With Iran and China Concern U.S. – New York Times

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