Says: “We’re brothers”.
BAGHDAD — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday his landmark visit to Iraq opened a new chapter in “brotherly” relations between the two countries, which were once bitter enemies.
Ahmadinejad is the first Iranian president to visit Iraq. He went from Baghdad’s airport straight to a meeting with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who gave him a red-carpet welcome. The two kissed four times on the cheek in the traditional fashion and a band played the two countries’ national anthems.
“We had very good talks that were friendly and brotherly. … We have mutual understandings and views in all fields, and both sides plan to improve relations as much as possible,” Ahmadinejad said in a joint news conference with Talabani at the Iraqi president’s residence, which is located across the Tigris River from the new U.S. Embassy in the fortified Green Zone.
Ahmadinejad’s visit here gives him a chance to highlight the relationship his country has with post-Saddam Hussein Iraq — both countries are led by Shiite Muslims — while also serving as an act of defiance toward the United States, which accuses Iran of training and giving weapons to Shiite extremists. Iran denies the charges.
Hey “bro”, wouldja mind stopping with the terrorism? It isn’t “brotherly” to supply Shiites with IEDs.
……Ahmadinejad stressed that Iran wanted a stable Iraq that would benefit the region.
That’s funny…stability hasn’t been Iran’s strong suit.
The news conference appeared to end abruptly after a reporter asked about the Mujahedeen Khalq in Iraq, which opposes Iran’s ruling clerics. The group, also known as the People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran, was allied with Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq during the war between the two countries. The U.S. and European Union list it as a terrorist group.
Talabani interjected and volunteered to answer the question, saying: “This issue has been discussed earlier and the presence of those as a terrorist organization is constitutionally not allowed. We will endeavor to get rid of them out of the Iraqi territory soon.”
Ahmadinejad’s Iraqi interpreter translated the name of the group as the Munafeqeen, which means “hypocrites” in Arabic and Farsi. The Mujahedeen Khalq is called the Munafeqeen by the Iranian government.
What irony. The Mujahedeen Khalq too “terrorist” even for Iran….
A brief backgound on the Mujahedeen Khalq:
What is Mujahadeen-e-Khalq?
Mujahadeen-e-Khalq (MEK) is the largest and most militant group opposed to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Also known as the People’s Mujahadeen Organization of Iran, MEK is led by husband and wife Massoud and Maryam Rajavi.
MEK was added to the U.S. State Department’s list of foreign terrorist groups in 1997 and to the European Union’s terrorist list in 2002 because its attacks have often killed civilians. Despite MEK’s violent tactics, the group’s strong stand against Iran —part of President Bush’s “axis of evil”—and pro-democratic image have won it support among some U.S. and European lawmakers.
What are MEK’s origins?
MEK was founded in the 1960s by a group of college-educated Iranian leftists opposed to the country’s pro-Western ruler, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The group participated in the 1979 Islamic revolution that replaced the shah with a Shiite Islamist regime led by the Ayatollah Khomeini. But MEK’s ideology, a blend of Marxism and Islamism, put it at odds with the postrevolutionary government, and its original leadership was soon executed by the Khomeini regime. In 1981, the group was driven from its bases on the Iran-Iraq border and resettled in Paris , where it began supporting Iraq in its eight-year war against Khomeini’s Iran. In 1986, MEK moved its headquarters to Iraq, which used MEK to harass neighboring Iran. During the 2003 Iraq war, U.S. forces cracked down on MEK’s bases in Iraq, and in June 2003 French authorities raided a MEK compound outside Paris and arrested 160 people, including Maryam Rajavi.
We have to be careful when applying the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” concept. The lesser of the two evils isn’t always the best choice.