Aug 4, 2007


Today brings the newest installment in the anti-Iran Info Op:

The exiled president of Iran's largest Kurdish opposition group appealed for U.S. political and military support for its campaign to topple Iran's Islamic regime and create a new democratic, federal government in Tehran.

In his first visit to Washington, Rahman Haj-Ahmadi, president of the three-year-old Kurdistan Free Life Party, told The Washington Times that the Iranian regime faced a growing internal challenge to its power from the Kurds, Azeris and other restive minority groups.

Mr. Haj-Ahmadi, who lives in Germany, said his movement, known by its Kurdish acronym PJAK, was forced to take up arms and retreat to the rugged highlands along the Iran-Iraq border in self-defense against the central government. ...

PJAK, he said, has only limited contact with the U.S. government, but he appealed to Washington to push Iran harder on its human rights record and said his party would welcome American military and financial aid to carry on its fight.

"We obviously cannot topple the government with the ammunition and the weapons we have now," he said. "Any financial or military help that would speed the path to a true Iranian democracy, we would very much welcome, particularly from the United States." ...

The Kurdish independence movement in Turkey, known as the PKK, was officially designated a terrorist organization by the State Department. Chris Zambelis, a terrorism analyst with the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation, said there are multiple reports of operational and logistical links between the PKK and PJAK.

PJAK officials traveling with Mr. Haj-Ahmadi said they tried to set up meetings with the State Department and other administration officials, but received "no answer" to their requests. Mr. Haj-Ahmadi said PJAK had good relations with other Kurdish movements in the region, but insisted his party was a "completely independent organization" from the PKK.

Seymour Hersh's November 2006 piece on the anti-Iran campaign had this to say about PJAK:

In the past six months, Israel and the United States have also been working together in support of a Kurdish resistance group known as the Party for Free Life in Kurdistan. The group has been conducting clandestine cross-border forays into Iran, I was told by a government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon civilian leadership, as "part of an effort to explore alternative means of applying pressure on Iran." (The Pentagon has established covert relationships with Kurdish, Azeri, and Baluchi tribesmen, and has encouraged their efforts to undermine the regime’s authority in northern and southeastern Iran.) The government consultant said that Israel is giving the Kurdish group "equipment and training." The group has also been given "a list of targets inside Iran of interest to the U.S."

Ahmadinejad, et al., are obliged to devote substantial time and energy to one essential dilemma:

How seriously should they take the press reports that detail U.S. planning for an attack upon Iran, especially considered in the light of statements by U.S. officials about how concerned we are taking the threat of Iran as a rogue state?

Are we bluffing? Or is a U.S. attack coming and Iran is benefiting from the inevitable leaks and press speculation that free societies generate?

And, of course, they may wish to consider another possibility -- the old "Shimmer" outcome.

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