Sunday, October 16, 2005

Government-run website calls for active Iran role in Iraq

Iran Focus:

Tehran, Iran, Oct. 15 – A government-run Persian-language website in an article called for a greater Iranian presence in neighbouring Iraq.

“To bring about our goals and wishes in Iraq, there is a hard and demanding road ahead which requires firm beliefs and sturdiness and using aware and open-minded experts to follow it”, the website Baztab, close to senior Iranian military commanders, wrote.

Describing the creation of the “Shiite Crescent” as the Islamic Republic’s most successful strategy, Baztab wrote, “In this path, let it not turn out that in a few years we become regretful and cry out of pity that we lost Iraq as well!”Jordanian King Abdullah II accused Tehran in December of attempting to create a “Shiite Crescent from Iran to Syria and Lebanon” in a bid to gain domination over the region.

The website suggested that Iran had to be active in several fields. Above all, it called for active Iranian efforts in the draft Iraqi constitution.

It also called for “widespread activity in cultural and social fields”. Baztab said that Tehran had to act to spread Iran’s cultural activity in Iraq, such as “book fairs and various cultural and arts celebrations, creation of capabilities and relations among the press, and encourage the creation of Shiite NGOs for the spread of Shiite ideology”.

The website also highlighted Iran’s failure to win the hearts and minds of the Arab population in the Middle East through its Arabic-language satellite channel al-Alam. “The news network al-Alam, which was supposed to be the Islamic Republic’s communicator with Arab countries and compete with foreign and at times biased press as well as improve the Islamic Republic’s image in those countries, unfortunately not only failed to establish itself among the Arabs, but also did not manage to gain approval in the Islamic Republic”.


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