Iran: February 26, 2003

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The government is considering allowing more members of the  the Al-Badr Brigade, the armed wing of the Supreme Assembly of  the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SAIRI), to move into Kurdish controlled northern Iraq. Up to 5,000 SAIRI are already operating along the border, and SAIRI is thought to have at least 10,000 armed men in Iranian camps. SAIRI is composed largely of anti-Saddam Shia's supported by religious conservatives in Iran. Most Iranians want a US invasion of Iraq and see the overthrow of Saddam and the establishment of a democratic government as helpful to them. Democracy in Iraq would put additional pressure on the Islamic radicals in Iraq who have a veto power on whatever the elected legislature decides. The Iranian religious conservatives want to establish an Islamic Republic in Iraq, but most Iraqis (including the majority Shias) want none of that. If there is any armed confrontations after Saddam is removed, it would likely be between American troops and SAIRI fighters.

 

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