Tuesday, Mar. 30th 2010

Quds Force Commander’s Advice to Gen Petraeus

Although it’s previously been reported that Kassim Suleimani (or Qassem Suleimani), the commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, made contact with U.S. forces during the battle for Basra in March 2008, hearing General David Petraeus recall the event is noteworthy. In February, the current CENTCOM commander answered questions at the Institute for the Study of War, the think tank headed by Dr. Kimberly Kagan. From the transcript of the Q&A with General Petraeus comes this insight into the boldness of the Quds Force:

You know, in the middle of the battle with the militia in March and April of 2008, a message was conveyed to me by a very senior Iraqi leader from the head of the Qods Force, Kassim Suleimani, whose message went as follows.

He said, General Petraeus, you should know that I, Kassim Suleimani, control the policy for Iran with respect to Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza, and Afghanistan. And indeed, the ambassador in Baghdad is a Qods Force member. The individual who’s going to replace him is a Qods Force member.
Now, that makes diplomacy difficult if you think that you’re going to do the traditional means of diplomacy by dealing with another country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs because in this case, it is not the ministry. It’s not Mottaki who controls the foreign policy, again, for these countries, at least. It is, again, a security apparatus, the Qods Force, which is also carrying out other activities.
IRGC members will tell you about their power and intentions. We just have to listen. For some background on Qassem Suleimani, check out this Israel News blog post that quotes Jeff Stein’s SpyTalk blog. Our friend, Mr. Stein and his SpyTalk blog are no longer on the Congressional Quarterly website. But don’t despair – he is bringing it to the Washington Post website in April.  Good luck, Jeff.
The Intelligence Wars describes the peace brokered by Suleimani – check out page 110.

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