Report: 2 million Iranians in Iraq
- ================= Begin forwarded message =================
Below is an article I just translated for the
Resistance Report. I sent it to the Arab Nationalist,
but it's night over there so it might take time to go
up. Not that this is urgent, but now's a better time
to read than early in the morning for us.
On the Bishop, by the way, I suppose he should have
been aware of what happened, but I almost hit a drunk
once too. It was night and he was at a street corner
swaying into the street. As it happened there was a
red light so I wasn't moving and could watch him, and
in fact almost missed the green light because he was
in, out, in, and, out, of the intersection. If he had
wandered into the street in the middle of the block,
especially in a high-speed area anyone could have hit
him. But then it is correct that you're not supposed
to just drive off.
Special Report: Persian is displacing Arabic as 2
million Iranians jam southern Iraq under cover of
Source: al-�Arab al-Yawm daily newspaper, Amman,
Wednesday, 18 February 2004.
Translated by Muhammad Abu Nasr, member, editorial
board of the Free Arab Voice.
The Baghdad correspondent for the Jordanian daily
al-�Arab al-Yawm, Ahmad Sabri, reports that Arab
public opinion is following with great concern the
rapidly growing Iranian presence in Iraq. Iranians are
present in Iraq on the grounds that they are making
pilgrimage to Shi�i holy sites such as an-Najaf and
Karbala� but religion is frequently a pretext for the
smuggling of drugs into Iraqi territory and the
smuggling of Iraqi resources, antiquities,
manuscripts, and even foodstuffs into Iran.
Sabri writes that observers of the situation in
Karbala�, an-Najaf, al-Kazimiyah, and Samarra�, as
well as Iraqi cities near the Iranian frontier are
reporting that Iranian government agencies are working
systematically and now have a widely established
presence in the centers of these cities where they
exploit the absence of local security and order.
According to Iraqi newspaper reports, tens of
thousands of Iranians cross the border into Iraq every
day, ostensibly to visit Shi�i holy sites. But those
who closely follow this development regard this highly
significant scale of Iranian influx � said to total 2
million Iranians in all � as being of potentially
serious danger to the security and welfare of Iraq as
a result of the chaotic and unsupervised situation
that prevails at the border crossings between the two
The Shi�i holy cities of Karbala�, an-Najaf, and
al-Kazimiyah have taken on the appearance of Iranian
cities, Sabri writes, making it difficult even to find
Arabic speakers there. The Iraqi press published a
feature story on the Iranian presence in Iraq that
reported that the Iranian flag now flies in the
courtyard separating the tomb of the Shi�i Imam
al-Husayn and that of his brother al-�Abbas in
Karbala�. Nor is the matter limited to such symbolic
manifestations. The Iranian secret police have become
highly active in Iraqi cities, recruiting Iraqis by
enticement or threat, and distributing pamphlets and
books that promote Iran�s political experience,
according to the police chief in al-Basrah, who
reported that his policemen had monitored this Iranian
activity and arrested a number of agents.
Eye witnesses from Karbala� and an-Najaf report that
the cities are being swept by a wave of unprecedented
inflation in the price of land and rental rates for
apartments and shops. Prices for food are also on the
rise because of the huge influx of Iranians into the
two cities where they buy and smuggle locally
The Iraqi press reports that the Iranian secret
services are pouring millions of dollars into Iraq and
stockpiling large quantities of weapons in
specifically designated secret locations in the
southern part of the country. The Baghdad papers warn
of the danger that hundreds of explosive devices can
be imported long-distance from Iran and that they are
in fact already in the possession of arms merchants,
criminal gangs, and thieves.
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