A former commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the FBI says played a role in a 1996 terrorist attack that killed 19 U.S. servicemen, accompanied Iraq’s prime minister to the White House on Monday, attending an event at which President Obama trumpeted the end of the Iraq War.
Hadi Farhan al-Amiri, transportation minister in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government, was part of the delegation that visited the White House to discuss Iraq’s future and Iran’s influence there, among other topics.
At a joint White House news conference with Mr. al-Maliki, Mr. Obama proclaimed that the U.S. is committed to being a major player in the region and that Iraq’s neighbors should take heed. He did not mention Iran by name.
Critics have accused Mr. al-Maliki, a Shiite, of acting at the behest of the Shiite government in Iran. But Mr. Obama told reporters that he believes the Iraqi prime minister when he says that “his interest is maintaining Iraqi sovereignty and preventing meddling by anybody inside of Iraq.”
“And he has shown himself to be willing to make very tough decisions in the interests of Iraqi nationalism, even if they cause problems with his neighbor,” the president said in a thinly veiled reference to Iran.
Louis J. Freeh, who served as FBI director in the Clinton administration and the early months of the George W. Bush administration, said it was shocking that Mr. al-Maliki would include Mr. al-Amiri in his visit to Washington.
Mr. al-Amiri served as a commander of the Revolutionary Guard's Badr Corps, a battalion that was tasked with operations in Iraq. He remained active in the Badr Corps during the late 1980s and 1990s, when he was working on resistance efforts against Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq.
The FBI linked the Revolutionary Guard to the attack on the Khobar Towers in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, on June 25, 1996. Nineteen U.S. servicemen were killed by a bomb blast at the towers, which were housing American military personnel.
The Revolutionary Guard has been linked to several acts of terrorism, including an attack on the Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires in 1994, in which 85 people were killed and hundreds wounded.View Entire Story
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
One man’s perspective. Exploration and commentary designed to challenge the conventional thinking of day on the political issues affecting our nation.
Abhishek Seth re-considers the power of PR, Issue Placement, the world at large, and the issues at hand.
First over-the-counter column approved for fast and effective relief from even your worst media-induced headache.
Contributions to the Communities Sports desk from readers.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention
California wildfires wreak havoc