Eye on Pakistan

CIA Funding Revolution in Iran?

Posted in Foreign Affairs by onpakistan on June 15, 2009

This news just in from presstv.ir, the Iranian news channel. They are claiming that Aslam Beg recently gave an interview claiming that the CIA spent USD400m funding opposition to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Sounds overblown to me, but the truth will out soon in the midst of the Iranian post-election turmoil.

Full news article follows below:

Former Pakistani Army General Mirza Aslam Beig claims the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has distributed 400 million dollars inside Iran to evoke a revolution. In a phone interview with the Pashto Radio on Monday, General Beig said that there is undisputed intelligence proving the US interference in Iran. “The documents prove that the CIA spent 400 million dollars inside Iran to prop up a colorful-hollow revolution following the election,” he added. Pakistan’s former army chief of joint staff went on to say that the US wanted to disturb the situation in Iran and bring to power a pro-US government. He congratulated President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his re-election for the second term in office, noting that Pakistan relationship with Iran has improved during his 4-year presidency. “Ahmadinejad’s re-election is a decisive point in regional policy and if Pakistan and Afghanistan unite with Iran, the US has to leave the area, especially the occupied Afghanistan,” Beig added.

I can’t any mention of this interview anywhere else. Can anyone else?

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Jundullah, Iran, and the Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline Project

Posted in Foreign Affairs, Political Economy by onpakistan on June 1, 2009

Following the bombing in Zahedan, the Iranians have protested against the Pakistani government’s sheltering of Jundullah. According to Dawn, “Islamabad has ordered the group be disbanded and wiped out.” But the question is (as it often is): will the Americans allow this to happen? I think not. Instead, Islamabad may continue to blame a “a third player aiding and abetting the anti-Iran activities of Jundullah with a view to damage [sic] the Pak-Iran ties”. Ironically, this rhetoric may not be too off the mark: the “third player” being not Islamabad’s bette noir India, but in actual fact the United States. The Iranians have raised the spectre of Jundullah disprution to the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project. I don’t know how realistic a threat this is, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Americans offer compensation for potential damage, in return for Pakistan not taking its focus off the NWFP militants. The Americans, ofcourse, would like to see this pipeline¬†fail (and they may well succeed, not withstanding their current softened opposition) – though they’re not the only ones. As always, powerful industrial interests in Pakistan oppose the project too.

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