Iran hands over Al Qaeda members - still part of the 'Axis of Evil'?

In June Iran handed over 16 Al Qaeda fighters to Saudi Arabia, CNN reports, with the knowledge that any intelligence thus derived would be passed to the US.

said Prince Saud.

Does this cooperation take the heat off Iran’s membership of the so-called ‘Axis of Evil’? Are Iranian political moderates getting the upper hand again? Or does this action (horror of horrors to my bleeding heart) mean that GWB’s sabre-rattling is working?

I don’t think it should. Obviously this action should be considered in future evaluations of Iran, but remember, Iran still is themost active state sponsor of terrorism, according to the State Department. If you ask me, Iran turned these terrorists over out of religious opposition to them (Shiite/Sunni), not in any spirit of political or military cooperation with the US. It seems a little ridiculous to say that reformist elements could ever get the upper hand in Iran given the current situation where the clerics control the police, military, and intelligence forces. The best thing the US could do right now is provide financial and if necessary military aid to democratic opposition groups in Iran to spur democratic revolution. IMHO, a democratic Iran is at this point more strategically important than the ouster of Saddam Hussein. Though I realize that’s a hijack.

I think Iran should be dropped, and Canada added to the “Axis of Evil” :smiley:

I happen to agree with those who think Iran is playing both sides of the street. Iran sees terrorism as one possible tool to promote its interests, but also is willing to discard this tool if it feels it is in its best interest to do so. By turning these terrorists over to our “allie” in the war on terrorism, it hopes to offer a carret to go with the stick.

as an aside, It struck me as ironic that the the same could be said of the US at certain points in its history. :wink:

chuckster - I’m not aware of any ‘terrorist’ connections at all with regard Saddam’s regime. Could you point me towards that of which you speak ?

BTW, these people are not “terrorists”, they’re “suspected a-Q fighters”. But what do I know, I can’t even say “Axis of evil” without chortling.

L_C, read Fang’s link. Iraq’s connections with terrorism are discussed.


AFAICT, chuckster’s post talked about Iran, not Iraq. Iraq does have terrorist connections, which, as Sua pointed out, are discussed in my previous link. However, Iran’s connections to terrorism are far stronger than Saddam’s, which is why I believe the Iranian government is a far more valuable target.

Okay, thanks. Confused…anyhoo, this seems to be the key passage from Fang’s link to the DoState’s site (regarding Iraq, not Iran):

Iraq provided bases to several terrorist groups including the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), and the Abu Nidal organization (ANO). In 2001, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) raised its profile in the West Bank and Gaza Strip by carrying out successful terrorist attacks against Israeli targets. In recognition of the PFLP’s growing role, an Iraqi Vice President met with former PFLP Secretary General Habbash in Baghdad in January 2001 and expressed continued Iraqi support for the intifadah. Also, in mid-September, a senior delegation from the PFLP met with an Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister. Baghdad also continued to host other Palestinian rejectionist groups, including the Arab Liberation Front, and the 15 May Organization.

Perhaps most significant is the apparent meetings between an Iraqi VP and the PFLP 18 months ago in which support was expressed – quite how, it’s not said – and the second meeting, presumably, in the aftermath of 9/11. Who didn’t meet at that point …

Assuming the reports creditable, Iraq met with the PFLP twice between 18-12 months go. But that’s all it says – it’s predominately passed tense and speculative.

Look, if terrorist links exist, I think it’s important. Most especially if that link is to a-Q. But the contents of this document, IMHO, do not say that and the document doesn’t contribute to a justification for invasion.

Did I miss something again ?

L_C, that wasn’t the question you asked. You asked whether Iraq had links to terrorism. It does. Why do you think that the fact that several terrorist organizations have bases in Iraq is not dispositive of the question?

As for whether basing of those organizations is sufficient justification for invasion, it probably isn’t. Personally, the link to terrorism has never been the basis of my support for an invasion, and I’ve believed the Bushies are making an error pushing that argument.