Unbelievable. These were not low-level cannon fodder, either:
One of the commanders, identified by officials simply as Chizari, was the third-highest-ranking official of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ al-Quds Brigade, the unit most active in aiding, arming and training groups outside Iran, including Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad, U.S. officials said. The other commander was described as equally significant to Iran’s support of foreign militaries but not as high-ranking.
These dudes were caught with manifests for weapon-smuggling and plans for advanced IEDs–in the compound of an Iraqi Shiite leader who founded the Badr Brigades. Iraq said they had diplomatic immunity and let them go. (Officer Roger Murtaugh was not available to arrange its revocation.)
It’s an informative, if chilling, article. Iraq is scared of Iran and trying to make nicey-nicey with them. But perhaps there’s a good side:
Some U.S. officials on Friday saw the decision by Iraq to expel the two men as a positive development that reflected Iraq’s independence.
Hmmm…maybe, to borrow a phrase from the Somalis, our relationship is “entering a new phase“.
Hey, Iraq, you’re welcome.
H/T to Uncommon Misconceptions.