The invaluable MEMRI has translated a report in the Egyptian press that contends that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has direct operational ties to the Mahdi Army and, through them, to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. If it’s true, he would be tied to the forces who are directly responsible for killing approximately 170 US troops via EFP IEDs.
The first document, labeled “secret, personal, and urgent,” is a January 2007 letter from Al-Maliki’s office to the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad, with copies to the presidency of the [Shi’ite party] Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and to the Al-Shahid Al-Sadr organization.”  In it, Al-Maliki requests that the commanders of the Mahdi Army, who have ties with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, be pulled off the Iraqi frontlines, in order to protect them from being arrested or killed. The following is a translation of the document:
“Secret, Personal and Urgent
“Based on a phone conversation with Sayyid Muqtada Al-Sadr and [after] consulting with [Iraq’s National Security Advisor] Dr. Muwafaq Al-Rubai’i, in order to preserve our great achievements and in light of what the present circumstances demand, we ask to temporarily conceal the commanders of the Mahdi Army, who are connected to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, [and to remove them] from the front line [of battle] in order to protect them from being arrested or killed by the American forces. [The names of the commanders] are listed below. It would be best to send them to Iran for the time being, until the crisis passes.
“In addition, [we ask] to send the commanders from the second line [of battle] to the southern regions, since we know that intensive efforts are underway to persuade the Americans to leave the situation [there] as it is. All administrative and security arrangements for the transportation of these commanders have [already] been made.
“We ask you to implement [these orders] and report to us.
“[Signed,] Nouri Al-Maliki, Prime Minster [of Iraq]
There’s more at the link.
Connections between Maliki and Sadr have been rumored to exist for a while now. Maliki’s exile time during the Saddam years lends weight to the possibility that he would be connected to the Iranians, since he was connected to them then. But to be connected to them now, when they’re driving much of the violence in Baghdad and elsewhere? When Iran’s short-term goals are to ramp up the pressure on the US via terrorist attacks, so the Democrats will force a retreat from Iraq, and its long-term goals are to become the regional power?
Yeah, it’s still plausible. All too plausible.