Geostrategy-Direct, www.geostrategy-direct.com, December 6, 2006
NICOSIA - Iran has expanded its threats against the Gulf Cooperation
Council, warning another member state against military cooperation with the
Iran said the UAE must not become a U.S. base for hostile action against
Teheran. It was the second warning by Teheran against a GCC state in less
than a week.
"UAE officials should not let the United States use their country as a base
for hostile activities against Iran," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman
Mohammad Ali Hosseini said on Nov. 26.
[On Nov. 26, the Iranian-inspired Shi'ite opposition won parliamentary
elections in Bahrain. The Shi'ite opposition Al Wefaq won 16 out of the 40
seats in parliament, and was expected to win a majority of the chamber after
run-off elections on Dec. 2.]
Hosseini, in remarks reported by the official Iranian news agency Irna, did
not elaborate. The UAE has long disputed Iran's control of three islets in
the Gulf and observed the first U.S.-led weapons of mass destruction
interdiction exercise in the region on Oct. 30.
On Nov. 20, the commander of Iran's so-called Martyrs Battalions warned
Kuwait and other GCC states of being targets of suicide bombers. Faroz
Rajai, commander of the Martyrs Battalions, warned the GCC against helping
U.S. military operations against Iran.
"If the bases in these [GCC] countries are used as a launch pad for the
attacking U.S. forces, why should they expect to remain secure while we are
not?" Rajai said.
Iran has been dismayed by the UAE defense and military cooperation with the
United States. The U.S. Air Force maintains at least one base in the UAE and
is helping the emirates absorb the 80 F-16 Block 60 multi-role fighters.
In his weekly briefing to the media, Hosseini said Iran has offered military
and defense cooperation to states in the region. He refused to confirm
reports that Iran has acquired the Russian TOR-M1 air defense system, and
said Teheran's offer would include Iraq, which has 140,000 U.S. troops.
"If we are ever asked to cooperate in this respect, we will do our best to
assist them," Hosseini said.
It was the first open threat by an Iranian official against the six-member
GCC. In late October Teheran criticized Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab
Emirates for their participation in a U.S.-led interdiction exercise in the
Western intelligence sources said the IRGC established the Martyrs
Battalions in 2002. The unit draws recruits from Iran's religious seminaries
The Martyrs Battalions has been promoting its capabilities in statements and
in interviews with GCC media. On Nov. 20, Rajai told Kuwait's Al Rai Al Aam
daily that Teheran would not allow Gulf Arab states to help any U.S. war
In the interview, Rajai said her unit was composed of volunteers and
maintained independence from the government. She said the Martyrs Battalions
consists of five battalions with about 56,000 potential suicide attackers.
She recalled the aid provided by GCC states to Iraq in the eight-year war
with Iran, which ended in 1988. She was one of scores of followers of the
late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who stormed the U.S. Embassy and held its
staffers hostage in 1979.
IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
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