Saturday, April 01, 2006

Iranian Militiamen Were Brought in by Britain - The Times

Militiamen from an Iranian-backed force were deliberately recruited by Britain to join the new Iraqi security services after Saddam Hussein was overthrown, the Government has admitted.

The sectarian Badr organisation, trained in exile by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, is suspected of violently pursuing its own agenda after being allowed to enlist in national units. John Reid, the Defence Secretary, disclosed in a Commons written answer to the Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price that it had been official policy to welcome the Shia gunmen. “Following the end of the conflict in Iraq, the Coalition Provision Authority sought to reintegrate militia members into civil society,” Mr Reid said. “This process included members of the Badr organisation, formerly known as the Badr Corps, among others.”

Sunnis have accused the Badr organisation of torturing prisoners, a claim rejected by the Shia-dominated Government. Bayar Jabor, the Interior Minister, was a member of the militia. The organisation’s stronghold is southern Iraq, where British troops have been based since the war.

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