Who supports Jundallah?
by MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles
22 Oct 2009 04:06
The Bush Administration and Terrorist Groups
In February 2007, Dick Cheney traveled to Pakistan and met with then Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf. Pakistani government sources said at the time that the secret campaign against Iran by Jundullah was on the agenda when the two met. In an interview later that month, Cheney referred to the Jundallah terrorists as "guerrillas" to give them legitimacy.
But despite Cheney's efforts to present them as legitimate fighters, Jundallah is a sectarian terrorist organization. It is made of Sunni extremists who hate the Shiites and its goal is to foment a conflict between the two sects of Islam. Because of its Sunni Salafi roots, it is likely that Jundallah is also supported by Saudi Arabia. I will return to this point shortly.
On Feb. 25, 2007, the London Telegraph reported that "America is secretly funding militant ethnic separatist groups in Iran in an attempt to pile pressure on the Islamic regime to give up its nuclear program. Such incidents have been carried out by the Kurds in the west, the Azeris in the northwest, the Ahwazi Arabs in the south-west, and the Baluchis in the southeast. Funding for their separatist causes comes directly from the CIA's classified budget but is now 'no great secret', according to one former high-ranking CIA official in Washington."
According to the Telegraph, Fred Burton, a former U.S. State Department counter-terrorism agent, supported the assertion by saying, "The latest attacks inside Iran fall in line with US efforts to supply and train Iran's ethnic minorities to destabilize the Iranian regime."
...Saudi Arabia-Jundallah Link
There may still be another angle to the Jundallah terrorist attacks. Since Jundallah is a Sunni Salafi group, it means that it may have some links with Saudi Arabia, the center of Salafism. At the same time, relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia have been very frosty.
Iran is particularly angry that it has not received a definitive response from Saudi Arabia about the fate of the Iranian nuclear physicist Shahram Amiri, who disappeared there in May. The Saudis may have helped Amiri defect. If that is true, the revelations about the Qom uranium enrichment facility may be linked with Amiri's defection.
Saudi Arabia is worried about the possibility of improved relations between Iran and the U.S., as well as Iran's nuclear program.