The conspiracy theories behind Iraq’s election ban, which destroyed the largest secularist bloc and has drawn calls for a Sunni boycott, continued to grow today, as US commander General Ray Odierno delivered a talk in Washington.
Gen. Odierno accused the Iranian government of being secretly behind the ban, saying that the Quds Force was pushing “very specific agendas” which he did not elaborate on. Odierno’s evidence was the not-so-secret ties between the Justice and Accountability Commission (JAC) leadership and Iran.
Gen. Odierno claimed that JAC leader Ahmed Chalabi, the driving force behind the bans, was “influenced by Iran.” In addition to maintaining very public ties with the Iranian government, Chalabi was instrumental in providing false intelligence which was used as the basis for the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.
Chalabi has seen conspiracies at work in the ban as well, but naturally not the same ones. Speaking on Iranian state media this weekend, Chalabi claimed that the United States was plotting to install the banned Sunni MPs as a new Ba’athist government, as the first step in launching a joint US-Iraqi invasion of Iran.
Though the conspiracies may be interesting to speculate about, the truth may be far simpler. Chalabi’s political bloc stands to gain considerably with the effective destruction of the rival Allawi bloc, and he hardly needed a foreign dictate to see a political opportunity and take it.