Another Iranian released in Iraq

Bill Roggio:

A senior Qods Force officer who led one of the three commands in Iraq assigned to attack US and Iraqi forces was one of five Iranians released by the US military on July 9.

Mahmud Farhadi, the leader of the Zafr Command, one of three units subordinate to the Qods Force's Ramazan Corps, was among five Iranians turned over to the Iraqi government and then subsequently turned over to the Iranians.

A spokesman from the Iranian foreign ministry identified Farhadi as one of the five men released on July 9, according to a report on Iranian state-run television.

Reports initially indicated that five Iranians who were captured by the US in Irbil in northern Iraq in January 2007 were released from custody. But US military intelligence officials told The Long War Journal that Farhadi was disguised as one of the Irbil Five to soften the blow of the release.

The US had previously released two members of the Irbil Five in November 2007, according to The Associated Press, but the report received little attention. This "left room for Farhadi to be pawned off as one of the Irbil Five and snuck out the back door," one official told The Long War Journal.

The US captured Farhadi during a raid in the northern Kurdish province of Sulimaniyah on Sept. 20, 2007 [see LWJ report, Captured Iranian Qods Force officer a regional commander in Iraq].

Farhadi's detention caused a row between Iran and Iraq. Iran closed the border after claiming Farhadi was an Iranian trade delegation representative named Agha Farhadi who was visiting Iraq on a sanctioned business trip.

Farhadi is considered one of the three most dangerous Iranian operatives to have been captured in Iraqi since the US began targeting the Iranian-backed Shia terror networks. His role as one of the three theater commanders in the Ramazan Corps means he is directly responsible for planning, coordinating, and executing attacks against US forces.

The Ramazan Corps is responsible for the death of hundreds of US soldiers in Iraq and backed the various uprising by Shia extremist groups. Ten percent of US deaths in Iraq are estimated to have been caused by the Iranian-supplied, armor-piercing explosively-formed projectiles, or EFPs.

There is much more at the above link.

I suspect that these releases are being done to facilitate talks that the Obama administration wants to have with the Iranians. The Iraqis may also want to curry favor with their neighbor. The release of the American journalist may also have been part of the bargain.

It is a fools errand. The Iranian government will continue to be at war with the US regardless of the releases and these guys will return to that battle. Ignoring the fact of Iran's war against us will not make any talks with them about their nukes any more successful. It is in fact all the more reason to be concerned about their intentions.

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