In the latest revelation about Tehran’s increasing meddling in Iraq through its proxy groups, Iraq’s national intelligence chief Mohammed al-Shahwani accused Iran’s Baghdad embassy of masterminding an assassination campaign that has seen 18 intelligence agents killed since mid-September.

Shahwani told the French news agency on October 14 that a series of raids on three Iranian “safe houses” in Baghdad on September 29 had uncovered a treasure trove of documents linking Iran to plots to kill members of the intelligence service and using the Badr former militia of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq’s (SCIRI) as its tool.

Since mid-September, 18 Iraqi intelligence agents have been killed in Iraq, 10 of them by the Badr organization on orders from Iran and the rest by Al-Qaeda-linked foreign militant Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, Shahwani charged. “Badr and Zarqawi have assassinated 18 of my men,”

Shahwani said from his heavily-guarded villa in central Baghdad. Shahwani’s claims of huge caches of documents seized in the September raids were he most explicit charges to date against Iran and the first time an Iraqi party has been publicly named as Tehran’s proxy. He said that during the raids, “Documents were obtained … (showing) the Iranian regime … is seeking to embroil some of the SCIRI members in subversive acts to exacerbate Iraq’s wounds and dominate it.”

The intelligence director said the documents showed Iran had a 45-million-dollar budget for sowing chaos in Iraq and had recruited members of Badr and a subsidiary party, Hezbollah, to kill Iraqi intelligence agents. He claimed his intelligence service had obtained the names and addresses of Badr members working directly for Iran. This following brief deals with how the Badr Corps (also known as the Badr Brigade) was formed and where it received the training and the finances to make it a viable force. The brief was prepared in September 2001 and deals with the status of the Badr Corps before it relocated to Iraq following the ouster of the previous Iraqi government after the invasion by the U.S.-led coalition.

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