Hadi Farhan al-Amiri - a former leader of the Badr Corps, the military wing of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, and currently transportation minister in the Iraqi government - accompanied Iraqi Prime Minister , Nouri al-Maliki, at a White House meeting Monday as part of the Iraqi delegation that met with President Obama.
The Badr Corps received military and financial support from Iran's Revolutionary Guard, which played a pivotal role in the 1996 attack on the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, in which 19 U.S. servicemen were killed.
Former FBI Director, Louis Freeh said that, "As a senior leader, [al-Amiri] would have to have known about Khobar, and he would know Gen. [Ahmad] Sherifi, who was the IRGC general that conducted the operation.".
Survivors of the Khobar Towers attack expressed outrage over the White House visit.
The participation of Al-Amiri in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government is seemingly at odds with recent statements made by the President and his Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta.
The President, during a joint press conference with the Iraqi Prime Minister earlier this week, asserted that al-Maliki was doing his utmost to steer clear of Iranian and syrian influence.
Mr. Panetta, during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last month, also insisted that Mr. Maliki was rejecting Iran "and its intentions":
"The one thing I've seen time and time again," said Panetta, "is that Prime Minister Maliki in Iraq, and other countries in that region, basically reject what Iran is trying to do, view Iran as having a destabilizing influence in that part of the world [and] don't support Iran and what they do. And my view is that the region largely rejects Iran and its intentions, and I think Iraq is at the top of that list."
Last month, Iranian and Iraqi military leaders reportedly met to discuss the expansion of military ties between their respective countries, which also seems to contradict the Obama administration's claims.
Related [relevant] links:
Iranian and Iraqi military leaders discuss military cooperation; Panetta bluffs on Iraq, Iran ties
Iraqi General sought extended US military presence, now forced to befriend Iran
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