Sunday, November 29, 2009

Economist Not So Sure About U.S.-Qods Force Meeting Now

In the November 19, 2009 print edition of The Economist there ran a story “Iraq and its neighbours, A regional cockpit,” which was reported here on November 25. The piece claimed that U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill and commander of American forces in Iraq General Ray Odierno met with the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Qods Force General Qassem Suleimani to discuss the U.S. withdrawal in the offices of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in September 2009. As soon as the story was put up on the magazine’s website it was pulled however. On November 26 they gave an explanation saying that the story was told to them by an Iraqi politician close to Tehran, and confirmed by a senior American official. Just before The Economist printed it however, Gen. Odierno and Ambassador Hill denied the meeting ever happened. The magazine mentioned these, but since then General Odierno and General David Petraeus gave such a strong objection that The Economist reconsidered and withdrew the story from its website. It now says it takes the American officers at their word.

SOURCES

Economist, “Iraq and its neighbours, A regional cockpit,” 11/19/09
- “Were we wrong?” 11/26/09

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