Politics

Iran Supplying Iraq Militias?

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That’s the claim from US officials, and they’ve literally got the smoking guns to prove it.

From ABC News:

U.S. officials say they have found smoking-gun evidence of Iranian support for terrorists in Iraq: brand-new weapons fresh from Iranian factories. According to a senior defense official, coalition forces have recently seized Iranian-made weapons and munitions that bear manufacturing dates in 2006.

This suggests, say the sources, that the material is going directly from Iranian factories to Shia militias, rather than taking a roundabout path through the black market. “There is no way this could be done without (Iranian) government approval,” says a senior official.

Iranian-made munitions found in Iraq include advanced IEDs designed to pierce armor and anti-tank weapons. U.S. intelligence believes the weapons have been supplied to Iraq’s growing Shia militias from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which is also believed to be training Iraqi militia fighters in Iran.

Evidence is mounting, too, that the most powerful militia in Iraq, Moktada al-Sadr’s Mahdi army, is receiving training support from the Iranian-backed terrorists of Hezbollah.

So then, is opening up discussion with Iran a wise decision? But because of inaction for the past few years, I don’t think we have much of a choice at this point, but as Glenn Reynolds points out

What I continue to be puzzled by is why the Bush Administration has taken such a low-key attitude toward Iran when its role in fomenting problems in Iraq — and its unrelenting hostility to the United States — has been obvious for years. I had assumed that a key reason for invading Iraq in the first place was to let us put pressure on the mullahs, something that we don’t seem to have even tried to do.

Too little too late?

  • http://midtopia.blogspot.com/ Sean Aqui

    Great minds and all that.

    As I argue back at the homestead, this doesn’t really change anything. It’s not necessarily a sign of Iranian hypocrisy or bad faith; it can be smart diplomacy to help your adversary dig the hole as deep as possible before offering to help them out of it. Especially when dealing with an administration as tin-eared as this one.

    I think we’ll end up having no choice but to seek their cooperation, because their ability to stir up trouble in Iraq exceeds our ability to unilaterally tamp it down.

    And that means that our adventure in Iraq will produce an ironic outcome: strengthening one of the charter members of the “Axis of Evil.”

  • BenG

    I believe the administration truely had a pie in the sky attitude and that, after Iraq was thru partying in the streets from being liberated, Iran was next. There was no need to negotiate with the ‘axis of evil’, after all, ‘if they weren’t with us they were against us’ and that was reason enough for the next series of carpet bombs on some more good ‘hard targets’, as apposed to the soft ones in Afghanistan. Exaggerating? I don’t think so, just think back on all the catch phrases that came from our leaders. Now things are spinning so far out of control, Bush is the only one I hear talking about victory ‘if only we stay the course’. Doesn’t he realize how out of touch he sounds?

    This new evidense of “Iranian support of terrorists in Iraq” is no great surprise. It’s not even stated correctly. These aren’t ‘terrorists’ being supported, they’re fellow Shia militia, the army of the cleric El-Sadre, who’s perhaps the most influential man in Iraq. We would have killed him long ago if allowed to. But our military was stopped by the Iraqi government. So who’s the “dead-enders” now?

  • sleipner

    I just hope reality (or the new Democratic majority) intrudes enough into the fantasy world Bush and co live in to make them realize that America is Bestest hubris aside, Iran is an impossible target. We have neither the troops, the equipment, nor the will to have a prayer of doing anything in Iran other than screw up worse than we did in Iraq (and now Afghanistan).

  • http://greendreams.wordpress.com GreenDreams

    Sadly, even more weapons used against our troops are those we failed to secure because of the absence of prewar planning. They are, in fact, American arms.

  • grognard

    I agree with BenG, this is no surprise. We put them on the “Axis� list and they did what any government would do when threatened, take action to spoil the plans of the enemy. Our being mired down in Iraq was, of course, the golden opportunity for them. We berate Maliki to suppress the militias, most notably Sadr, but now that Sadr has armed himself so well [and has representatives in ministries and parliament] that becomes a daunting task, if Maliki is willing to do it at all.

  • Rumplestiltskin

    A man on the NewsHour said that ninety percent of our troops are being killed in Sunni-controlled regions, by Sunni bombs. Iran is not supplying the Sunni militias, rich, private individuals primarily living in Saudi Arabia are. If we are making such a big deal about Iran supplying Shia militias, why aren’t we going after Saudi Arabia?