Iran and US Square Off (Updated)

The young and still maturing Iraqi military and intelligence agencies have “launched a military crackdown on smuggling gangs, al Qaeda militants and Shi’ite militias responsible for recent attacks U.S. forces.” June was the deadliest month in Iraq for American soldiers in the past two years, a grim precursor of things to come if America does not meet its year end withdrawal deadline. Moqtada al-Sadr is seen as quite serious in his threat to reengage his Mahdi army against American forces if a full withdrawal does not happen by the end of the year.

One of the most important goals of the military crackdown was to secure Iraq’s borders:

“We are implementing a tight security plan including all outlaw groups. Part of this plan is to control Iraq’s border perfectly,” Moussawi said.

“The entry of illegal arms to Iraq is contributing to undermining security, whether the weapons are used against U.S. or Iraqi troops, in assassination operations or armed robbery.”

“The goal of this operation basically is to prevent the infiltration of weapons which are used to attack U.S. troops and Iraqi security forces,” the official said.

The focus is, of course, Iran. The Persian nation has been actively smuggling weapons and bombs into Iraq. Most of this is done using Iranian special forces who deliver these weapons to Shi’a militias.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in a Reuters interview last week, said Iran was “absolutely complicit” in the growing U.S. casualties in Iraq.

James Jeffrey, the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, said Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and its Qods force special operations unit were supplying “significantly more lethal weapons systems” to some Iraqi militias.

“Of particular concern, at least to me, is the Sadrist movement. The AAH (Asaib al-Haq) and the Kata’ib Hizballah are basically nothing more than thuggish clones of their IRGC Qods force masters,” he told reporters in a briefing on Saturday.

Tensions over the Iranian nuclear (non)issue and now over Iraqi influence are coming to a boil. If aggressive behavior by both the Iranians and the Americans continue, an outright war between the two countries would not be all that surprising.

Update: I would like to apologize to readers of the blog for my error of fact and judgment. After reading some articles by Gareth Porter, I realized the magnitude of the fraudulent history of the United States government’s claims concerning Iranian arms smuggling into Iraq. As is such, I should not have put nearly as much faith in statements by Robert Gates without cold, hard proof.

I would also like to thank the readers who flagged this. I really appreciate the feedback as it helps me learn and develop more, especially as I am new to the site

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  • It is quite likely the reason for this sudden concern is that it comes on the heels of France and England confessing they have been supplying Libyan rebels with guns. I expect the U.S. would welcome an increase in violence in Iraq, it would give Obama all the excuse he needs to keep U.S. soldiers in Iraq, forever.

    • tomofsnj

      They have to continue to occupy Iraq or they will lose control of the oil fields. Richard Perl spend a lot of time and effort to get us into the war and he is not going to give up the billions of dollars he will make with his oil interest in Iraq. Perl is the author of the document clearly behind most of the action in the entire middle east. That document was "clean break" which called for wars and changes in regime in just about every Oppressive nation other than the biggest Oppressive nation which is the one that Perl owes all his allegiance to. Too many of our leading defense people are too much like Richard Perl and J. Pollard.

  • Pipps

    So, how will the outlaw US be flushed out ? They should be flushed out as soon as possible. They accuse other nations of being terrorists. Have they ever taken a good look at their own aggressiveness, or do they think that beating up on 3rd world countries is sexy ?

  • Hacklheber

    So there is serious proof of Iranian arm importation? I remember a few of years ago apparently Iranian-sourced mines and mortars were shown to friendly press delegations but nothing concrete was ever found.

    • Aarky

      Those morter shells were 81 mm with English markings (same as US 81 mm). Iran's smallest mortors are 107mm. The shaped charge devices (mines) were being easily produced all over Iraq from plans available on "Global Security. org" . Darth Cheney was trying his damnest to use these false accusations to precipitate an attack against Iran. He tried to get the Joint Chiefs to authorize an attack against an Iranian base and they challenged him, "When they retaliate for our attack, how far do we go to full-out war"? The attack didn't happen. He should be hung along with Bush as a war criminal.

  • skulz fontaine

    Oh Beyer? Proof my good man. Where is it? You state, "The Persian nation has been actively smuggling weapons and bombs into Iraq." Okay so? No you do NOT get to use Gates and/or James Jeffrey in some prima facie manner. Both are discredited and highly dubious on any good day. Both would lie their reeking fannies off for the simple notion of lies.
    Proof, proof, we need the proof and that proof had better be credible and verifiable.

    • Heimer

      Israel offered nuclear technology to the Aparthaid regimes in the past, and the "chickens" from the "most powerfull nation" were not brave enough to sanction it (presuming they stand for what American founding fathersn died for…)

  • Brian Beyer

    Skulz Fontaine,

    I understand your concerns over the validity of these claims. After all, you wouldn't want to trust these guys farther than you can throw them. Think about it though: Moqtada al-Sadr, the Shi'ites and Iran. It's a trifecta. Iran wants to have leverage in Iraq because they never want to have a repeat of Iraq under Saddam. They will do everything they can to install a pro-Iranian, or at least a non-hostile to Iranian interests type of leader. Iran has been well known to do seedy things such as weapons smuggling. I, for one, believe these claims by Gates and such for this reason (although I am skeptical about the whole 'Iran is smuggling weapons into Afghanistan thing'). The Iranians have so much to gain from destabliizing Iraq and America has so much to lose. In fact, I would go so far to argue that it would be antithetical to Iranian interests to not engage in such behavior.

    That being said, I share your concern over any information concerning Iran. All of this BS talk about their nonexistent nuclear program has made me somewhat of an uber skeptic when it comes to anything Iranian.

    • Aarky

      Your last paragraph is confusing. Are you attempting to say that the Iranians are lying and they are trying to build nuclear weapons? If that is your intent, you are nothing more than a shill for the Israelis. The political side of both the Israeli and US governments constantly screech, "The Sky is Falling" "the Iranians are bulding nuclear weapons". At the same time the intelligence branches of both governments are saying there is no attempt to build Nukes. This is a very dangerous game they are playing. For what purpose?

      • Brian Beyer

        Aarky,

        Sorry if my thoughts got muddled. I am not saying that the Iranians are trying to build nuclear weapons. I don't believe it for a second, and won't unless there is definitive proof.

    • Geo1671

      Brian–wise up foolish boy–"Iranians have so much to gain from destabliizing Iraq and America has so much to lose" Have you been a sleep since USA falsely attacked IRAQ and WTF???– destabliizing by IRAN
      Please do tell–who really did attack USA on 9/II.Iran? Nope! Iraq? Nope! Afghastan? Nope!
      Hint–Self inflicted with it's middle east sidekick

  • KEer-eh-Khar

    Death to Bzerzinski Islamism installed in Iran in 1979 by Anglo-American globalists.

  • gfdgfg

    1. IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, PAKISTAN, LIBYA, IRAN, SYRIA SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES.

    FOR DECADES, IF YOU READ US MAJOR NEWSPAPERS avery morning, ONLY WAR IN MIDEAST, NOWHERE ELSE, PERPETRATED BY US IS DISPLAYED IN FRONT PAGE, THE RESULTS ARE DISTRUCTIONS OF INFRASTRUCTURES IN MUSLIM MIDEAST NATIONS.

    ARE THESE MIDEAST NATIONS LEADERS SO STUPID OR CORRUPTED TO NOT SEE THEIR COUNTRIES WHERE THE WAR IS IN FRONT PAGE OF US NEWSPAPERS EVERY MORNING ? OR ISLAM IS JUST A BAD RELIGION AND THAT MUSLIMS AROUND THE GLOBE NEED TO CONVERT.

    US IS ONLY TO SCREW AND DISARM MUSLIM NATIONS FOR REGIME CHANGE IN US TERMS BY FOREIGN AID/SECRETLY SUPPORTING UPRISINGS OR OTHER PROPAGANDA LIES/excuses IN NEWS MEDIA, taking advantage of terrorist activities and groups to accomplish their political objectives and increase pressure on the other countries.

  • dfdfdf

    WHY ?, BECAUSE US IS COMMITED TO ISRAEL'S SECURITY IN MIDEAST, AND ISRAEL'S SECURITY IS DEFINED AS ISRAEL'S BEING SUPERIOR IN MIDEAST IN TERM OF ARMS DEFENSE. HOW TO ACHIEVE THIS IS SIMPLE AS WHAT THE US HAS BEEN DOING FOR DECADES (KNOWN AS DOUBLE STANDARDS):
    1. US TO SUPPLY ISRAEL WITH THE MOST ADVANCED WEAPONS AND
    2. US TO SCREW, COERCE FOR A REGIME CHANGE AND DISARM THE OTHER MIDEAST NATIONS SEEN AS THREATS BY ISRAEL.

    US MUST STOP MEDDLING IN MUSLIM COUTRIES INTERNAL AFFAIRS WHILE IN US THE DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MUSLIM no matter from Kuwait or Tunisia or Malaysia IS VERY SEVERE. INSTEAD of reducing, OBAMA SHALL HIRE MORE STAFFERS AT EEOC TO HANDLE THE CASELOADS AND BROADCAST IT VIA TV WORLDWIDE.

  • dfdf

    Renowned American academic says the US and its allies will spare no effort to prevent democracy in the Arab World, as they fear losing their clout in the region. "The reason is very simple… Plainly, the US and its allies are not going to want governments which are responsive to THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE LIKE IN IRAN. If that happens, not only will the US not control the region, but it will be thrown out," the political analyst added.

    According to a Wikileaks cable, the Syrian government placed long-range missiles armed with chemical warheads on high alert after the attack but did not retaliate fearing an Israeli nuclear counterstrike after Operation Orchard, 2007.

  • vfvfd

    FORGET THE PALESTINIANS STATEHOOD, IT A DEADEND. US AND UNBREAKABLE BOND ISRAEL OUTMANEUVERED PALESTINAINS TO A DEADEND THROUGH FRUITLESS ENDLESS TALKS. IT IS ONLY A SPEECH OF BORDER 1967 PLAN WHICH IS ALREADY REJECTED BY ISRAEL, FOR OABAM TO DECEIVE WORLD BROADCASTED VIA TV WORLDWIDE!

    IT IS WORLDWIDE already WELL KNOWN THAT OBAMA'S REELECTION CAMPAIGN FINANCES ARE MOSTLY FROM THOSE STAUNCH ISRAEL SUPPORTERS, no need of worldwide tv broadcasting.

    ISRAEL'S STANCE: "ONLY NUKES CAN FORCE ISRAEL BACK TO 1967 BORDER" AND US HAS SCREWED UP AND DISARMED ALL OTHER MIDEAST NATIONS SUPPORTING PALESTINIANS BY ALL PROPAGANDA LIES. BRAVO !!!

    IN REALITY, THERE WILL BE NO 1967 BORDER PLAN UNDER US INITIATIVE, THAT IS NOT BROADCASTED VIA TV WORLDWIDE!
    DON'T BE FOOLED BY SWEET OBAMA SPEECHES, FOLKS !

  • cvbvb

    LOOK AT LIBYA, FACT SPEAKS FOR ITSELF.

    ARE THESE REBELS REPRESENTING THE WILL OF THE MAJORITY PEOPLE IN LIBYA ?

    In 2003, Gaddafi had reportedly signed a deal with the US and Britain allowing the longtime international it to rejoin the international community in exchange for renouncing terrorism and giving up WMD programs.
    Earlier this week, North Korea had called the deal, which the US had extended to Gaddafi in 2003, as "an invasion tactic to disarm the country."

    Pyongyang's Foreign Ministry had said that Libya's nuclear dismantlement "turned out to be a mode of aggression whereby the US coaxed Libya with such sweet words as 'guarantee of security' and 'improvement of relations' to disarm, and then swallowed it up by force and seized Libya's funds."
    ON BEHALF OF UNBREAKABLE BOND ISRAEL.

  • sdfdfdf

    Rebels, US reject libyan election.
    YES, IT IS NEVER TO LATE TO HAVE AN ELECTION FOR DEMOCRACY, LET THE WILL OF THE MAJORITY PEOPLE SPEAK IN LIBYA. ARE THESE REBELS SUPPORTED BY US REPRESENTING REPRESENTING THE WILL OF THE MAJORITY PEOPLE IN LIBYA OR ONLY TERRORIST GROUPS ? THE WORLD COMMUNITIES NEED TO KNOW !
    ARE THESE REBELS AFRAID BEING EXPOSED TO THE WORLD THAT THEY ARE NOT OF THE WILL OF THE MAJORITY PEOPLE IN LIBYA AND THE US AND ITS ALLIES JUST ONLY SEEK A REGIME CHANGE IN LIBYA LIKE IN IRAQ AND IRAN BY ALL MEANS OF LIES IN NEWS MEDIA ?
    CONTINUATION OF LIBYAN BOMBING IS ABUSING THE UN RESOLUTION TO SAVE LIVES IN LIBYA

  • vbvbv

    This is all nonstop propaganda lies of nonsense using excuses like in IRAQ with WMD by zionist US aggressor from Iraq, Afghanistan to Libya.
    Iran has no nuclear weapons program and has been consistent all times.
    For about 12 years, Israel has claimed that Iran will have a nuclear bomb within 6 months or a year.
    The USA constantly issues accusations about Iran's "nuclear weapons" but to this day, has not produced one shred of evidence to support those accusations.

    In principle, however, nothing in international law or in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty forbids the enrichment of uranium. Besides Iran, several other countries, parties or not to the treaty, enrich uranium without being accused of "threatening the peace." And in Iran, this activity is submitted to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. These inspections, it is true, are constrained by a safeguards agreement dating from the 1970s. But it is also true that the IAEA has never uncovered in Iran any attempted diversion of nuclear material to military use.

    IS NPT ONLY FOR FRIENDS OF THE US ?

  • Brad_Smith2

    This story comes out every two years or so and as of yet they have never provided any proof that it's true. I would believe the weapons are coming from Saudi Arabia and bought with CIA money first. Just as I would also believe that any advanced weapons in Afghanistan are coming via Pakistan and at least to some extend are produced using aid from the US of A.

  • Geo1671

    But it's peachie AOK for USA's CIA to fund/provide military hardware for demockracy uprisings in 3rd world countries {:^/

  • Buzzy Bee

    A couple of years back the army released its own data on all arms and explosives it had confiscated in Iraq. I don't remember the exact numbers, but out of all it confiscated arms only a few percent were found to have come from Iran.

    One might argue that while Iran did not contribute a lot of weapons to overall war they did arm a few specific groups. However the data cast strong doubt on this too: when the report was released, depicting 5-6 years of operations, the highest part of arms originating in Iran found in any one bust was 16-18%(or somewhere in the range).

    As for the sadrists, there's been mentioned on this site and elsewhere that they are more of Iraqi nationalists than Iranian puppets. The Iranians are cozy enough with the Maliki government without having to arm an opposition movement. You might remember the Iranians for many months tried to pressure al-Sadr into entering a coalition with Maliki after the elections in Iraq.
    Odd that it would prove to be so difficult with the sadrists only being an extended arm of the Iranian Republican Guard…

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