News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqIranian weapons still a problem in Iraq: U.S. military

Iranian weapons still a problem in Iraq: U.S. military


Reuters: Iranian weapons and agents still pose a threat to U.S.-led forces in Iraq, a U.S. military spokesman said on Sunday, despite a recent softening in tone by U.S. officials towards Washington’s bitter foe. By Missy Ryan

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iranian weapons and agents still pose a threat to U.S.-led forces in Iraq, a U.S. military spokesman said on Sunday, despite a recent softening in tone by U.S. officials towards Washington’s bitter foe.

“We’re still seeing a large number of Iranian-made weapons still exist here in Iraq,” U.S. military spokesman Rear Admiral Gregory Smith told a news conference, adding that “individuals” coordinating and carrying out attacks were still in the country.

Major-General James Simmons, the U.S. general in charge of countering attacks using deadly roadside bombs, said last week that unofficial assurances from Iran that it would stop the flow of bombs into Iraq appeared to be holding.

His comments came after U.S. ambassador Ryan Crocker also noted some positive recent developments in Iranian involvement in Iraq, in an apparent softening of rhetoric towards Tehran.

“The degree to which Iran has ceased completely its training, equipping, financing and resourcing has yet to be completely witnessed,” Smith said.

Washington and the U.S. military in Iraq accuse Iran of arming, training and funding Shi’ite militias in Iraq, a charge Tehran denies. Iran blames the violence in Iraq on the U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Iraqi civilian and U.S. military casualties have dropped sharply in the past two months, which Smith described as encouraging.

The falls have been attributed to a “surge” of 30,000 extra U.S. troops which became fully deployed in June, more effective Iraqi security forces and the increasing use of U.S.-backed neighborhood police units organized by tribal sheikhs.

Smith said the number of attacks had fallen by 55 percent to their lowest levels since January 2006.

U.S. embassy spokesman Phil Reeker said another round of U.S.-Iran talks on Iraqi security was expected soon but no date has been set.

Crocker has met his Iranian counterpart three times this year, ending a diplomatic freeze that lasted almost 30 years. The talks are limited to Iraq and do not touch on Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“It’s important for us to continue to push the Iranians to try by various means to bring their practices in line with their stated policy,” Reeker said.

With violence levels dropping, Reeker said attention should now turn to political progress towards reconciling Iraq’s majority Shi’ite Muslims and minority Sunni Muslims.

“The improvements that we’ve seen in security have set the stage for a number of things in the economic sphere and certainly in the political sphere,” he said.

(Reporting by Paul Tait and Missy Ryan; editing by Sami Aboudi)

Latest news

Iran’s Regime’s New Hijab Bill Seeks to Silence Women

On May 21, Ebrahim Raisi’s government approved and sent a bill on "Chastity and Hijab" to Iran’s Parliament (Majlis)....

Iranian Opposition Condemns Release of Tehran’s Convicted Diplomat-Terrorist Assadollah Assadi

The recent prisoner exchange between Belgium and Iran, announced by the government of Oman, has sparked strong condemnation from...

World leaders call on Biden to adopt new Iran policy

In a joint letter, 109 former world leaders signed a letter calling for accountability in Iran and urging U.S....

The Unsettling Child Marriage Epidemic Sweeping Iran

The horrific scene of a man holding the severed head of his 17-year-old wife, Mona Heydari, in southwest Iran,...

How Iran’s Housing Crisis Can Trigger More Protests

Renting a home in Iran has become nearly impossible for tenants who not only have buried their dream of...

Iran’s Budget Deficit Has Doubled

In the absence of statistics from Iran’s Central Bank and despite the government's false claims that the budget for...

Must read

U.S. Congress report warns of Iran’s meddling in Iraq

Iran Focus: London, Nov. 27 – The United States...

Iran’s nuclear chief to hold talks at IAEA headquarters

Iran Focus: London, Apr. 26 - Iran's top nuclear...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you