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Top U.S. military commander in Iraq points finger at Iran

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Iran Focus: London, Apr. 13 – A senior U.S. army General in Iraq accused Iran on Friday of encouraging both Shiite and Sunni groups in Iraq to carry out attacks against Coalition forces in that country. Iran Focus

London, Apr. 13 – A senior U.S. army General in Iraq accused Iran on Friday of encouraging both Shiite and Sunni groups in Iraq to carry out attacks against Coalition forces in that country.

“We continue to see indications of Iranian influence in Iraq, including providing arms, training and safe haven to terrorists targeting Iraqis and coalition forces”, Lieutenant General Ray Odierno, the second most senior U.S. general in Iraq, told reporters at a Pentagon news briefing via live satellite connection from Baghdad.

“In the past two weeks, we’ve found caches with 60-millimeter mortars, RPGs, hand grenades, C4 explosive, 107-millimeter rockets. And in one particular cache, we found over 120 Iranian explosively formed projectiles”, Odierno said. “The Iranians continue to attempt to interfere in the situation in Iraq”.

“It’s clear that the Qods Force is involved in what’s going on here by supplying training, money and weapons. … It is clear that they continue to interfere, the Qods Force continues to attempt to interfere in Iraqi — in operations inside of Iraq. We continue to intercept weapons. We know there’s money that’s flowing in from Iran to certain insurgent groups in Iraq, and we will continue to work through this”, he said.

“And in fact we’re working now to determine whether they are in fact not only providing support to Shi’a groups but also Sunni insurgent groups. We don’t have any specific proof of that yet, but there’s been some indications that that could in fact be the case.

Asked why Tehran would support Sunni groups, Odierno said, “I think it’s mainly because they want to continue to create chaos in Iraq. They do not want this government potentially to succeed. But additionally, I think they want to try to tie down coalition forces here. And it’s clear that they are attempting to affect what’s going on inside of Iraq on a daily basis, and we have to be very aware of that, and we will continue to be aware of that and work it”.

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