US President George Bush Warned Iran today that if it did not stop arming and training Shia militia in Iraq, “America will act to protect our interests and our troops.”
The President’s warning was the bluntest remarks yet coming out of Washington linking Iran to Shia extremist groups in Iraq. Earlier in the week General David Patreous, commander of US military in Iraq, told Congress that Iran was funding, training, arming and directing what he labeled as “special groups” in Iraq. Gen. Patreaus characterized the special groups as the “greatest long-term threat” to the viability of a democratic Iraq.
The President today called Iran one of the two “greatest threats to the US in this century, together with Al Qaida.” Inside Iraq, the US is rapidly shifting its focus from Al Qaida to special groups backed by Iran as its number-one enemy.
The White House has not yet provided the public with the intelligence supporting its contention that Iran has been directly involved in the current fighting in Iraq.