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.
One of the major “accomplishments” of the U.S. occupation of Iraq has been the regional rise of Iran and the growing temptation for Iranian leaders to exploit these new conditions (Iraqi power vacuum) for their own benefit. The longer social chaos exists in Iraq, the more difficult it will be for any Iranian politician to resist the temptation of trying to do something about it; they will react just as American politicians would react if similar chaos existed in Mexico or Canada. But for Iran, the temptation will be even greater because of the intimate religious ties between the two societies, and because it is difficult to think of any Mideast country that is not intervening in Iraq. Iranian, Turkish, Israeli, Saudi Arabian, Syrian, and Lebanese interests will no doubt all be aggressively represented in Iraq for the foreseeable future.
The problem for Iran would be the costs involved in such intervention. I too believe that US would have acted same if faced with similar situation in Mexico or Canada. But the reality of life is that Iran is no US. One needs to be realistic as to the limits of one’s power. Iran needs to be involved with the questions of Iraq. But the type of intervention alleged here might end up costing Iran too much.
Post a Comment