Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Neighbors Fighting Neighbors

U.S. Envoy in Iraq Accuses Iran Of Assisting Militias, Insurgents:

The American ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, says Iran is playing "a negative role" in Iraq by providing weapons, training, and other support to anti-government Shia militias. Khalilzad tied this activity, along with a demand that British forces vacate the port city of Basra, to Iran's desire to deflect attention away from its nuclear dispute with the rest the world.

This is, of course, exactly what you would expect Iran to do as a way to cause maximum trouble for the U.S. and Britain with a minimum of effort. It also plays up Iran's image as a regional power broker and protector of Shia communities, a role that still caries weight in other Mideast capitals.

Realistically there is nothing the U.S. can do about such Iranian activities as it is impossible to seal the rugged Iran-Iraq border. But it does provide another bill of indictment for the case for international sanctions against Iran that the U.S. is trying to build.

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