August 10, 2007
The Message Stupid!
Cheney Urging Strikes On Iran
by Warren P. Strobel, John Walcott & Nancy A. Youssef
WASHINGTON – President Bush charged Thursday that Iran continues to arm and train insurgents who are killing U.S. soldiers in Iraq, and he threatened action if that continues.
At a news conference Thursday, Bush said Iran had been warned of unspecified consequences if it continued its alleged support for anti-American forces in Iraq. U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker had conveyed the warning in meetings with his Iranian counterpart in Baghdad, the president said:
Bush wasn’t specific, and a State Department official refused to elaborate on the warning.
Behind the scenes, however, the president’s top aides have been engaged in an intensive internal debate over how to respond to Iran’s support for Shiite Muslim groups in Iraq and its nuclear program. Vice President Dick Cheney several weeks ago proposed launching airstrikes at suspected training camps in Iraq run by the Quds force, a special unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to two U.S. officials who are involved in Iran policy.
The debate has been accompanied by a growing drumbeat of allegations about Iranian meddling in Iraq from U.S. military officers, administration officials and administration allies outside government and in the news media. It isn’t clear whether the media campaign is intended to build support for limited military action against Iran, to pressure the Iranians to curb their support for Shiite groups in Iraq or both.