BAGHDAD (AFP) – Iraq said on Sunday it has no evidence that Iran was supplying militias engaged in fierce street fighting with security forces in Baghdad.
Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said there was no “hard evidence” of involvement by the neighbouring Shiite government of Iran in backing Shiite militiamen in the embattled country.
Asked about US reports that weapons captured from Shiite fighters bore 2008 markings suggesting Iranian involvement, Dabbagh said: “We don’t have that kind of evidence… If there is hard evidence we will defend the country.”
Tehran strongly opposes the US military presence in Iraq, while Washington has repeatedly accused Iranian groups of arming and training Shiite militia groups in its neighbour.
Iran, whose ties with Washington have been severed since 1980, strongly denies the allegations.
United States is drawing up plans to strike on Iranian insurgency camp
by Michael Smith
The Sunday Times
May 4, 2008
The US military is drawing up plans for a “surgical strike” against an insurgent training camp inside Iran if Republican Guards continue with attempts to destabilise Iraq, western intelligence sources said last week. One source said the Americans were growing increasingly angry at the involvement of the Guards’ special-operations Quds force inside Iraq, training Shi’ite militias and smuggling weapons into the country.
Despite a belligerent stance by Vice-President Dick Cheney, the administration has put plans for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities on the back burner since Robert Gates replaced Donald Rumsfeld as defence secretary in 2006, the sources said.
However, US commanders are increasingly concerned by Iranian interference in Iraq and are determined that recent successes by joint Iraqi and US forces in the southern port city of Basra should not be reversed by the Quds Force.
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