Iraq Says It Has Proof Of Iranian Meddling|
By Amit R. Paley
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, May 5, 2008
BAGHDAD, May 4 -- The Iraqi government said Sunday that it has "concrete
evidence" Iran is fomenting violence in Iraq and that a high-level panel had been formed to document the
The statement came as Iraqi officials find themselves trapped between the
United States and Iran, which have each accused the other of wreaking havoc in
Iraq. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is in a particularly delicate situation because he
is close to American and Iranian officials.
Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh called reporters late Sunday night to clarify
remarks he made at a news conference earlier in the day, when he appeared to say
that there was no hard evidence that Iran was allowing weapons to come into
Iraq. Dabbagh said his comments had been misinterpreted.
"There is an interference and evidence that they have interfered in Iraqi
affairs," Dabbagh said in an interview arranged by a U.S. official. When asked
how he would characterize the proof that Iranian weapons are flowing into Iraq,
he said: "It is a concrete evidence."
The U.S. government has long accused Iran of providing the powerful roadside
bombs known as explosively formed penetrators to Shiite militiamen who attack
American troops. Iran has denied any such role.
Dabbagh said that after Maliki launched an offensive last month in the
southern city of Basra, weapons were found that were clearly produced in
"The truth came out; there is evidence of Iranian weapons in Iraq," he said.
"Now we need to document who sent them."
Dabbagh said the high-level committee was formed three days ago and includes
officials from the Interior and Defense Ministries.
Meanwhile, in the Sadr City district of the capital, clashes between U.S.
troops and fighters loyal to anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr continued overnight Saturday. The U.S. military said it killed at least five fighters in Hellfire
Elsewhere in Baghdad, Iraq's first lady survived a roadside bomb attack on
her motorcade as she traveled to a cultural festival at the National Theater.
Hero Ibrahim Ahmed, the wife of President Jalal Talabani, was not hurt, but four of her guards were injured,
according to Talabani's office.
And in the northern city of Mosul, gunmen killed a journalist, Sarwa
Abdel-Wahab Thanoun, who worked for various television stations and for an Iraqi
news agency. The attackers pulled Thanoun, 36, out of a car and shot her in
front of her mother.
At least 127 journalists have been killed in Iraq, the most dangerous country
in the world for reporters, since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, according to
the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.
Special correspondent Dlovan Brwari in Mosul contributed to this
Original article: Washington Post
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