James Forsyth

Curbing Iranian influence in Iraq

Curbing Iranian influence in Iraq
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One of the most important things to have emerged from recent events in Basra and the testimony of General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker is that Iran has stepped up its efforts to destabilise Iraq. The crucial question is whether the Maliki government is now more prepared to confront this Iranian influence. 

The signs are promising. First, Mailiki was prepared to order his forces into Basra in an effort to curb the power of the militias and the Iranian trained special groups. Second, it seems that Iran’s role in the fighting in Basra has been, as Defense Secretary Gates put it, "a real eye-opener" for  Malik. Third, the Americans—as The Washington Posts reports—are now more committed than ever to tackle the “Iranian-armed militias [who] are now the biggest threat to internal order".  Gates declared yesterday that, "We are going to be as aggressive as we possibly can be inside Iraq in trying to counter their efforts."

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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