Iran Is Biggest Threat to Iraq: General

Points as proof to problem-free visit of Iranian prez
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2008 10:58 PM CST
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reacts during a press conference in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, March 3, 2008. Ahmadinejad on Monday dismissed U.S. accusations that his country is training extremists...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Iran is likely the single greatest threat to Iraq's longterm stability, according to a top US commander. The US has "pretty clear" evidence that Iran is training and supplying Shiite militias, said Lt. General Raymond Odierno, who just completed 15 months as second-in-command in Iraq.  Odierno pointed to the relatively uneventful visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Baghdad as evidence of Tehran's influence over terrorists in Iraq, reports Reuters.

Ahmadinejad "was able to walk around and nothing happened," said Odierno. "Over the last 12 months, every time a visitor would come from the United States, we'd either foil a rocket attack or the rocket attack happened. And guess what—that's because it was being done by Iranian surrogates." Odierno believes the best way to combat the Iranian effort is to confront extremists on the ground, and increase pressure on Iran's leaders.