1938 Alert from AFP, with thanks to JE:
WASHINGTON, June 22, 2006 (AFP) – The United States accused Iran Thursday of being a major destabilizing force in Iraq, accusing Tehran of training and arming insurgent groups and using “surrogates” to carry out terrorist strikes.
“It’s decidedy unhelpful,” the top US commander in Iraq, General George Casey, told reporters at a Pentagon news conference with US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Casey said that he had no evidence of Iranians actually in Iraq directing attacks against Iraqis or US forces, but said that he assumed elements in Tehran were guiding the process.
“We are quite confident that the Iranians, through their covert special operations forces, are providing weapons, IED technology and training to Shi’a extremist groups in Iraq, the training being conducted in Iran and in some cases probably in Lebanon through their surrogates,” he said.
“They are using surrogates to conduct terrorist operations in Iraq both against us and against the Iraqi people,” he said.