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Bush maintains pressure on Iran February 14, 2007

Posted by Some Muslim in Iran, Iraq War, USA.
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Despite everything, Bush is maintaining pressure on Iran.  He continues to insist that Iran is responsible for attacks on US troops in Iraq.

However, he denies that such claims are to lay the groundwork for an attack on Iran.

But he said he did not know who was directing the force, and denied laying the groundwork for an attack on Iran.

Major General William Caldwell claims that the leader of the Mahdi Army, Moqtada Al-Sadr, has fled to Iran.

A U.S. military spokesman insists the leader of the Shi’ite militia Mahdi Army, has left Iraq. But Moqtada al-Sadr’s office in Najaf denies he fled to Iran because of internal disagreements among his followers. His office said he remains in Najaf, but has reduced public appearances for security reasons.

Major General William Caldwell told reporters in Baghdad that, despite the denials, U.S. officials still believe Sadr left Iraq, but the general refused to say why.

The Washington Post reports that Sadr’s [alleged] trip to Iran was first revealed by ABC News on Tuesday.

Just a few days ago, the US accused Iran over Iraq bombs and said that it has proof that the ‘highest levels’ of the Iranian government are supply arms used by Shi’ite militants in Iraq.

But this claim is disputed by the military itself.  General Peter Pace has voiced his doubts about this, stating that all the evidence proves is that things made in Iraq are being used in Iraq. Not that the Iranian government is actively involved.

In general, it seems like the US is making a big effort to put Iran in Iraq.

Faced with growing public opposition to the U.S. war in Iraq, the Bush administration has been desperately trying to divert attention to Iran. Washington has gone so far as to make a series of dubious and unfounded charges that blame the Iranian government for the difficulties facing American forces fighting the Iraqi insurgency.

BBC Middle East Correspondent, Paul Reynolds, also offers his analysis on why the US is actively blaming Iran for the problems in Iraq in his report, US claims against Iran: why now?

Clearly, Bush intends to do something about Iran.  Are all the US claims and accusations designed to soften us up?  I remember seeing a very similar pattern in the build up to the Iraq war.

Speaking of which, this war has already cost the US approximately $320bn.  It is estimated to go up to $2tn, with all the associated costs. The US already has $8tn of debt. It can’t afford to keep going on these conquests.

Combine that with the fact that Iran is not Iraq.  It is three times the size, predominantly shi’ite (and therefore doesn’t suffer from the sectarian problem like Iraq), and relatively united.  Attacking them is not a wise move.

Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has repeatedly denied US claims and is willing to talk. He’s also said that he will protect Iran, and that any attack from the US on his nation will be severely punished.

With tensions clearly rising, seems like the US should stop throwing around accusations and start a dialogue with Iran. Sooner than later.

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