There are several stories going around involving Iran and Syria being involved in not only interfering with the upcoming Iraqi elections, but actively supporting al-Qaeda. The Jawa Report
has some interesting comments that point out that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's terrorist group probably wouldn't want to turn Iraq into an Islamic Republic. They sure wouldn't turn down money or support from them though.
Iraq's defense minister on Wednesday accused neighboring Iran and Syria of supporting terrorists in his war-ravaged country.
Hazem Shaalan also accused Iran of backing the al-Qaida in Iraq terrorist group headed by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and said his country's opponents want "turbaned clerics to rule in Iraq."
Shaalan said Iraqi authorities obtained information about Iran's role in Iraqi's insurgency after last month's arrest of the leader of the Jaish Mohammed (Mohammed's Army) terrorist group during U.S.-led operations in Fallujah.
"When we arrested the commander of Jaish Mohammed we discovered that key to terrorism is in Iran, which this the number one enemy for Iraq," Shaalan told reporters in Baghdad.
On Nov. 15, Iraq's interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said American forces detained Jaish Mohammed members, including the organization's leader, Moayad Ahmed Yasseen, also known as Abu Ahmed, during the military operation to uproot insurgents based in Fallujah, west of Baghdad.
One thing to keep in mind during all of this -- and I'm not saying Iran are the good guys -- but Iraq and Iran were at war with each other for a long time and there still could be some major hatred and animosity there.
Chad at In The Bullpen adds, "Shaalan fails to mention Iran’s support for Muqtada Al Sadr while the Sadr Army was militant". A good point. It seems prior alliances and support of enemies is very quickly forgotten over there in the Middle East.
President Bush meanwhile has also warned both Iran and Syria not to meddle in Iraq's upcoming election.
BBC (via Hyscience)
Mr Bush said he expected all of Iraq's neighbours, including Iran and Syria, to stop what he said was the flow of people and money into Iraq.
The influx was aimed at helping terrorists, he said.
His comments came on the first day of the election campaign...
... Bush gave the warning after Iraq's interim Defence Minister, Hazim Shaalan, accused Iran and Syria of orchestrating terrorist attacks and branded Tehran the "most dangerous enemy of Iraq".
"We will continue to make it clear, to both Syria and Iran that, as will other nations in our coalition... that meddling in the internal affairs of Iraq is not in their interests," ... "We expect people to work with the Iraqi interim government to enforce the border to stop the flow of people and money that aim to help these terrorists," he added.
Q and O