Iraqi Govt Denies US Allegations About Iranian Arms Smuggling

Exiled Iraq VP Also Claims Nation Is 'Becoming Iranian Corridor' to Syria

by Jason Ditz, September 20, 2012

Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh has reiterated his government’s denial of the US allegations that Iran is sending weapons and troops to Syria through Iraqi airspace, saying that Iraq would never allow its nation to become a weapons transit route and pressing the US again for evidence.

The US made such allegations early in the month, and a new “report” from US officials claims the operations are even broader, with Sen. John Kerry (D – MA) threatening to review US aid to Iraq as punishment for not closing their airspace to Iran. The State Department says it doesn’t support making Iraqi aid contingent on banning Iranian flights.

Exiled Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, who was sentenced to death earlier this month and needless to say has it in for the current Iraqi government’s leadership, also endorsed the US allegations, saying he believes Iraq is “becoming an Iranian corridor” into Syria.

Yet in the end there is a staggering lack of evidence for the allegations. The initial Iraqi call for “proof” was spurned immediately by the US, which instead suggested they force Iranian civilian aircraft down and search them just in case. When Iraq insisted they wouldn’t do that without US evidence of wrongdoing to justify it, the story more or less died for two weeks, and now the US is coming back all the more shrill, but still unwilling to back up what they say is happening.

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