During his official video-conference today, top US commander in Iraq General Ray Odierno again blamed the Iranian government for the continuing insurgency in Iraq, claiming that training was going on inside Iran and that the Iranians have been providing weapons and ammunition to Iraqi militants.
The charge is perplexing, given that the recent attacks have almost exclusively targeted Shi’ites and considering the strong ties the Iranian government maintains with the ruling Shi’ite government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
In fact many of the victims of the violence of the last several months have been Iranian pilgrims visiting Shi’ite holy sites. The claim that the Shi’ite theocracy in Iran is funding Sunni insurgents in Iraq to kill Iranian pilgrims in hopes of undermining a Shi’ite government with which it remains close is bizarre, but an enduring narrative for US officials looking for a scapegoat for ongoing violence.
The latest accusation also comes at an odd time, as US officials attempt to dismiss the massive death tolls of recent days as irrelevant to the question of the nation’s security.