Major General Jeffrey S. Buchanan, the top US military spokesman in Iraq, today declared that the Iranian government’s Quds force is “providing direct support” to Iraqi Shi’ite militias, and that those militias are working to undermine the Maliki government.
US officials have repeatedly claimed Iran is backing the militias, though the State Department conceded last month that they don’t actually have any evidence to back up these accusations, and Maj. Gen. Buchanan didn’t provide any today either.
Some officials, including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, have even threatened non-specific “measures” against Iran over the allegations. Buchanan insisted that Iran’s militias are the “biggest threat” in Iraq today.
The claims don’t stand up to even casual scrutiny, however, as the Iraqi government is by and large on extremely good terms with the Iranian government, and it wouldn’t make any sense for the Iranians to try to undermine the only other major Shi’ite dominated government in the region.