Leaked Iran Cables Focus on Iranian Reactions to US War in Iraq

Documents offer a close look at Iran's influence in neighboring Iraq

A new series of reports are emerging Monday evening at the New York Times and the Intercept, built around some 700 pages of Iranian intelligence reports which were leaked from the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security through as yet unclear sources.

The leaks appear to be heavily centered on Iran’s reaction to the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, and how Iranian officials used ties with Iraqi Shi’ite factions to secure significant leverage in post-Saddam Iraq.

Early indications are that the reports are authentic, and while some of the early reports are trying to spin this as new revelations of Iran having done something untoward, the reality is that it has been well understood that the US war and the US installation of a Shi’ite dominated government in Iraq was beneficial to Iran. Indeed, this has been a common analysis of the US war in Iraq for well over a decade now.

While more stories based on the leaks are sure to follow, the documents may be most revelatory in the specific details of how things happened in Iraq after the Bush invasion, it is unlikely that Iran wanting influence in Iraq, and getting the opportunity after the invasion, will be in any way revolutionary to our understanding of the conflict.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.