US Officials Accuse Iran of Secretly Putting Missiles in Iraq

US offers no evidence of claim that missiles are being stockpiled

Continuing the trend of the US accusing Iran of doing things against US interests, a number of officials are now accusing the Iranian government of secretly positioning missiles inside neighboring Iraq, going so far as to claim they are “stockpiling” them as part of a shadow war to threaten US interests.

None of the officials offered any evidence that this was the case, simply claiming this was a known part of Iran taking advantage of “chaos and confusion in the Iraqi central government.”

Which isn’t to say that there aren’t Iranian missiles in Iraq. Iran and Iraq are allies, and Iranian arms are often exported into Iraq for use by Shi’ite militias. With the US generally confusing Iraqi militias with “Iranian proxies,” it wouldn’t be surprised if they treated arms sold to the militias as Iranian stockpiles.

As a large neighbor who invaded Iran in the 1980s, it is understandable why Iran believes it needs to keep on good terms with Iraq. This has involved deep ties with the Shi’ite political parties in Iraq, as well as the militias that make up a substantial part of their security forces.

The US objects to Iran having these connections primarily because it’s Iran doing it, and US officials necessarily see anything Iran does as untoward. Yet the US invasion and occupation of Iraq set up the system that allowed Iran to gain influence there.

Iraq’s recent protest movement has turned on Iran for having so much influence over the government, but the tenets of the protesters are that the government needs to be independent from foreign powers, including not just Iran but the US.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for 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.