If there is anywhere Iran could easily stir up trouble in Iraq, it would be in Diyala, a rugged province along the border between the two nations.
The combination of Sunni Arab militants believed to be affiliated with Al Qaeda and Shiite Muslim militiamen with ties to Iran has fueled waves of sectarian and political violence here. The province is bisected by long-traveled routes leading from Iran to Baghdad and Shiite holy cities farther south in Iraq.
But even here, evidence of Iranian involvement in Iraq's troubles is limited. U.S. troops have found mortars and antitank mines with Iranian markings dated 2006, said U.S. Army Col. David W. Sutherland, who oversees the province. But there has been little sign of more advanced weaponry crossing the border, and no Iranian agents have been found. ...
The accusations of Iranian meddling "illustrate what may be one of our greatest problems," said Anthony Cordesman, a former Defense Department official and military expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
"We are still making arguments from authority without detail and explanation. We're making them in an America and in a world where we really don't have anything like the credibility we've had in the past." ...
Top U.S. intelligence officials have been making increasingly confident assertions about Iran.
"I've come to a much darker interpretation of Iranian actions in the past 12 to 18 months," CIA Director Michael V. Hayden said in recent congressional testimony. Previously, Tehran's priority was to maneuver for a stable Iraq dominated by its Shiite majority, but that attitude has changed, he said.
"There is a clear line of evidence that points out the Iranians want to punish the United States, hurt the United States in Iraq, tie down the United States in Iraq," he said.
One high-ranking intelligence official in Washington acknowledged a lack of "fidelity" in the intelligence on Iran's activities, saying reports are sometimes unclear because it is difficult to track weapons and personnel that might be flowing across the long and porous border. ...
U.S. intelligence officials emphasized that Iran intentionally stops short of steps that would be seen as direct provocation and provide justification for a military response. For example, Iran has refrained from supplying Shiite militias with surface-to-air missiles and other weaponry that was part of Hezbollah's arsenal in its fight with Israel last summer, they said.
Jan 24, 2007
Lack of "Fidelity" in Iran Intelligence
It can really suck when you absolutely, positively need convincing pretextual evidence...and nobody will believe you even if you come up with it.
Rolled by Effwit at 8:14 AM