WikiLeaks: U.S. wary of Iran's action in Iraq

Dec. 1, 2010 at 3:50 PM
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BAGHDAD, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Tehran aimed to create a politically submissive Iraq in the aftermath of the fall of Saddam Hussein, documents published by WikiLeaks reveal.

Internet watchdog group WikiLeaks released thousands of diplomatic cables from U.S. channels this week. An April 2009 dispatch from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad accused Iran of trying to take advantage of the political vacuum since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

Iran's agenda in the post-invasion Iraq, The Wall Street Journal reports, was to create an "an economically dependent and politically subservient Iraq" at least partially through political interference.

A separate cable from November 2009 suggests Iran was distributing cash to "Iraqi surrogates," including an estimated $70 million to the Shiite political movement the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council.

SIIC, strong in the Shiite south of Iraq, was based in Iran before Saddam was overthrown.

Leaders of the group dismissed the U.S. diplomatic documents as "opinions" and Iran has repeatedly denied meddling in Iraqi affairs.

SIIC said it has displayed its autonomy by opposing a second term for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who was able to secure political backing after meeting with officials in Tehran.

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