Mullen Blasts Iran for Interference in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Aug. 2, 2011 — The chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff today took Iran to task for inter­fer­ing in Iraq to pur­sue “malef­i­cent goals.”
At a news con­fer­ence here, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen blamed Iran for vio­lence he said is meant to under­mine Iraq’s progress.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, meets with Iraqi Prime Min­is­ter Nouri al-Mali­ki in Bagh­dad, Aug. 1, 2011.
DOD pho­to by Navy Pet­ty Offi­cer 1st Class Chad J. McNee­ley
Click to enlarge

“The Iran­ian regime con­tin­ues to vio­late Iraqi sov­er­eign­ty by inter­ven­ing in Iraqi social and polit­i­cal affairs, train­ing and equip­ping mili­tias to con­duct attacks on Iraqi soil and thwart­ing efforts by the Iraqi peo­ple to pur­sue unfet­tered the eco­nom­ic growth, devel­op­ment and inde­pen­dence that geog­ra­phy and democ­ra­cy have bestowed upon them,” the chair­man said. 

Tehran wants a weak Iraq, behold­en to the Iran­ian world view, Mullen said. “I believe most Iraq’s wish to deter­mine for them­selves their own future and to define for them­selves their own per­spec­tives about the world around them,” he added. 

The chair­man praised Iraqi Prime Min­is­ter Nouri al-Mali­ki and Pres­i­dent Jalal Tal­ibani for chal­leng­ing the Iran­ian regime to stop the vio­lence it’s direct­ing inside Iraq. June was a par­tic­u­lar­ly bad month for Amer­i­can forces in Iraq, with 15 killed – most­ly by Iran­ian-backed mili­tias using weapons offi­cials say came direct­ly from Iran. 

The Iraqi mil­i­tary has stepped up oper­a­tions in con­cert and coor­di­na­tion with Amer­i­can forces against such Iran­ian-backed groups, Mullen said. “As a result, we have seen a dra­mat­ic reduc­tion in these dead­ly attacks,” he added. 

Mean­while, Mullen said, Iraqi lead­ers are meet­ing to decide whether to request con­tin­ued U.S. mil­i­tary assis­tance after the Dec. 31 dead­line for the with­draw­al of Amer­i­can forces under a 2008 strate­gic agree­ment between Iraq and the Unit­ed States. 

Mullen, who met with the Iraqi lead­ers last night, said they under­stand the urgency behind mak­ing a deci­sion about some Amer­i­can forces remain­ing in Iraq beyond this year. The Iraqi lead­ers under­stand that U.S. assis­tance can help to bridge gaps in their nation’s secu­ri­ty capa­bil­i­ties, he added. 

The Iraqi lead­ers know the Unit­ed States is mov­ing for­ward with the plan to with­draw all forces by the dead­line and that time is run­ning out to decide if they want con­tin­ued Amer­i­can assis­tance, the chair­man said. 

“My gov­ern­ment has made it clear that we would enter­tain a request for some troops to stay, and I was encour­aged to learn last night that Iraqi lead­ers plan to meet to dis­cuss the mer­its of such a request,” Mullen said. “I remain hope­ful, there­fore, that we will soon achieve some clar­i­ty. And I am grate­ful that seri­ous attempts to resolve the issue are now under way.” 

But what­ev­er Iraqi lead­ers decide, he said, the deci­sion is for Iraq to make and should not be imposed by any out­side pow­er or coun­try. And the Unit­ed States stands ready to con­tin­ue to help Iraq, the chair­man added. 

“Noth­ing changes about my military’s ded­i­ca­tion to that goal, or my nation’s ded­i­ca­tion to fur­ther­ing our long-term strate­gic part­ner­ship,” he said. “We have giv­en over thou­sands of our young lives to achieve it, as have you. It is time now not to fin­ish the work, but to con­tin­ue to see it through.” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →