Washington: A number of US officials continue to accuse Iran of doing things against American interests, alleging the Iranian government of secretly positioning missiles inside neighboring Iraq. They also claimed that Iran has been stockpiling projectiles as part of a shadow war to threaten US interests.
Asserting it to be a known part of Iran taking advantage of chaos and confusion in the Iraqi central government, none of the officials could, however, offer any evidence.
In contrast, 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 a surprise if they treated arms sold to the militias as “Iranian stockpiles”.
Keeping in mind the 1980 – 1988 Iran- Iraq War, 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 of foreign powers, including not just Iran but the US.