Lieberman Urges U.S Government To Confront Iran On Its Proxy War In Iraq
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) issued the following statement today urging the U.S. government to confront Iran on its proxy war in Iraq:
"This morning, the U.S. military in Baghdad provided new and disturbing details about the proxy war that the government of Iran has been fighting against the United States in Iraq.
According to Brigadier General Kevin Bergner, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has been using operatives from the radical Islamist terrorist group Hezbollah to train Iraqi Shiite militias, who in turn are responsible for the murder of American soldiers.
In addition, according to Brig. Gen. Bergner, groups of up to sixty Iraqi militants at a time have been taken out of Iraq and brought to Iran for military training at three camps near Teheran, where they have been instructed in the use of mortars, rockets, and improvised explosive devices. The Iranian government has also provided up to $3 million a month to fund attacks on U.S. troops and allies in Iraq.
In fact, Brig. Gen. Bergner also provided new evidence this morning that Iranian operatives helped plan a sophisticated ambush in January that resulted in the abduction and murder of five American soldiers.
These revelations should be a wake-up call to the United States about the threat posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran—as well as a reminder why Iraq is, in fact, the central front of the global war on terror. Iran's sponsorship of terrorism in Iraq fits into a larger, dangerous pattern of behavior we see across the Middle East today. From Lebanon to Palestine to Afghanistan, the Iranian government is supporting the forces of Islamist radicalism. Despite a mounting economic crisis in its own country and growing international isolation, the regime in Teheran is sacrificing the blood and treasure of the Iranian people to fund terrorism against its neighbors.
The United States government has a responsibility to use all instruments at its disposal to stop these terrorist attacks against our soldiers and allies in Iraq—including keeping open the possibility of using military force against the terrorist infrastructure inside Iran.
Although no one desires a conflict with Iran, the fact is that the Iranian government by its actions has declared war on us. And while I sincerely hope that diplomacy alone can convince the Iranian government to stop these attacks, our diplomatic efforts are only likely to succeed if backed by a credible threat of force.
At the very least, I hope that these latest revelations about Iran's terrorism in Iraq will prompt some of my colleagues in Congress to reconsider their demand that U.S. forces withdraw from Iraq.
Iran's purpose in sponsoring these attacks against our soldiers is clear. The Iranian government wants to push the United States out of Iraq. For Congress to mandate a retreat from Iraq will give the Iranians exactly what they want most. A retreat would not only represent a catastrophic defeat for the United States, but an epic victory for Iran, Hezbollah, and the forces of Islamist terrorism."