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Tuesday, March 11, 2008       Free Headline Alerts

U.S. military points to new evidence of Iran's involvement in Iraq

BAGHDAD — U.S. military officials are charging Iran with renewed operations to destabilize Iraq.

Rear Adm. Greg Smith, a spokesman for American forces in Iraq, said Sunday that U.S. troops recently uncovered a cache near Baghdad of weapons made recently in Iran. Smith also said the Iranians had been recruiting and training Iraqis in Iran, according to statements by Iraqi detainees.

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno and Navy Adm. William J. Fallon last week charged Iran's government of undermining the government in Iraq.

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Odierno, speaking at the Pentagon, said Iran represented the most credible long-term threat to Iraq. Both he and Fallon testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that there was evidence that Iran was fomenting insurrection in Iraq and was providing training and equipment.

Smith said the U.S. based the assessment on Iraqi detainees who been trained last year.

"All told the same story," Smith said of the detainees. "Handlers trained by Hizbullah inside Iran came back here purposefully to support anti-coalition and anti-security elements."

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