04232019Tue

AP: Islamic extremists have been moving supplies and new recruits from Iran into Iraq, say Iraqi Kurdish and Western officials, though it's unclear whether Tehran is covertly backing them or whether militants are simply taking advantage of the porous border. Iranian involvement with extremist groups in the Iraqi insurgency would be potentially explosive, especially given the history of U.S.-Iranian animosity. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said recently Iran was engaged in "a lot of meddling" in Iraq but gave no details.

AFP: Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi dismissed on Saturday fresh allegations of interference in neighbouring Iraq, asserting that the Islamic republic was playing a "positive role" and not fuelling unrest. "Iran is playing a positive role in Iraq, and if anyone thinks that Iran is interfering in Iraq's internal affairs they had better show their evidence," Kharazi said in a joint press conference with his Chinese counterpart Li Zhaoxing.

AFP: Iraqi President Ghazi al-Yawar accused Iran of orchestrating attacks in his country and declared his
opposition to a threatened assault on the rebel hotbed of Fallujah, in an interview published Monday.
"Iran is playing a negative role in Iraq. It is behind the assassination of more than 18 Iraqi intelligence officers. It is also playing a negative role in southern Iraq," Yawar told Kuwait's Al-Qabas newspaper.

AFP: Iraqi interim prime minister Iyad Allawi Friday urged the European Union to use its influence with Syria and Iran to stop them from "fuelling violence" in his country. "We need your help in persuading Iraq's neighbours that fuelling violence in Iraq will only damage their own security in the long term," he told European Union leaders in a speech made available to the press.

AP: A military commander says Iraq's border forces have arrested 94 infiltrators who illegally crossed into the country from Iran.
The Iraqi Brigadier General in charge of the southern borders says the infiltrators, all Afghans and Iranians, were arrested yesterday crossing into southern Basra and Amarah.

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