The top military commander in Iraq, U.S. General George Casey, says that coalition and Iraqi troops "continue to move forward against very divisive forces that are trying to deny the Iraqi people the prosperous future that they so well deserve after thirty-five years under Saddam Hussein." General Casey says the destructive elements include Sunni extremists like al-Qaida and its supporters, Shia extremist militias, and "external actors":
"Iran and Syria. And both Iran and Syria continue to be decidedly unhelpful by providing support to the different extremists and terrorist groups operating inside Iraq."
In an interview on Fox News, President George W. Bush said, "We are concerned about some Iranian involvement, particularly in the delivery of certain kinds of weapons."
U.S. Brigadier General Michael Barbero, deputy operations chief for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that "it's irrefutable Iran is responsible for training, funding, and equipping some of these Shia extremist groups and also providing advanced [improvised explosive device] technology to them."
U.S. Major General Richard Zahner, deputy chief of staff for intelligence with the multinational force in Iraq, said that Iran is funneling millions of dollars for military goods into Iraq and is also providing Shia militia with military grade explosives designed to penetrate the armor on tanks. General Zahner said, "The control of military-grade explosives in Iran is controlled through the state apparatus and is not committed through rogue elements. It is a deliberate decision on the part of elements associated with the Iranian government to effect this type of activities."
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that "we just have to fight tooth and nail for the victory of the Iraqis who do not want Iranian influence in their daily lives . . .We've got a chance to resist the Iranian push into the region . . .It's not the sort of thing you can just let continue in its current form."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.