Iran and/or al-Qaeda?
Readers may find excerpts from an interview by Gen. Petraeus by the Arabic magazine al-Watan al-Arabi on the role of Iran interesting. Although he views al-Qaeda as the biggest short term threat he explicitly views Iran as the biggest long term threat. If the interview is accurately quoting Petraeus.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq is the biggest direct threat to this country in the short term, and we must face this threat to secure Iraq. ...
There is growing awareness that the extremist militias supported by Iran, which target innocent civilians with rockets, mortars rounds, kidnappings, murder, blackmail and terror are the biggest danger in the long term on the Iraqi state, as these militias have the capability to become a militia similar to the Lebanese Hezbollah. In other words, forces that work for Iran which would lead to the destabilization of Iraq.
Petraeus elaborates on the links between Hezbollah and events in Iraq. In other words, between Lebanon and Iraq, implying that he too sees Iran as waging a regional war.
Iran uses another force subordinate to it, and that is the Lebanese Hezbollah forces, in order to help train the groups in Iraq. And due to their presence in Iraq, we were able to arrest the leader of secret groups and the deputy leader of elements belonging to the Lebanese Hezbollah, which were formed to help the Quds Force train Iraqis. These special cells are involved in rocket and mortar attacks, kidnappings, murder, and the use of armor-piercing charges against Iraqi troops, coalition troops, and Iraqi officials. It seems that Iran's goal is to turn a section of the Mahdi Army into an organization similar to Hezbollah that works inside Iraq, and this raises fears among many Iraqis.