In my early days in Iraq it didn’t take me long to figure out that the United States and Iran had diametrically opposed objectives. We were seeking to empower a democratically elected Iraqi government that respected the rights of all ethnic and sectarian members of Iraqi society. Iran didn’t want a country like that on its borders. They bought political power by giving money to Iraqi politicians and political parties. They bought public support by giving economic aid, particularly in the south of the country, and they continuously fomented sectarian violence.
It is Iran’s support for training and equipping the Shia militia in Iraq that allowed the level of sectarian violence to be sustained through 2006 and 2007 and it continues into today. Because of that equipping and training, Iran is also directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of coalition forces and thousands of Iraqis.
When we captured six Quds force operatives in a command center, on the wall was a large map of Baghdad. The neighborhoods were color-coded by their sectarian population. And on the map were large arrows that showed how the Iranians planned to force Sunni populations out of these neighborhoods in Baghdad.
Any regime that uses terror to accomplish its political objectives is a threat not only to its own population, but also to the international community. Change needs to come to Iran.