WASHINGTON – A top commander of U.S. forces expressed doubt Sunday that negotiations between the United States and Iran over Iraq would help bring peace and stability in the Middle East.
"I don't have a lot of confidence that these will turn out to be productive, but I could be wrong," said Gen. George W. Casey, the top commander in Iraq.
"They're playing, I think, a very delicate balancing act," he said of Iran. "On the one hand, they want a stable neighbor. On the other hand, I don't believe they want to see us succeed here."
The Bush administration agreed last week to talk to Iranian officials about Iraq after a nearly three-decade break in diplomatic ties between the two countries. U.S. intelligence strongly suspects Iran has been arming Iraqi Shiite militia and some insurgent groups.
Casey said on "FOX News Sunday" he didn't have much faith in the talks but that it was a "political call." Any negotiations should involve the Iraqis' use of "improvised explosive device technology" against coalition forces that he says are coming from Iran.
"That needs to stop," Casey said.