Iran is secretly forging an alliance of Al Qaeda, Sunni Arab militias and Shiite militias in Iraq for the purpose of carrying out a summer campaign against coalition forces, a U.S. official was quoted as saying in The Guardian newspaper in Britain.
"Iran is fighting a proxy war in Iraq and it's a very dangerous course for them to be following. They are already committing daily acts of war against U.S. and British forces," a senior U.S. official in Baghdad warned in the published report. "They [Iran] are behind a lot of high-profile attacks meant to undermine U.S. will and British will, such as the rocket attacks on Basra palace and the Green Zone (in Baghdad). The attacks are directed by the Revolutionary Guard who are connected right to the top (of the Iranian government)."
The official said U.S. commanders were bracing for a nationwide, Iranian-orchestrated summer offensive linking Al Qaeda and Sunni insurgents to Tehran's Shia militia allies, which Iran hoped would trigger a political mutiny in Washington and a U.S. retreat.
"We expect that Al Qaeda and Iran will both attempt to increase the propaganda and increase the violence prior to Petraeus' report in September (when U.S. commander General David Petraeus will report to Congress on President Bush's controversial, six-month security "surge" of 30,000 troop reinforcements)," the official told The Guardian.
Iran has maintained close links to Iraq's Shia political parties and militias but has previously eschewed collaboration with Al Qaeda and Sunni insurgents.