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Onus of Iraq strife on US or Iran?

Press TV -- Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Democrat Jack Reed share their conflicting views on whether Iran is the cause of insecurity in Iraq.

"Politically and militarily, it is important that these Iranian militias be defeated, and if it takes keeping the troops there in larger numbers over time, it is in our national interest to do so," Graham told Fox News in support of the troop surge.

"We must win this fight. The militias that we're fighting are backed by Iran, so this is an effort by Iran to destabilize Iraq," the South Carolina senator alleged while portraying the recent decrease in violence a direct result of positive Republican policies.

Graham, who is of the belief that the 'surge' contributed to the decrease in violence in Iraq in recent months, was countered by Democratic interviewee Senator Jack Reed.

"The American people are quite right to begin to question whether or not this low level of violence has been the product of our military presence," suggested Reed.

The Rhode Island senator expounded that 'what is really key to Iraq is not our military presence as much as the political forces within Iraq', stressing that the notion of 'a fight by American allies waged against Iranian-inspired elements' is not accurate.

Reed further suggested that Iran's close relations with the central government in Iraq as well as the Shia community give it no motive to back certain groups over others.

He added that Washington should rectify its approach of 'open-ended commitment' in Iraq, maintaining that 'the strategy must for the United States remain a careful, deliberate disengagement of our forces, shifting the burden to the Iraqis'.

... Payvand News - 04/01/08 ... --

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