Iran working against Iraqi democracy: US General

Iran is funding extremist groups in Iraq out of fear of a strong democracy as a neighbour, the commander of US forces in Iraq said.

Updated: Aug 22, 2010, 21:18 PM IST

Washington: Iran is funding extremist groups
in Iraq out of fear of a strong democracy as a neighbour, the
commander of US forces in Iraq said on Sunday.

"I think they don`t want to see Iraq turn into a strong
democratic country, General Ray Odierno said.

"They would rather see it become a weak governmental
institution so they don`t add more problems for Iran in the
future."

Odierno said Iran is funding and training Shia extremists
in Iraq in an effort to improve insurgents` capabilities.

He said they were working partly to attack US forces, but
also "to make sure that everybody understands that they can
have some impact in the country."

"They clearly want to see a certain type of government
that is formed here," he said.

His comments came just days after the last US combat
brigade left Iraq, more than seven years after the US-led
invasion that ousted dictator Saddam Hussein.

But unrest continues there, with a suicide bomber killing
59 people at a Baghdad army recruiting centre this week and a
spike in violence in July.

PTI