By Staff Writer, Iran Probe
Thursday, 10 August 2017
I can't tell you what a privilege it is to be back again this year to share with you what I believe is my unique perspective talking about how Iran destabilized Iraq during my time there.
But before I begin. I can’t tell you how moving it was for me personally to see the people of Ashraf free, safe and prosperous.
A commitment was made in 2004. And we were finally able to deliver on it with the support of the Albanian government and the courage and perseverance of a lot of people. So to all the people of Ashraf in Tirana, it's wonderful to see you.
Back to Iran, from the moment that I went in there it was clear to me that Iran's objective was to stop the Iraqi people from building a free democratic society that respected the rights of all of Iraq's ethnic sectarian groups. And I watched them as they bought political support by contributing to Iraqi politicians and political organizations. I watched as they bought public support by providing economic aid to communities in the southern part of the country.
And I watched as they actively trained Shia militias and fomented sectarian violence that swept Iraq from 2006 to 2007.
There could be no doubt that Iran was the principal accelerant of that sectarian violence and that they are directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of coalition forces and thousands of Iraqis.
By the middle of two thousand and six, we had hard evidence of what Iran was doing and we took that to the newly elected Prime Minister of Iraq Prime Minister Maliki. And as we showed him the pictures of the weapons that were captured as we showed him the training facilities as we showed him the role that the IRGC was playing. He looked at me at the end and he said they are conducting terrorism in my country. I said yes Prime Minister they are and it needs to stop.
Later that year that same year, we caught them red handed we caught six Quds Force members in a safe house actively plotting to subvert Iraq. They had maps on the wall with color-coded areas of Baghdad for the different sectarian groups and they had arrows where they intended to forcefully move populations from one area to the other. The prime minister was right, Iran was conducting terrorism inside of Iraq and the Quds force the Republican Guards was the vehicle that they were using to make that happen. So my experience tells me that they're not done that this regime will continue to export terror and foment sectarian violence to accomplish their political objectives around Iraq in Syria in Yemen and in Lebanon.
And countries that use terror to achieve their political objectives are threats not only to their internal populations but to the international community at large.
And today no government that supports and exports terror can become a productive player in our world.
Change must come to Iran
General George Casey Jr. served as the 36th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army from 2007 to 2011. General Casey previously served as Commanding General, Multi-National Force – Iraq from June 2004 to February 8, 2007