The President, when addressing the nation on a new direction in Iraq, specifically pointed to Iran and Syria as being part of the problem
Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity and stabilizing the region in the face of extremist challenges. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We'll interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.
The day after the President's speech, US forces began attacking Iranian assets within Iraq.
Five Iranians were detained by a multinational force after an overnight raid on Tehran's diplomatic mission, Iraqi officials said Thursday. At about 3 am local time, troops entered the building in the Kurdish-controlled northern city of Irbil located some 220 miles from Baghdad.
According to a senior Kurdish official speaking on the condition of anonymity, troops confiscated computers and documents and detained five staff members.
Under dispute was whether a raid had taken place or not. CNN news reported Thursday that an American official disagreed with official reports from Iran that claimed the troops broke a gate open and conducted a raid of the consulate.
"No shots were fired. No altercation ensued," the U.S. official told CNN. "It was a knock on the door and 'Please come out.' "
Up until now, we've treated Iranian embassies in Iraq as we would any other embassy. But not more. It is well known that Iranian involvement in Iraq is coordinated through the embassies. And this attack, and it resultant intelligence, will help roll up the networks operating within the country.
A few days before his speech, the Bush Administration put sanctions on Iran's fifth-largest bank
The world is by now well aware of Iran's defiance of the international community in pursuing its nuclear program and its sponsorship of terrorist organizations that maim and murder innocent civilians. What may be less well-known is that the Government of Iran is facilitating its proliferation and terrorism activities through the world's financial system, using its state-owned banks and an array of front companies and other deceptive techniques specifically designed to evade the controls of responsible financial institutions....
In accord with these UN obligations, the Treasury today is designating Bank Sepah, the fifth largest Iranian state-owned bank, as a supporter of WMD proliferation. In particular, Sepah provides direct and extensive financial services to Iranian entities responsible for developing missiles capable of carrying weapons of mass destruction. The Treasury is taking this action under our authority aimed at combating proliferation, Executive Order 13382....
The bank has also facilitated business between AIO and North Korea's chief ballistic missile-related exporter, KOMID. Also previously designated by the Treasury, KOMID is known to have provided Iran with missile technology. The financial relationship between Iran and North Korea, as represented by the business handled by Bank Sepah, is of great concern to the United States.
Finally, like certain other Iranian banks and entities, Bank Sepah has engaged in a range of deceptive practices in an effort to avoid detection, including requesting that other financial institutions take its name off of transactions when processing them in the international financial system.
Our action today applies to all branches of Bank Sepah, including those in Paris, Rome, and Frankfurt, its wholly-owned subsidiary in London, and the Bank's chairman and director, as well as its more than 290 branches based in Iran.
I have already noted how other US sanctions have admittedly hurt Iran's oil infrastructure and is seriously affecting their economy.
The Administration is stepping up the pressure on Iran. Vowing to inderdict the rat lines that supply the insurgency.
Its about time.