iraq attack 224.88.
(photo credit: AP)
Iraq is currently occupied by Iran and the United States but the Persian state is the more dangerous, the spokesman of a leading insurgent group said in remarks aired Sunday.
Ibrahim al-Shammari of the Islamic Army in Iraq told Al-Jazeera television that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government claims to be close to the Americans when in fact "the full loyalty is to Iran."
The Islamic Army in Iraq is among the best known insurgent groups in Iraq and consists many former members of Saddam Hussein's army and security agencies. In recent months, members of the group joined a revolt against al-Qaida in Iraq and blamed the terror organization for the killing of several of its cadres.
Al-Shammari said that relations with al-Qaida deteriorated sharply after it established the so-called Islamic State of Iraq in October 2006.
But the al-Shammari's sharpest criticism was reserved for the Iranians and the Mahdi Army militia of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, which has been blamed for killing Sunni civilians during the past two years.
Al-Shammari said it was "impossible for the Iranian Mahdi Army" to come to any agreement with the Sunni insurgents who are "fighting to liberate Iraq from the Americans and the Iranians."
"Iraqi is subjected to two occupations but the more dangerous is the Iranian occupation. If the Americans withdraw from Iraq and the Iranians stay, we will fight them," al-Shammari said.
His face was blacked out during the interview for security reasons.
Al-Shammari also criticized last week's congressional testimony by the top US commander Gen. David Petraeus. The general cited security gains, especially in Anbar province where many Sunni clans had turned against al-Qaida.
Al-Shammari said Petraeus' report "shifts defeat to the next president who will be most probably a Democrat."
"What happened in Anbar province is that al-Qaida members started targeting everybody who disagreed with them. Violations were made along with wrongful policies against the tribes there. The Americans intervened in order to make use of this situation," al-Shammari said.
"They (Americans) said 'we made the tribes do this and although Bush's policy got some boost ... it is a matter of exploiting the gap that happened between al-Qaida and the Sunnis who came them refuge at one point. They make use of the disagreement between al-Qaida and the tribes. The Americans tried to separate between al-Qaida and the tribes," he said.