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Negotiations and Iran's Proxy War

7:50 PM, Mar 17, 2009 • By BILL ROGGIO
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Noah Schactman's scoop on the U.S. shootdown of an Iranian Unmanned aerial vehicle has been confirmed by both the U.S. Army and the Iraqi Army. The UAV was shot down on February 25 about 60 miles north of Baghdad in Diyala province. The UAV was about 25 miles inside Iraq and U.S. fighters observed the UAV for an hour before shooting it down. It will be interesting if any of the data captured by the Iranian UAV will be released by the U.S. military.

A little more than two weeks after the shootdown, Iraqi forces detained three Iranian Qods Force agents, also north of Baghdad in Diyala province. While much of the reporting on Iran's interference in Iraq focuses on the southern provinces, the Qods force is also active in the central provinces of Diyala and Wasit. The shootdown of the UAV in Diyala hammers this point home.

At the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Michael Knights notes that Iran's proxy war against the United States in Iraq continues. He then said this will complicate U.S. efforts to come to a negotiated solution with Iran over its nuclear program and Iraq (I'd also add Afghanistan to this mix since the Obama administration is adamant about bringing Iran into the mix for a solution on the Central Asian country.)

Ongoing Iranian-backed proxy warfare against the United States needs to be factored into contingency planning related to any U.S.-Iranian dialogue. The risk-taking proclivities of Iran's proxies and the blatant use of Iranian materiel create the ever-present risk of a politically disruptive event. Indeed, hardline members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps may even deliberately employ such spoiler tactics if U.S.-Iranian dialogue moves forward.