Warily, U.S. Learns to Live with More Muscular Iran Role in Iraq

(Reuters) Phil Stewart and Warren Strobel - Air strikes by Iran inside Iraq in recent days are only the latest manifestation of an increasingly muscular role by Tehran in Baghdad's war against Sunni militants. "I think it's self-evident that if Iran is taking on ISIL in some particular place and it's confined to taking on ISIL and it has an impact, it's going to be - the net effect is positive," Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday. Some U.S. officials credit Tehran for its critical role in helping stop the advance of Islamic State in June - by mobilizing Iraqi Shi'ite militias. U.S. officials said privately that Iran's dispatch of jets over eastern Diyala province was not setting off alarms within the U.S. government. "It's no secret that Iran has had military assets, resources and activities inside Iraq," a U.S. official said.

2014-12-05 00:00:00

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