Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Senators Warn Iraq over Iran's Shipments of Weapons to Syria

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Senators Warn Iraq over Iran's Shipments of Weapons to Syria

Article excerpt

BAGHDAD --

American senators visiting Iraq warned the Baghdad government today that it risked damaging relations with the U.S. if it is allowing Iran to fly over its airspace to deliver weapons to Syria.

An Iraqi government spokesman responded by saying Iran has told Baghdad the flights to Syria are only delivering humanitarian aid. He said the onus is on the U.S. to offer proof that Tehran is shipping weapons.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, an Independent from Connecticut, said Iraq's failure to stop the flights could threaten the long-term relationship with the U.S. as well as aid Iraq could receive as part of a 2008 strategic pact between the two nations.

Iran is Syria's closest ally in the Middle East and it has stood by President Bashar Assad as his forces have tried to crush the uprising there for the past 17 months. Activists say at least 23,000 have been killed.

"This region is about to explode," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina who was visiting Iraq with Mr. …

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