London, Nov. 30 – United States Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld criticised on Tuesday Iran and Syria for remaining “unhelpful” in Iraq.
“We know that Iran and Syria continue to be unhelpful. We know that we’re still taking casualties, as are coalition countries and the Iraqi security forces”, Rumsfeld told a join news briefing with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace.
He acknowledged the presence of “Iran-oriented” militias in Iraq.
The U.S. Defence Secretary went on to say that neighbouring Sunni countries were rightly worried about “excessive Iranian influence in Iraq”.
“It’s increasingly clear to them that they’re a bit worried about Iran — as well they should be; they’re a bit worried about excessive Iranian influence in Iraq — which they should be. And they’re starting to lean forward and to be more helpful, to encourage Sunnis to participate in the election, and to want to have a successful Iraq because I think they see it coming”, the U.S. defence chief said.