Anti-American Iraqi Shiites implicitly confirm what has been obvious to many for some time — that Iran has been waging war on the U.S. in Iraq by promoting instability there:

BAGHDAD — Two Shiite Muslim parties on Friday accused Iran of instigating violence in Iraq and attempting to destabilize the country, exposing a growing rift within Iraq’s largest sect that many fear will exacerbate the nation’s slide into full-scale civil war.

“All of this violence is because of the Shiism in Iran,” Adnan Aboudi, head of the Islamic Allegiance Party, said in a telephone interview. “There are external infiltrating fingers playing now throughout the Iraqi arena.” The party is the political wing of cleric Mahmoud Abdul Ridha al-Hassani, who is virulently anti-Iranian and anti-American.

The denunciations of Iran, among the most public attacks to date by Iraqi Shiite groups, echoed the recent concern expressed by President Bush and military officials over Tehran’s burgeoning influence in the Middle East. Iran, which is governed by Shiite Persians, has close ties to Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militia that has been warring with Israel, as well as to several of the largest parties in Iraq’s Shiite-led government.

The pointed criticism of Iran followed a spate of violent clashes last week in southern Iraq between rival Shiite factions. The unrest served as a reminder of the bitter divisions between different parties in the governing coalition, made up of some factions closely tied to Tehran and others that bitterly criticize it.

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