Iran Keeping Chaos in Iraq?

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The historic visit of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Iraq was designed to be a show of potential cooperation between the two countries.

But a closer look reveals that five years after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Iran secretly fights to keep Iraq in chaos.

For example, Iranian-made weapons, including rockets and deadly explosives, were discovered inside Iraq by coalition forces.

Stopping this flow of weapons into Baghdad is a major goal of the U.S. troop surge. Much of the effort takes place hundreds of miles away in a desolate wasteland along the Iranian border.

Camp Shocker is a new forward operating base that's being constructed about a mile from the Iranian border. The soldiers there aren't Americans, but from the eastern European country of Georgia. At the camp, they man checkpoints to stop the flow of weapons, people and money across the border into Iraq.

The Americans stationed at Camp Shocker advise the Iraqi troops along the frontier.

The challenges are significant, because there are hundreds of years of cultural precedent to overcome. But with training and support from the Americans, the Iraqis are making significant headway.

Captain Brendan McEvoy commands one of the teams.

"The terrorist elements on the other side are seeing this, and the drop off in attacks throughout Wasit province and in Baghdad is significant enough that we've noticed that our work here has had some success," he said.

That success is very apparent in some of Baghdad's neighborhoods, like one, where ninety days ago the stores were closed and the people stayed home out of fear.

Now, when Gen. David Petraeus the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq says he wants to meet with Iranian officials, to tell them to stop meddling in Iraq.

Ambassador Ryan Crocker says Iran is still arming Iraqi militias and terrorists.

Chuck Holton reported from the Iranian border that the U.S. has known for some time that Iran is exporting violence to Iraq. But the commander of U.S. forces there is quick to point out that the Iraqi people get the credit.

"Let's not forget that there's been an Iraqi surge ongoing," Petraeus said. "Those people are turning in the bad guys, bringing out the weapons caches, are identifying the improvised explosive devices and ultimately are volunteering to help with security."

For the Iraqi troops stationed along the Iranian frontier, helping with security means tracking down smugglers, beefing up border searches and staying vigilant in the midst of an incredibly bleak landscape.

The scars of the brutal Iran/Iraq war fought some twenty years ago can still be seen everywhere, and nearby Iranian forces provide a tense but constant reminder that reconciliation between these two countries has yet to arrive.

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