- The Washington Times - Friday, January 4, 2008

The spokesman for Gen. David H. Petraeus said that a quote he e-mailed to The Washington Times for the article in yesterday’s paper headlined “Iran no longer aids Iraq militants” was not clear and therefore misinterpreted.

Col. Steven Boylan said, “It is not clear if Iran’s leaders stopped supplying weapons or training to extremist elements in Iraq. We hope that they have, but until we can confirm it, we are in the wait and see mode.”

The colonel sent a list of answers to questions sent by The Times regarding the situation in Iraq and Iran’s involvement in the Islamist insurgency there.

Col. Boylan, in Baghdad, was sent the question: “The Iranian Revolutionary Guard, according to a Pentagon report, is still contributing weapons and training to extremists in Iraq — how is this affecting the troops’ ability to stabilize the situation in some of the more volatile regions of [the] country?”

The answer from Col. Boylan stated that “we are ready to confirm the excellence of the senior Iranian leadership in their pledge to stop the funding, training, equipment and resourcing of the militia special groups.”

In a phone call from Iraq yesterday, Col. Boylan said his quote didn’t mean that the U.S. military was “ready to confirm” that Iran was abiding by its pledge but only a confirmation “that there was a pledge from the senior levels in Iran to the senior level of government in Iraq that they would stop.”

“I am more than willing to say there was confusion on the part of the intent of the word ready,” he said, regarding the original quote he provided to The Times.



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