Deshalb können die Ayatollahs es sich mittlerweile wieder leisten, auch im Irak wieder auf eine Konfrontation mit den Vereinigten Staaten zu setzen:
Attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq with bombs believed linked to Iran -- known as explosively formed penetrators (EFPs) -- have risen sharply in January after several months of decline, according to the top U.S. commander in Iraq.
Explosively formed penetrators are more sophisticated and deadlier than typical improvised explosive devices.
Iraqi and U.S. officials indicated just a month ago that Iran was using its influence to improve security in Iraq by restraining cross-border weapons flow and militia activity. The U.S. military had said in recent months that the number of EFP attacks had gone down.
Gen. David Petraeus disclosed the reversal to reporters after a meeting with President Bush who was visiting troops in Kuwait.
"In this year, EFPs have gone up, actually, over the last 10 days by a factor of two or three, and frankly we're trying to determine why that might be," Petraeus said.