Baghdad, Oct. 4 - The Interim Iraqi Interior Minister stated that armed Iranian agents have been arrested among rebels fighting in the city of Samarra. The Al-Hurriya TV aired footage of Falah Naqib who accused Iran of backing insurgents in this presently volatile region of Iraq.
Fighting in Samarra has left over 150 rebels and one U.S. soldier dead. On Sunday, residents said they heard random explosions as U.S. and Iraqi forces hunted for insurgent holdouts.
Iraqi police have been patrolling the city, while U.S. troops and Iraqi Forces search houses for rebels and weapons caches. Military sources also confirmed that following extensive clashes between U.S. troops and the rebel militia, a large number of armed agents working for Irans Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) were arrested.
Naqibs comments came after U.S. forces separately confirmed the arrests of 80 Iranian fighters who had posed as regular Iraqis.
Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman Sabah Kazem also recently confirmed that the flow of Iranian arms and agents into Iraq was continuing. "The Iranian regime's declared policy contradicts the events that are taking place, he said.
"In its comments, Iran speaks about the need to establish security in Iraq. What actually happens, however, is the complete opposite, so much that we arrest individuals every day coming with their weapons from Iran into Iraq," Kazem added.
Last week Iran Focus reported the arrest of Nashaat Abd Ali Al-Hussaini an Iranian agent who was detained and later made startling revelations in his interrogation about the role of the Iranian embassy in Baghdad in the espionage and sabotage activities conducted by clerical regime.
Al-Hussainis also revealed that his handler was Mohammad Qorbani, a senior agent of the MOIS who is working under diplomatic cover in the Iranian embassy in Baghdad and who runs a large spy ring in Iraq.
Irans Revolutionary Guards and other state agencies have been sending more gunmen and weapons into Iraq in recent weeks in preparation for a hot October, according to sources in the Iranian government with a good knowledge of security issues.