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NIE faults Iran, Syria in Iraq

Iran and Syria are still arming militants in Iraq, according to a National Intelligence Estimate by U.S. agencies.

Gordon Johndroe, the spokesman for President Bush’s National Security Council, singled out a proliferation of explosively formed projectiles that target U.S. troops in armored vehicles.

“Most troublesome, the use of EFPs supplied by Iran has risen dramatically, and it is taking an increasing toll on our troops,” he said in a statement Thursday after the NIE was released.

The Bush administration seeks the isolation of both countries because of their support for anti-Israel terrorism, their alleged backing for the insurgency in Iraq, and their suspected development of weapons of mass destruction.

Johndroe’s statement, however, suggested that the White House would continue to simultaneously seek avenues of dialogue with Iran and Syria.

“One element of the administration’s strategy is to support Iraqi efforts to convince its neighbors to be more helpful, and also to mobilize the international community to better support security in Iraq and the region,” he said.

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