A senior U.S. diplomat indicated that “there’s been great attention lately being paid to these reports about Iranian ballistic missiles being stored in Iraq… I think this is drawing greater attention as Iranian-backed militias are now shelling Iraq bases with American and Anti-ISIS coalition forces on them”. Referring to an incident the previous day at Balad air base the official assessed that “if past is prologue, I’d say there’s a good chance it was Iran that’s behind it”. Asked whether he was contending that “the maximum pressure campaign is a success because it has resulted in greater Iranian aggression and shooting down U.S. drones”, the diplomat responded by stressing that “the pressure campaign is working. They [ie, Iran] are clearly under fear and pressure, and they are lashing out… Things sometimes get worse before they get better in those terms”.
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