The consequence of invading Iraq was to strengthen the hand of Iran, concluded a key U.S. ally in a 2008 meeting with Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), according to a State Department cable obtained and released by WikiLeaks.
Defenders of the war in Iraq have argued that for all the mistakes that were made and for all the lives that were lost, by removing Saddam Hussein from power, the Middle East was at least made a safer place. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, however, warned Kerry and the U.S. ambassador to Egypt that “as a result of the invasion of Iraq, Iran is spreading everywhere.” Iran, a majority Shia nation, funds prominent political parties in Iraq’s Shia south and shelters Iraqi politicians sympathetic to Iran, including, reportedly, Muqtada al-Sadr. Egypt is mostly Sunni, the other major denomination of Islam.
That Iran would be strengthened was predicted by war opponents; Iran’s sponsorship of terrorist networks makes its rise that much more detrimental to U.S. interests. Mubarak openly spoke of such ties in the meeting with Kerry. Mubarak said that he could not publicly oppose Iran for fear of “sabotage and Iranian terrorism.” He said Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism is “well-known but I cannot say it publicly. It would create a dangerous situation.”