The Associated Press reports that Iran’s Quds force has Iraqi Shiite assassination squads in training in four or more locations. Their mission? To kill Iraqi government officials, Iraqi and American troops, and in general wreak havoc to ensure the collapse of the democratically-elected government:

The officer on Wednesday provided Iraq’s national security adviser with several lists of the assassination teams’ expected targets. He said the targets include many judges but would not otherwise identify them. Iraq’s intelligence service is preparing operations to determine where and when the special group fighters will enter the country and is to provide an assessment to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The U.S. official acknowledged disclosing the information in an attempt to pressure Iran to suspend the training and prevent the militia fighters from returning to Iraq. The U.S. military also wants the Iraqi government to take steps to protect the targets. “Wanted” posters picturing men believed to be heading the special groups are being posted around Baghdad, the military officer said. …

The fighters are expected to return to Iraq between now and October, but the officer said there’s no intelligence suggesting they are actually in Iraq yet. The information came from militia fighters captured in Iraq and other sources in the country that the officer would not describe.

The sourcing here is somewhat interesting.  The AP learned this from a “senior US military intelligence officer” in the Iraqi capital, a group which doesn’t chat with journalists without a specific purpose.  Their source says the best way Iraq can defend itself is to speed up rebuilding and to complete political reconciliation, the pace of which has frustrated the US.  It sounds like the US has been pressing Nouri al-Maliki for action on these issues, and has not gotten the response it wants, and that releasing the information about Iranian-led assassination squads intends on lighting a fire.

Iran wants to create a Hezbollah for Iraq, in form if not in name.  They want control over a radical Shi’ite militia that will dictate policy to a weak central government, just as they have in Lebanon.  If Iran can accomplish this, they will have created a linkage from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean of radical Islamist nations, all under the direction of Teheran.  It will establish a firm conduit for terrorist movement throughout Southwest Asia and threaten the world’s oil supplies.

Remember when Obama wanted to talk to Iran to see if there were “areas of potential common interest”? What would those be — assassinating elected leaders in a country allied to ours?

Talking isn’t the problem here. We’d talk with Iran once it stops acting like a gangster state. The problem is the notion that we’re going to find common interest with a government bent on conquest through terrorism, and that credulity which seeps through Obama’s naive sense of foreign policy.

Iran represents a grave threat to the region on several levels. Most of us understand that threat; Obama doesn’t have a clue.