August 13, 2004 - “Pouring money into political parties, charities and armed organizations in a semi-covert campaign for influence and control, Iran has emerged as a silent and powerful force in postwar Iraq,” the Los Angeles Times reports, quoting Iraqi officials and Western diplomats. “As a neighbor, former enemy in war and sometime haven for opponents of Saddam Hussein, Iran has long been a factor in Iraq's political life. Interviews with Western diplomats and Iraqis inside and outside government paint a picture of Iran seeking a new role since the U.S.-led invasion,” the Times adds. “But Iran’s internal divisions have muddied its goals in Iraq. Instead of working toward an overarching end, the Islamic Republic’s clerics, political leadership and various military and intelligence branches are pursuing their own agendas,” it adds.