Iran's influence over the post-Saddam government in Iraq is substantial because the predominant parties in that government have long enjoyed Tehran's sponsorship. An emerging concern is that Iran's influence has extended to support for militant groups in Iraq. U.S. officials say that sophisticated explosive devices are entering Iraq from Iran, suggesting that Iran, or factions within Iran, are backing Iraqi factions that use violence to oppose the U.S. presence in Iraq.
This report summarizes what is currently known publicly about companies that provide personnel for security missions in Iraq and some sources of controversy surrounding them. The report also summarizes pertinent legislative proposals.