"We wanted to make certain that Iran understood that the United States was able and capable of and prepared to defend its interests and that of its allies in the Persian Gulf and it was probably important to take some steps to reiterate that message."
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in an interview with The New York Times
Around the same time that the Bush Administration announces the surge strategy, officials increase attempts to link Iran with the violence in Iraq despite the fact that most attacks on U.S. troops have come from Sunni fighters. The U.S. military presents evidence that it claims shows Iran is supplying militias in Iraq with the technology behind some of the deadliest improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq. The military also detains five Iranians captured at a government office in northern Iraq, and dispatches an aircraft carrier and anti-missile battery to the Persian Gulf. Washington goes out of its way to say that it has no intentions of starting a war with Iran, but just in case, Democrats make clear that they believe the President does not have prior authority to invade Iran without approval from Congress. In early March, the administration seems to draw down a bit, attending a regional conference on security in Iraq that includes a delegation from Iran.