Thursday, June 07, 2007

Iran caught red handed supplying arms to the Taliban

NATO officials say they have caught Iran red-handed, shipping heavy arms, C4 explosives and advanced roadside bombs to the Taliban for use against Afghan civilians and US and NATO forces.

An analysis by a senior NATO coalition official makes no bones about Iran's direct involvement. "This is part of a considered policy," says the analysis, "rather than the result of low-level corruption and weapons smuggling."

"I think their goal is to make it very clear that Iran has the capability to make life worse for the United States on a variety of fronts," said Seth Jones of the Rand Institute.

The coalition analysis says munitions recovered in two Iranian convoys, on April 11 and May 3, had "clear indications that they originated in Iran. Some were identical to Iranian supplied goods previously discovered in Iraq."

According to the NATO report. the April convoy was successfully tracked from Iran into Helmand province and ambushed. One vehicle was destroyed and another vehicle was found to contain small arms ammo, mortar rounds and more than 650 pounds of C4 demolition charges.

A second convoy of two vehicles was spotted on May 3 and led to the capture of five occupants and the seizure of RPG-7mm rockets and more than 1,000 pounds of C4, the analysis says.

Also part of the shipment were components for the lethal EFPs, or explosive formed projectiles, the roadside bombs utilizing molten armor piercing plasma that Iran has been providing to US enemies in Iraq.

"These clearly have the hallmarks of the Iranian Revolution Guards' Quds force," said Jones.

The report says that the seized explosives "contained the same fake U.S. markings found on explosives recovered from insurgents operating in the Baghdad area....We believe these intercepted munitions are part of a much bigger flow of support from Iran to the Taliban."

What we have here, of course, is a deliberate act of war that directly targets our troops.

So far, Iran has pretty much gotten away with it, in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

It remains to be seen what President Bush plans to do about it, aside from rhetoric.

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