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EXCLUSIVE: Iraq Weapons -- Made in Iran?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 1:03 am    Post subject: EXCLUSIVE: Iraq Weapons -- Made in Iran? Reply with quote

EXCLUSIVE: Iraq Weapons -- Made in Iran By Islamist Regime?

March 06, 2006
ABC News
Brian Ross


U.S. military and intelligence officials tell ABC News that they have caught shipments of deadly new bombs at the Iran-Iraq border. They are a very nasty piece of business, capable of penetrating U.S. troops' strongest armor.

What the United States says links them to Iran are tell-tale manufacturing signatures -- certain types of machine-shop welds and material indicating they are built by the same bomb factory.

"The signature is the same because they are exactly the same in production," says explosives expert Kevin Berry. "So it's the same make and model."

U.S. officials say roadside bomb attacks against American forces in Iraq have become much more deadly as more and more of the Iran-designed and Iran-produced bombs have been smuggled in from the country since last October.

"I think the evidence is strong that the Iranian government is making these IEDs, and the Iranian government is sending them across the border and they are killing U.S. troops once they get there," says Richard Clarke, former White House counterterrorism chief and an ABC News consultant. "I think it's very hard to escape the conclusion that, in all probability, the Iranian government is knowingly killing U.S. troops."

'Very Lethal'

U.S. intelligence officials say Iran is using the bombs as a way to drive up U.S. casualties in Iraq but without provoking a direct confrontation.

John Negroponte, director of national intelligence, testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Februrary 2, saying, "Tehran's intention to inflict pain on the United States and Iraq has been constrained by its caution to avoid giving Washington an excuse to attack it."

The U.S. Army has embarked on a crash effort to find ways to stop the bombs, according to an unclassified report issued last month. The devices are easily hidden and detonated by motion detectors -- like those used in garden security lights -- that cannot be jammed.

When exploded, the copper disc becomes a molten liquid bullet that can penetrate the thickest armor the United States has.

"They penetrate the armor of an M1 Abrams tank," Clarke says. "They're shape charges. They go through anything, and they are very lethal."

There is currently no real defense against the weapons, he says.

"The Pentagon has a major crash study underway to figure out how to stop them," Clarke says, "but they haven't figured it out yet."

Last edited by cyrus on Wed Apr 19, 2006 8:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 10:40 pm    Post subject: Rumsfeld Accuses Iran on Iraq Forces Reply with quote

Rumsfeld Accuses Iran on Iraq Forces
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

(03-07) 14:20 PST WASHINGTON, (AP) --

Raising a new complaint about Iran, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Tuesday accused Tehran of dispatching elements of its Revolutionary Guard to stir trouble inside Iraq.

At the same time, he rejected the idea that Iraq has slipped into civil war, asserting that media reports have overstated recent violence there.

Rumsfeld offered few details concerning his allegation of interference by Iran, which fought a nearly decade-long war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq in the 1980s and shares a largely unguarded border.

"They are currently putting people into Iraq to do things that are harmful to the future of Iraq," he told a Pentagon news conference. "And it is something that they, I think, will look back on as having been an error in judgment."

He did not elaborate except to say the infiltrators were members of the Al Quds Division of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, the network of soldiers and vigilantes whose mandate is to defeat threats to the 1979 Islamic revolution. The Al Quds Division is responsible for operations outside Iranian territory.

Rumsfeld and other U.S. officials have previously complained of Iranian complicity in the movement of explosives and bomb-making material across the border into Iraq, but Rumsfeld had not mentioned Iranian forces before.

He initially said the infiltrators were doing "things that are harmful to the future of Iraq," but later when asked specifically whether they were gathering intelligence or fomenting violence, Rumsfeld said he did not know what their mission was.

Appearing with Rumsfeld, Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that although there have been indications of Iranian-manufactured weapons coming into Iraq, "the most recent reports have to do with individuals crossing the border." He said he had an estimate of the number but declined to reveal it.

Pace said he did not know whether the Iranians were sent by their government. Asked the same question, Rumsfeld replied, "Of course. Quds force, the Revolutionary Guard, doesn't go milling around willy-nilly, one would think."

In the unclassified portion of its report to Congress last month on Iraq, the Pentagon made no mention of interference from Iran. It noted, however, that progress in building an Iraqi border police force has lagged behind expectations and said it suffers from corruption, "ghost" employees, and absenteeism among employees.

Rumsfeld also was asked about violence in Iraq since an attack last month on a revered Shiite mosque touched off a wave of reprisals between religious sects.

"I do not believe they are in a civil war today," Rumsfeld said. However, he added, "There has always been a potential for civil war."

The secretary spoke nearly two weeks after the Feb. 22 bombing of a sacred Shiite shrine in Samarra, which was followed by the deaths of hundreds of Iraqis. Hoping to keep Iraqi efforts to form a unity government moving forward, U.S. officials have acknowledged concern about the violence but have repeatedly denied that they fear a full-scale civil war was erupting.

Rumsfeld acknowledged that the attack on the mosque had delayed efforts to form a government in which Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds would share power.

"Their efforts to fashion a unity government that will represent all elements of their society is clearly being delayed by the situation in Iraq," Rumsfeld said. But he also asserted that Iraqi leaders had thus far passed the test of holding the country together and containing insurgents' efforts to ignite a civil war.

"They have to be fully aware that if this does not work, they and all of the people who have supported them lose everything, if this turns into a civil war. They can't want that," he said. "My impression is they will sort through this and fashion a government" that rules from the center.


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