US accuses Iran over Iraq bombs

#1
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6351257.stm

US accuses Iran over Iraq bombs

Sophisticated roadside bombs are capable of piercing Abrams tanks
The US military has accused the "highest levels" of Iran's government of supplying increasingly sophisticated roadside bombs to Iraqi insurgents.
Senior defence officials told reporters in Baghdad that the bombs were being used to deadly effect, killing more than 170 US troops since June 2004.

The weapons known as "explosively formed penetrators" (EFPs) are capable of destroying an Abrams tank.

US claims the bombs were smuggled from Iran cannot be independently verified.

The US officials, speaking off camera on condition of anonymity, said EFPs had also injured more than 620 US personnel since June 2004.

They said US intelligence analysts believed the bombs were manufactured in Iran and secretly sent to Iraqi Shia militants on the orders of senior officials in Tehran.

The weapons had characteristics unique to being manufactured in Iran

US defence official
"We assess that these activities are coming from the senior levels of the Iranian government," one official said, pointing the finger at Iran's elite al-Quds brigade, a unit of the Revolutionary Guards, and noting that it reports directly to Ayatollah Ali Khamanei.

The US has claimed in the past that Iranian weapons were being used in Iraq, but it has never before accused Iranian government officials of being directly involved.

Tehran has repeatedly denied any involvement.

Weapons on display

The US officials said that as well as bomb-making technology Iran was supplying Shia groups in Iraq with money and military training.

The BBC's Jane Peel attended the briefing in Baghdad, at which all cameras and recording devices were banned.

Examples of the allegedly smuggled weapons were put on display, including EFPs, mortar shells and rocket propelled grenades which the US claims can be traced to Iran.

"The weapons had characteristics unique to being manufactured in Iran... Iran is the only country in the region that produces these weapons," an official said.

A US defence official present said information seized when security forces detained a number of Iranians in Iraq had also added to their knowledge.

Truck bomb

In the latest violence in Iraq , at least 15 people were killed when a suicide bomber drove a vehicle laden with explosives into a police station near the town of Tikrit.


Police have frequently been the targets of attacks in Iraq
At least 25 people were injured in the attack on the station in Adwar, about 175km (110 miles) north of Baghdad.

The casualties are reported to include prisoners held in cells at the police station, as well as civilian visitors.

Elsewhere, the US military said it was checking a report that an Apache helicopter had come down near the town of near Taji, about 20km (12 miles) north of Baghdad.

The blast at the police station happened at about 0800 (1100GMT) as police were arriving for work, Capt Abdel-Samad Mohammed was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.

The bomber drove a small truck that was packed with explosives covered by hay, and the force of the blast caused the building to collapse, the officer said.
A gathering pace or is my tinfoil hat slipping?
 
#3
eveyuk said:
A gathering pace or is my tinfoil hat slipping?
Same story as the one you posted, but Reuters version (my highlighting).

Reuters said:
U.S.-led forces show evidence of Iranian arms in Iraq

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S.-led forces in Iraq presented on Sunday what officials said was "a growing body" of evidence of Iranian weapons being used to kill their soldiers, as U.S. anger at Tehran's alleged involvement in the war rises.

A senior defense official from the U.S.-led Multinational Force in Baghdad told a briefing that 170 coalition forces had been killed by Iranian-made roadside bombs known as explosively formed penetrators (EFPs) that he said were smuggled into Iraq.

Officials showed journalists fragments of what they said were Iranian-manufactured weapons, including one part of an EFP -- which is strong enough to penetrate the armor of an Abrams tank -- and tail fins from 81 mm and 60 mm mortar bombs.

"The weapons had characteristics unique to being manufactured in Iran ... Iran is the only country in the region that produces these weapons," the senior defense official said in Baghdad, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity.

Cont/...
Maybe it's the aloominum content of my tin hat, but here's a couple of questions:

1) Why does the official need to remain anonymous if this is an official briefing by Coalition forces on Iran's alleged involvement?

2) Why is it that Iran is now considered to be so technologically advanced that only they could possibly have produced these munitions?

I'm sorry, but not so long ago, Iraq was considered the more advanced and Iran was just the poor backward neighbour. Suddenly, they are a technologically advanced society that seem to be meddling everywhere. Does it have something to do with UK and US public getting a bit fed up with recent 'magnificent' military victories being against 4th rate opposition, perhaps? Or, maybe, we just have to make people believe they are technologically advanced in order to justify an attack on a civilian nuclear facility a couple of decades before it becomes a real threat!
 
#4
whitecity said:
Maybe it's the aloominum content of my tin hat, but here's a couple of questions:

1) Why does the official need to remain anonymous if this is an official briefing by Coalition forces on Iran's alleged involvement?
Perhaps bcause the media felt that his name was unimportant, and that to convey he was a 'senior defence official' would hold more weight as journalistic material?

2) Why is it that Iran is now considered to be so technologically advanced that only they could possibly have produced these munitions?
I don't think anyone said anything about Iran being involved because they were "technologically advanced", just that they had evidence that Iran was the sole source of this particular type of weapon. Same as if an SA80 turned up in Tehran...
 
#5
What about Armalites turning up in Northern Ireland ? What conclusions are "obvious" from that fact ?

I was an Iraqi insurgent the obvious place to go to buy some under the counter ammo would be Iran - it's next door and they're generally sympathetic. And as for manufacturing EFPs, with a decent set of plans any halfway competent machine shop can turn them out.

However, I'd be very surprised if some part of the Iranian state wasn't involved - turning a blind eye to exports, arranging bargain prices, some bloke pops across with a few blueprints under his arm ... but nothing obvious, always deniable.
 
#7
I was reading on another forum several pieces written by a private "security contractor", who said that the mortars they were getting chucked at them appeared to be of new Iranian manufacture, such facts being relatively uncontroversial in his line of work.
 
#8
stoatman said:
I was reading on another forum several pieces written by a private "security contractor", who said that the mortars they were getting chucked at them appeared to be of new Iranian manufacture, such facts being relatively uncontroversial in his line of work.
Weren't the Yanks showing off RPG heads with serial numbers of ammunition supplied to Iran?
 
#9
One_of_the_strange said:
What about Armalites turning up in Northern Ireland ? What conclusions are "obvious" from that fact ?

I was an Iraqi insurgent the obvious place to go to buy some under the counter ammo would be Iran - it's next door and they're generally sympathetic. And as for manufacturing EFPs, with a decent set of plans any halfway competent machine shop can turn them out.

However, I'd be very surprised if some part of the Iranian state wasn't involved - turning a blind eye to exports, arranging bargain prices, some bloke pops across with a few blueprints under his arm ... but nothing obvious, always deniable.
1. I'd keep that quiet!

2. Manufacturing EFP's isn't as simple as you'd imagine and getting the liner density and contouring, explosive fill density and explosive quality right is quite difficult. I speak from Trials experience incidentally. Hence the reason for suspected interference from neighbours.
 
#10
rickshaw-major said:
One_of_the_strange said:
What about Armalites turning up in Northern Ireland ? What conclusions are "obvious" from that fact ?

I was an Iraqi insurgent the obvious place to go to buy some under the counter ammo would be Iran - it's next door and they're generally sympathetic. And as for manufacturing EFPs, with a decent set of plans any halfway competent machine shop can turn them out.

However, I'd be very surprised if some part of the Iranian state wasn't involved - turning a blind eye to exports, arranging bargain prices, some bloke pops across with a few blueprints under his arm ... but nothing obvious, always deniable.
1. I'd keep that quiet!

2. Manufacturing EFP's isn't as simple as you'd imagine and getting the liner density and contouring, explosive fill density and explosive quality right is quite difficult. I speak from Trials experience incidentally. Hence the reason for suspected interference from neighbours.
Whoops, left out an "If" I fear ... and if they're not working off plans hand delivered by a "friend" who was also a mine of information on production engineering issues I'll eat my hat.
 
#11
One_of_the_strange said:
rickshaw-major said:
One_of_the_strange said:
What about Armalites turning up in Northern Ireland ? What conclusions are "obvious" from that fact ?

I was an Iraqi insurgent the obvious place to go to buy some under the counter ammo would be Iran - it's next door and they're generally sympathetic. And as for manufacturing EFPs, with a decent set of plans any halfway competent machine shop can turn them out.

However, I'd be very surprised if some part of the Iranian state wasn't involved - turning a blind eye to exports, arranging bargain prices, some bloke pops across with a few blueprints under his arm ... but nothing obvious, always deniable.
1. I'd keep that quiet!

2. Manufacturing EFP's isn't as simple as you'd imagine and getting the liner density and contouring, explosive fill density and explosive quality right is quite difficult. I speak from Trials experience incidentally. Hence the reason for suspected interference from neighbours.
Whoops, left out an "If" I fear ... and if they're not working off plans hand delivered by a "friend" who was also a mine of information on production engineering issues I'll eat my hat.
I agree - we seem to be getting a bit further away from IED and a bit more upmarket. The neighbours will be skilled metallurgists no doubts.
 
#13
What they conveniently forget to mention is that the vast majority (some 70%) of the IEDs are planted by Sunnis, who are hardly likely to go to the (Shi'ite) Iranians for their gear.

MsG
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
The main thrust of the argument is that the EFP's and other IEDS are rapidly getting exceedingly clever. Far too clever for an unsupported insurgent force. I'm inclined to agree.

The Irish didn't get smart for about 20 years. As for the post about the IRA getting M16's; they were supported both financially and 'militarily' by Irish Republicans in the USA who also supplied them with Barret .50's.
 
#15
Biped said:
The main thrust of the argument is that the EFP's and other IEDS are rapidly getting exceedingly clever. Far too clever for an unsupported insurgent force. I'm inclined to agree.

The Irish didn't get smart for about 20 years. As for the post about the IRA getting M16's; they were supported both financially and 'militarily' by Irish Republicans in the USA who also supplied them with Barret .50's.
That's my point - the presence of US weapons in Ireland did not mean that the US government was responsible for putting them there.
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#16
Bugsy said:
What they conveniently forget to mention is that the vast majority (some 70%) of the IEDs are planted by Sunnis, who are hardly likely to go to the (Shi'ite) Iranians for their gear.
MsG
Not where we are - the Sounh they're not! Almost entirely Shia, and anyone who hasn't seen this story coming just hasn't been watching the media over the past two years.

Oh, and don't think that the Persians wouldn't supply gear to both sides at once - the more dead US ans UK soldiers, and the more chaos in Iraq, the happier they are. Remember what happened to Iran last time Iraq was a regional force? They cetainly do!
 
#18
I suggest reading the full article not just the first couple of paragraphs I've posted as an introduction.

BBC said:
US claims against Iran: why now?

In October 2005, the then British ambassador to Iraq William Patey told reporters in London that Iran had been supplying technology used to kill British troops in Basra.

He said he had complained to the Iranian ambassador in Baghdad about it.

The claim was that elements connected to the Shia militia in the south, the Mehdi army, had been using specially shaped charges, in which the force of the explosion is directed narrowly in one direction, thereby enabling it to penetrate armoured vehicles.

No evidence was produced, other than a suggestion that the Iranian-supported Lebanese group Hezbollah had also used such charges, so the common origin had to be Iran.

Cont/...
I've also picked up on some 'office' tittle-tattle over the past 48hrs. According to the jungle drums, the reason why this briefing has been by "anonymous defense [and intelligence] officials" is because MND-I staff refused to touch - and thus be associated with - it.

First, they considered this to be a strategic political media-ops campaign run out of Washington with little or nothing to do with the tactical military campaign being run by them in Iraq. Moreover, they actual feel using this information in this manner could be counter-productive to their mission.

Second, they are simply not comfortable with its veracity!
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#19
One_of_the_strange said:
Biped said:
The main thrust of the argument is that the EFP's and other IEDS are rapidly getting exceedingly clever. Far too clever for an unsupported insurgent force. I'm inclined to agree.

The Irish didn't get smart for about 20 years. As for the post about the IRA getting M16's; they were supported both financially and 'militarily' by Irish Republicans in the USA who also supplied them with Barret .50's.
That's my point - the presence of US weapons in Ireland did not mean that the US government was responsible for putting them there.
What about the complexity and engineering that goes into the EFP's though? Surely that's just a little too much know-how for either boggo Iranians or insurgents? These are not off-the-shelf products like the Barret or the M16.

These are manufactured and there is a fair degree of knowledge required. As far as I am aware, these products were not part of the standard Iranian arsenal, so would have required a good deal of military know-how to make.

Also, if both the British and the septics are both saying they have intelligence to this effect and some evidence, surely there is no smoke without fire.
 
#20
The story about Iranian weapons/money/men deployed in Iraq has been in the newspapers for months. What isn't widely reported (yet) is that the Iranians are meddling in Afghanistan as well.

No tin foil hat required. Just ask the Italians based in Herat.
 

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