Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Americans: new weapons from Iran appearing in Iraq

The commander of the U.S. forces in the Middle East, General John Abizaid, said a new armour-piercing rocket-propelled grenade believed to be from Iran has shown up in Iraq. He said the weapon, an RPG-29, has a dual warhead and has proved effective against most types of armoured vehicles, adding that it may be a "hint of things to come."
"The first time we saw it was not in Iraq. We saw it in Lebanon. So to me it indicates, number one, an Iranian connection," he told defense reporters. He said only a single RPG-29 has turned up in Iraq so far, and it was unclear how it was smuggled into the country. But he said it was the latest in a number of new and more sophisticated weapons that appear to be moving onto the region's battlefields from Iran.
"There are clearly links between Lebanese Hezbollah training people in Iran to operate in Lebanon, and also training people in Iran that are Shia splinter groups that could operate against us in Iraq," he said.
COMMENT: The U.S. and the U.K. have long suspected Iran of supplying training, funding and weapons to anti-Iraqi forces to fuel the instability, particularly in the south. Iran denies this. It is possible Iran believes that if America is tied up in Iraq, her focus will not shift to Iran. Historically Iran has provided protection to Shia politicians persecuted under Saddam and has also trained militias such as the Badr Corps, SCIRI's militant wing. COMMENT ENDS.

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