Iranian Government Behind Shipping Weapons to Iraq

The Iranian government is behind shipping
components used to make improvised explosive devices to Iraqi
insurgents, a senior intelligence official in Iraq said yesterday.

Labels on weapons stocks seized inside and outside Iraq point to
Iranian government complicity in arming Shiite militias in Iraq, Army Maj.
Gen. Richard Zahner, the deputy chief of staff for intelligence with
Multinational Force Iraq, said at a news roundtable.

U.S. officials have said in the past that Iran is fomenting instability
in Iraq. In August, Army Brig. Gen. Michael Barbero said that the
Iranian government is training many members of the Shiite insurgency in
Iraq. Barbero is the deputy operations chief on the Joint Staff.

"Iran is definitely a destabilizing force in Iraq," Barbero said during
an Aug. 23 Pentagon news conference. "I think it's irrefutable that
Iran is responsible for training, funding and equipping some of these
Shiia extremist groups and also providing advanced (improvised explosive
device) technology to them, and there's clear evidence of that."

Zahner said Iran is funneling millions of dollars for military goods
into Iraq. He noted that labels on C-4 explosive found in Baghdad make it
clear where the munitions came from. "You'll find a red label on the
C-4 printed in English and will tell you the lot number and name of the
manufacturer," he said.

In 2002, the Israelis seized a small ship bringing military supplies to
Hezbollah. "Compare the labels on the military C-4 in that and tell me
if they're not identical," Zahner said.

He said British, Iraqi and American officials in Basra also have found
blocks of C-4. "You will see the same red label for each and every one
of those," he said.

Zahner also said it's clear that the Iranian government is behind the
munitions shipments. "I will tell you that the control of military-grade
explosives in Iran is controlled through the state apparatus and is not
committed through rogue elements right there," he said. "It is a
deliberate decision on the part of elements associated with the Iranian
government to affect this type of activities."

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