Sunday, August 07, 2005

Roadside bombs 'Machine manufactured in Iran'

The US military is reporting that 'many of the new, more sophisticated roadside bombs used to attack American and government forces in Iraq have been designed in Iran and smuggled over the border'

But just as troubling is that the spread of the weapons seems to suggest a new and unusual area of cooperation between Iranian Shiites and Iraqi Sunnis to drive American forces out.

In my view if these two factions are joining forces then the problems in Iraq are even greater then we already believe

"These are among the most sophisticated and most lethal devices we've seen," said a leading officer. "It's very serious."

"The devices we're seeing now have been machined," said a military official who has access to classified reporting on the insurgents' bomb-making abilities. "There is evidence of some sophistication."

American officials say they have no evidence that the Iranian government is involved. But defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the new United States ambassador in Baghdad, Zalmay Khalilzad, complained publicly this week about the Tehran government's harmful meddling in Iraqi affairs.

"There is movement across its borders of people and material used in violent acts against Iraq," Khalilzad said last week.

But some Middle East specialists discount any involvement by the Iranian government or Hezbollah, saying it would be counter to their interests to support Iraq's Sunni Arab insurgents, who have stepped up their attacks against Iraqi Shiites. These specialists suggest the arms shipments are more likely to be the work of criminals, arms traffickers or splinter insurgent groups.