Monday, February 26, 2007

U.S. Says Raid in Iraq Supports Claim on Iran

A soldier inspects the weapons cache found near the Shiite village of Jadidah last week.

BAGHDAD, Feb. 25 — A raid on a Shiite weapons cache in the southern city of Hilla one week ago is providing what American officials call the best evidence yet that the deadliest roadside bombs in Iraq are manufactured in Iran, but critics contend that the forensic case remains circumstantial and inferential.

The new evidence includes infrared sensors, electronic triggering devices and information about plastic explosives used in bombs that the Americans say lead back to Iran. The explosive material, triggering devices, other components and the method of assembly all produce weapons with an Iranian signature that has never been found outside Iraq or southern Lebanon, where Hezbollah is believed to have used weapons supplied by Iran, the Americans say.

But critics assert that nearly all the bomb components could have been produced in Iraq or somewhere else in the region. Even if the evidence were to establish that Iran is the source, they add, that does not necessarily mean that the Iranian leadership is responsible.

The raid by American and Iraqi forces discovered a fake boulder made of polyurethane and containing three of the deadliest kind of roadside bombs in Iraq.

Read the rest at the NY Times

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