Wire: Officials Say Discovery of Weapons Cache Suggests Iranian Meddling in Afghan War
Off the Wire:
WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2009 -- Newswire services this afternoon reported that the discovery of a weapons cache in western Afghanistan has raised concerns that Iran is interfering in the war-torn country, much like it did in Iraq, by supplying weapons used to attack and kill U.S. and coalition troops, U.S. officials told FOX News.
Afghan and NATO forces uncovered the weapons cache on Aug. 29 in Herat. It included a small number of Iranian-made "explosively formed penetrators," hyper-powerful roadside bombs similar to the weapons used to kill U.S. forces in Iraq, a senior U.S. Defense Official told FOX News.
Also seized during the raid were 107 Iranian-made BM-1 rockets and dozens of blocks of Iranian C4 plastic explosives.
There are questions about when these weapons entered Afghanistan, but a top U.S. military official told FOX News that an Iranian rocket was recently fired at a base in Herat. Additional intelligence suggests that Iranians have been providing support directly to the Taliban, FOX said.
FOX News noted the following details:
Other coalition countries allege the Iranian influence is even deeper and that Iranian intelligence is funneling money to Afghan President Hamid Karzai.(Report from newswire sources.)
"There have been a lot of reports of the Iranian government one way or another having an influence on Karzai, including a lot of reports that they have provided him with a lot of money," said Fred Kagan, a member of Gen. Stanley McChrystal's recent Afghan review and a scholar from the American Enterprise Institute.
"They have succeeded at having a government in Kabul that is rather friendly to them. Karzai was one of the first leaders to acknowledge Ahmadinejad's victory in Iran's contested presidential elections and to congratulate him for it," Kagan said.
The Iranians package the C-4 explosive to look like it is American-made, and the EFP's are machine made, suggesting that Iran is home to a lucrative industry for producing these weapons, sources said. The goal remains to push U.S. forces out of Afghanistan and Iraq and to make both look like defeats.
Source: Officials: Discovery of Weapons Cache Suggests Iranian Meddling in Afghan War
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