Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Iran Supplying Weapons to Iraq?

Constant in President Bush's admonishments of Iran is the accusation that the country is supplying weapons to the the militias of Iraq. Earlier this year the Washington Post created quite a stir when they reported that several hundred British troops whose mission it is to intercept weapons coming into Iraq from Iran, had yet to find evidence of high-volume weapons supply operation.
"It's a question of intelligence versus evidence," Labouchere's commander, Brig. James Everard of Britain's 20th Armored Brigade, said last month at his base in the southern region's capital, Basra. "One hears word of mouth, but one has to see it with one's own eyes. These are serious consequences, aren't they?"
The British have intercepted a small amount of weapons being smuggled into Iraq by the Marsh Arabs of southern Iraq, but David Axe of World Politics Watch explains that this does not indicate that Iran is smuggling massive quantities of weapons into Iraq. I don't want to go into it here, but Axe makes a very convincing argument.

Yesterday, the LA Times revived this issue in a very interesting investigative report.
"During a recent sweep through a stronghold of Sunni insurgents here, a single Iranian machine gun turned up among dozens of arms caches U.S. troops uncovered. British officials have similarly accused Iran of meddling in Iraqi affairs, but say they have not found Iranian-made weapons in areas they patrol."
As Peter Felstead, editor of Jane's Defense Weekly, explains a lot of rather sophisticated weapons have actually been smuggled in by Syria, not Iran.

The Bush administration is not alone in its accusations that Iran is sending weapons into Iraq. In the interest of balance, I would like to point out a report published by the Jamestown Foundation and written by Mounir Elkhamri, a Middle East Military Analyst for the Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth. In this report, Elkhamri provides compelling evidence that Iran is actively contributing to the civil war by arming militias.

I would argue that perhaps both sides have merit; Iranian weapons and other materials are being smuggled into Iraq, but the weapons are not being supplied to the militias currently engaged in the civil war. This would be consistent with reports that Iranian efforts are directed towards building an infrastructure in Iraq that could be activated in the event of a US attack on Iran, and that these weapons and capabilities are not being used in the current conflict.


I am Jack's Matrix Version 6.2.01 said...

"Iran Supplying Weapons to Iraq?"

Hey, newsflash... America is supplying arms to Iraq too. It's a war. Furthermore it's a war declared on nobody in particular, so by default everyone is invited. It's all academic anyway Bush won't get his war in Iran, the country won't stand for it , much less the world. The cowboy just wants to go out of office guns-a-blazin', smokin'-em-out Texas style. That way when the history books are opened he can have a long legacy of failed military operations to put next to his failed business venturs. I am Bush, hear me fail.

Yeah sure Iran is supplying arms. And Syria and Turkey and China and the little known Republic of Elbonia who just bought their first slingshot. But hey let's go one step further, and go to any modern battlefield in the world. Look around and find some spent bullet shells. I guarantee the words REMINGTON and WINCHESTER are most often found on them. America has been selling arms to the world for centuries, it's one of our best exports. U.S. Marines in Iraq have been shot by bullets made here in the heartland. I'll bet God gets a jolly old laugh over that one each and every day.

Who is anyone in this country to admonish Iran for making money off instruments of war when we clearly have the market on it. Not me. But then again the Matrix is telling my brain that the time to end this comment is now, so I guess admonishments will be best left to some shotgun sportin' redneck war hawk.

Matteo Tomasini said...

I'm sure a majority of the weapons being used in Iraq are American-made, after all about 6% of the weapons that the United States has provided to Iraqi security forces can not be accounted for.

Problem is that Bush has been leveling the accusation of smuggling arms at the Iranian government itself. The point of the post was to show that while there are Iranian-made weapons in Iraq, so far there has been no proof that the Iranian government is complicit in supplying these weapons directly to militias.

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