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Britain yesterday described as "unacceptable" the smuggling of weapons from Iran into Iraq after revealing that a consignment was intercepted at the border between the two countries.
While complaints have been made in the past, it is relatively rare to have concrete evidence of such smuggling.
Iran has repeatedly denied any involvement in the insurgency or party politics in Iraq.
A senior British official disclosed yesterday details of the incident two weeks ago when a group crossing from Iran was intercepted near Maysan, which is in the British controlled sector of Iraq. Iraqi security forces opened fire and the smugglers fled back to Iran leaving their cache of timers, detonators and other bomb-making equipment.
The British official said he did not know the identity of the group or those behind it but said it had the "fingerprints" of either Iran's Revolutionary Guard, controlled by the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, or the Lebanese based Hizbullah which Tehran backs. The incident came against a backdrop of tension between Iran and the west over allegations that Tehran is intent on securing a nuclear-weapons capability.
Syrian President Bashar Assad emphasized terrorism in his comments after arriving in Tehran for a two-day visit. "Iran and Syria should pay attention to terrorism, which is spreading in the Middle East," Assad said.
Bush, advisers working out how to handle Iran
Today, president will address arms moved into Iraq, nuclear ambitions
WASHINGTON - As President Bush takes stock of his foreign policy today, the long-troubled relationship between the United States and Iran appears to be worsening because of Tehran's nuclear technology aspirations and the smuggling of weapons across the Iranian border to Iraqi insurgents.
Bush will meet with his foreign policy advisers at his Crawford ranch to discuss a variety of issues…..
Aug 10, 2005, Article Link
We're heading out to the border between Iraq and Iran, to check out the new Iraqi Border Enforcement Force. The British land operations in the south have been touted as something of a success, with few attacks here compared to around Baghdad. According to the British, progress is being made in handing over security to the Iraqis.
This is just one of 50 border posts set up by the British that is now being run by the Iraqis themselves, a success, but not without its frustrations.
SERGEANT PETER WHITE: The training side of things is done to be honest, we had some problems when we initially got here. We expected too much of them, we expected them to be of the standard of the British soldier, and to be quite honest, that's not going to happen, ever.
But for Iraqi forces they consider themselves to be a border denial force, they were not proactive. Obviously doesn't take the brains of archbishop to work out that if people across the river can see the border police here, they are not going to cross the river.
We've introduced them to mobile patrolling, we've had limited success, some success. It all depends on how much sleep they've had during the day, as we'll see later on.
We're taken to meet Abdullah, who oversees the fort. This fort has been set up to stop smuggling between Iraq and Iran, but strangely Abdullah tells us he hasn't seen any smugglers. When we ask Sergeant White about this later, he tells us that Abdullah is a known supporter of Moqtada al-Sadr. Al-Sadr is a radical Shi'ite cleric who's calling for an immediate withdrawal of coalition forces from Iraq.
Interior Minister Bayan Jabr told reporters that Iraqi security forces recently opened fire on a group of men carrying boxes near the Iranian border. The men dropped the boxes and fled back into Iranian territory. Inside the boxes were dynamite sticks with some wires.
"This is all that happened at the border and was very much exaggerated," Jabr said.
Originally posted by AceOfBase
I'm not sure how that had Revolutionary Guard 'fingerprints' all over it.
A senior British official disclosed yesterday details of the incident two weeks ago when a group crossing from Iran was intercepted near Maysan, which is in the British controlled sector of Iraq. Iraqi security forces opened fire and the smugglers fled back to Iran leaving their cache of timers, detonators and other bomb-making equipment…
…Bayan Jabr, Iraq's interior minister, also played down the incident, saying it "was very much exaggerated".
Originally posted by cjf
I guess the “Guardian” updated their article(unless the above link is incorrect); however it still pales to the smuggling and trafficking via Syria’s border with Iraq.