Weapons claimed by US officials to be manufactured in Iran
News that arms believed to have been manufactured in Iran turned up in Sunni-majority areas as well as in the hands of Shiite extremists is sure to fire up those beating the drums of war with Iran, especially combined with reports that Iraqi insurgents may have trained in Iran.
U.S. military spokesman Major General William Caldwell said that questioning of fighters captured as recently as this month confirmed many had attended Iranian training camps.
"We know that [arms] are being in fact manufactured and smuggled into this country, and we know that training does go on in Iran for people to learn how to assemble them and how to employ them. We know that training has gone on as recently as this past month from detainees debriefs," Caldwell said at a weekly briefing. "We also know that training still is being conducted in Iran for insurgent elements from Iraq... they do receive training on how to assemble and employ EFPs."
EFPs, or "Explosively Formed Penetrators," are roadside bombs that launch a softball-sized hunk of molten metal that is capable of piercing vehicle armor. Some of these explosive devices have killed American soldiers and Iraqi civilians.
The irony, though, is that representatives of the country that launched the war in Iraq are whining because combatants are using arms obtained from Iran. Those combatants are also likely using Chinese, Russian, French, and - yes - even American arms.
In times of war the warring factions will use every means at their disposal to gain the advantage. Moreover, the United States has long been one of the world's biggest arm merchants, even producing and deploying some of the world's deadliest weapons: landmines.
Over 150 nations have already signed the 1997 Ottawa Treaty, which bans all anti-personnel landmines. The United States, among some 40 other nations, has refused to sign the treaty.
Before we as Americans protest any Iranian profiteering and covert military actions in Iraq, perhaps we ought to take a long look at the industries of death within our own borders, as well as our own ugly record of profits derived from the sale of arms in wars around the globe.