The U.S. government has consistently blamed the proliferation in Iraq of Explosively Formed Penetrator “super-bombs” — powerful enough to kill heavy tanks — on Iranian Qods force paramilitaries. All those machine-made EFPs, they say, are evidence that Tehran is directly intervening in Iraq. (EFP pictured below striking a U.S. Humvee.)
Just last week, the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division uncovered a cache (pictured top) north of Baghdad containing 350 EFPs, including 130 that were “ready to be emplaced,” according to Major General Mark Hertling, commander of Multi-National Division North and the 1st Armored Division. On Monday during a conference call with bloggers, Hertling said he had a pretty good idea where the bombs came from, but wouldn’t discuss it with the press. “Certainly there have been indicators in the past that there have been passages of EFPs from across the border.”
But Iran alarmists overlook two key points:
1) Iraq has the ability to manufacture EFPs, thanks to Hezbollah:
In August 2005,Newsday published a report from correspondent Mohammed Bazzi that Shi’ite fighters had begun in early 2005 to copy Hezbollah techniques for building the bombs, as well as for carrying out roadside ambushes, citing both Iraqi and Lebanese officials. In late November 2006, a senior intelligence official told both CNN and The New York Times that Hezbollah troops had trained as many as 2,000 [Iraqi] Mahdi army fighters in Lebanon. (Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service)
2) The Qods force is possibly not acting on Tehran’s orders if and when it meddles in Iraq: “I see key indications that they [the Mahdi army] are being supported by Iranians, particularly Qods force guys,” Army Colonel Jon S. Lehr from the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, told me a couple weeks ago, adding that the presence of EFPs in Shi’ite hands is evidence of that. But wait! “I’m not linking the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Council [Qods force] to the Iranian government,” Lehr added.
There are new rumors that the U.S. is gearing up to bomb Iran. Ending Iran’s nuke program is, of course, the major motive. But inasmuch as the bombing represents punshiment for Tehran’s alleged interference in Iraq, it’s unjustified.
(Thanks, Nick! Photos: Answers.com, U.S. Army)