New evidence of Iran weapons in Iraq

NY Times:

A raid on a Shiite weapons cache in the southern city of Hilla one week ago is providing what American officials call the best evidence yet that the deadliest roadside bombs in Iraq are manufactured in Iran, but critics contend that the forensic case remains circumstantial and inferential.

The new evidence includes infrared sensors, electronic triggering devices and information about plastic explosives used in bombs that the Americans say lead back to Iran. The explosive material, triggering devices, other components and the method of assembly all produce weapons with an Iranian signature that has never been found outside Iraq or southern Lebanon, where Hezbollah is believed to have used weapons supplied by Iran, the Americans say.

But critics assert that nearly all the bomb components could have been produced in Iraq or somewhere else in the region. Even if the evidence were to establish that Iran is the source, they add, that does not necessarily mean that the Iranian leadership is responsible.

The raid by American and Iraqi forces discovered a fake boulder made of polyurethane and containing three of the deadliest kind of roadside bombs in Iraq. Smeared with dirt and pebbles to give it the color and texture of a rock, the polyurethane blob was resting in the back seat of a Toyota, apparently in preparation for a roadside attack, American officials said in lengthy briefings with two New York Times reporters last week.

The Toyota, along with a second vehicle and a nearby house described as an assembly point, contained components and other weaponry that the officials say demonstrate that the bomb parts must have originated in Iran. Called explosively formed penetrators, or E.F.P.’s, bombs like the ones hidden inside the fake boulder are designed to eject molten slugs that slice through American armor with deadly precision.

The assertion that the latest find greatly bolsters the theory of the Iranian origin of the E.F.P.’s is significant because it could provide the United States with a new justification to take action against Iran. But the evidence is unlikely to satisfy skeptics who have been suspicious that the Bush administration is trying to lay the groundwork for isolating or even attacking Iran. They point to the flawed intelligence used by the administration to accuse Saddam Hussein of harboring unconventional weapons before invading Iraq nearly four years ago.

The skeptics have a weak case that is bolstered by the phony "Bush lied" argument of the ledft. It is an excuse and not really a case. It is an excuse for inaction that will result in more American deaths which they can use for props for retreat and defeat. War opponents should never be given an assumption of good faith because they have not demonstrate that characteristic in this war. Their cause is an emotion based belief that must reject hard evidence as well as soft evidence.


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