NATO has intercepted Iranian weapons shipments to Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents, providing evidence Iran is violating international law to aid a group it once considered a bitter enemy, a senior U.S. diplomat said Wednesday.
“There’s irrefutable evidence the Iranians are now doing this,” Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said on CNN. “It’s certainly coming from the government of Iran. It’s coming from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard corps command, which is a basic unit of the Iranian government.”
Speaking separately to The Associated Press, Burns said NATO must act to stop the shipments. The Iran-Afghanistan frontier is “a very long border. But the Iranians need to know that we are there and that we’re going to oppose this.”
“It’s a very serious question,” he said, adding that Iran is in “outright violation” of
U.N. Security Council resolutions.
The State Department later appeared to step back from Burns’ assertion the Iranian government was directly involved in the transfers but stressed Washington has proof that weapons from Iran were being sent to Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.
“We absolutely are certain that there are Iranian-origin weapons flowing into Afghanistan to the Taliban,” spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters.
“We do not know the extent of any Iranian government involvement at this point, but given the nature of the regime and also some of its past behaviors elsehwhere â€” whether in the Palestinian areas or in Iraq â€” it certainly raises very serious questions and we are quite concerned about it,” he said.
Tehran, which is also in a dispute with the West over its nuclear program, denies it is aiding the Taliban, calling the accusation part of a broad anti-Iranian campaign. Iran says it makes no sense that a Shiite-led government like itself would help the fundamentalist Sunni movement of the Taliban.
Burns acknowledged that it was “curious” that Iran would aid the Taliban. “It’s quite surprising,” he told CNN. “The Iranians had said that they were the mortal enemies of the Taliban in 2001 and ’02.”
And Iran is helping Iraq insurgents kill America soldiers in Iraq. The United States is now in a two front proxy war against Iran.
President Bush, when will you call Ahmadinejad and the Iranian Mullahs out? When will direct military intervention begin?
Flap bets soon.
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