Saturday, April 21, 2007

NATO chief cannot confirm Iranian arms in Afghanistan

Thu Apr 19, 12:59 PM ET

The commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, US General Dan McNeill, said Thursday he was unable to confirm the interception Iranian-made mortars and explosives in the country.

"I don't deny that position and I'm very interested how the insurgents might be helped and who might have helped the insurgents," McNeill told reporters in the Afghan capital.

"Obviously, the US Secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff have far more information than I do right now," he added.

General Peter Pace, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs, said Tuesday that coalition forces had intercepted Iranian-made mortars and explosives in Afghanistan destined for the Taliban.

After 30 years of war, Afghanistan is awash with weapons of all kinds and of different origins. Iran, in particular, furnished the Northern Alliance with weapons during their struggle against the Taliban government.

Mcneill, the head of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), also said he had no hard intelligence on the existence of training camps for Afghan insurgents in Iranian territory.

"There is no report of that fact," he said.

A number of American officials have accused the Iranian Revolutionary Guards of training and arming Shiite militants in Iraq.

No comments: