Tina Sussman / The Los Angeles Times – 2008-05-12 01:17:21
BAGHDAD (May 10, 2008) — There was something interesting missing from Maj. Gen. Kevin Bergner’s introductory remarks to journalists at his regular news briefing in Baghdad on Wednesday: the word “Iran,” or any form of it. It was especially striking as Bergner, the U.S. military spokesman here, announced the extraordinary list of weapons and munitions that have been uncovered in recent weeks since fighting erupted between Iraqi and U.S. security forces and Shiite militiamen.
Among other things, Bergner cited 20,000 “items of ammunition, explosives and weapons” reported by Iraqi forces in the central city of Karbala; an additional Karbala cache containing 570 explosive devices, nine mortars, four anti-aircraft missiles, and 45 RPGs; and in the southern city of Basra alone, 39 mortar tubes, 1,800 mortars and artillery rounds, 600 rockets, and 387 roadside bombs. Read his remarks here.
Not once did Bergner point the finger at Iran for any of these weapons and munitions, which is a striking change from just a couple of weeks ago when U.S. military officials here and at the Pentagon were saying that caches found in Basra in particular had revealed Iranian-made arms manufactured as recently as this year. They say the majority of rockets being fired at U.S. bases, including Baghdad’s Green Zone, are launched by militiamen receiving training, arms and other aid from Iran.
Today brought fresh attacks, including an unusual barrage fired at a military base used by British and U.S. forces in Basra, in southern Iraq. A statement said “several” rockets hit the base during the afternoon, and that initial reports indicated two civilian contractors were killed, and four soldiers and four civilians injured.
It was the first reported attack of its kind since March 27 in Basra.
Iraqi officials also have accused Iran of meddling in violence and had echoed the U.S. accusations of new Iranian-made arms being found in Basra. But neither the United States nor Iraq has displayed any of the alleged arms to the public or press, and lately it is looking less likely they will. U.S. military officials said it was up to the Iraqis to show the items; Iraqi officials lately have backed off the accusations against Iran.
A plan to show some alleged Iranian-supplied explosives to journalists last week in Karbala and then destroy them was canceled after the United States realized none of them was from Iran. A U.S. military spokesman attributed the confusion to a misunderstanding that emerged after an Iraqi Army general in Karbala erroneously reported the items were of Iranian origin.
When U.S. explosives experts went to investigate, they discovered they were not Iranian after all.
Iran, meanwhile, continues to seethe after an Iraqi delegation went to Tehran last week to confront it with the accusations. It has denied the accusations, and it says as long as U.S. forces continue to take part in military action in Iraq’s Shiite strongholds, it won’t consider holding further talks with Washington on how to stabilize Iraq.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.
I have served in Iraq and I speak farsi… the weapons that we found were marked in farsi- the weapons, the boxes, the paper in the boxes… for gods sake just walk out of the green zone or go see any FOB in the country and they will show you the mortars and all the other weapons.
Posted by: beenthere | May 10, 2008 at 04:32 PM
Mate iranians can do anything. Even the lawn in my backyard is growing at rapid rate after iranian underground nuclear test.
• Posted by: shiraz | May 10, 2008 at 03:39 PM
What else is new? No surprise that 1) they haven’t found anything, and 2) that the story isn’t on the front page. The Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith strategy has an endpoint, and that is the invasion of Iran. Those mofos have been planning that since the early 80s, basically when they along with their fellow neocons began infecting our Republican party. And this is all a FACT. Now we’ve got 2, maybe 3, more puppets trying to get into the White House to carry the mission for our great brother Israel … which, by the way, hasn’t paid us a penny for all the crap we have endured while “serving” that great Holy country. Of course Hillary is a true neocon. McCain realized in 2000 that he won’t win unless he bows down to the neocons. And unfortunately, Obama may be forced to do the same thing. These are some pretty sad times for our nation. We have gone from being a nation that everyone else looked up to, from being the one that everyone loved, to now being compared to the history’s most ruthless imperialist powers such as the UK and France a few hundrede years ago. Lets educate our selves and not be brainwashed by the disappointing mainstream media! http://ksgnotes1.harvard.edu/Research/wpaper.nsf/rwp/RWP06-011/$File/rwp_06_011_walt.pdf
• Posted by: joeshmo | May 10, 2008 at 12:37 PM
Why nobody talks about the destroyer Cornwall any more? Why the “super dangerous” speed boats disappeared from the media? Even the most hawkish journalists at the end had to admit that it was a second gulf of Tonkin. It is known that Lyndon Johnson was not a friend of Gerald Ford. Once he said that Ford were so dumb, he could not walk and fart at the same time. In his time Johnson had no reason to give any comment about the baby emperor. But what would he say today?_Wilfried Schuler (Frankfurt am Main )
• Posted by: Wilfried Schuler | May 10, 2008 at 09:40 AM
It is an interesting coincidence that Israel’s chosen enemies are the same ones that this administration chose to single out. It is interesting, because the U.S. is not surrounded by enemies that it helped to create, not yet anyway. When is the U.S. planning to invade Canada or Mexico? We know how unAmerican those two enemy nations are.
• Posted by: elephty | May 10, 2008 at 05:12 AM
Get your bloody army out of persian gulf & don’t look at behind.the Iranians have enough patience ,but when they run out of patience,they’ll give you a lesson that will be written in history for ever.remember 8 years they fought against the world who supported poodle regime of saddam hussain!remember hezbollah’s resistance against israeli’s zionist.that was just the tip of the iceberg!don’t push your luck confronting iran.Iranians are peace loving people,but they’ll fight for their country when it is necessary despite the deffernces with rulling mullahs,the most reactionary regimes ever iran seen for more than 2500 years!long live the freindship between iranians & americans!long live peace!amador
• Posted by: amador | May 10, 2008 at 01:57 AM
FREE THE IRANIAN DIPLOMATS seized by american militants IN IRAQ! Here is video of their family pleaing for their release (english subtitles):
Posted by: FREE IRANIANS | May 10, 2008 at 12:39 AM
why is this buried in the blog section?
•Posted by: shingles | May 09, 2008 at 10:48 PM
most of the weapons are american.
before sadam became the great satan selling his oil in unholly Euro’s he was america’s hardman in the region.
he was supplied with thousands of tons of munitions & exuipment including chemical & biological weapons by donald “chemical” rumsfeld.
how much?_well put it this way:_sadam tried to destroy iran – a country of 70million people for 8 years without a single munitions factory – all munitions where being flown in from the u.s. & britain.
that’s a lot of munitions.
after the war i’m sure he didnt return the surplus to chemical rumsfeld – he just put it in storage.
•Posted by: john | May 09, 2008 at 03:06 PM
Yes oh yes, WHERE did they come from? You’ve got my attention now Mr. Military man. Do weapons not from Iran not count? You are the one who brought it up. Don’t flake out on us now saying the Iraqi army controls them. That’s not a reason–that’s a joke. Weapons caches are weapons caches. Russian, Chinese, Israeli, French, American? I really want to know.
•Posted by: JamesL | May 09, 2008 at 01:51 PM
Even if the weapons found are made in Iran that does not say anything. Iranian borders, from Kurdish region to Baluchi and Khuzestan, where borders Iraq, is the place of daily smuggling of all kind of goods, including gasoline and food. Anything goes across and this is the way things have been for ever in that area. If US government is truly concerned, they can deploy more military to monitor the smuggling activities by the long border. They can’t do it, and Iran can’t do it. It’s like controlling the Mexican border. Anyways, those who believe any individual from this administration must get his head checked.
•Posted by: Abarmard | May 09, 2008 at 12:56 PM
I have proof of the rockets from Iran that almost killed me yesterday. I don’t see why this is so hard for people to fathom. Oh, your sitting on your computer and reading about the war. I’m living it.
Furthermore, weapons don’t come from Saudi Arabia. Only suicide bombers and money. I agree that something has to be done about this. However, Republican or Democrat, no one will confront this issue. Money, Money, Money. Don’t forget the government in Saudi Arabia isn’t establishing training camps, it’s rich Saudi’s who don’t have nothing to do. The Iranian government is actually establishing training camps, not rouge citizens of the country. __Those weapons found in Karbala are more than likely Russian. You rarely ever find American or British weaponry. I found an old 1948 British rifle a couple weeks ago. If it’s in American then it was probably taken off a dead soldier after an IED blast.
Those 122 MM rockets in the picture are very similar to the Nasir which is made in Iran, but is an exact copy of the Russian 122mm rockets.
•Posted by: Billy | May 09, 2008 at 12:25 PM
Many caches of weapons were captured by Kurds and Iraqi police while being smuggled from Iran into Iraq. The record is there.
As an Iranian, I know the postcolonial ideology that motivates the clique that rules Iran. Iranians are innocent because they hate their dictators.
•Posted by: Hamid | May 09, 2008 at 11:07 AM
The American military has learned the hard way that as soon as they point the finger at Iran, the left in America starts howling “Gulf of Tonkin”, the liberal media sides with Iran, and the American military loses more men as Iran is invigorated by the clueless left wing lunatics in this country.
This conflict would have been over two years ago if Iran & the insurgents were not looking to the lessons of the Vietnam conflict in which the enemy was able to turn the American people against their own soldiers to the point of Hollywood celebrities going to North Vietnam to be photographed pretending to shoot down American Air Force pilots.
•Posted by: mark | May 09, 2008 at 11:07 AM
At the same time that the rhetoric is heating up again, against Iran as being an enemy….who has never made war on any neighbors in the region in hundreds of years, except having to fight the 8 yrs against Saddam —in which Israel was key seller and provider of weapons to Iran even AFTER 1979 covertly, of course, whilst telling Reagan that they’d ‘refrain’……concurrently we see that the US is making deals and plans to “nuclearize” Jordan and Egypt._Which means that Israel would remain “ambiguously” non nuclear, with perhaps as many as 500 nuclear and thermonuclear bombs, a non signee to NPT and having NEVER been inspected by IAEA in 50 yrs despite their aging Dimona (textile) nuclear plant near Beersheva….._Whilst Bush and company are threatening to wage unholy preemptive war against Iran for considering nuclear development and enrichment. THAT is really insane…because their religious government has issued a fatwa in 2005 against ever having or using nuclear weapons._Further, the West lived with a nuclear armed USSR for 50 yrs but Iran “is a great threat to the US?” this absence of logic defies the lies and rhetoric that led the US to the first Bush/neocon ‘cakewalk’…to Iraq.._Its time for war crime trials..now, at the Hague…
•Posted by: Miriam | May 09, 2008 at 10:56 AM
I wonder where they did come from? Could it be that a lot of this stuff is coming from caches that Rummy failed to protect after the invassion? Remember we were told that Sadam had stashed the stuff all over Iraq. Remember the hundreds of ton of high explosives that were looted from site the the International Nuke Organization was monitoring.
They couldn’t have used all that up yet. Incompetence at a criminal level.
•Posted by: Henk | May 09, 2008 at 09:58 AM
Meanwhile, let’s be sure to continue to ignore all of this:
We’ve got Saudi fanatics (and not just Saudi supported fanatics) blowing up our soldiers left and right, and all the administration can think to do is obsess over imaginary Iranian munitions. Pathetic.
•Posted by: Bill in Chicago | May 09, 2008 at 09:43 AM
Interesting how Iran has already become a Superpower that can punch way way beyond its own weight! And all this without having any nuclear weapons!
Next, US will probably accuse Iran of attacking their unmanned vehicle near MARS!
The evidence is the light shining on the vehicle at the time is the same light as the one that can be seen shining in Iran!
•Posted by: James | May 09, 2008 at 08:23 AM
Ok I give up, where were the weapons from? I really woul;d like to know. Saudi Arabia? or maybe just from that stockpile that we were to busy to guard after “Mission Accomplished”?
• Posted by: bud quarles | May 09, 2008 at 07:08 AM
I have proof that Iran is behind the crabgrass in my lawn!
• Posted by: jrw | May 09, 2008 at 06:42 AM
Iran is home to the elfs. Their military has cloaks of invisibility and magic dust to cast over their rockets when they see u.s. army come close to change the rockets into cookies and cakes.
• Posted by: azrael | May 09, 2008 at 03:14 AM
The American governments are always finding a way to convince it’s people to let them attack Iran. How dumb is this?
• Posted by: Kevin Kaspar | May 08, 2008 at 09:46 PM
The article only says that the US experts confirmed that the weapons were not Iranian but it does not say where they were made! Were they British and American made weapons? Is a weapon only dangerous if it is made in Iran? Who is selling the weapons? Who is paying for the weapons? Saudi Arabia? Where are Al-Qaeda terrorists who are responsible for most of Iraqi civilian casualties come from? Saudi Arabia?
• Posted by: Kiumars | May 08, 2008 at 09:33 PM
Ahmadinejad’s recent speech, he talks about this
• Posted by: Mike Rogers | May 08, 2008 at 08:37 PM
Why don’t we just buy the weapons? For $10 billion a month, we can certainly afford it.
• Posted by: Joaquin | May 08, 2008 at 05:17 PM
I have hard time believing anything that U.S. government tells us any time. So, I am not sure if this piece of info is necessarily trustworthy. Assuming it is, then: 1) U.S. administration (and military) has an egg on their face, and 2) there is no reason why we should keep accusing Iran of all kinds of evil actions in Iraq or Afganistan. Perhaps, it is time that American government considers U.S. interests ahead of Israel’s and starts talking to Iranians WITHOUT any precondition.
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