Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Iranian weapons in Iraq update

Pajamas Media has a 12-minute video from Iraq, interviewing an ordnance disposal officer on the origin of various weapons discovered in Iraq. The point of the video: they're Iranian.

But PM then goes on to misrepresent its own video, calling it proof of Iranian involvement in Iraq.

I like the video, although the reporter asks some (to me) cringingly ignorant questions. The EOD officer is polite, informative and clear. But he doesn't shed any new light on the subject of Iranian involvement.

The mere presence of Iranian-made weaponry in Iraq does not say anything about how it got there. It could have been bought on the black market, for instance. (And if it were, that would, conversely, not be evidence that Iran wasn't involved: countries routinely use the black market to disguise what are essentially arms transfers).

Nor does it get at how much weaponry is Iranian. As the major noted, Iraq is awash in unfathomably huge amounts of leftover ordnance. At a minimum, it's highly unlikely that Shiite Iran is arming Sunni insurgents. So even if Iran stopped sending weapons tomorrow, it wouldn't seriously hamper the ongoing violence.

I will be vastly unsurprised if it turns out Iran is arming Shiite groups in Iraq. But proving Iranian involvement is going to be very tough indeed, unless they're caught in the act of delivering it.
(h/t: Central Sanity)

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