Thursday, October 06, 2005

Blair Says Explosives Used In Iraq
Are Either From Iran or Hezbollah

Tony Blair is putting two and two together. From Associated Press:

LONDON - Prime Minister Tony Blair said Thursday that new explosive devices used against coalition forces in Iraq "lead us either to Iranian elements or to Hezbollah."

While stressing that Britain "cannot be sure" about Iran's possible role, the prime minister linked the issue to the diplomatic confrontation between Tehran and Western nations over Iran's nuclear program.

"There is no justification for Iran or any other country interfering in Iraq," Blair said during a news conference with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

"Neither will be subject to any intimidation in raising the necessary and live issues to do with the nuclear weapons obligations under the (International) Atomic Energy Agency treaty."

On Wednesday, Press Association reported that a senior government official said Britain believed Iran's Revolutionary Guard supplied explosives technology to insurgents in Iraq that was used to kill eight British soldiers over the summer.

The official, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity, said there was evidence that Iran was in contact with Sunni Muslim insurgent groups battling coalition forces. He did not specify whether the alleged Iranian technology also was responsible for American soldiers' deaths, according to Press Association.

Tehran's Foreign Ministry dismissed the accusations Wednesday, with a spokesman saying Britain should provide evidence of its claims, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

Hezbollah was formed in 1982 with Iranian backing during Israel's invasion of Lebanon. It has been linked to the 1983 bombing of U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon.

Iran is estimated to provide it with $10 million-$20 million monthly.