Reuters: Iranian weapons found in improvised explosive devices in Iraq and the capture of some Iranians did not by themself implicate Tehran, the head of the U.S. military’s joint chiefs of staff said on Tuesday. JAKARTA (Reuters) – Iranian weapons found in improvised explosive devices in Iraq and the capture of some Iranians did not by themself implicate Tehran, the head of the U.S. military’s joint chiefs of staff said on Tuesday.
Officials of U.S.-led forces in Baghdad showed journalists on Sunday fragments of what they said were Iranian-manufactured weapons and said that those at the “highest levels” of Tehran’s government were involved in arming Iraqi militants.
Marine Corp Gen. Peter Pace told a news conference in Jakarta that some of the material that has been used in improvised explosive devices in Iraq was from Iran and that some Iranians had been captured during operations against these networks.
“That could not translate to that the Iranian government per se procured these or is directly involved in doing this.”
“What it does say that things that are made in Iran are being used in Iraq to kill coalition soldiers and that some Iranians have been captured in the process of the coalition going after the networks.”
Washington has hardened its rhetoric over Iran’s alleged role in the war in Iraq and tension has been growing between the two arch-foes over Tehran’s nuclear plans.
“I can tell you we will continue to aggressively pursue anybody who is trying to kill our troops inside Iraq,” Pace said.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied on Monday that Iran is supplying sophisticated weapons to Iraqi militants and said peace would return to Iraq only when U.S. and other foreign forces leave.
Pace is on a short visit to Indonesia to discuss military and other ties.