Accuses Iran of Helping Iraqi
Insurgents Build Better Bombs
(VOA) — U.S. President Bush has accused Iran of helping Shi’ite
militias in Iraq build more effective roadside bombs, the most lethal weapon
U.S. forces and Iraqi civilians. The president said Monday the U.S. government
is intensifying its effort to fight the bombs.
Bush blamed Iran directly for helping Iraqi insurgents improve their
improvised explosive devices, or IED’s – the
weapon that is responsible for
more than half of the 1,800 U.S. combat deaths in Iraq.
of the most powerful IED’s we’re seeing in Iraq today include
components that came from Iran," said President Bush. "Our
Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, told the
congress Tehran has been responsible for at least some of the
increasing lethality of anti-coalition attacks by providing
Shia’ militia with the capability to build improvised explosive
devices in Iraq. Coalition forces have seized IED’s and components
that were clearly produced in Iran."
to an audience at George Washington University not far from
the White House, the president said Iran’s support for terrorism
and pursuit of nuclear weapons will result in continuing U.S.
efforts to lead the international community in confronting
comments followed strong words about Iran last week from two
of his senior cabinet members. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
accused Iran of not only sending bomb technology into Iraq,
but also of sending members of an elite force of its Republican
Guards. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the United
States faces ‘no greater challenge from a single country than
the improvised explosive devices in Iraq, President Bush said
his administration is spending more than $3 billion this year
to fund a multi-faceted effort to defeat the primitive but
the Defense Department office coordinating the effort was expanded
and upgraded, and is now led by a four-star general, who was
brought out of retirement for the job. The general briefed
President Bush on his progress on Saturday.
said the effort involves hunting down bomb makers and other
insurgents in Iraq, training U.S. forces on the latest insurgent
tactics, and developing new high-technology to defeat the low-technology
now have over 100 projects under way," he said. "For
security reasons, I’m not going to share the details of the
technologies we’re developing. The simple reason is the enemy
can use even the smallest details to overcome our defenses."
Bush said a recent newspaper story about a technological breakthrough
resulted in an insurgent Internet posting within a few days
on how to defeat the new technology. A Pentagon spokesman would
not provide details.
Bush said the effort to defeat insurgent bombs has cut the
casualty rate per bomb attack in half in the last 18 months.
But he said the intensive effort must continue because the
enemy adapts to every step U.S. forces take.