ABC News reports that NATO officials have proof that the Iranian government supplies the Taliban in their war against Afghanistan. The materiel includes C-4, heavy arms, and roadside bombs not unlike those deployed against the US in Iraq:
NATO officials say they have caught Iran red-handed, shipping heavy arms, C4 explosives and advanced roadside bombs to the Taliban for use against NATO forces, in what the officials say is a dramatic escalation of Iran’s proxy war against the United States and Great Britain.
“It is inconceivable that it is anyone other than the Iranian government that’s doing it,” said former White House counterterrorism official Richard Clarke, an ABC News consultant.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stopped short earlier this week of blaming Iran, saying the U.S. did not have evidence “of the involvement of the Iranian government in support of the Taliban.”
But an analysis by a senior coalition official, obtained by the Blotter on ABCNews.com, concludes there is clear evidence of Iran’s involvement.
“This is part of a considered policy,” says the analysis, “rather than the result of low-level corruption and weapons smuggling.”
This is quite an interesting development. For one thing, the Taliban and Iran considered each other enemies until the US expelled Mullah Omar’s gang from Afghanistan. If NATO has this correct, it shows that radical Islamist impulses have outweighed the traditional Sunni/Shi’ite divide in Islam. Both types of Islamist lunatics may have decided that their war against the West outweighs their internal differences.
Secondarily, it confirms Iranian mischief outside of areas in US control. While we’re obviously the driving force behind the NATO mission in Afghanistan, NATO’s imprimatur means that Europe can no longer treat Iranian involvement in both Afghanistan and Iraq as an American cover story. Nations that have opposed our get-tough efforts against Iran will have to realize that Iran presents a threat to their own troops – and one they will need to address quickly.