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Austrian sniper rifles definatively link Iran to Iraq
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Over and above the explosively formed armor penetrators that have been linked to Iran comes this news:
Austrian sniper rifles that were exported to Iran have been discovered in the hands of Iraqi terrorists, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

More than 100 of the.50 calibre weapons, capable of penetrating body armour, have been discovered by American troops during raids.

The guns were part of a shipment of 800 rifles that the Austrian company, Steyr-Mannlicher, exported legally to Iran last year.
Of course we're talking serial numbers here and easily traced shipments of specific items. These are among the sniper weapons killing our soldiers.
Within 45 days of the first HS50 Steyr Mannlicher rifles arriving in Iran, an American officer in an armoured vehicle was shot dead by an Iraqi insurgent using the weapon.

Over the last six months American forces have found small caches of the £10,000 rifles but in the last 24 hours a raid in Baghdad brought the total to more than 100, US defence sources reported.

[...]

The rifle can pierce all body armour from up to a mile and penetrate armoured Humvee troop carriers.

It is highly accurate and fires a round called an armour piercing incendiary, a bullet that the Iranians manufacture.
Pretty damning evidence despite the continued denial of Iran and specifically their president, Amadinejad.
While not denying that Iranian weapons may have been found in Iraq, Ahmadinejad implied that if they were, it was not his government's doing. "Can Americans close their long borders?" he asked, noting that "millions" of Iranians cross the border into neighboring Iraq each year. "The position of our government . . . and the position of the Revolutionary Guard is also the same: We are opposed to any kind of conflict in Iraq."
Of course the types of explosively formed devices we're talking about require some precision equipment and have to literally be manufactured (this isn't something you just cobble together or they'd be making them in Iraq). There are few that doubt that Iran wouldn't be aware of the existence of machinery such as that. And that, of course, makes Amadinejad's glib toss-off disingenuous at best.

I was also a bit puzzled by this:
Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said yesterday that he has no information indicating Iran's government is directing the supply of lethal weapons to Shiite insurgent groups in Iraq.

"We know that the explosively formed projectiles are manufactured in Iran," Pace told Voice of America during a visit to Australia. "What I would not say is that the Iranian government, per se, knows about this."
I can understand his caution. Giving Gen. Pace the benefit of the doubt on that particular point, I'm not sure how, given the necessity of government involvement in weapons imports, he is going to be able to remain in doubt anymore.

Iran and their rhetoric remind me a lot of Saddam and his rhetoric as it pertains to the US and the punishment they will deal out to us should we ever contemplate a military confrontation with them. Essentially they have no idea how badly they'd fare. Or maybe they do, but they also know that many 'leaders' in the US, especially in the legislative branch, lack the will necessary to approve such a confrontation, even with evidence such as the sniper rifles laid before them.

That's not to say, given how poorly Iraq has been managed, that I don't understand their reticence to consider military confrontation. It is not something any of us should desire, especially at this time.

But the basic fact remains that evidence is growing linking Iran directly to the killing of our troops and the destabilization of Iraq. Ignoring that evidence is something we simply can't do.

I want to be clear, I'm not necessarily advocating a military strike or war. But I am saying that in the case of Iran, it is important that a) we don't take any option off the table (whether we seriously considering it or not) and b) that a united front against Iran be forged at all levels and branches of government (that's the most effective way to neutralize them). Obviously we need to involve allies in this effort as well.

But a serious diplomatic and military effort (within Iraq, not Iran) which confronts Iran has to be made. We have to root out these supplies and weapons, stop their flow and find a way to meaningfully punish Iran (increased economic and diplomatic pressure with a military focus on their networks in Iraq, etc. Hopefully increased pressure coupled with further isolation will help foment unrest within that country with the real possibility of changing leadership and seeing a more moderate regime in its place.
 
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Why rule out taking military action against Iran in Iran? Isn’t (wasn’t?) a major plank of our post 9/11 mindset that we go after those who seek to do us harm, no matter where they might be?

Al Qaeda wasn’t attacking us in Afghanistan, they were using Afghanistan as a base from which to launch attacks against us... so we justifiably went after them there.

Not going after Iran on the Iranian side of the border will lead to more Americans being killed. As a tactical matter, going after the depots and staging grounds will be more productive than limiting ourselves to trying to intercept the shipments that come across the border (The War on Drugs illustrates this: it’s impossible to intercept everything).

And why should we think Iran will ever think we’re serious about ’persuading’ them to stop their support for the insurgents if we limit our response to such half-hearted efforts? Isn’t the point to hit our enemies harder than they’re hitting us?
 
Written By: steve
URL: http://
Why rule out taking military action against Iran in Iran?
What part of this didn’t you understand?
But I am saying that in the case of Iran, it is important that a) we don’t take any option off the table (whether we seriously considering it or not) and b) that a united front against Iran be forged at all levels and branches of government (that’s the most effective way to neutralize them).
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Well Chris Dodd says your wrong.

He, in his own sniving way, just wants to be loved.
He was fooled on Iraq, and wants to be fooled again.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
What part of this didn’t you understand?
I don’t know, maybe the part where you wrote (my bold): "But a serious diplomatic and military effort (within Iraq, not Iran)"
 
Written By: steve
URL: http://
It seems to me that a preferable option would be to finish up the ground wars as soon as possible and let the world know we will not tolerate any terrorist support by anyone. Then if we have credible information of terrorist activities in any country, send in a missile or drop a smart bomb to prove our point. We’ve done this in the past with little more than indignant propaganda from the usual sources.

I can’t speak with any authority on this, but I’d like to hear what some of you who can speak with authority think.
 
Written By: Phil
URL: http://
I don’t know, maybe the part where you wrote (my bold): "But a serious diplomatic and military effort (within Iraq, not Iran)"
Yeah, as a first step. As something to do immediately. But doing so doesn’t preclude military action against Iran, if necessary, in the future. Thus the point about "don’t take any option off the table".
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I stand corrected. Glad to see you haven’t gone soft.
 
Written By: steve
URL: http://
This is probably all a Karl Rove plot to implicate Iran. I learned that on the "loose change" thread . . .
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Then if we have credible information of terrorist activities in any country, send in a missile or drop a smart bomb to prove our point. We’ve done this in the past with little more than indignant propaganda from the usual sources.
You mean like we did in the Sudan and Afghanistan and Iraq under Clinton...wow THAT really defeated Terrorism, unless you discount the escalating violence of Al Qaeda.

IF you blow up my buildings does that increase the cost of supporting Terror to such an intolerable level that you will forego terrorism? The track record is "NO". Now when the regimes that tolerated Terrorists are replaced the Terrorist leave...but that requires actually being willing to make some sort of sacrifice on a sustained basis.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Devil’s advocate here; did Pace say what he said because he doesn’t want the administration to go after Iran when we still have much unfinished business? I know Pace and the rest of the JCS fought hard to get the administration take nuclear weapons off the table for Iran as Bush felt they were just another weapon (Sort of like phosgene). Or, is Pace sending the msg to Iran that Ahmadinajad is out of control and despite their apparant attempts to reign him in, the Iranian administration needs to put this boy out in the cold? Either way, what are the chances Pace gets his walking papers over this?
 
Written By: civdiv
URL: http://
It looks like some of those EDs aren’t I anymore. Do we go back to Mines and Booby Traps now?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

 
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