Thursday, February 15, 2007

General Peter Pace on Bush's Iran Policy

Pace will not link bombs to Iranian government

Marine Corps News
Staff report
Posted : Wednesday Feb 14, 2007 7:48:18 EST

In an interview with Voice of America, Marine General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said he did not agree with military leaders in Baghdad, who told reporters on Sunday that the government of Iran is providing roadside bombs to Iraqi insurgents.

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. military presentation in Baghdad on Sunday was the result of weeks of preparation and revisions as U.S. officials put together a package of material to support the Bush administration's claims of Iranian intercession on behalf of militant Iraqis fighting American forces.

The experts, who spoke to a large gathering of reporters on condition that they not be further identified, said the supply trail began with Iran's Revolutionary Guards Quds Force, which also is accused of arming the Hezbollah guerrilla army in Lebanon. The officials said the EFP weapon was first tested there.

The deadly and highly sophisticated weapons are known as "explosively formed penetrators," or EFPs, which have killed more than 170 troops from the American-led coalition. Three senior military officials in Baghdad said the "machining process" used in the construction of the deadly bombs had been traced to Iran.

General Pace said he could not, from his own knowledge, repeat the assertion that the elite Quds brigade of Iran’s Republican Guard force is providing bomb-making kits to Iraqi Shiite insurgents, VOA reported.

“We know that the explosively formed projectiles are manufactured in Iran. What I would not say is that the Iranian government, per se [specifically], knows about this,” he told VOA. “It is clear that Iranians are involved, and it’s clear that materials from Iran are involved, but I would not say by what I know that the Iranian government clearly knows or is complicit,” he said.

General Pace made his comments during a visit to Australia.

In the current issue of Marine Corps Times is a poll that shows a large majority of the readers are not in agreement with the Bush administration.

Quick question The U.S. Surge in Iraq

President Bush has put in motion a controversial plan to deploy 21,500 more U.S. troops to Iraq, most of them to Baghdad, in an effort to quell the sectarian violence that continues to rage there. What do you think of this plan?

It will turn the tide 16.52 % (750)

It's worth a try 26.74 % (1214)

Too little, too late 53.08 % (2410)

No opinion 3.66 % (166)Total votes: 4540

Click on picture for a little more action

Tehran's Iraq role unclear, U.S. now says

But Bush calls it irrelevant that no solid evidence links Iranian officials to alleged weapons aid.

WASHINGTON — U.S. officials from President Bush to a top general in Baghdad said Wednesday that there was no solid evidence that high-ranking officials in Iran had ordered deadly weapons to be sent to Iraq for use against American troops, backing away from claims made by military and intelligence officials in Baghdad this week.

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