Monday, September 17, 2007

Still no evidence that Iranian government arms Taliban

While reports of "Iranian weapons" being intercepted en route to the Taliban are not new, it bears repeating that there is still no evidence that the Iranian government has anything to do with it. But that won't stop elite news organizations like the Washington Post in their insinuations like this:

An Iranian arms shipment destined for the Taliban was intercepted Sept. 6 by the international force in Afghanistan in what appears to be an escalating flow of weaponry between the two former enemies...
Only after the article cites unnamed "officials" repeating accusations of Iranian government involvement does the Post relate any skeptical comments:
U.S. officials began to publicly accuse Iran of aiding the Taliban several months ago. R. Nicholas Burns, the undersecretary of state for political affairs, said in June that there was "irrefutable evidence" Iran was using its elite Revolutionary Guard Corps to arm the Taliban.
At the time, other officials were more cautious about earlier intercepted arms shipments. U.S. Army Gen. Dan K. McNeill, commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, said there was no concrete evidence that the Iranian government was backing the Taliban. (link)
Yet the Post still leaves the issue open. It takes an AFP dispatch quoting the very same General McNeill who clarifies whether this latest arms shipment is really "news" at all:
"The geographic origin of that convoy was clearly Iran but take note that I did not say it's the Iranian government," the US general told AFP in an interview.

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