Michael Ware


NR: "...the supreme leader guiding the attacks against Americans."

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Length: 3:10


MICHAEL WARE, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT: The U.S. military says that these 81mm mortars can be directly linked back to the Iranian military.


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD: Mortars the U.S. military says are used to kill Americans in Iraq.
WHITFIELD: First this hour, explosive charges leveled against the government of Iran. The United States is alleging, today, that American troops are dying from bombs made in Iran, then smuggled into Iraq on Tehran's orders. CNN's Michael Ware is in Baghdad where U.S. experts outlined the case at a long-awaited briefing.


WARE (on camera): The focus was on EFPs, explosively formed penetrators. This is the most lethal kind of roadside device currently being used in Iraq. And can punch through the heaviest American armor on its battlefields, like a fist through a wall.

The U.S. military has long claimed that these are provided by Iran. Today, examples were proven. Indeed, the explosives expert said that one component of this bomb has to be so specifically machine tooled, they can trace that back to Iran. And they are certain, says this military expert, that the components are not being made here in Iraq.

They also pointed to this elite special forces unit, the Quds Force, or Jerusalem Force, within the Iranian military, providing weapons to attack American troops; to assist Shia insurgent groups. Specifically, they focused there on mortars. Here is an example that CNN obtained and aired late last year. The U.S. military says that these 81mm mortars can be directly linked back to the Iranian military.

And 81mm is a particular signature of the Iranian armed forces in the this region, they say. The make and model, this single piece tailfin design, is particularly a signature of the Iranian armed forces as are the geometrics, says the explosive expert, another direct link to the Iranians.

They also claim that in the arrests of Iranian officers, here in Iraq since December the Americans claim they found proof that they are providing weapons to a prominent Iraqi political organization. That political organization says the weapons were being given for its own defense. However, the U.S. military counters and says that mortars and sniper rifles of the kind being provided are not for defense.

And finally, among the Iranians who were arrested in Erbil just a few weeks ago, in the north of the country, the U.S. military now claims one of them was the senior operations officer for the Iranian Quds, that special forces unit answering directly to the supreme leader guiding the attacks against Americans.

Michael Ware, CNN, Baghdad.