AAM: "America is wrapping itself up in word games..."
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MILES O'BRIEN: In Iraq, the U.S. military claiming this morning it has smoking-gun proof Iran is meddling in Iraq, supplying Shiite insurgents with weapons. U.S. troops showing off weapons seized in a raid over the weekend in the Diyala province. Weapons experts say the seized mortar shells, rockets and explosively formed projectiles could only come from Iran. But critics say it could just as easily be a home-grown bomb factory. Or, even if the weapons did come from Iran, it does not necessarily mean the leadership in Tehran is responsible. CNN's Michael Ware live in Baghdad with a look at that.
Michael, first of all, who had possession of the weapons?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we're talking about here, Miles, are two separate weapons dumps -- one south of the capital of Baghdad, one north of the capital of Baghdad,-- exposed by U.S. forces over a period of days. Both of these weapons dumps were within the control or certainly within areas of control of Shia militia groups or Shia insurgent groups. The very groups that western intelligence has long claimed are backed by the Iranian special forces.
M. O'BRIEN: Based on the nature of the weapons seized, if they could, I mean, is this technology that would be unique to Iran in some way? Are there some markers on these components and on these weapons which link it directly back across the border?
WARE: Yes, there are. Now, unfortunately, this is yet another development in what's increasingly becoming a bungled American information operation or process to convince the public that Iran is involved here in Iraq. There is a considerable body of evidence to show that Iran is, indeed, involved in Iraq.
There are weapons with Iranian markings. There's C-4 explosives that can be traced back to Iran. And these deadliest of deadly roadside bombs have a distinctive bomb-making signature that's only been seen when used by Iranian-backed Shia militias, either in southern Lebanon or here in Iraq.
There's also troves of other materiel. There's been detained Iranian intelligence and special forces officers. There's documents. All source of materials, yet the military is just bungling this as they're laying out their body of evidence. Miles.
M. O'BRIEN: How are they bungling it?
WARE: It's just not being convincing. They're producing the material, at times, where it becomes suspicious. Why are they doing it now? Is it to deflect attention from other things? When much of this materiel has been available for at least a year, if not more. Also, they're failing to get their message across and they're giving mixed messages.
Fundamentally, what the military is saying is, here are these weapons. We found them. They're from Iran. They've come across the border. But we can't say whether the top levels of the government have ordained this.
Nonetheless, it's well and truly known by every player in Iraq that the Iranian government is so well-controlled, its military so disciplined, that nothing like this happens without official sanction. So America is wrapping itself up in word games just to avoid the pre-Iraq invasion embarrassment resurfacing.
M. O'BRIEN: Interesting. Michael Ware in Baghdad, thank you.