White House backs off bogus briefing on Iran
The White House says that the unnamed military official who briefed reporters Iran's alleged meddling in Iraq went too far when he claimed that the U.S. had proof that the Iranian government was supplying explosively formed penetrators (EFP) to insurgents in Iraq.
The White House is clinging to the claim that military hardware from Iran is surfacing in Iraq, but even that assertion is tenuous. No doubt the vast majority of the improvised explosive devices in Iraq are being made inside the country. However, the U.S. wants us to focus on a very special high-tech kind of IED, the explosively formed penetrator. Now, some EFPs aren't improvised at all, they're made in factories. However, more rudimentary EFPs can be assembled in backyard workshops. If you find a homemade EFP in Iraq, the logical assumption is that it was made there.
David Hambling of DefenseTech shows us what a real factory-made EFP looks like:
Whereas, these EFPs depicted in Sunday's PowerPoint slides (top row) look like they were assembled in someone's garage.
Even if Iranian EFPs are turning up in Iraq, it doesn't mean that the Iranian government sent them. Remember, that there's a huge international arms trade. During the early occupation of Iraq, the U.S. was constantly reminding us about all the foreign fighters pouring in to Iraq from all over the Muslim world, including Iran. If Iranian-made weapons or Iranians show up on the battlefield in Iraq, there's no reason to assume that the Iranian government sent them.
Interestingly, Iran is now accusing the U.S. of aiding Sunni insurgents with a car bombing that killed 11 elite Iranian troops in Tehran two days ago. I'm not aware of any evidence to support Iran's counter-accusation, but I'm sure Instapundit would approve.