Journal: US report on Iranian weapons in Iraq 'delayed significantly'
In a little-noticed story, the Los Angeles Times reported two weeks ago that American promises to offer proof that Iran was arming Iraqi militants had fallen through.
"A plan to show some alleged Iranian-supplied explosives to journalists last week in Karbala and then destroy them was canceled after the United States realized none of them was from Iran," wrote the Times' Tina Susman. "A U.S. military spokesman attributed the confusion to a misunderstanding. ... When U.S. explosives experts went to investigate, they discovered they were not Iranian after all."
Now the Wall Street Journal has added a fresh twist to the mystery of the alleged Iranian arms, writing that "the U.S. military, in a shift, has postponed the release of a report detailing allegations of Iranian support for Iraqi insurgents, according to people familiar with the matter."
According to the Journal, "The military had initially planned to publicize the report several weeks ago but instead turned the dossier over to the Iraqi government, these people said. The Iraqis are using the information to pressure Tehran to curb the flow of Iranian weaponry and explosives into Iraq, these people said."
The Iraqi government, which has close ties to Iran, has found itself in the middle of growing tensions between that nation and the United States and is under increasing US pressure to take a firm stand with Iran on its alleged support for militant Shi'ites within Iraq.
The Journal added that US military spokespeople were unable to say when the report -- which allegedly includes both photographs of Iranian-made weapons and descriptions of interrogation sessions with captured militants -- would be released. "Another military official said in an interview that the report could be delayed significantly, noting that it was "'in the hands of the [Iraqi central government].'"