By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
Feb. 14, 2007 – The Iranian government is complicit in improvised-explosive-device attacks on coalition and Iraqi forces, Marine Gen. Peter Pace said today in Jakarta, Indonesia. However, he said, officials are unsure what level of Iranian government is part of this complicity.
Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is visiting U.S. Pacific Command areas.
As Pace spoke to leaders at the National Institute of Resilience, the Indonesian senior military college, leaders at the institute asked him about proof that Iran is sponsoring IED attacks in Iraq and supporting Shiite terrorist groups.
Officials in Baghdad this week said coalition and Iraqi forces have discovered bomb-making materials that have come from Tehran. These include "explosively formed projectiles" that can be used against heavily armored vehicles, such as Bradley fighting vehicles and Abrams tanks.
Coalition forces also have captured Iranians during attacks against two bomb-making cells in Iraq.
"The Iranian government must know that we have discovered their weapons," Pace said. "And they certainly do know -- because they asked for them back -- that we have found Iranian citizens involved in this. What I do not know is if the number one, number two, number three leaders of their government, whether or not they are directing or not directing these actions."
The general said he wanted to be as precise as possible about Iranian involvement. "What I said was that I do not know the level inside the Iranian government that knows about or is complicit in it," he said.
But officials at some level in Iran do know about this. "That activity against our soldiers and Marines in Iraq is unacceptable," he said. "We will keep being aggressive inside Iraq going after these networks."
Pace said earlier in his trip to Australia and Indonesia that there is "zero chance" of the United States going to war with Iran. He said many times to audiences in both Australia and Indonesia that the United States will use diplomatic pressure to get Iran to stop its actions in Iraq and to get Iran to stop research on developing nuclear weapons.
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