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UK: Iran responsible for death of British soldiers in Iraq

Xinhuanet | October 6, 2005

Britain has accused Iran of helping to kill British soldiers in southern Iraq, a British newspaper reported on Thursday.

Six soldiers and two security guards died in the past three months, all victims of a new explosives technique supplied via Iran, The Times quoted a senior British official as reporting.

There was evidence that Iran's Revolutionary Guard supplied theadvanced technology that had helped Iraqi insurgents to kill British soldiers with the more lethal roadside bombs, the officialsaid on condition of anonymity.

"They were using technically advanced equipment that had previously been used by Lebanese Hizbollah, and they are linked with Iran. Therefore there was some indication that Iran was linked to those attacks," said the official.

"There was some suggestion that this could be elements of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard that were involved," he said.

The recent bomb attacks on British troops in Iraq, believed to be launched by Shi'ite Muslim militia groups, used armored-piercing explosives and infrared controls "which basicallyyou would need specific expertise to use, " he said.

The official said the Iranian action could be an attempt to warn off Britain over its demands that Tehran abandon its controversial nuclear program.

"It would be entirely natural that they would want to send a message, 'don't mess with us'. It would not be outside the policy parameters of Tehran," the official added.

It was the first time that the long-suspected link between the Iraqi insurgents and Iran was declared officially by Britain. The United States has for some time been openly accusing Tehran of supporting and influencing the insurgents'attacks on coalition troops in Iraq.

On Wednesday, Iran rejected Britain's accusations on Tehran's involvement in attacks to British soldiers in southern Iraq and weapon smuggling to that country, terming it as a "lie".

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said, "Britain's conspiracies have been revealed and its scandal in Iraqhas made London make up this lie."

The spokesman stressed that Iran's policy toward Iraq is positive and all Iraqi officials have admitted Iran's constructiverole there


Last modified October 7, 2005





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