The US military has detected a significant increase in the number of
sophisticated roadside bombs appearing in Iraq and believes that orders to send
components for them came from the ``highest levels'' of the Iranian government.
A senior US intelligence officer today told reporters - on the condition he
was not identified - that that between June 2004 and last week, more than 170
Americans had been killed by the sophisticated bombs, referred to by the
military as ``explosively formed projectiles.''
Those weapons are capable of destroying an Abrams tank.
The officer said American intelligence analysts believe the EFPs are
manufactured in Iran and smuggled into Iraq on orders from the top of the
Iranian government. He did not elaborate.
US officials have alleged for years that weapons were entering the country
from Iran but had stopped short of alleging involvement by top Iranian leaders.
The allegations were made in a briefing which had been set for last week. But
US defence officials said it was postponed so that the Pentagon could review the
information to make sure it was accurate.