April 11, 2007
U.S. General Says Iran Training Iraqi Militants on Bombs

BAGHDAD, April 11 — Iranian-made weapons continue to be used in Iraq and are now making their way to some Sunni insurgents as well as Shiite militia members, an American military spokesman said today.

Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said that Iran continues to train Iraqis on the use of the roadside bombs, known as EFPs, or explosively formed penetrators.

But he was careful not to say that the Iranian government was providing the weapons in Iraq, saying the weapons are being provided by Iranian intelligence surrogates.

EFPs hurl a molten, fist-sized lump of molten copper capable of piercing armored vehicles.

“We know that they are being in fact manufactured and smuggled into this country, and we know that training does go on in Iran for people to learn how to assemble them and how to employ them,” Gen. Caldwell said, according to The Associated Press. “We know that training has gone on as recently as this past month from detainees’ debriefs.”

In January, American officials said at least 170 American soldiers had been killed by EFPs.

“We also know that training still is being conducted in Iran for insurgent elements from Iraq. We know that as recent as last week from debriefing personnel,” Gen. Caldwell said, according to the A.P.

“They do receive training on how to assemble and employ EFPs,” Gen. Caldwell said, adding that fighters also were trained in how to carry out complex attacks that used explosives followed by assaults with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms.”