U.S.: Iran Sending Weapons to Taliban
PARIS (AP) - A senior U.S. diplomat accused Iran on Tuesday of transferring
weapons to Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan - the most direct comments yet
on the issue by a ranking American official.
Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, speaking to reporters in
even transferring arms to the Taliban in
"It's a country that's trying to flex its muscles, but in a way that's
injurious to the interests of just about everybody else in the world," he
said. "I think it's a major miscalculation."
weapons were falling into the hands of Taliban fighters, but stopped short
of blaming the government itself.
debated, and last month some Western and Persian Gulf governments charged
that the Islamic government in
In an interview with The Associated Press on Monday, U.S. Army Gen. Dan
McNeill said Taliban fighters are showing signs of better training, using
combat techniques comparable to "an advanced Western military" in ambushes
of U.S. Special Forces soldiers.
arms from ... elements of the Iranian regime," British Prime Minister Tony
Blair wrote in the May 31 edition of the Economist.
denies the Taliban accusation, calling it part of a broad anti-Iranian
itself would help the fundamentalist Sunni movement of the Taliban.
Burns also criticized
program, which many Western powers fear masks a plan to build weapons -
Burns insisted new U.N. Security Council measures were needed "so that the
Iranians don't have business as usual."
"We will have to move forward at the Security Council for a third ...
resolution in a matter of weeks," he said.
The council imposed sanctions on
uranium enrichment despite U.N. demands, and modestly increased the
sanctions March 24 when
"We believe that beyond (the third resolution),
countries and Middle Eastern countries will have to adopt even harsher
sanction measures outside the Security Council," Burns added.
Many have sought new sanctions after the International Atomic Energy
Agency's recent report that
its warning for the first time that its knowledge of
activities was shrinking.
The prospect of council action appeared more likely after a senior Iranian
envoy abruptly canceled talks Monday with the head of the IAEA.