KUBUL, AFGANISTAN— The coalition forces in Afghanistan intercepted a large shipment of Iranian made rockets destined for use by the Taliban fighters.
48 122mm rockets were seized in the south western province of Nimroz that boarders Iran. The rockets have been linked to the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and according to officials in Afghanistan would have doubled the strike range capability of the Taliban insurgents.
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) accuses the Islamic Republic of working with the Taliban in order to inflict casualty on the US led forces working to re-establish the Afghan society.
Iran has denied the allegations. An Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson said the allegation of Iranian involvement with Taliban is “baseless and unacceptable”.
According to Lieutenant Commander Colette Murphy, a spokesperson for the ISAF, “these rockets have a further distance than anything that has previously been found… They can go about 20 kilometres, that’s what makes the find so significant”.
The UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said the Islamic Republic’s actions were “completely unacceptable”, adding “I am extremely concerned by the latest evidence that Iran continues to supply the Taliban with weaponry – weapons clearly intended to provide the Taliban with the capability to kill Afghan and ISAF soldiers from significant range.”
UK’s defense minister stated “This confirms my often repeated view of the dangers that Iran poses not only through its nuclear programme but its continuing policy of destabilising its neighbours.”
After technical analysis, the seized rockets appeared to have been recently manufactured and were of Iranian origin.
An unnamed source told the Associated Press that a Taliban official traveled to Iran in order to obtain additional weapons from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. The same official stated that the logistics and the delivery of the rockets were handled by a Taliban representative based in Iran.
This is not the first time Iranian made weapons is found in the Taliban’s possession. In 2007, a large shipment of Iranian made mortars and plastic explosives were seized in the Afghan Farah province.
"There are at least elements of the Iranian regime who are determined to make life difficult for us," a European diplomat said.