News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqIran 'gives £1.2bn to terrorist groups that target British...

Iran ‘gives £1.2bn to terrorist groups that target British troops’

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ImageDaily Telegraph: Iran has a secret $2.5 billion (£1.2 billion) budget for supporting terrorist groups that target British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, it has been claimed.

The Daily Telegraph

By Damien McElroy

ImageIran has a secret $2.5 billion (£1.2 billion) budget for supporting terrorist groups that target British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, it has been claimed.

The funds were allocated by the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni to the Revolutionary Guard Quds Force, the opposition group National Council for Resistance of Iran said.

"The Iran government is spending $2.5 billion in this financial year through the Qods Force in Iraq," said Hossein Abedini, a NCRI representative in London. "It could even be more because the commanders do not really face budgetary constraints in this regard."

Iran provides training and weaponry to wide range of Shia militias in Iran and munitions made in its factories have been seized in Afghanistan. Highly engineered roadside bombs that have killed hundreds of troops are exclusively made by Iranian engineers.

"Experiments in more powerful explosive devices that are capable of piercing impenetrable armour is taking up the main effort in the regime's weaponry programme," said Hossein Abedini, a representative of the group that obtained the intelligence.

"It is not just Iraq that Iran is using as a springboard for its attacks against the West, now the weapons are going to Afghanistan too, as part of Iran's threat to the West."

The most sophisticated versions, an armour piercing device, is described as a significant upgrade of the most lethal weapon Iran exports.

To ensure its production is not vulnerable to attack it has spread manufacture across three secret facilities. The NCRI identified 16 training centres for insurgents and 51 secret smuggling routes across Iran's borders.

General David Petraeus, the senior coalition commander in Iraq, has accused Iran of direct involvement in many of the worst attacks on the coalition. He said: "There should be no question about the malign, lethal involvement and activities of the Quds Force in this country."

A spokesman for British forces in Basra said that a huge arsenal of weaponry was uncovered after operations by the Iraqi Army last month. Captain Crispin Fordham said finds included 380 roadside bombs and 1,451 rocket-propelled grenades, as well as a handful of anti-aircraft missiles.

Mr Abedini's NCRI, which was last month cleared of terrorism by the Court of Appeal, has documented the names of 31 Iranians and Iraqis who were instrumental players in the network.

A handful of Iraqi officials named as key figures in smuggling weapons across the border are likely to have close contacts with British commanders as a result of their position in government-backed Badr militia. Individuals named included the head of the militia in Basra. The Badr militia is an off-shoot of the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council, the largest party in Iraq's government.

Iran's role in Iraq's civil war is complicated by the Islamic regime's close ties to Shia muslim leaders of the post-liberation Baghdad government.

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