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More than one Iranian weapons cache found in Iraq: Rumsfeld

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AFP: US forces have found Iranian weapons inside Iraq on more than one occasion over the past couple of months, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday. Rumsfeld, who was here for talks with Paraguayan leaders, told reporters on the flight from Washington that “no one ought to be surprised” by the arms smuggling since Iran would like to replicate its own Islamic regime in Iraq. AFP

ASUNCION – US forces have found Iranian weapons inside Iraq on more than one occasion over the past couple of months, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday.

Rumsfeld, who was here for talks with Paraguayan leaders, told reporters on the flight from Washington that “no one ought to be surprised” by the arms smuggling since Iran would like to replicate its own Islamic regime in Iraq.

“And we know that the system of government they have, with a handful of clerics running all over the place telling everybody what to do, is fundamentally inconsistent with the kind of constitution that is currently being drafted in Iraq,” he said.

Rumsfeld last week charged for the first time that a cache of Iranian weapons had been found in Iraq.

But in his comments Tuesday, Rumsfeld said Iranian weapons have been found on more than one occasion over the past couple of months.

He did not elaborate, but an intelligence official told AFP last week that US intelligence believes at least one cache of newly manufactured bombs came from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

“We know we’re finding Iranian weapons inside of the country,” Rumsfeld said. “They don’t just get there by accidents. They don’t drive over the border,” he said.

Rumsfeld has said the behavior of Iran and Syria is among a variety of factors that will determine how soon US forces can turn over security to Iraqi forces in Iraq.

Rumsfeld has also stressed the need for Iraqi leaders to meet their deadlines for drafting a constitution, something they failed to do this week when they put off an August 15 deadline for a week.

“I think a delay is not helpful,” Rumsfeld said. “How a few days’ delay in this process would affect the insurgency, I think that it wouldn’t. Who knows? Time will tell, we’ll all know soon enough.”

But he said Iraqi have made “good progress” and expressed confidence they will still beat the next milestone, an October 15 referendum on the constitution.

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