Iran Smuggling Weapons To Allies, Panetta Says
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is accussing Iran's paramilitary force of an intensified campaign to destabilize the Middle East by smuggling antiaircraft weapons to its militant allies.
Iran's export of so-called manpads -- antiaircraft missiles that can be carried by a single person -- represent what Panetta called a dangerous escalation.
"There is no question when you start passing manpads around, that becomes a threatónot just to military aircraft but to civilian aircraft," Panetta told The Wall Street Journal in an interview describing shifting threats to the U.S. as he prepares to leave his post. "That is an escalation."
Western officials have long worried about the spread of such weapons and the risk they pose to airline passengers as well as to military helicopters and jets.
Recent U.S. intelligence pointed to new efforts by Iran to smuggle manpads, but few shipments had been intercepted before Jan. 23, when Yemen, aided by the U.S., intercepted a boat carrying the weapons.
I'm not sure what difference it makes, we give weapons to the Muslim brotherhood and so does Iran, with Obama in office we are now a big supporter of terrorism.