Panetta: Iranian Threat Spreads

(Wall Street Journal Europe) Julian E. Barnes and Adam Entous - U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta accused 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 MANPADS - antiaircraft missiles that can be carried by a single person - represent what he called a dangerous escalation. "There is no question when you start passing MANPADS around, that becomes a threat - not just to military aircraft but to civilian aircraft." On Jan. 23, Yemen, aided by the U.S., intercepted a boat carrying such weapons. U.S. investigators said the missiles were supplied by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. U.S. officials believe Iranians are shipping similar weapons to Hamas militants in Gaza and have in the past shipped weapons to Syria and Hizbullah.

2013-02-04 00:00:00

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