Cablegate: Pm Maliki Charges Iran, Syria with Shipping Weapons
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P 271239Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4844
INFO IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
S E C R E T BAGHDAD 002586
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/27/2024
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER IZ IR SY
SUBJECT: PM MALIKI CHARGES IRAN, SYRIA WITH SHIPPING WEAPONS
Classified By: Acting DCM Gary A. Grappo, reasons 1.4 (b/d).
1. (S) Iran and Syria have both been providing weapons -- including "Strela" (SA-7B) shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles -- to insurgent groups within Iraq, Prime Minister Maliki claimed to Ambassador Hill September 22. Five members of the Sadrist- affiliated Promise Day Brigade (also linked to the Iranian al Quds force) were captured recently attempting to smuggle such missiles in the false floor of a Toyota Land Cruiser, Maliki alleged. He said the five will be tried and that he hoped each would receive a death sentence.
2. (S) COMMENT: Neither the Embassy nor MNF-I has indication of any "Strela" missiles being seized recently in Iraq. On September 17, however, Iraqi Federal Police arrested five individuals who were in a Toyota Land Cruiser. A search of the car revealed a cache of four 107mm rockets, timers and rails hidden in the vehicle. We believe PM Maliki may have been referring to this incident as the circumstances he described match nearly identically the September 17 incident.