News

    US Defense Secretary Expresses Concern About Iranian Involvement in Iraq

    U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he is concerned to find Iranians involved in some of the explosives aimed at coalition troops in Iraq. But he added that he does not know whether the Iranian government is behind it. VOA's Stephanie Ho reports from Washington.

    Defense Secretary Gates told reporters at the Pentagon Thursday there is evidence of Iranian involvement in sophisticated explosive devices that have been used against coalition troops in Iraq. Specifically, he pointed to the Quds force, which is the elite brigade of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC.

    "We know that the Quds force is involved. We know that the Quds force is a paramilitary arm of the IRGC. So, we assume that the leadership of the IRGC knows about this," he said.

    At the same time, he stressed that he does not know whether the highest levels of Iranian government are giving the orders.

    "Whether or not more senior political leaders in Iran know about it, we don't know. And frankly, for me, either way it's a worry. Either they do know, and have approved it, or they don't know and the IRGC may be acting on their own, in Iraq," he said.

    Gates said the number of explosives with Iranian involvement actually make up a small percentage of the so-called improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, that coalition troops in Iraq encounter. But he said the United States is looking at a bigger picture.

     "So, our focus is more broadly on disrupting these IED networks throughout Iraq. The Iranian responsibility for one set of them is a concern. We are taking action to try and deal with that, but it's part of a much larger problem," he said.

    In response to a reporter's question about whether the Pentagon is worried that the public is skeptical about U.S. intelligence claims, Gates said he has only presented information that is "factual" and "able to be substantiated with evidence."

    "These are hard facts based on the technologies and the actual weapons themselves. I think that that evidence speaks for itself and I hope that the people will see the evidence in that respect. We are not looking for an excuse to go to war with Iran. We are not planning a war with Iran," he said.

    These comments follow a recent briefing by U.S. military officers in Iraq, who spoke on condition of anonymity, and are reported to have claimed that senior Iranian officials are directly involved in providing powerful bombs to Iraqi insurgents.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora