New U.S. military intelligence suggests Iran plans to smuggle new shipments of weapons into Afghanistan in the coming weeks as part of an increased effort to interfere with coalition operations, a senior U.S. Defense Department official said Friday.
The information came from an "Iranian source" whose tips on past shipments have been verified by the United States, the official said.
The official declined to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the information. He also declined to offer more details on the identity of the Iranian source. Intelligence gained by talking to people, sometimes referred to as "human intelligence," is always considered sensitive for fear of compromising sources.
"There are indications the Iranians have stepped it up," the official said.
But another U.S. official said Iran is only providing "limited supplies of weapons to the Taliban ... not enough to cause major problems for coalition forces."
The official also noted that Iran - a majority Shiite country - and the Sunni Taliban almost went to war with one another in the late 90s, so it's not really in their interest to be a major source of top-shelf arms to the Taliban.