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Iraqis at the scene of an attack in Al-Sadr city in east Baghdad on March 13 (epa)
March 14, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says he has no proof that the government of Iran is involved in the violence in neighboring Iraq, but contends evidence suggests --> http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2006/03/ea014483-48dc-495f-9bad-ebfa1f3b392d.html that is the case.
President George W. Bush yesterday linked Iran to explosives used by insurgents in Iraq. And last week, Rumsfeld said Iran's Revolutionary Guard was operating there.
Asked about this today, Rumsfeld said it has so far been impossible to conclusively connect these activities to the Iranian government.
Rumsfeld said he believes some members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard or its religious police, know as the Quds Force, have infiltrated Iraq, posing as religious pilgrims. He dismissed the idea that they were acting without orders from Tehran.
"It's entirely possible they're rogue elements and they're just there on their own, or they're pilgrims. Not likely. And in this case there has been evidence that Quds Force [or] Revolutionary Guard people have been and/or are in Iraq. And I think that, as a reasonable man, tests would suggest that they're not freelancing and they're not pilgrims."
As for weapons, Rumsfeld acknowledged that the only way to conclusively establish a link to the Iranian government is to see them brought across the border in a government-sponsored vehicle.