The BBC is reporting that they've "uncovered evidence" that Iran has been sending weapons to the Taliban -- which should come as a surprise to US-NATO General McNeill:
"There certainly are weapons or munitions of Iranian origin, but when you say weapons being provided by Iran that would suggest there is some more formal entity involved in getting those weapons here," he said at ISAF's heavily fortified main base in Kabul. "That's not my view at all." Iranian mortar rounds arrive in Afghanistan from many countries, he said. "I just have no information to support that there's anything formal in some arrangement out of Iran to provide weapons here."
I don't know whether the Iranians are deliberately arming the Taliban or not, but I can still tell bad reporting: as far as the BBC report itself goes, the "evidence" pesented simply consists of uncorroborated claims by an anonymous self-admitted Taliban official with a disguised voice, and nothing more.
That's not "evidence" -- that's simply an allegation.
An allegation, incidentally, from a rather unreliable source (would the BBC have so automatically believed a Taliban official if he had said Iran was NOT sending arms to them?)
Did they actually try to locate and see one of these supposed "dragon" landmines that supposedly come from Iran? No. It seems that the only effort the BBC reporter made to try to confirm this allegation is to ask a British official whether it was true or not. Wow. Talk about gutsy independent journalism.
Now I realize that finding unimpeachable evidence is practically impossible - but that doesn't mean that a reporter should overinflate what they have found either. I personally have no doubt that Iranian weapons are flowing to the Taliban. As the report itself makes clear, the major source of weapons is Pakistan. Chinese and Russian weapons are floating around there too -- and so are US weapons. After all, this is a lawless, conflict-riven area of the world, full of smugglers of various sorts.
But that's not an excuse for bad reporting.
This isn't a new claim, of course -- last year ABC claimed that Iran had been "caught red handed" supplying arms to the Taliban (but if you read the body of the article, you realize that there was actually nothing "red-handed" involved there either; rather it was simply surmised that Iran was officially th source of the alleged weapons cache.) This is pretty much the same game they've been playing with claims of Iranian arms going to Iraq's insurgents. Remember how they insisted that EFPs in Iraq were from Iran...nevermind the fact that EFP factories had been found in Iraq itself? Do you suppose they're any less likely to lie about Iran in Afghanistan?