SUN: "There is no smoking gun."
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN "Breaking News."
TJ HOLMES: Iran, of course, accused by the U.S. of arming insurgents and fueling the violence in Iraq, now the U.S. says it can back up its accusations with evidence and CNN's Michael Ware is just back from a briefing by a senior U.S. military official. He joins us now live from Baghdad with the breaking details. Michael, what did we find out? Is there a smoking gun in here?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Certainly not, there is no smoking gun. Indeed, the U.S. presented not one but three officials today: a senior defense official from here in Baghdad; a senior defense analyst, an intelligence-type person, here in Baghdad as well, plus an explosives expert.
Now, what they did was presented information primarily relating to what the military says is Iran's provision of deadly munitions that are being used in attacks against U.S. forces. The main focus was on a particularly deadly type of bomb called an "explosively formed penetrator" that punches through even the toughest armor on American vehicles. And according to the spokespeople today, is responsible for killing at least 170 American soldiers since they first appeared on the scene in the middle of 2004.
So essentially what the military is saying is that, "Iran's special forces Quds Force is arming, equipping and helping these Shia insurgent groups in their attacks on us." To further that, to give evidence, really there was nothing new. We were able to see some of these explosive devices that have been captured. We learned from the explosive exert that they can only, one element of them can only be manufactured in Iran.
And we also saw the military provide many examples of these, which we've shown on CNN last year: tailfins from 81mm mortars with the manufacturing stamp from last year.
Now, according to the military, 81mm is a signature for Iran, as is the particular manufacturer, this single-piece tailfin is an identifier of Iran. They also said its geometrics is an identifier of Iran. So, they presented information by and large we already knew, but, again, we are seeing an elevation in the war of accusation between the U.S. and Iran over what's happening here on the ground in Iraq.
HOLMES: Michael, before we let you go, and if you can for us, real quickly, give us an idea how high up the chain, the Iranian government, are these U.S. officials telling you all this goes? How high up the chain are these orders coming from to send this stuff into Iraq?
WARE: Well, that's one of the most interesting things that did came out of this. I mean, we've heard it before, but nonetheless they say this comes from the highest levels indeed from the office of the supreme leader Khamenei himself.
Indeed, Iran's program here in Iraq is so comprehensive -- both militarily, politically, economically, on a religious front, everywhere -- it has to have that kind of authority. And the U.S. spokespeople today said that the kinds of materials we're intercepting, on the level we're intercepting them, have to come from this kind of authority. They draw a direct link to Khamenei's office, which is in contradiction to what they were saying a year ago and two years ago saying, "yeah, we're picking these things up but we can't trace them to the government." Now they're saying it goes all the way to Khamenei himself.
HOLMES: All right, CNN's Michael Ware in Baghdad for us with those breaking details. Michael, thank you so much. And we'll be right back with much more after a quick break. Stay here.