London : Bombs used against British troops in southern Iraq are being supplied by Iran, the British Ministry of Defence said.
In a strong statement Tuesday, the ministry accused Iran of maintaining links with armed groups carrying out atrocities in Iraq.
The statement followed reports of increased movement of troops and weapons across the border between Iran and its neighbour.
A claim in the British newspaper The Sun that Iran was sending its own forces across in military helicopters was downplayed by British military and diplomatic sources.
One source told the London evening newspaper The Standard: "We have very sensitive monitoring equipment in the region and I think we would notice an operation of that sort."
Meanwhile, the official Ministry of Defence statement focused on homemade devices rather than a threat from the regular Iranian army. But it made clear that there was evidence of the Iranian government supporting or turning a blind eye to terrorism.
"There is evidence to suggest that some improvised explosive devices used against British troops in southern Iraq have origins in Iran," said the ministry.
"That is why our forces are deployed along the border in Maysan and also continue training and monitoring the Iraqi department of border enforcement," the ministry added.
"Any Iranian links to armed activity in Iraq are unacceptable. We and the government of Iraq continue to press Iran to cut its links with armed groups operating in Iraq and to do more to improve border security and fight terrorism," it said.