UPDATE One of Sean Paul's readers says the ordinance in the picture isn't from Iran. It's from PAKISTAN. I've been saying that was a possibility for a long time now, as regular readers well know.
Update The guy who said it might be Pakistani is now rethinking that opinion, but feels the round could be any one of a number of copies of the common 81mm round from any number of nations. It could, to my untrained eye, even be a WW2 era U.S. 81mm M43A1 HE round, repainted. The US also still uses an 81mm mortar round family, some of which are made in the UK and some made to a modified design in the US.
The BBC has since put up a companion report to their earlier one which says:
On a table to their right was laid out the evidence. Weapons components, including two rocket propelled grenade rounds, mortar rounds and the unusually-titled Explosively Formed Penetrator or EFP. They could be traced to Iran, we were told.Well, the bit about the liners is simply BS, and you will notice that, after spending so much time explaining why the tail-fin on the mortar round proves it is Iranian the picture the reporters were given to take away is positioned and composed in such a way that the tail-fin is the very bit not shown...
Update It's confirmed at least that Iran produces an 81mm mortar round. Here's the actual 81mm HE round from Iran's Defense Industries organization. The stencilling on the body is of a very different form but that may not mean much.
No, it's the "distinctive" welded steel eight-fin tail unit of the Iranian round that's supposed to make identification possible according to the US, and the pic the US provided doesn't show the tailfin.
Next question: Has anyone seen any other pics from the U.S. disc yet, or is the one above the only one media outlets are using? Answer: Have a look on the sidebar of this LA Times article for a gallery of 6 pics from the US provided disc. See what you think.
Update Shockingly, Gen. Peter Pace, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and America's top soldier, has told the Australian media that he was unaware of the briefing and refused to back its claims.
Update There are thousands of people now looking at these pics all across the internet. That's good. There are a lot of different opinions too. Which is also good - taking things for granted you've never thought about yourself is rarely a way to get good democratic government.
When you're done here, have a look at the alleged super-IED's and see what you think. One expert has already said "they look like they had been assembled in someone's garage...if EFP mines were being supplied by an outside source, you might expect to see somethng a lot slicker."