Tehran, IRAN:  Iranian protestors, holding up anti US banners, set Union Jack flags on fire during a demonstration held in Tehran to mark Jerusalem (Al-Quds) Day, 20 October 2006. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a speech during the weekly Friday prayer today that Israel would not survive and that its allies would face the "boiling wrath" of the people if they continued to support the Jewish state. An initiative started by Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Al-Quds Day is held annually on the last Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and calls for Jerusalem to be returned to the Palestinians.  AFP PHOTO/BEHROUZ MEHRI  (Photo credit should read BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

Iran’s hidden war with the West – and what we can do to fight back

When British troops were on patrol in Iraq and Afghanistan, we faced many enemies, from jihadis to press-ganged civilians. But for me, the most terrifying ones lay buried. Bullets usually miss. Improvised explosive devices – IEDs — don’t. They are frighteningly simple. Old munitions wired together or plastic bottles packed with fertiliser and ball-bearings could destroy a vehicle and kill its passengers.

During my four years in Afghanistan I saw IEDs evolve: first came remote triggers, then pressure plates and then low-metal-content devices. Curiously, IEDs evolved in a similar way in Iraq. This should be no surprise, since the groups trying to kill British troops shared one common resource: Iranian support.