The United States, Britain, France and Germany want even stronger UN sanctions on Iran because they believe Iran continues to develop ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. This is a violation of existing UN prohibitions. UN arms inspectors agree with the nuclear weapons part, citing the latest UN inspections in Iran. Recent reports indicate that North Korea has supplied Iran with software essential to the development of a working nuclear weapon. Meanwhile, Iran denies everything, as they have all along.
In the northwest, where most of the nation’s Azeri Turks (25 percent of Iran’s population) live, police have been brutally dispersing demonstrations against the destruction of Lake Orumiyeh. The lake has lost over half its water in the last two decades because the national government has built dams to divert fresh water that normally goes into the lake (which is the third largest salt water lake in the world and the largest lake in the Middle East.) The original surface area of the lake was 5,200 square kilometers. If something is not done soon, the lake will completely dry up. This will cause huge quantities of salt on the lake bed to be blown onto nearby farm and pasture land, destroying it. The original size of the lake was 140 kilometers (87 miles) long, 55 kilometers (34 miles) wide, and 16 meters (52 feet) deep.
The government has apparently concluded that force will not work to keep the pro-Iran Syrian government in power. So for the last week, Iran has been making increasingly strong, and public, calls to the Syrian government to negotiate with its rebellious population. Iran had supplied Syria with a lot of security experts, who had gained their experience suppressing Iranian reformers. But the Iranian experts apparently concluded that Syria was too far gone for Iranian methods of social control, and negotiation was the only option.
European countries are calling on Iran to halt illegal jamming of satellite broadcasts over Iran. The government seeks to jam programs directed at Iranians, but containing content the government does not approve of.
The government, or mercenary hackers, have broken into over 300,000 email accounts of Iranians, and been able to monitor them for over a month. This was accomplished by someone hacking into a Dutch Internet security company last July and stealing security data that enabled one to bypass security measures. While this has since been fixed, efforts to discover the extent of the damage are still under way.
The government said it had arrested five al Qaeda members in the last week. The five were trying to bring in large quantities of weapons.