Iran: No Honor Among Thieves


June 23, 2008:  The increasingly rebellious younger Iranians are fighting back by not getting married. Part of that reluctance is the poor state of the economy. Many, perhaps 20 percent of more, of young Iranians are unable to find a job. But the marriage rate has plummeted, and the government is fighting back by experimenting with a program where young, male, unmarried employees are threatened with loss of their jobs if they don't get married within a few months. Meanwhile, trying to play nice, the government has opened a "woman's only" park in the capital, where women can walk around without their veils. Newspapers critical of any of these government actions continue to be shut down, even if run by Islamic conservatives. The clerics who run the government are increasingly fighting among themselves, both openly and behind the scenes.


June 21, 2008:  President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad openly mocked the Western nations failed efforts to halt Irans nuclear programs. Many Iranian government officials fear further Western sanctions, especially those that would further restrict Iranian access to the world banking system. Such sanctions are being planned. To get around this, Iran is trying to set up new banking operations in South America (particularly Venezuela). But those efforts are known to the West, and are threatened as well. So the Iranian government continues to negotiate, even as Iranian president Ahmadinejad mocks Western efforts to halt his nuclear weapons program. Ahmadinejad does fear Israel, which he continually threatens with destruction. Recent Israeli Air Force exercises, which had bombers flying long distances over the Mediterranean, seemed to be a practice run for a strike on Iran's nuclear research facilities. In response, Iran cranked up the propaganda machine and threatened unspecified, but terrible, retaliation, if Israel went after the nuclear weapons Iran is building (presumably to destroy Israel with.)


June 20, 2008:  The government warned Iranians to cut their electricity use by ten percent, or face blackouts. This, plus the rising price of oil and more stories about government corruption, have simply made Iranians more angry with their own government. But not angry enough to do much about it.


June 19, 2008:  In Iraq, U.S. troops have found proof that Iran has ordered it's Shia militia operatives to carry out bombing attacks on Shia targets. It was hoped that this would inflame Shia public opinion against Sunni Arab groups that are now working for the government to take down al Qaeda.


June 14, 2008:  The war on the Pakistani border won't go away. Baluchi rebels recently surprised, and kidnapped sixteen policemen, and took them back to Pakistan. The Baluchi tribes also take part in drug smuggling operations, and will shoot it out with border guards to get through. All this violence is not just rebellious tribesmen. The Baluchis are Sunni Moslems, and the Shia majority in Iran considers Sunnis fair game. The kidnapped policemen are being offered in exchange for the release of a Baluchi tribal leader held by Iran (who accuse the man of being an al Qaeda leader as well.) Baluchi tribes are often hospitable to al Qaeda terrorists, because of shared conservative religious beliefs.


June 10, 2008:  A member of a parliamentary investigative committee, Abbas Palizar, has done the unthinkable. He has accused senior members of the clergy, by name, of corruption, and detailed the crimes, and done it publically. President Ahmadinejad is a friend of Palizar, so this is seen as another round in the war between the Iranian clerical establishment, and Ahmadinejad's radicals. The secret police came several days later and arrested Palizar. Most Iranians believe this corruption is mostly responsible for the terrible state of the economy, and foreign economists are inclined to agree.


In the capital, a bomb was found in front of the home of the Iraqi ambassador. The bomb was defused.



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