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Iran: January 18, 2002
   
One thing that gets lost in all the reporting of the struggle in Iran between conservatives and reformers is that both groups are Iranian nationalists and generally anti-Israel (the ancient Iranian Jewish community has largely dispersed to other countries since Israel was founded). Most of the reformers were active revolutionaries during the 1970s rebellion that overthrew the monarchy. Many (but not all) of the reformers are pro-American and upset mainly because the conservatives are increasingly corrupt and blocking economic reform. The reformers are also against conservatives support for terrorism, if only because it makes foreign relations more difficult. Few Iranians see anything wrong with being anti-Israel, or even anti-Jewish. The reformers want economic growth and more personal freedom, not a kinder and gentler attitude towards Israel. Iran has denied involvement in the arms smuggling operation, although the evidence clearly points to Iranian involvement.