Iran: Blood In The Streets Over A Naked Ankle

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March 3, 2008: The war in Iran is on the streets. In poor neighborhoods, drug addiction and unemployment supply a growing number of gangs with ruthless and brutal recruits. The police respond with public whippings and up to ten executions a day. So far this year, 48 have been executed, compared to 298 for all of last year. Opium and heroin continues to come in from Afghanistan, feeding millions of addicts. The war against the drug smugglers on the Afghan border leaves hundreds dead and wounded each year, as it has for a decade. The Afghan gangs have found it easier to bribe the border police, forcing the government to send more of its "Revolutionary Guards" (Islamic radicals forming a palace guard for the clerics running the country) to deal with the corrupt police as well as the well armed smugglers.

Meanwhile, police continue to expend a lot of effort on terrorizing the middle and upper class neighborhoods in the cities. Merchants, professionals and corrupt government officials still live pretty well, and their kids like to dress up. The Islamic lifestyle police are running into public resistance while enforcing conservative dress codes. Women, in particular, are getting more vocal in protesting the chador clad female police trying to haul them away for some clothing infraction [VIDEO] [PHOTO]. Now the police find themselves facing instant mobs of angry people intent on freeing well dressed, but religiously incorrect, prisoners. Soon enough, one of these incidents will escalate to rock throwing, tear gas and gunfire. Blood in the streets over a naked ankle.

Iran and Iraq have agreed to restore many parts of the 1975 treaty that settled long standing border disputes. Saddam tore up this arrangement when he invaded in 1980. The new deal will mean better border security and less risk of border police from both countries shooting at each other.

The UN IAEA accused Iran of continuing its nuclear weapons research. Iran denied working on nuclear weapons, but admitted using new centrifuges that can turn out enriched nuclear material (uranium) at twice the rate of the old machines. This has alarmed even Russia, which has now called on Iran to stop the uranium enrichment program. If Iran refuses, Russia says it will support UN sanctions. Iran responded by offering to buy 200 Russian airliners. Russia recently announced that it wanted to build its commercial airline manufacturing industry into a world class competitor.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been publicly rebuked by senior clergy, for coarse and inflammatory remarks. This was in reference to Ahmadinejad's frequent name calling directed at Israel, and calls for Israel's destruction. The senior clergy, who have the ultimate power in Iran, see their country held up to international ridicule because of Ahmadinejad's crude antics.

One of the most effective weapons against Iranian backed terrorism is the Financial Action Task Force, an international organization that uncovers and moves against criminal use of the international banking system. The U.S., Russia and 32 other major nations are members. Increasing U.S. enacted, or backed, restrictions on Iranian use of the international banking system have been making it more difficult for Iran to move money around to support terrorism and weapons smuggling.

 

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