Iran: August 8, 2002


:   The government insists it has expelled 240 al Qaeda members in the last few months, but the US points out that the government does not control police forces under the command of Islamic militants who can do as they please within Iran. And the Iranian Islamic militants have long been willing to assist other Islamic militants. The Taliban in Afghanistan never got along well with Islamic militants in Iran because the Taliban were hostile (and often violent) towards Afghanistan's Shia minority. But the Iranian Shias have been known to look the other way at such rude behavior by Islamic militants to are Sunni Moslems. The Saudi Arabian Sunnis, who define mainstream Islam, have lately been less hostile to the many Shia in the Persian Gulf. That probably won't last, but for the moment, Islamic militants of all persuasions  in the Persian Gulf are uniting to support terror against non-Moslems.