Iran: January 7, 2004

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That's how the Islamic Revolution get rolling 25 years ago.

The government says it arrested several Iranians, apparently soldiers, and accused them of working for the CIA and sending secret information over the Internet. While the Islamic conservatives control the police and an armed Islamic militia, the armed forces are not under their control and have been a source of opposition to the Islamic conservatives. There were several cases of Iranian navy ships exchanging salutes with American naval ships during, and since,  the recent Iraq war. Iranian army troops on the border have cooperated with American troops operating on the Iraqi side. The defeat of Saddam's government, and the capture of Saddam himself, was very popular inside Iran, and particularly inside the Iranian armed forces. The Islamic conservatives who control the justice system and police, see the armed forces as a source of support in a future civil war remove the veto powers the Islamic conservative minority has over the rest of the country.

A large earthquake in the southeast, around the city of Bam, killed over 30,000 people and embarrassed the government. Most of the dead were the result of government corruption that allowed for shoddy building practices. Relief aid was slow in arriving, which was also blamed on corruption. The Islamic conservatives that have controlled Iran since 1979 get blamed for just about everything. However, corruption and shoddy building practices were around in Iran long before 1979. But the earthquake disaster is seen as another reason to remove the Islamic conservatives from power. 

 

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