Iran: June 24, 2004


because the reformers are unwilling to use force. 

 The eight British marines and sailors arrested on the 21st have been moved from the Iraqi border to the capital. Apparently, Iran does not want to just left the British captives cross back into Iraq, because Iran does not officially recognize the occupation of Iraq. This sort of disconnect from reality is increasingly common in Iran as Islamic conservatives cling to power in the face of massive public opposition. The Islamic conservatives try to generate propaganda from the fact that Iran now has American troops on its eastern and western borders, with American warships off its southern coast. Much is made about the "war" against Afghan drug smugglers in eastern Iran. In the last three months, police and troops clashed with armed smugglers 210 times, killing 110 smugglers and seizing 130 tons of drugs (80 tons of morphine, 35 tons of hashish, and five tons of heroin and opium). Interrogations of surviving drug smugglers indicated that over half the drugs were headed for Iraq and Persian Gulf countries, but much of the stuff


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