After months of quietly trying to talk Iran into halting aid for Shia terrorists in Iraq, Britain has gone public with the dispute. In the last three months, Shia terrorists in southern Iraq have attacked British troops, killing six of them, as well as two civilian security guards. Evidence collected at the scene of theseattacks indicate that the technology for these bombs came from Iran. Not unexpectedly, Iran has officially denied these charges. But British intelligence stands by their findings. All this now puts Britain squarely in opposition to the Islamic conservative dictatorship in Iran. Britain believes that extreme Islamic conservatives are supplying bomb making material to similarly extremist Shia Arab Iraqis, and perhaps to Sunni Arab terrorists as well.
October 1, 2005: Iran threatened to limit its oil shipments (currently four million barrels a day), if the UN took action against Iran because of Irans nuclear weapons program. If Iran cut back on oil shipments, it would drive up the world price of oil. The loss of revenue would not have any immediate effect on Iran (where the oil money is used to help keep the Islamic conservative minority in power), but the higher world price for oil would have a negative impact on the world economy.
September 30, 2005: The cornerstone of Islamic conservative control of the country, the Basij militia, has been conducting mobilization exercises. The purpose of all this activity is apparently to make sure that sufficient armed men (and some women) can be had if there is any widespread civil unrest against the government. There are only 90,000 full time (active duty) Basij, who are backed up by about 300,000 organized reservists. In theory, about a million boys, old men, and those who recently finished their military service can be mobilized for Basij service. But many of these are of limited usefulness. So the mobilization exercises are an attempt to find out what is really available. The Islamic conservatives are getting concerned about the growing number of anti-government groups popping in all over the country. These groups have shown themselves capable of producing large, angry demonstrations. The Islamic conservatives fear that one or more of these demonstrations might turn into another revolution. The Basij are the last line of defense for the Islamic conservative minority that controls the country. The police and army increasingly represent popular opinions, which are opposed to Islamic conservative control.