Iran: Border Wars


May 16, 2006: The government has announced that it is going to increase security forces in southwestern Khuzestan Province, largely inhabited by Arab Shiites, by about 10,000 troops. About a fifth of the reinforcements will be Revolutionary Guard Corps (RGC) personnel. In addition, internal security forces in the province will be put under RGC control. Khuzestan (or "Aarabistan" to the locals, and Arabs across the border in Iraq) is where most of Iran's oil, and Arab minority, are located.

May 15, 2006:The UN Human Rights Office for Iraq believes Iran is implicated in some recent assassinations of pro-government officials in Baghdad. The evidence is piling up of Iranian support for terrorism in Iraq. The Iranians are killing or intimidating politicians and government officials who oppose Islamic conservative Shia Arabs from taking control of the country. The Iranians want a Shia religious dictatorship in Iraq, just like they have in Iran. The Iraqis are not cooperating.

May 13, 2006:A gang of bandits, disguised as policemen, held up cars at a fake roadblock, and killed twelve of their victims. What was unusual about this was that it was some fifty kilometers from the border. Bandits are a common problems along the Afghan and Pakistan border, but not this far inland. This new threat may be the result of increased activity by security forces along the border. The drug gangs and bandits are having a hard time of it. The smugglers can always look for other routes, and the bandits can go prey in less hostile areas.

May 11, 2006: Lots of military and police activity in northwest Iran, where Kurdish unrest has increased. PKK (Kurdish nationalist) gunmen, operating from bases in northern Iraq, are moving into Iran to escape Turkish troops, who have unofficially invaded northern Iraq to go after PKK bases.

May 10, 2006: A week long series of coordinated raids against drug gangs resulted in nearly 800 arrests (about 60 percent of them dealers and smugglers, the rest users). Some five tons of drugs (mostly opium) were seized (including smaller quantities of heroin, hashish and morphine.)


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