Iran's "victory" in Lebanon (when Hizbollah rockets killed
over a 40 Israeli civilians), has caused Shia communities throughout the Middle
East to become more outspoken. This, in turn, has caused Sunni dominated
governments to take a closer look at their Shia minorities. The net result is
more persecution of Shia throughout the region. Not exactly what Iran was
looking forward to.
15, 2006: IAEA inspectors have found traces of weapons grade plutonium at an
Iranian nuclear waste site. Iran insists it is not developing nuclear weapons,
while insisting it has the right to possess such weapons.
arranged for some 700 Somali Islamic radicals to travel to Lebanon last Summer,
to serve Hizbollah in its 34 day war with Israel. Some of the Somalis
have since returned to Somalia with new weapons and Hizbollah trainers to
assist them. Iran is trying to get access to uranium deposits in Somalia. This
is curious, because Iran has uranium mines of its own. But if Iranian uranium
were used in a terrorist bomb, chemical analysis would reveal the origins of
the uranium. But if the uranium were from Somalia....
14, 2006: In Germany, a German of Iranian ancestry was arrested for illegally
exporting to Iran, industrial equipment for building ballistic missiles. Iran
has, for over two decades, run an extensive illegal export operation from
Europe and North America. Occasionally, its agents are caught, and prosecuted.
But there are always others ready to replace the imprisoned agents. The
Iranians pay well.
13, 2006: Two months of American restrictions on Iranian access to U.S. banks
has forced Iran to shift most of its foreign transactions to currencies other
than the dollar. This is an inconvenience, and costs the Iranians some money.
If other major currencies, like the Euro and Yen, also have restrictions placed
on them, Iran would have some major economic problems.
12, 2006: The universities are no longer a source of unrest. In the last two
years, the Islamic conservatives have forced reform minded professors to
retire, and ejected students seen as leaders of reform protests. That has taken
the fight out of the student body. But resentment against the Islamic
conservatives has intensified, and gone further underground. The next stage is
more violent protest, and the Islamic conservatives have not been able to do
anything to avoid that, except attempt to stir up nationalistic feelings behind
efforts to develop nuclear weapons.