Iran: Scary Spring

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May 10, 2007: The biggest source of discontent in the country is economic. Inflation is about 18 percent and the unemployment rate is moving past 30 percent. Since Ahmadinejad took over, the price of oil has skyrocketed, bringing in lots more money, yet the Iranian GDP growth rate has dropped from four percent a year, to three percent. As a result, the average Iranian is worse off than before. Ahmadinejad promised to spread the oil wealth around, but that has not happened, and most Iranians are not happy. Ahmadinejad and his politically correct attitudes are the cause of the spreading poverty. Ahmadinejad has taken action, but mainly to halt economic activity with the outside world, which he considers largely hostile to Islam. Ahmadinejad wants Iran to be self-sufficient, like North Korea. You get the idea. So do most Iranians, and they are not happy about it. But they are still not willing to fight to change it.

Labor unions are illegal, yet workers have formed them anyway, demonstrate, and end up brawling with police and Islamic conservative irregulars. The workers want jobs, and are increasingly willing to get organized, and get out in the street and fight. Meanwhile, the lifestyle police have been ordered to crack down on women who do not cover up, and thousands have been warned, or arrested. This has sometimes led to street violence, and in some neighborhoods, the lifestyle police stay away, unless they are prepared to come in force and ready to fight.

The government sees no reason to change course on its nuclear program, nor its attitude towards the threat of economic sanctions from Europe and the UN. Iran is on a Mission From God, and nothing else matters.

May 3, 2007: In April, at least 69 Iranian made EFP (armor piercing) roadside bombs were used in Iraq. The smuggler gangs, that have been bringing the special bomb components in from Iran, have been uncovered and rounded up. The smugglers are paid well by Iranian terrorist support organization The Quds Force, to get the bomb components across the border. But more and more Iraqis are fed up with the violence, and call the police with information about the weapons smugglers.

May 5, 2007: The government arrested one of its nuclear weapons negotiators, Hossein Moussavian, and accused him of spying for Germany.

 

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