Iran has obtained the open support of 56 Islamic nations, for its
nuclear energy program. This support was limited to "peaceful use of
nuclear energy," which is one reason why Iran insists it is not developing
nuclear weapons, despite evidence to the contrary.
May 17, 2007: Iran's secret weapon is its secret
service. The Iranian equivalent of the CIA (the Vevak) has stayed out of
politics, and been invigorated by its participation in the technology smuggling
and theft efforts that have kept the Iranian armed forces viable, despite three
decades of arms embargos. There's a lot of money involved, and opportunity to
do side deals for non-military goods. While the Vevak agents have largely
stayed away from illegal drugs, everything else has been fair game. The world
wide smugglers underground is full of Iranians, and most of them belong to
Vevak, or have a relationship with it.
May 15, 2007: In the last month, nearly a 100,000
Afghan refugees have been forced to return to Afghanistan. That's about five
percent of the two million Afghans still living in Iran, after having fled the
Russian invasion of the 1980s, or the civil wars of the 1990s. Iran believes
the refugees harbor drug smugglers and other criminals.
May 13, 2007:
An Iranian born official of the U.S. Woodrow Wilson Institute, has been
arrested in Iran. The official, Haleh Esfandieri, had left Iran in 1980, and
had returned, as she had many times before, to visit her mother. The Woodrow Wilson Institute has advocated
opening a dialog with Iran, but the Iranian Islamic radicals see organizations
like the Woodrow Wilson Institute as
enemies of Islam.
May 12, 2007: The government officially refused to
halt its work on atomic energy, and insisted that sanctions would not deter it
May 11, 2007:
The crackdown on "un-Islamic behavior" continues, is angering
younger Iranians, and causing a visible split
among the clerics that run the country. The more extreme clerics, the
ones who really believe in an Islamic world conquest, want the wayward
youngsters purified. Most of the clerics, however, see this thuggish
behavior as an incitement to a
revolution that could tear the country apart. Meanwhile, Iranian reformers have
been secretly going abroad and meeting with groups who offer advise on how to
organize a non-violent revolution.