In central Iran, satellite
photos revealed several tunnels being dug into a mountain near a nuclear
weapons research facility. Several other nuclear research facilities have had
some of their operations moved underground, but this tunneling operation is one
of the most ambitious "protective" efforts yet undertaken. Iranian
officials have been to North Korea, and seen the extensive underground
facilities there. It's possible, even likely, that North Korean engineers are
lending their expertise (for a fee) to assist the Iranians in their tunnel
construction. Tunnels for industrial facilities are not quite the same as
highway, aqueduct or mining tunnels, which Iran has many of.
July 8, 2007: Officials openly speak of a "plot" among reformers to encourage opposition to the government by
trying to publish stories about government incompetence and inefficiency.
In response, more restrictions are being placed on "anti-government"
July 7, 2007:Iranian officials were allowed
to meet with five Iranians captured in Iraq last January. Iran insists the five
are diplomats, while the U.S. says they are officers in the Al Quds Force, an
organization that assists terrorist activities outside of Iran. The U.S. has
gotten some information about Iranian terrorist operations from the five
captives, but isn't giving out many details, and is not responding much to
Iranian demands that the five be freed.
July 6, 2007:
The senior religious leader (and thus supreme leader of the country),
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has promised to ease up on the treatment of women. In
the last year, the government has demanded, often with physical force, that
Iranian women conform more to Islamic conservative rules of behavior. This has
been very unpopular, and now the supreme leader of the religious dictatorship,
has seen fit to respond. No details were provided, so this may just be a PR
July 5, 2007: Four North Korean mini-subs are on
their way to Iran, and it's unclear if any efforts will be made to stop them.
The most common North Korean mini-subs
displace nearly a hundred tons, and thus cannot be flown in.There are,
however, submersible speedboats, that are 40 feet long and displace only ten
tons. These could be flown in.
July 4, 2007: The government has arrested nearly a
hundred people in the wake of anti-gasoline rationing riots. The new restrictions on gasoline sales are
meant to save about $4 billion a year in gasoline subsidies (the fuel sells for
much less than in neighboring countries, so much of it is smuggled out for
profit). After the recent 25 percent price hike, gasoline costs about 40 cents
a gallon. Venezuela has agreed to sell
Iran gasoline, in an attempt to avoid shortages, and more unrest.
July 3, 2007: One of the hundred or so reformist or
moderate newspapers and magazines closed in the last seven years, was allowed
to resume publication 42 days ago. But now it is closed again, with no specific
reason given. Closing down these publications has been very unpopular, and the
information they contained was often available anyway, via the Internet. But
print on paper appears to make the government nervous.
July 2, 2007: The U.S. is releasing more evidence
of Iranian support for terrorism in Iraq. The latest data shows how Hizbollah
personnel from Lebanon are organizing and leading terrorist groups in Iraq.
Some of these Hizbollah men have been captured, along with documents. Iran and
Hizbollah deny everything.