American commanders in Iraq
report that Iran continues to send weapons and technical advisors to support
pro-Iranian groups in Iraq. However, these groups, particularly the Badr
Brigade and the Mahdi Army, have stopped fighting each other, and Americans,
and joined forces to battle al Qaeda. American casualties are way down, and al
Qaeda losses are up.
Meanwhile, U.S. forces in Iraq arrested three
members of the Mahdi Army, and accused them to participating in the kidnapping
of five Britons last May. American forces have arrested a lot more pro-Iranian
operatives in Iraq this year, and seriously hurt Iranian efforts in Iraq.
In the north, Iranian forces have pulled out of
Iraq, and Iranian artillery has stopped firing across the border.
The new French government continues pushing for
Iran to halt its nuclear weapons program, and advocating bombing Iran is need
be. Russia continues to insist that there is no proof that such a weapons
program exists, and strives to defend increasing Russian sales (military and
otherwise) to Iran. The French are also annoyed at continuing Iranian efforts
to smuggle French weapons and military equipment, and to steal steal French technology.
This behavior has annoyed most European nations, who are losing patience with
Iran in general.
Iran also fears that the
United States is mobilizing the Sunni Arab world against Iran. There is some
truth to this, and Iranian leaders have condemned an American sponsored Middle
Eastern peace conference planned for next month. The Sunni Arab nations are
showing growing fear of Iran, and this is obvious in the Sunni Arab mass media.
For Iran, the threat here is that Sunni Arabs will unite against Iran. For a
long time, Iran has exploited a divided Arab world. But Iran's nuclear weapons
efforts are uniting the Arabs, at least against Iran.
October 9, 2007: In the
capital, about a hundred students held a loud, and public demonstration against
president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Pro- Ahmadinejad students showed up but, unlike
in the past, it did not turn into a brawl, with pro-government thugs beating
anti-government demonstrators to the ground.