Iran: A Larger Threat Than Nukes

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October 22, 2007: Many of Iran's neighbors are not as worried about Iranian nukes as they are concerned about a more aggressive Iran attempting to seize bits of disputed terrain throughout the region (as it has already been doing with small islands in the Persian Gulf), and asserting its traditional role as the regional superpower. Iran already has weapons of mass destruction (chemical weapons developed during the 1980s war with Iraq), but has never put them in play. Iran has never let terrorist groups have any of their chemical weapons, nor has it openly threatened to use this stuff against its neighbors. This is consistent with past behavior of Iranian leaders, who are not known for rashness. Iranian extremists, especially the Islamic militants, are another matter. They are kept under control, just barely. They are the wildcard that makes everyone, including many Iranians, nervous.

October 21, 2007: Western troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have taken a more aggressive stance against Iranian efforts to supply Islamic extremists in both countries with weapons. These included the deadlier armor piercing roadside bombs and portable anti-aircraft weapons. American and British commandoes have been tracking and attacking the smugglers right on the border, and often inside Iran itself. Not only has this left over a hundred smugglers dead, but it has resulted in many of these weapons being brought back and displayed for journalists. The major objective of these attacks is to terrorize the smugglers, and cut back on the number of weapons shipments.

October 20, 2007: Iran's top nuclear weapons negotiator, seen as a moderate, has resigned. This is an indication that the Iranians are done with negotiations, and are just going to stonewall the UN while they proceed with nuclear weapons development. Western efforts to impose sanctions on Iran have not worked well because the Iranians have, over the past two decades, developed an efficient smuggling network. This costs them more money, but with the rising price of oil, they can afford it.

October 18, 2007: Russia openly defended Iran's right to do whatever it wanted with nuclear technology (which Russia is selling to Iran.) This made it clear that Russia would veto any UN attempts to punish Iran further.

October 17, 2007: In the southwest, police arrested three members of Arab separatist groups and accused them of participating in terror attacks involving bombs.

October 15, 2007: In southeast Iran, rebellious Baluchi tribesmen have kidnapped a Japanese graduate student and demanded ransom, the release of a fellow tribesmen from jail. The government has refused this, but has been unable to track down and free the foreign captive. That pretty much sums up the situation in this part of the country.

 

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