propaganda inside Iran, predicting a U.S. attack on Iran (to stop the nuclear
weapons program Iran insists it has not got), have had the unintended effect of
causing widespread anxiety about such a military operation. For their part,
American leaders see little or no benefit in bombing Iran. This news is not
widely reported in Iran. But more and more Iranians worry about the
consequences of such an attack.
November 12, 2007: The lifestyle police have announced another
campaign to stamp out vice. The targets this time are Western women's clothing,
symbols of Western culture and cable television. There is an element of class
warfare in all this, as the lifestyle (religious) police tend to be poor, but
pious, young men from the countryside. The areas where the most "sin"
is found tend to be in upscale urban areas. Mixing business with pleasure, so
to speak, as the country boys stick it to the city slickers.
November 11, 2007: Thousands
of PKK Kurdish rebels are leaving northern Iraq and crossing into Iran, where
they will hide from a threatened Turkish invasion.
November 9, 2007: U.S. forces in Iraq freed nine Iranians, who
had been held for months and accused of supporting terrorist attacks inside
Iraq. This release comes after weeks of much reduced weapons smuggling from
Iran, and an apparent withdrawal of military aid (advisors) from some Shia
militia groups. Iran and the U.S. appear to have made a deal.
November 5, 2007: The U.S. is
trying to get the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to shut down Iranian smuggling and
trade operations. About half a million Iranians live in the UAE, and the
emirates have long been a base for legitimate, and criminal activities by
Iranian traders. The U.S. and most European nations are determined to at least
slow down Iranian nuclear weapons development. Since the UN cannot be relied on
to impose meaningful sanctions (because China and Russia support their business
partner and customer Iran), the international banking system and organization
independent of the UN (like the World Bank) are being leaned on. This is
hurting Iran, but is unlikely to stop the nukes.