Iran: Mixing Business With Pleasure

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November 13, 2007: Months of 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.

 

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