Iran: Friendly Americans And Murderous Sunnis

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December 30, 2010:  There is no widespread unrest because of the removal of fuel and food subsidies on the 19th. Since then, fuel consumption has declined 20 percent. No real decline in bread consumption. The elimination of subsidies will save the government $100 billion a year. It is, in effect, another tax, and Iranians are not happy with this rise in their cost of living.

Meanwhile, prosecutions of corrupt officials are reaching more senior people. This is seen as part of a battle between factions in the government, and risks exposing the corrupt behavior of the senior leadership. The government has become less tolerant of any public discussion of corruption-at-the-top, or anything failings of the government. More people are being jailed for getting these messages out. In addition, people considered "anti-government" are no longer allowed to travel abroad.

December 29, 2010:  Israeli officials believe that Iran is having unspecified technical problems with their nuclear weapons program, and that Iran won't have a working weapon for at least three years. Israel will not comment on what it is doing to interfere with Iranian nuclear weapons efforts. But several attacks, some of them fatal, on Iranian nuclear scientists, have been attributed to Israel, or someone else who does not want Iran to have nukes (that would be a long list.) Iran is believed to be recruiting foreign scientists to work on the nuclear weapons program, but the risk of assassination is discouraging many potential applicants.

For the first time in several years, Iran reported the arrest of al Qaeda members. Seven suspects were picked up in the northwest, on the Iraq border. The seven suspects were accused of trying to spread Wahhabism, a conservative form of Islam that believes Shia are heretics. Most Iranians are Shia. Meanwhile, Iran is reported to be releasing al Qaeda members from detention, and sending them into Afghanistan.

December 28, 2010: The government announced the execution of Ali Akbar Siadat, who was convicted of spying for Israel for six years, reporting on missile and nuclear weapons projects.

December 22, 2010:  State controlled media reported that Iranian naval commanders had met with NATO, and U.S., counterparts earlier this month, as part of a planning session for the international anti-piracy patrol off Somalia. This was the first admission of cooperation with American forces in over thirty years.

December 20, 2010:  Eleven members of Sunni terrorist organization Junfallah were executed. This group operates in the southeast, and recruits from among the Sunni Baluchi tribesmen there.

December 19, 2010: Subsidies for bread and fuel are removed. Fuel prices more than quadruple and those for bread triple. More police and troops are assigned to street patrol, in case there are large demonstrations.

December 16, 2010: Police said they had arrested eight suspects believed involved in the suicide bombing yesterday in the southeast.

December 15, 2010: In the southeast, a bomb went off during a Shia religious ceremony, killing 36 and wounding many more. Local Sunni terror group, Jundallah, was blamed, along with Israel and the United States.

December 13, 2010: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is taking a lot of heat in the state run media for his recent, and unexpected, firing of his foreign minister (while the minister was abroad on official business). The reasons for the dismissal were vague, and seem to be part of an ongoing power struggle at the top.

 

 

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