2008: With the collapse of Sunni Arab
terror groups in Iraq, the biggest source of attacks on U.S. and Iraqi troops
has become Shia Arab groups (like the Mahdi Army). These are backed by Iran
(with cash, weapons and technical experts). Recently, the Iraqi government sent
a group of Shia politicians to Iran, to try and get this terrorism support stopped.
The Iraqis brought with them evidence (documents, names, photos). The Iranians
denied everything and sent the Iraqi politicians packing. Meanwhile, some
members of the ruling elite in Iran are speaking openly about what a bad thing
such interference is, but will not come right out and name names, much less
insist that the Quds Force be reined in. The Iranian government did say that
shutting down the Shia militias in Iraq was a good things. The Iraqi government
took the hint (that the Quds Force activities was an internal matter for Iran),
and stopped complaining openly. At least for now. But to make their point, the
Iraqis turned around and supported the United Arab Emirates in a dispute with
Iran over ownership of three Persian Gulf islands. In response, Iran recalled
its ambassador to Iraq. The Gulf Arabs, who are largely Sunni, see Iraq as
suspect because most of the population is Shia (as are nearly all Iranians).
But this backing of their fellow Arabs, over the islands dispute, makes Iraq "one
of us (Arabs)." Despite the religious affinity, Iraqis tend to come down on the
side of being an Arab, and anti-Iranian (Iranians are not Arab, but ethnic
cousins of Europeans and Indians), when it really counts.
The U.S. (not
to mentioned Palestinians, Israelis, Egyptians and Lebanese) are also upset
about Iranian support of Hizbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. These two
groups are recognized terrorist organizations, and are the recipients of cash,
weapons and technical experts from Iran. Officially, the Iranian government
denies all this, but radical elements in the government are less shy about
admitting to it. Thus the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Quds Force are an embarrassment
to the government, especially when these radicals boats of their mischief in
Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq and elsewhere. For example, Iran has been backing the
Lebanese Shia Hizbollah group in its efforts to take control of the Lebanese government.
This has recently led to open combat between Hizbollah and Lebanese government
forces. Iran denies any involvement, it always does.
about U.S. plans to bomb Iran are all smoke and no fire. For the clerical
dictatorship in Iran, the best thing that could happen to them would be U.S. bombers
attacking Iran. This would make the unpopular government popular, at least for
a while, as most Iranians rallied to defend the motherland. But it's too good a
headline to pass up, and the media keeps
lifestyle police want Western toys in general, and Barbie dolls in particular,
banned. The Islamic radicals believe that corrupt (un-Islamic) teenagers
are created by exposure to Western
media, and toys, especially degenerate items like Barbie. The government does
not want to ban this stuff, because it is too popular, and the image of the
lifestyle police taking toys from crying children is not what the government
wants to world to see.
trying to get five of their citizens, kidnapped last year in Iraq, released.
The five were grabbed in an attempt to get four Iranian special operations
people released (after they were captured by U.S. troops in northern Iraq.) The
U.S. refused to bargain, and the kidnapped Brits were moved to Iran last Fall.
Of course, Iran denies everything, and the British are eager to work out a deal
before someone in Iran decides to have the five hostages disappear, to avoid
government admitted that an April 12 explosion in a southern Iraq mosque, which
left a dozen dead and nearly 200 wounded, was not an accident. Police tried to
blame the explosion on an accident involving weapons left in the mosque after a
military exhibition. Mosques are frequently used to store and show off weapons.
Islam considers itself a "militant" religion, so weapons are welcome in
mosques. But now the government says they have captured the ringleader of the
group that set off the bomb, but little else has been revealed, except to blame
it all on the United States.