Murphy's Law: The Metal Dealers of Iran


October 28, 2005: In Iraq, things are never what they seem. For example, much is made of attacks on infrastructure, particularly the electrical power system. Fact of the matters is that over 80 percent of those attacks are by criminals, stealing things they can resell. A favorite bit of booty is the heavy power cables from electric transmission lines. Just across the border in Iran, metal brokers pay good prices for this stuff, and any other metal from, say, oil pipe lines or pumping stations. Iranian border guards don't bother the Iraqi metal thieves, so the vandals only have to get past the Iraqi border patrol. So in order to halt the damage, the government has put pressure on Iran to tighten up their border security, and crack down on the scrap metal dealers who buy from Iraqi metal thieves. Iran denies that it is behind any of the violence in Iraq, but when you get down to the details, it's Iran that makes much of the damage to Iraqis infrastructure possible.


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