Indonesia: The Iran Connection

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December27, 2006: The government is negotiating with India and Iran, hoping to get good prices on military weapons and equipment. Both countries can provide weapons even more cheaply than Russia, who is currently the major supplier. India also has extensive experience maintaining Russian equipment, particularly aircraft like the Su-30.

November 25, 2006:In East Timor, rebel leader Major Alfredo Reinado, continues to elude capture, and has declared that he deliberately withheld firearms from UN peacekeepers (who were collecting illegal guns) because he and his men need the weapons to "defend the people." Reinado's gang, comprise mostly of several hundred men from eastern East Timor, are apparently laying low, until most of the peacekeepers are gone.

November 24, 2006:The effort to introduce Shaira (Islamic) law in Aceh has been stalled by resistance from many locals, and foreign aid organizations. The restrictions on women (like not being able to go out after 8 PM without a male relative as a chaperone) are particularly unpopular. Some aid organizations have threatened to pull out of Aceh if the Islamic conservatives get more Islamic laws enforced. Islamic conservatives are trying to get Sharia law adopted by the entire country, but there is strong resistance to that.

 

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