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Helium
30 May 09,, 03:39
Gunmen have attacked Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's election campaign centre in the southeastern city of Zahedan a day after a deadly mosque bombing in the city was blamed on Washington.

State-run IRNA news agency say gunmen on motorbikes opened fire at the centre on Friday, wounding three people including a child who needed surgery for stomach wounds.

The early evening attack came a day after a suicide bomber killed 25 people and wounded 125 others in an attack on a Shi'ite mosque in Zahedan, restive capital of Sistan-Baluchestan province bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Sistan-Baluchestan deputy governor Jalal Sayah told the semi-official Fars news agency the bombers of the Shi'ite Amir al-Momenin mosque were "hired by America and the agents of the arrogance" - a reference to Washington.


News Article (http://news.ninemsn.com.au/world/819830/gunmen-shoot-ahmadinejad-election-office)


The mosque and election office attacks were reminiscent of violence that preceded Iran's last presidential election in 2005 which Ahmadinejad won, when at least eight people were killed in bombs that hit Teheran and the southwestern city of Ahvaz.

Do you think that these attacks will rally the population of Iran behind a Ahmadinejad & win him the election again?

I am interested in who allowed these attacks to happen. I find it so annoying, I cant put it any other way, that they (Iranian Government) blames Washington. But this is politics, & uniting the country behind a foreign threat is always a very strong political tactic.

These attacks occurred in a Province bordering Pakistan + Afgan...n so I believe these attackers were the result of lax border security + Sunni Militants(looking for a Shite target) spilling over from either Pak/Afg..n. But I cant understand why they would do it?

At the end of the day though its a political win for Iranian Government, why becasue of the 'Foreign Enemy' tactic that will probably win them the election.

To blame it on America is absurd, CIA would know that an attack in Iran is not a 'win' for American interests because it unites the people with the government, it would be absurd that if the CIA knew about it that they would even turn a blind eye to these militants moving over the Afgan border, let alone in some indirect way sponsor/approve of such an action so close to the election. Look at how Indians were united after the Mumbai attacks, how the present government got reelected.

I do hope the Iranian people dont swallow the Washington excuse. What do you think, will these attacks influence the election?

Parihaka
30 May 09,, 04:17
It's just campaign rhetoric by the usual political whores. The fact Zahedan is within spitting distance of Quetta: that the border protection is zilch, and that the police and politicians are paid to look the other way as opium flows out of Waziristan and arms flow in has of course nothing to do with it.

axeman
30 May 09,, 05:08
. Look at how Indians were united after the Mumbai attacks, how the present government got reelected.


The Mumbai attacks had nothing to do with the government getting elected. In fact, the anti-government frenzy was pretty high.


It's just campaign rhetoric by the usual political whores. The fact Zahedan is within spitting distance of Quetta: that the border protection is zilch, and that the police and politicians are paid to look the other way as opium flows out of Waziristan and arms flow in has of course nothing to do with it.

Iran does not allow drugs to pass through to Europe. It has been pretty strict in that sense where narco-terrorism is concerned.

Helium
30 May 09,, 06:18
The Mumbai attacks had nothing to do with the government getting elected. In fact, the anti-government frenzy was pretty high.



Iran does not allow drugs to pass through to Europe. It has been pretty strict in that sense where narco-terrorism is concerned.

I have to disagree, having a foreign threat has been shown as an extremely sucessful tool in politics; take 911 & the mumbai attacks. Ofcourse the mumbai attacks didn't swing the Indian election but they did influence. It's incorrect to say the mumbai attacks had nothing to do with the election.

captain
30 May 09,, 07:41
It's incorrect to say the mumbai attacks had nothing to do with the election.

Should you rephrase that sentence or offer up some more detail?

Cheers.

Parihaka
30 May 09,, 07:52
Iran does not allow drugs to pass through to Europe. It has been pretty strict in that sense where narco-terrorism is concerned.

I'm sorry, I didn't realise you'd fallen through a wormhole from an alternate reality. Allow me to bring you up to speed in this one.

Le Monde diplomatique (http://mondediplo.com/2002/03/13drug)
English edition



THE HEROIN ROUTE FROM AFGHANISTAN TO EUROPE
Iran loses its drugs war
Most heroin sold in Europe comes from Afghanistan’s poppies. Drugs cross the permeable border with Iran on their way to Turkey and Europe despite Iran’s desperate efforts, costing many lives, to combat trafficking at the border. Europe doesn’t help Iran with the cost of policing, and does even less to finance Afghan farmers to plant alternative crops.
by Cedric Gouverneur

Zahedan is the capital of Seistan-Baluchistan province, at the eastern edge of Iran, bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan. At first sight it seems an ordinary oriental town, with a lively bazaar, broad avenues jammed with traffic and poor neighbourhoods on its outskirts. But this is misleading. Zahedan is a vital staging post for international drug smuggling. In streets placarded with posters of Ayatollah Khomeini, army trucks and smugglers’ four-by-fours squeeze past each other. As evening falls men in all-terrain vehicles sell opium and heroin to local buyers. But the real action goes on in the desolate valleys and hills outside the town.

At night Baluchi smugglers set off for Afghanistan loaded with jerrycans of petrol, which is worth 10 times more there. They return with illegal immigrants. After being harassed by the authorities and exploited on Iranian building sites, some find their way as far as Europe. They represent a secondary trading line for the smugglers, who are more interested in drugs. The Pashtun provinces of Helmand, in the south, and Nangarhar, in the north, are the centres of opium production in Afghanistan. Some is turned into heroin in rudimentary laboratories in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Taking the southern route, after a detour via Pakistan, the drugs enter Iran along tracks that smugglers have used for centuries, carried by car or motorbike, on foot, or in convoys of dozens of four-by-fours with escorts bristling with cell phones, night-vision goggles, Kalashnikovs, rocket launchers and even United States-made Stinger missiles. The flow of drugs across the Iranian border is unstoppable. There are even caravans of camels that know the route so well they no longer need to be led. Each animal can transport up to seven tonnes of drugs. At traditional celebrations, the camels are fed opium to make them dance.

Baluchis, who are Sunni, ignore borders and are distributed across Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Baluchi society is based on clan loyalties and some groups have been smuggling between the three countries for centuries. Some have triple nationality. For many drug smuggling has become the only possible livelihood since drought has affected the area for several years. A high-ranking Iranian official, involved in the fight against drug-running, says "they are just ordinary people". Traditional Baluchi leaders condemn the use of drugs, which is infecting Iranian society (see The enemy within). They are less concerned about smuggling, a source of income for local notables. In Baluchistan there is no need to pressure people to help: clan ties are strong enough. The Afghan brigands who run opium along the northern route in Khorasan province regularly kidnap local people.

The smugglers risk the death penalty if they are caught carrying more than 30 grams of heroin or five kilos of opium. In March 2001 five smugglers, including a woman, were hanged from a crane in a Teheran square early one morning. In 2000, 900 were killed. Drug-related offences account for more than 80,000 of Iran’s prison population of 170,000. Every year Iranian police and customs detain thousands of first-time smugglers who attempt to conceal opium, heroin, hashish or morphine in the soles of their shoes, furniture, toothpaste tubes, electrical appliances, video cassettes and bank notes.
Huge profits

In 1995 a United Nations report said that "annual turnover in the drug trade could be as high as $500bn" (1). The profits are huge. Afghan growers sell opium for the equivalent of $30 a kilo in food. Smugglers earn $15-30 a day. In Zahedan a kilo of opium sells for $100, rising to $600 in Teheran and $2,400 in Turkey. Once refined, using acetic anhydride, it yields 100 grams of heroin. An initial outlay of $100 is enough to set up a laboratory. In Europe the street price for a gram of heroin, from 20-35% pure, runs from $25-35. Up to 90% of the heroin consumed in Europe comes from Afghanistan.

A dispirited Iranian army officer admits: "Unfortunately Iran is on the shortest route from the producers in Afghanistan to European consumers. The Central Asian states of the former Soviet Union have split into separate countries, with many borders to cross. Via Iran, there are only two." Once the smugglers have crossed into Iran, they stick to the mountainous areas in the north and south until they reach the Turkish border. Near Yazd, in central Iran, the Baluchi and Afghan carriers hand over their cargo to Azeris, Persians and Kurds.

"After the revolution in 1979, Iran, which had cultivated drugs for years, managed to eradicate growing of opium poppies in a year and a half," says Antonio Mazzitelli, the Teheran representative of the UN Drug Control Programme (UNDCP). Since then Iran has done its best to stem the drugs crossing its territory. The movement for reform, led by President Khatami, is still in charge of anti-drug policies. In January 2001 the Iranian legal system, dominated by Supreme Guide Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s conservative forces, made an unsuccessful bid to take over (2).

Forty-two thousand soldiers, police and militia, a tenth of Iran’s armed forces, are deployed along the eastern border, 1,950 kilometres from Turkmenistan, in the north, down to the Indian Ocean. The border has more than 200 observation posts, dozens of walls blocking mountain passes and hundreds of kilometres of trenches and barbed wire, an investment of $1bn, plus upkeep. Iran’s majlis (parliament) allocated $25m to improve border fortifications in 2000: 3,140 members of the security forces, including two generals, have been killed in skirmishes with smugglers since 1979, a rate of three a day (3).

In October 1999, at Gurnak to the south of Zahedan, 37 soldiers looking for a band of smugglers led by Mullah Kemal Salah Zehi were encircled and killed by their quarry.

Ali runs a local radio for Aftab (meaning sun), an Iranian NGO that specialises in helping addicts. One of his friends, newly married and doing his national service, was among those killed at Gurnak. He says: "If Iran let the drugs through, our soldiers wouldn’t get killed and less heroin would stop here. The West, which is the biggest consumer, does little to help. Probably because it doesn’t like us." Many Iranians share this view, knowing Iran’s negative image in the West.

Besides bilateral meetings between the heads of Iranian anti-narcotics forces and their Asian and European counterparts, international aid is limited. The European Commission and 14 donor countries contribute to UNDCP ($17m a year), which mounts anti-drug operations with the Iranian government. France has supplied 10 sniffer dogs and the UK bulletproof vests. Mazzitelli says: "The UK parliament had to pass a special law to allow the vests to be exported. Even the vaccine for the sniffer dogs has to be imported. One of the ingredients could theoretically be used in chemical weapons" (and so is on the list of banned substances).

President George Bush has now threatened military action against the axis of evil — Iran, Iraq and North Korea. But Washington has seen Iran as a rogue state (3) for a long time, and more recently as a "state of concern", and has subjected it to unilateral sanctions (4), which have affected the fight against drug running. The smugglers are generally better equipped than the military. Drugs consumed in the United States do not come from Central Asia but from the Golden Triangle further east, and Latin America. So Washington has nothing to gain by helping Iran fight trafficking. (Tension between the US and Iran rose suddenly in January when Israel intercepted a freighter loaded with arms said to be en route from Iran to Palestinian resistance groups.)
Too long a border

Iranian anti-drug forces seized more than 250 tonnes of narcotics in 2000. UNDCP estimates that on average states only intercept between 10-20% of all drugs. This suggests that some 1,000-2,000 tonnes of narcotics completed the journey from Afghanistan to Turkey that year. The heads of anti-narcotics forces in Iran are apologetic. One explains: "The border is simply too long, with deserts, mountains and marshes. We cannot control it all." Another says: "We do our best. We’ve lost 3,000 men proving that."

Shortcomings are apparent at any border post. At Taybad in Khorasan province, we saw an endless line of Afghan articulated trucks, bumper to bumper. The drivers were shifting goods from one trailer to another before entering Iran. Overwhelmed by their number, Northern Alliance soldiers and Iranian border guards cast an eye over passports, vehicles and loads. Underpaid officials must sometimes be tempted by the easy money from trafficking. Official reports do not mention corruption, which seems odd, as in Teheran’s public gardens street dealers pay police patrols $15 a day to turn a blind eye.

"Only by tackling the root of the problem can we hope to end the traffic," says Hossein Ketabdar, the anti-drug chief of Khorasan province. "Afghanistan is Nothingstan: without opium they would have nothing. We have to lift this country out of its misery and develop replacement cash crops for its farmers." US intervention has so far not dealt with this. "I don’t know whether US bombs settled the Taliban problem," adds Ketabdar, "but they certainly have not solved the opium issue." Mazzitelli is convinced that it has made things worse, making the opium crop even more important for the 3.3m Afghans who depend on it for their livelihood.

Mazzitelli explains: "Afghanistan produced 4,600 tonnes of opium in 1999. Then, in July 2000, the Taliban banned the crop. It is possible that Mullah Omar took this decision to let smugglers sell off their stocks and push up the market price. Either way, we observed a drastic reduction in the number of poppy fields and production dropped to 185 tonnes in 2001." But with no outside assistance, the growers and their families plunged into poverty. "As soon as the Taliban regime collapsed, the growers took advantage of the chaos to replant their fields," adds Mazzitelli. There could be a bumper crop this June. But it is hard to blame the farmers for trying to survive. "They have no other alternative," he says, "an opium poppy field is worth 15 times more than a food crop."

In January Hamid Karzai, head of the Afghan interim government, announced plans to end opium growing. The international community, including Iran, welcomed this gesture. But there is every reason to doubt the interim government’s ability to control Afghanistan. There is already open conflict between warlords. As most of the opium is grown in Pashtun provinces, which are particularly reluctant to take orders from the Tajik-dominated government, it seems even less likely that measures to root out the crop will be effective.

Afghanistan was promised $4.5bn in international aid at the Tokyo conference in January. Iran allocated $560m over a five-year period, $120m for this year. "For now the international community is not attempting to fund alternative development projects and replacement crops, but rather to rebuild Afghanistan’s infrastructure," Mazzitelli points out. Given Afghanistan’s extreme poverty, the fight against opium production could be sidelined.

Nationwide drug prevention measures in the I.R. of Iran

Project Number: IRNI55 (http://www.unodc.org/iran/en/nationwide-drug-prevention-measures.html)

Title: "Nationwide drug prevention measures in the I.R. of Iran"

Background:

I.R. of Iran is located along one of the major drug trafficking routes. Its neighbour, Afghanistan, is widely known as the main producer of opiates for the global market. Historically, I.R. of Iran has been a society predisposed towards drug abuse. The 1980s saw extensive population dislocation and the psychological impacts of post-war traumas with other transformations in the Iranian society. Additionally a baby boom transformed the population pyramid into an extremely young majority (over 60% of the population are under the age of 30). These social and psychological patterns acted as precursors to addiction.
Iranian Health authorities report that lowering of the mean age of drug abuse is becoming a serious health challenge. Iran has the highest opiate consumption prevalence rate worldwide with 2.8% of its population aged 15-64 using opiates. The mean age at which hashish consumption is commenced is about 18.9 years and for opiates, 22-24 years. About a quarter of those persons in I.R. of Iran who begin to use opiates have at least one close family member who also abuses opiates. Preliminary reports indicate a rise in the abuse of amphetamine type stimulants (ATS), particularly among Iranian youth. Drug abuse is also a problem in prisons, linked to the individual and social stresses of incarceration.

Parihaka
30 May 09,, 08:14
Collateral damage to Iran (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_production_in_Afghanistan#Collateral_damage_ to_Iran)


While Herat is not the highest-volume area of opium trade, Herat, and the other Iranian border areas of Farah, and Nimroz, have some of the highest prices, presumably due to demand from the Iranian market.[23] "Opium prices are especially high in Iran, where law enforcement is strict and where a large share of the opiate consumption market is still for opium rather than heroin. Not surprisingly, it appears that very significant profits can be made by crossing the Iranian border or by entering Central Asian countries like Tajikistan."

"The UNODC estimates 60 percent of Afghanistan's opium is trafficked across Iran's border (much of it in transit to Europe). Seizures of the narcotic by Iranian authorities in the first half of this year are up 29 percent from the same period last year, according to the country's police chief, as reported by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)...The Washington Post reports that Iran has the world's highest per capita number of opium addicts ... Experts say those affected most are the millions of unemployed Iranians and youth chafing under the restrictions placed on them from the Islamic government and basij, or civilian morals police.[24] The Iranian government has gone through several phases in dealing with its drug problem.

First, during the 1980s, its approach was supply-sided: "Law-and-order policies with zero tolerance led to the arrest of tens of thousands of addicts and the execution of thousands of narcotics traffickers."[24] "There are an estimated 68,000 Iranians imprisoned for drug trafficking and another 32,000 for drug addiction (out of a total prison population of 170,000, based on 2001 statistics)"[25]

Beehner said "Tehran also has spent millions of dollars and deployed thousands of troops to secure its porous 1,000-mile border with Afghanistan and Pakistan... a few hundred Iranian drug police die each year in battles with smugglers. Referring to the head of the UNODC office in Iran, Roberto Arbitrio, Beehner quoted Arbitrio in an interview with The Times. "You have drug groups like guerrilla forces, [who] ... shoot with rocket launchers, heavy machine guns, and Kalashnikovs."

A second-phase strategy came under then-President Mohammad Khatami, focused more on prevention and treatment.[24] Drug traffic is considered a security problem, and much of it is associated with Baluchi tribesmen, who recognize traditional tribal rather than national borders.[26] Current (2007) reports cite Iranian concern with ethnic guerillas on the borders, possibly supported by the CIA.

Iranian drug strategy changed again under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who took office in 2005. Iran's drug policy has been reconsidered and shifted back toward supply interdiction and boosting border security.[25] It is unclear if this is connected to more wide-ranging concerns with border security, perhaps in relation to Baluchi guerillas in Iran.

Samii's 2003 paper described Iran's "primary approach to the narcotics threat [as] interdiction. Iran shares a 936 kilometer border with Afghanistan and a 909 kilometer border with Pakistan, and the terrain in the two eastern provinces—Sistan va Baluchistan and Khorasan—is very rough. The Iranian government has set up static defenses along this border. This includes concrete dams, berms, trenches, and minefields..

S2
30 May 09,, 08:40
That's a story from 2002. Nangahar is out. ZERO hectares planted in 2008. See the 2008 UNODC Afghan Opium survey on that one. We'll see if it holds with the next report. Last year's came in August so we'll know soon, I hope.

157,000 hectares planted in the 2008 report IIRC. Of that, 147000 was in Helmand, Farah, Kandahar, Oruzgan, and Nimroz (in that descending order) leaving 10,000 hectares planted for the remaining 29 provinces. As much as A.M. might wish to peddle the B.S. elsewhere, this is increasingly not a uzbek, tajik, turkomen problem within Afghanistan (i.e. the N.A.) but a PASHTU issue.

Dope's moving south into Pakistan where it's the easiest and safest transit, graded, with lower quality dope then used to satisfy a growing domestic audience in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. The rest is passed through to the gulf states and/or Iran for other markets with Turkey receiving a goodly portion of this dope before further distribution to points in Europe.

axeman
30 May 09,, 09:26
@Parihaka

My mistake. I meant to say that Iran doesn't condone the transfer of drugs from Afganistan to xyz.



It's incorrect to say the mumbai attacks had nothing to do with the election.

I never said the attack didn't have anything to do with the election. I said it wasn't the cause of the government getting elected again.


As much as A.M. might wish to peddle the B.S. elsewhere

*Message erased*

Helium
30 May 09,, 09:28
Should you rephrase that sentence or offer up some more detail?

Cheers.

First; A terrorist attack or any foreign threat for that matter immediately becomes an election issue.

Also the occurence of a major crisis before elections can swing an election or at the least drastically affect the polls.
Take for example the 2008 US presidential election, first the major issues were really healthcare & the Iraq war. Once it was widely accepted that the US was going to experience a recession then when it was clear the US was in a recession; the economy became a major election issue....I dont think it would be wrong to say THE election issue.

The attacks in Mumbai shone the light on Terrorism and/or the ability of each canditates/government to protect the people. To say that Indians didn't go to polls with that in mind is silly IMO. Also, consider that a "foreign threat" invariably unites the population behind the present government, even more so if their response to the attacks is swift + successful. Eg, 911, Mumbai.

When the US. Britain + India experienced terrorist attacks, the present governments were reelected at the next election also.

When Iran paint these attacks as sanctioned/perpetrated by the USA + Israel it creates a feeling of a Foreign threat & will end up uniting the nation.

axeman
30 May 09,, 09:47
The logic you're using is all well and good when it comes to America. The 700 million-odd people which don't live in urban India are more worried about development and economic progress. That is why the UPA was elected. After 26/11, the only thing that was done was to prove that the terrorists were from Pakistan and had trained there. Do we have the capacity to stop such an attack on New Delhi, Mumbai or Chennai now ? God no.
I'll say it again - after the Mumbai attack, there was a massive anti-government, anti-bureaucracy sentiment in India. If anything, if the Mumbai attack was at the forefront of the voters minds, the BJP would have won without a problem.

Parihaka
30 May 09,, 10:10
That's a story from 2002. Nangahar is out.

S-2, I know, but I also linked to the '08 UNODC for more up-to-date internal Iranian data. The Wiki article has good up-to-date links as well.
What the article does do is give good background of the flow through Baluchistan/Waziristan into SE Iran and dissemination from there, something that hasn't changed but grown since then.
I think it also answers some of the questions of how certain explosive materials and armaments return to the south of Afghanistan, through the hands of those who control the financial strings of the trade both ways: sending idiot young men to die at the hands of NATO: buying the opium from the farmers who because of the violence can't make money any other way: sending the opium out to Iran where their fellow traders based in Dubai arrange for the dilution and shipment to the Iranian population and further afield while also arranging for arms and munitions to flow back the other way where the Talibunnie overlords hand out the guns to more idiot young men and stack their Dubai bank accounts with the profits.

:edit: People keep characterizing the war in the south of Afghanistan in terms of religious zeal and fanatacism, terrorism and various governments and tribes hegemony.
IMHO it's nothing of the sort except in the minds of the idiot young men of the talibunnies doing the dying: the surviving mujahadeen and startup ISI trained talibunnies have long since moved on to be men of business, gorging themselves on the profits to be made on the margins of conflict.

Parihaka
30 May 09,, 10:21
@Parihaka

My mistake. I meant to say that Iran doesn't condone the transfer of drugs from Afganistan to xyz. Okay


Care to explain this ?He's talking of another poster elsewhere that both of us have shone a light on at other times. You just happen to share the same initials.

axeman
30 May 09,, 13:08
Okay
He's talking of another poster elsewhere that both of us have shone a light on at other times. You just happen to share the same initials.
My mistake again, then. :)
Apologies, S2.

S2
30 May 09,, 13:42
Totally concur. Great point about the maturity of zealotry into middle-man marketing.
The channels are well-practiced in both directions but you'd have to agree that Mossad, RAW, and the C.I.A. are the ultimate string-pullers here.:biggrin:

chankya
30 May 09,, 20:53
It's just campaign rhetoric by the usual political whores. The fact Zahedan is within spitting distance of Quetta: that the border protection is zilch, and that the police and politicians are paid to look the other way as opium flows out of Waziristan and arms flow in has of course nothing to do with it.


I'm sorry, I didn't realise you'd fallen through a wormhole from an alternate reality. Allow me to bring you up to speed in this one. Nationwide drug prevention measures in the I.R. of Iran

Your first post suggests that Iran wasn't even trying to fight the flow. The articles you've posted paint a picture of a country fighting hard but losing all the same. There is a world of difference between the two.

From your article:

In October 1999, at Gurnak to the south of Zahedan, 37 soldiers looking for a band of smugglers led by Mullah Kemal Salah Zehi were encircled and killed by their quarry.

These guys didn't get paid off, you think?

chankya
30 May 09,, 20:57
I'll say it again - after the Mumbai attack, there was a massive anti-government, anti-bureaucracy sentiment in India. If anything, if the Mumbai attack was at the forefront of the voters minds, the BJP would have won without a problem.

This is true. The Congress won despite the Bombay attack not because of it.

The bombings did unite the country in that there were no riots nothing. I expect that's the reaction the scum were looking for.

Still, a terrorist attack should be a good reason to get rid of the incumbents, shouldn't it?

1980s
01 Jun 09,, 16:16
Zahedan and Sistan-Baluchestan in general is so remote from the core of Iran, geographically, culturally and id say psychologically too, that violence and terrorism in the province are not going to play into the minds of the majority of Iranians who will vote in the Presidential elections. Whatever happens in Sistan-Baluchestan is far removed from the thoughts or concerns of your average Tehrani etc that the bomb attack on the Mosque the other day in Zahedan is not going to shift anyones favour towards the hardliners like Ahmadinejad if they had already made-up their minds to support Mousavi or Karroubi.

Anyway it doesnt matter who the President is. The regime is serious about combating and preventing smuggling and crime from coming into Iran from Afghanistan and Pakistan. The IRGC took over border control with Pakistan from the police not too long ago and since 2007 there have been some major border fortification projects there. The problem Iran faces on the border with Pakistan is largely the fault of the Pakistanis inability and inaction to bring law and order to their side and to seriously co-operate with Iran to crush criminal gangs and terrorists like the Jundullah outfit.

When it comes to smuggling drugs into Iran im sure there are some corrupt policemen who take a cut from the smugglers for allowing them into the country but i suspect that is going to be less of a problem now that the IRGC has taken over border security in Sistan-Baluchestan province.

As for terrorism and political violence. Attacks on Iran from the Jundullah outfit are possible because the Pakistani state only exists in the area on paper, not in practice. Their side is a haven for criminals and terrorists. Much like their borders with Afghanistan. It is from their side where all of the criminal gangs and terrorists are based an operate from.

axeman
01 Jun 09,, 17:28
The bombings did unite the country in that there were no riots nothing. I expect that's the reaction the scum were looking for.

What they were after (and this is my opinion) was to start off a war. This would relieve the Pakistani Army of its commitments in Waziristan, which would have been difficult to fulfil due to the 22% Pashtun's. India starting something would have been more than enough reason for them to move their troops to the eastern front. Of course, the fear and anger (towards the government) it set into the hearts of the Indian's was a big bonus.

As far as the riots go, they could have managed it. Had there been anything started by a few Muslim youths in Mumbai, we may well have seen riots. Don't forget the anger caused by the attacks. All Pakistan had to do was direct a portion of it onto our own Muslim population. There are enough idiots to fall for something like that (for example: Punjab riots. Destroying trains and buses over something that happened thousands of kilometers away).



Still, a terrorist attack should be a good reason to get rid of the incumbents, shouldn't it?

Heck, it was an excellent reason.

Dreadnought
01 Jun 09,, 17:34
IMO, A complete joke as they claim the US was behind it. If the people are that dumb then they dont deserve better leadership and we should just give Israel the green light and put an end to this worry over nukes once and for all.

zraver
01 Jun 09,, 23:15
I think Iran should look inside the IIRGC for the attackers string pullers.

Parihaka
02 Jun 09,, 01:22
Your first post suggests that Iran wasn't even trying to fight the flow. The articles you've posted paint a picture of a country fighting hard but losing all the same. There is a world of difference between the two.

From your article:


These guys didn't get paid off, you think?

Lives are cheap

The Baluchistan Problem (http://www.meforum.org/788/domestic-threats-to-iranian-stability-khuzistan)


Iran's Baluchi population also complains of ethnic and religious discrimination. While Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's interpretation of Twelver Shi'ism is the religious base of the Islamic Republic, Sunnis are the majority in the Sistan va Baluchistan province. Sectarian tension has flared sporadically. In 1993, regime radicals razed or forcibly converted several Sunni mosques. A number of Sunni leaders, both Baluchi and Kurd, have died under suspicious circumstances. In March 1996, for example, Iranian operatives killed Molavi Abdul Malek, an Iranian Baluch and Sunni cleric, in Karachi, Pakistan.14 A series of bombings shook the region in October 2000.15 Another wave of terrorist bombings hit Zahedan, the provincial capital, in June 2005.16

While many in Iranian Baluchistan may feel dispossessed, drugs and criminality rather than ethnic separatism may be the greatest threat to domestic stability emanating from Baluchistan. Drug-smuggling across the Afghan and Pakistani frontiers into Iranian Baluchistan is rife. The border is poorly patrolled. Terrain is rough. Recent political tension between Tehran and Islamabad over Iranian support for a Baluchi insurgency in Pakistan has also undercut security and border cooperation.17

The Iranian drug problem is huge. While Iranian opium interdiction accounts for almost a quarter of opiate seizures worldwide, United Nations officials say that Iranian authorities seize only 10 to 15 percent of the drug shipments.18 Iran is not only a transit country for opium and heroin, but also a consumer. Drug addiction is rife and the trade lucrative. Shoot-outs between drug dealers and Iranian police are frequent, as are kidnappings. In recent years, tribal groups or drug smuggling gangs have kidnapped a series of European tourists in order both to embarrass the Tehran regime and to leverage the hostages in prisoner swaps or ransom schemes.19

The Iranian government sometimes seeks to blame Baluch organizations, an accusation they fiercely deny. In 2003, for example, the Baluchistan United Front issued a press release denying government accusations of its involvement in hostage-taking.20 Blaming regional groups - or inadequate cooperation from Afghanistan and Pakistan - may be easier for officials in Tehran than combating corruption among Iran's law enforcement forces and the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, components of both of which are complicit in smuggling.

Violence in Baluchistan may have some ethnic component, but a far greater cause is general lawlessness. Central government disinterest and discrimination, exacerbated by sectarian differences, has bred resentment and contributed to the region's underdevelopment. The local disdain for Tehran is consistent with the historic pattern in which the periphery slowly spins away from central government control during periods of weakness. As the violence in Khuzistan, Baluchistan, and elsewhere continues, it is clear that the Islamic Republic is in trouble.

Potential for U.S. Cooperation (http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC05.php?CID=1382)



Iran also seems to make use of drug smugglers for its own purposes. Following the arrest of its leader Abdullah Ocalan, the Turkish-based Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) relocated its main bases to Iran. From there, it operates heroin refineries and taxes narcotics smugglers, relying on drugs as a significant source of income. An Iranian defector to Turkey reports that the Iranian government tolerates the PKK smuggling operation in exchange for intelligence information.

The United States can readily offer to cooperate with Iran about limiting drug demand. For instance, it could encourage more non-governmental organizations to join Narcotics Anonymous, which is already working inside Iran. However, it is by no means clear how willing Iran would be to accept aid from the U.S. government on reducing drug demand.

Iran and the United States are both members of the "6 + 2" group of countries concerned about Afghanistan. This can provide a channel through which high-level officials can discuss the drug trade from Afghanistan, if Iran is so inclined.

Combating drug smuggling is a different from enforcing drug laws. Campaigns against drug smuggling require the use of equipment that has military applications. There is serious reason to be concerned that Iran’s counter-smuggling operations are also directed against dissent by minorities and that its drug enforcement is sometimes a cover for suppressing dissidents. Iran also seems to sanction drug smuggling by terrorists where politically convenient. For these reasons, it would not be appropriate for Washington to work with Iran against drug smuggling. Indeed, the current U.S. policy is to deduct from its contribution to the UNDCP the amount of financial support the program provides to Iran.


PDT Kiryat Shemona, Israel (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/08/20/MNGK9KLVH41.DTL) --
Israeli intelligence officials have complained to Britain and the United States that sensitive night-vision equipment recovered from Hezbollah fighters during the war in Lebanon had been exported by Britain to Iran. British officials said the equipment had been intended for use in a U.N. anti-narcotics campaign.



Iran has every reason to combat it's domestic problem, and every reason to assist transit of drugs through it's territory.

Traxus
02 Jun 09,, 23:50
I think Iran should look inside the IIRGC for the attackers string pullers.

Perhaps. We should also not discount US/Israeli/whomever involvement. While these attacks would probably not directly benefit the US directly, the perpetrators of these attacks (radical Sunnis) are the type that the US or other nations would support in order to destabilize Iran. They may not have direct orders, but it wouldn't surprise me if some of these groups receive funding/supplies/logistical support from the US or another entity.

As foreign governments may support seemingly unfriendly elements (the enemy of my enemy is my friend), the Revolutionary Guards within Iran could also be using this as a way to initiate a crackdown in order to strengthen their own power.

This sort of thing is extremely murky, its impossible for us to know who done it and why, there are so many possible groups that could have their fingers in something like this. Since the opening post, there have been more attacks including this most recent one:

AFP: One killed, two wounded as gunmen shoot at bus in Iran (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gIcZ_hMTTGwmpNHydY_s9TYKX5cw)


TEHRAN (AFP) — One person was killed and two wounded when armed men opened fire on a bus in southern Iran, the official IRNA news agency said on Tuesday, the latest incident of violence rocking the region.

"Armed rebels killed a passenger and wounded two others when they fired on a bus travelling from Zahedan to Bam," Ahmad Reza Radan, deputy police chief of Zahedan, said.

It will be interesting to see if these attacks continue, and what sort of effect they will have.

Parihaka
03 Jun 09,, 01:10
The Revolutionary guards took over control of the Iranian Balochistan area on 6 April this year

Revolutionary guards to fight terrorists in eastern Iran (http://www.balochonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=319:b&catid=1:balochistan&Itemid=18)

Written by Tehran Times Daily
Monday, 06 April 2009 05:53

TEHRAN – National police chief announced on Sunday that the police has handed fighting terrorists in the Balochistan part of Iran to the country’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
Except for border areas of Sistan-Baluchestan Province, Jundullah activities in the country have been “reduced to zero!!!” and now the mission of fighting Jundullah in the region has been taken up by IRGC and Basij forces, Esmaeil Ahmadi-Moqaddam told reporters in a press conference in Tehran.

Militants of the Jundullah ring regularly cross over into Iranian Balochistan from their hideouts in neighboring Pakistani Balochistan to harass, kidnap or attack IRGC, Basij forces and police officers.

He also pointed out that 44 percent of Iran’s borders are now “under special control” of the national police and that some plans have been prepared to increase the figure to 60 percent by the end of this year (20th March 2010).

Ahmadi-Moqaddam said by carefully monitoring the borders in Sistan-Baluchestan and Kordistan provinces police forces have succeeded to reduce fuel smuggling by 90 percent and goods smuggling by 80 percent.

He also noted that police forces confiscate one thirds of narcotics smuggled into Iran.

zraver
03 Jun 09,, 02:38
Perhaps. We should also not discount US/Israeli/whomever involvement. While these attacks would probably not directly benefit the US directly, the perpetrators of these attacks (radical Sunnis) are the type that the US or other nations would support in order to destabilize Iran.

The general rule of thumb in America is follow the money- who benefits. The only person benefiting is A-jad because it diverts attention from his domestic failures.

Dreadnought
03 Jun 09,, 13:35
The general rule of thumb in America is follow the money- who benefits. The only person benefiting is A-jad because it diverts attention from his domestic failures.

Fully agreed, The people are'nt being fooled so they will have to go to more extreme tactics and point the fingers at everybody. The only people that have made Iran poor is A-jad and his minions. I have often wondered when the people we see beyond empty promises at home while the enemies this man has made gather at the gates over his rhetoric. I would be surprised though if he is not re-elected with the bag of tricks and influenece himself and his master can pull. IMO, it will take a coup to get him out if not a civil war to beat the influence and stringpulling. Guess we shall see.

axeman
03 Jun 09,, 14:06
IMO, it will take a coup to get him out if not a civil war to beat the influence and stringpulling. Guess we shall see.

A coup would bring the more radical to power. How much do you think the Iranian people would like American interference in their buisness...again ? Sanctions and rhetoric by America/West haven't really worked. Iran is just becoming more and more anti-America. Whether that should bother you or not is not something I will comment on.

Dreadnought
03 Jun 09,, 15:29
A coup would bring the more radical to power. How much do you think the Iranian people would like American interference in their buisness...again ? Sanctions and rhetoric by America/West haven't really worked. Iran is just becoming more and more anti-America. Whether that should bother you or not is not something I will comment on.

IMO, he is going to do everything and anything at his disposal to make sure that he wins and so will many that support this loon. Including blaming attacks on the U.S.:rolleyes: Iran, from what I understand is not anti-American but their people really dont hold any voice nationally and the current regime constantly shuts down the communications networks that allow other canidates to relate to Irans people and the people to communicate and press for more free elections. What does that tell you?
It tells me that A-jad is not going to leave office fairly nor on a peacefull means. We shall see. And if he is as bad as many claim him to be then we shall see just how bad they want this man out of office for what he has put his country through. Pending that outcome it dont matter to me in the least what Iran thinks of America. To keep such a man in office after making his country poor through poor economical policies coupled with high inflation, very low job oppertunity and calling for the destruction of any nation would seem more then enough reason to remove him. If thats the man they want representing their country then I could care less what they think of me as an American. We are atleast attempting to repair frayed ties with nations. What has this man done to better or repair Irans frayed ties with the rest of the world. Nothing!;)

zraver
03 Jun 09,, 20:54
A coup would bring the more radical to power. How much do you think the Iranian people would like American interference in their buisness...again ? Sanctions and rhetoric by America/West haven't really worked. Iran is just becoming more and more anti-America. Whether that should bother you or not is not something I will comment on.

Iran had a silent coup a couple of years ago. The Guards displaced the clerics in all but name and its going to take either a loyalist segment of the Guards staging a coup or a general revolution to break their power. Iran needs a George Washington who will do what needs to be done and then walk away.

Traxus
03 Jun 09,, 23:30
The general rule of thumb in America is follow the money- who benefits. The only person benefiting is A-jad because it diverts attention from his domestic failures.

Or a foreign power could benefit from destabilizing Iran. Or there could be no strings at all, merely rebel groups trying to get more clout.

The "who benefits" notion is all well and good, but it can very easily lead to bad conclusions. We must remember that people and states will do what they *think* will benefit them, in the short, medium or long term. These entities are quite capable of making enormous and stupid mistakes. Seeing who benefits can be useful if there is other evidence, but actors are quite capable of capitalizing on the misfortune of their opponents.

Dreadnought
04 Jun 09,, 13:11
Or a foreign power could benefit from destabilizing Iran. Or there could be no strings at all, merely rebel groups trying to get more clout.

The "who benefits" notion is all well and good, but it can very easily lead to bad conclusions. We must remember that people and states will do what they *think* will benefit them, in the short, medium or long term. These entities are quite capable of making enormous and stupid mistakes. Seeing who benefits can be useful if there is other evidence, but actors are quite capable of capitalizing on the misfortune of their opponents.

Ah, but shutting down the internet blogs,sites etc while it is known that his competition is utilizing it to campaign and reach out to the people and the people use it to help push for more free elections only benefits one person and that one person is none other then A-jad. The very same one who blames the U.S. for the attacks in the article that began the thread.;)

1980s
04 Jun 09,, 14:41
There's a reason why the Islamic Republic maintains two separate army's and that is to prevent a coup d'état of the clerical-regime. While some of the command structure of the two have now been integrated they still remain distinct and parallel militaries. Some of you are mistaken in thinking that the IRGC controls the clerics, its the other-way around. The clerics are in control of both militaries. They appoint, re-position, re-appoint, remove etc all heads and senior leaders in the armed forces. And they do this freely without opposition or protest.

Traxus
04 Jun 09,, 16:46
Ah, but shutting down the internet blogs,sites etc while it is known that his competition is utilizing it to campaign and reach out to the people and the people use it to help push for more free elections only benefits one person and that one person is none other then A-jad. The very same one who blames the U.S. for the attacks in the article that began the thread.;)

I'm not discounting Ahmadinejad's (ie the Revolutionary Guard's) involvement, they have the motive and capability. I'm just saying that Iranian politics are extremely murky, and it behooves us to keep an open mind on these matters. We shouldn't discount anyone's involvement, at least until we have more information.

Dreadnought
04 Jun 09,, 17:32
I'm not discounting Ahmadinejad's (ie the Revolutionary Guard's) involvement, they have the motive and capability. I'm just saying that Iranian politics are extremely murky, and it behooves us to keep an open mind on these matters. We shouldn't discount anyone's involvement, at least until we have more information.

*We should discount US involvement. IMO it wouldnt pay the US any dividends to futher destabilize the region while in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan. Although A-jad seems to think differently hence the beginning article where he points out US involvement. Its actaully ironic that he points this out where as they have zero proof but intern the US has plenty of proof of Irans involvement in Iraq.;)

Helium
08 Jun 09,, 07:42
*We should discount US involvement. IMO it wouldnt pay the US any dividends to futher destabilize the region while in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan. Although A-jad seems to think differently hence the beginning article where he points out US involvement. Its actaully ironic that he points this out where as they have zero proof but intern the US has plenty of proof of Irans involvement in Iraq.;)

well said. I always wondered why during the incredible violence that was occuring in Iraq, that the US didn't shine the light on Iran & its involvement in fueling the violence. There was some mention but nothing like the kind of outcry that the US is capable of when you compare it to shining the light on Irans nuclear program. Thats one thing I never understood; why the Bush admin didn't give evidence to the media or something like that?