Iran: There Can Be No Greater Sin


In Lebanon, three decades of Iranian support for local Shia group Hezbollah has paid off as a combination of bribes, bullying and Iranian backing resulted in Hezbollah putting together a coalition of parties that gave Hezbollah control of the Lebanese government. This could trigger another civil war in Lebanon, but Iran doesn’t care. This move gives Iran control of Lebanon, as long as Hezbollah leads the coalition government. And another civil war would be an opportunity to increase Iranian influence there, and to hurt Israel. There are also risks, but these are the kinds of, behind the scenes, risks that Iran prefers.

Russia has called for an international investigation of the Stuxnet computer virus, and punishment of those responsible. Iran has admitted that their nuclear program was damaged by Stuxnet,and blames the attack on the U.S. and Israel. Although Russia has recently cancelled several important weapons sales to Iran (in return for Western and Israeli help in updating Russian weapons industries), Russia still wants to maintain good relations with Iran. Thus the loud, but largely meaningless, campaign to punish whoever unleashed Stuxnet.

Another result of Stuxnet is the government announcing a cyber (computer security) police force. Not just to protect against Stuxnet type threats, but the more insidious Internet based dangers (Facebook, twitter, email and so on). Help is being sought from Russia and China, two nations that have long had powerful “cyber police” operations.

Iran: There Can Be No Greater Sin


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