What does an Iranian oil technocrat look like? Who is the lebanese Energy & Water Minister? MEK in Baluchistan. Hm.

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انك جامع اطلاعات مديران صنعت نفت جمهوري اسلامي ايران

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سيد امير احقر

معاون مهندسى واجراى طرحها در شركت گاز استان همدان

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I was just pondering the state of things in Iran. The Iranian Ministry of Petroleum website. WHO is WHO? Ah yes, the CIA has quite a story to go with that one.

How can Iran be radical? The Ministry of Petroleum of the Islamic Republic has an excellent, quite satisfactory Christmas-tree shape that any vanilla midwestern accounts Manager would feel snuggly with.

And then there are those weapons facilities. This Bam map is interesting.

 Nuke Guide Iran Facility Spin2 960601 010

But perhaps this is the best of all: A nice Iran ethnographic map. Are there rumors that those Baluchis in the corner ("Baluchistan") are being used to Start Something??? Although DEBKA says the Baluchis are helping to smuggle Osama bin Laden around.

 Maps Middle East And Asia Iran Peoples 82

A misc blog post from back in January about US Air Force missions over Iran, attempting to goad the Iranians into activating their radar. Hmmmm. Also a bit about the MEK: Are they using the Baluchi area of Pakistan to launch things against Iran? Oh Sy Hersh, what now?

After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, U.S. forces seized and destroyed MEK munitions and weapons, and about 4,000 MEK operatives were "consolidated, detained, disarmed, and screened for any past terrorist acts, the report said.

Shortly afterwards, the Bush administration began to use them in its covert operations against Iran, former senior U.S. intelligence officials said.

"They've been active in the south for some time," said former CIA counterterrorism chief, Vince Cannistraro.

The MEK are said to be currently launching raids from Camp Habib in Basra, but recently Pakistan President Pervez Musharaff granted permission for the MEK to operate from Pakistan's Baluchi area, U.S. officials said.

See also the UPI press report about "cat and mouse" military flights over Iran. Special Forces operating in Afghan Baluchistan. But this is fairly old news:

A secret new US Special Forces mission to hunt down Al Qaeda along Afghanistan's border with Iran is triggering cross-border accusations of espionage, amid persistent suspicions that Iran is harboring terrorists.

The Green Berets have based themselves in a desert compound three miles from the Iranian frontier.

[.....]

Interviews in Zaranj with Afghans expelled – and sometimes beaten – by Iranian authorities suggest that Tehran is treating the new US presence as a threat to its national integrity. The Iranian military is blaming the threat on local Afghans, whom they accuse of spying for the Americans.

While the US soldiers have been probing border areas where Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan meet, it is unclear if the teams will cross over into Iran, Western military analysts say. They add that US special operations commanders in their home bases are still formulating rules and guidelines for new "snatch squads" to nab Al Qaeda suspects at large across the globe.

Meanwhile, Iranian border troops, their ranks bolstered since the arrival of the three dozen American soldiers, have been digging fresh trenches in the sands here and setting up new gun positions.

We are also amused that the Minister of Water in Lebanon these days is an officer of Hezbollah, which apparently means that we are not allowed to discuss water with the Lebanese. Tells you how strategic H20 really is.

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