The Revolutionary Guards, or at least the al Quds force (which specialize in supporting pro-Iranian terrorists in foreign countries) is having a hard time in Iraq. With the collapse of al Qaeda in Iraq (because the Sunni Arabs turned on them), U.S. troops are now concentrating on Iranian supported groups. Coalition commando forces are specifically looking to capture as many al Quds operatives as they can. As a result of this, Iran has been pulling its al Quds people out of Iraq. Those that have been captured so far have given up embarrassing and damaging information.Strategy Page
In northern Iran, the war against the Kurds is not going well. Before 2003, Iran was supporting pro-al Qaeda Kurdish groups by providing sanctuary inside Iran, as well as weapons and supplies. These Islamic radicals took control of some villages inside Iraq, but were destroyed by Kurdish militiamen and American Special Forces. Then Kurdish separatists groups began sneaking into Iran and recruiting Iranian Kurds who were willing to fight. That problem has grown over the past four years, to the point that there are several thousand Revolutionary Guard troops, including artillery and some armored vehicles, operating along the Iraq border. The Iranian artillery fires shells at Kurdish villages in Iraq, and Revolutionary Guard patrols often cross the border. But the Iranians know they cannot get too aggressive. The Kurdish militias can handle Revolutionary Guard patrols, and the Iranians have suffered dozens of casualties in these clashes over the Summer. The Iranians also know that if they put too many people into Iraq, they will have to deal with American smart bombs. While some Revolutionary Guard commanders say otherwise, most Iranian military leaders don't want to fight U.S. troops, especially not in largely Kurdish areas along the Iraq border. Most of those Kurds would welcome an American invasion, and the Iranian generals don't want to invite one. Even with that restraint, the fighting over the last few months has left over 200 dead, and many more wounded.
In the southwestern province of Khuzestan, police executed three Iranian Arabs, who were accused of terrorist bombings inside Iran. The Iranian Arabs are despised by ethnic Iranians (an Indo-Aryan group, related to Indians and Europeans), and the current generation of Iranian Arabs are fed up with the discrimination they suffer. Their fathers fought bravely for Iran when Iran invaded in the 1980s, and all the government gave in return was more abuse. There's more anger than organization and violence. British agents are widely believed to be helping to organize armed resistance, but there's no proof. Those rumors have been an Iranian staple for over a century. But there are a lot of unhappy Arabs in Khuzestan, and there is some violence.
In the southeast, there's a lot of violence, and several hundred casualties a year. But it's more crime-wave than war. It's all about drugs. Iran is a prime market, and transit route, for heroin and opium from Afghanistan. Pushtun tribes in Afghanistan, and Baluchi tribes in Iran, are getting rich from this trade, and the police, reinforced by Revolutionary Guard units, are fighting a losing battle against the well armed and motivated (by huge amounts of cash) smugglers.
The US Democratic Congress needs the Iranians to succeed in Iraq. That is their only hope to precipitate a disastrous US withdrawal soon--so as to wrap up this US defeat as Bush's Vietnam. That's what the US Democrats are praying for, for Christmas. An unequivocal US loss in Iraq.
As soon as the US public understands that that is the extent of the forward thinking of the US Democratic Party--a monumental defeat for the US military--the 2008 election will begin to gel.