Friday, September 28, 2012

Iran: Brain Drain, Drug Addiction, Capital Flight, . . .

In ... the latest available data, Iran was losing more than 150,000 of its educated and skilled citizens annually, according to the IMF. – Reuters _Iran Unemployment and Brain Drain

...heroin use is now at a global high in Afghanistan and Iran, where opium and poppies are grown, while it has dropped in Western Europe. _Drug Use Spiking

Educated young people and professionals are getting out whenever they can:
Following the controversial 2009 presidential elections, a wave Iranians left the country because of the widespread government crackdown on protesters.

Meanwhile, the brain drain has been a longstanding issue facing the country as many students leave Iran to continue their studies and often end up settling abroad and not returning to Iran. _EurasiaReview

The Iranian government is attempting to put a brave face on a developing disaster:
Oil production has shrunk to 800,000 barrels a day, a level not seen since the 1980s, during the war with Iraq (who bombed Iranian oil fields and tankers). Inflation is making items like meat, medicine, and imported goods too expensive for most Iranians. Inflation is out of control and the value of the rial (Iranian currency) against the dollar and other foreign currency continues to decline. It costs nearly three times as much to buy dollars with rials versus a year ago. Even with more currency being printed, the government cannot get everyone paid on time. _Economic Collapse

As the defiant Iranian government rushes ahead in an attempt to develop nuclear weapons, the tactics taken by nations opposed to a nuclear Iran continue to evolve:
Iran recently reported that security troops outside a new underground nuclear enrichment plant went to investigate a suspicious looking rock and the rock exploded. Later investigation revealed that the rock was, indeed, not a real rock but an electronic device that was apparently monitoring activity around the nuclear facility (that enriched uranium sufficiently for use in a bomb) and transmitting it, via satellite, back to somewhere. The rock was also rigged to self-destruct if anyone got close.

The usual suspects for such a ploy were the Americans (who have been using the fake rocks thing for decades) and the Israelis (who also use fake rocks, and use them quite a lot in Lebanon). The Iranians are not only upset with the exploding rocks, but also with how someone was blowing up electrical transmission towers and cutting off electricity of the underground nuclear facility. This happened twice last month. On top of all these explosions, Iran is also alarmed at the unending attacks by Cyber War weapons. _Smart Exploding Rocks

Iran's military is being forced to contract maintenance work on advanced imported weapons systems with local contractors, in an attempt to save money and to maintain control of the systems within Iran. But that may mean that formerly sophisticated systems are losing some of their sophistication, stealth, and reliability:
Iran recently put one of its three Kilo class submarines back into service after a period of refurbishment by an Iranian shipyard. Russia insists that refurbishment and upgrades of its Kilo class subs be done in Russian shipyards. But the Iranians believed the Russians were charging too much and feared the Russians would not return the sub.

So the Iranians did it themselves, even though the Russians would not provide the technical data normally needed for such an upgrade. According to the Iranian press release, Iranian technicians fabricated replacement parts for internal (pumps, compressors, engines, and the like) and external (sound absorbent tiles, control surfaces) components and installed them. While some of the technology needed here (pneumatic, engines, electronics) is pretty common stuff, other items are not. So it's unknown how adequate the Iranian replacement parts were.

...The new Iranian components have probably made these boats louder and easier to find. U.S. and allied anti-submarine forces will be keen to play with the refurbished Kilo when it ventures out into international waters (which it may avoid doing to prevent anyone from "hearing" how this Kilo has changed). _Klunkification of Kilo Submarines

Iran is paying a high price for its determination to build and maintain its own nuclear weapons arsenal. More specifically, the people of Iran are paying a high price for the determination of Iran's wealthy religious and secular elite to possess a nuclear weapons threat.

The ongoing covert war against Iran may serve as a test case for the future treatment of militant powers which wish to wield massively destructive weapons systems. Certainly no modern nation can afford very many military actions along the line of the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq.

1 comment:

kurt9 said...

I hear that the drug addiction rates in Iran are higher than anything we've seen since 19th century China and that prostitution is rampant.

So much for the Islamic republic's ability to prevent vice.