Yesterday, Oct. 6, 2012, at around 10 am local time, the Israeli air force shot down a small unmanned droneafter it entered the south of Israel.
The drone was first spotted above the Mediterranean in the area of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip to the west of Israel, said military spokeswoman Avital Leibovich. It was kept under surveillance and followed by Israeli air force jets before it was shot down above a forest in an unpopulated area near the border with the occupied West Bank.
Troops are searching for remains of the aircraft. It is not clear from where came the drone. Local media quoted officials as saying the aircraft flew in from the west, but not from the Gaza Strip.
It is rumored that the drone is American. If so, that means Israel may be preparing to undertake a military strike (against Iran?) and is telling the Obama administration not to interfere.
Iran’s rial has lost a third of its exchange value against the dollar in a week.
In Iran, the country is hurtling down the abyss as the Iranian currency, the rial, has lost a third of its exchange value against the dollar in a mere week. It is Iran’s worst financial crisis since the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.
The Guardian reports, October 3, 2012, that hundreds of demonstrators in the Iranian capital, Tehran, clashed with riot police on Wednesday, during protests against the drastic fall in the value of the rial. The Grand Bazaar – the heartbeat of Tehran’s economy – went on strike, with various businesses shutting down. Bazaar owners and foreign exchange dealers gathered in scattered groups chanting anti-government slogans.
According to the opposition website Kaleme.com, protesters shouted “Mahmoud [Ahmadinejad] the traitor … leave politics”. Infuriated by Iran’s alleged financial and military support for Syria’s Bashar al-Assad regime, protesters also shouted “leave Syria alone, instead think of us”.
Security forces were soon sent to quell the protests, as police used batons and teargas to try to disperse the crowds.
“They used teargas to disperse demonstrators in Ferdowsi Street and also blocked the streets close to the protests in order to prevent people joining them,” said another witness, who asked to remain anonymous. “Some shop windows in that area have been smashed and dustbins set on fire.” A number of demonstrators had been arrested, according to Kaleme.
The rial‘s devaluation and soaring prices of staple goods are the latest signs that a combination of western sanctions targeting the regime’s nuclear program and government mismanagement are compounding Iran’s economic woes.
Some Iranians expressed anger on social networking websites to the national TV’s blackout of the protests, saying it discussed the European financial crisis with little, if no coverage, of Tehran’s unrest. The authorities were also reported to have jammed signals of the BBC’s Persian service as the protest unfolded.
The government has failed to bring the rial under control despite several attempts. It has lost 57% of its value in the past three months and 75% in comparison with the end of last year. The dollar is now three times stronger than early last year. The economy minister, Shamseddin Hosseini, said the government planned to “gather up” the unofficial currency market in the latest desperate ditch to curb the crisis.
Ahmadinejad blamed the rial‘s slump on his enemies abroad and opponents at home, saying his government was the victim of a “psychological war”. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, speaking to elites on Wednesday, said the country was under pressure because “it did not yield to the demands of tyrannies”.
Iran is one of the world’s largest oil producers and relies on crude sales as the main source of its the foreign currency reserves. To force the Iranian government to come clean about its nuclear program, the latest US and EU embargo on the imports of Iranian oil has sent the rial tailspinning and making the dollar hard to come by.
What is the response from our absentee president, the POS, to all this turmoil?