During the Cold War, we learned that pariah states will help one another, even when they don’t have any interests in common. South Africa and Israel shared their nuclear weapons programs, North Korea and Libya swapped missiles for oil, and France and the PLO got hot and heavy under the bleachers.
So it comes as no surprise that Iran and Iraq, bitter enemies for all of human history, have quietly cooperated smuggling oil, cash, and weapons since 1991.
Or at least until now:
The [Iranian] government has been cracking down on Iraqi ships using Iranian coastal waters to smuggle oil out of Iraq and prohibited goods into Iraq. This was done quietly, and the UN naval patrol in the gulf got the message when they noted Iraqi smugglers using smaller boats for smuggling because the larger ships were being stopped and searched by Iranian navy patrol ships. The government has made no announcement about the change in policy, which will hurt Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussien.
Iran is trying to reform. Slowly, haltingly, and never far enough. And take this lesson from history: Revolutions usually don’t happen when people have no hope; revolutions happen when conditions aren’t improving as fast as expectations. And that makes Iran very ripe, indeed.