I haven't seen this on any of the other Iraq threads so here is an interesting article from the Guardian on the Iranian influence in Basra city: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,2083387,00.html A good article that paints a good picture of life in Basra, although fairly one sided. Remember of course that the Iraqis will aleways tell you what you want to hear - we do not know what slant the journalist was taking and what leading questions were asked. In addition it fails to mention the Iraqi Army and their increased performance and the effect that they are having. They know that the province is heading towards PIC (Provincial Iraqi Control) later this year and hence are starting to sort out their own security forces. We all know about the problems with the police but attempts are being made to sort them out. Once a new governor is appointed, progress should follow.