One quick point on the Post's "lost guns" story that I referenced in the last post. It pretty much speaks for itself, and there's nothing good about it. But, it's worth keeping this story in mind next time someone presents evidence of an Iranian-produced gun in the hands of an insurgent as evidence that Iran is intentionally arming the insurgency. Like us, I suspect Iran provides arms to its favored militia (or "army" if you prefer) and, after that, black market forces kick in.
Standard and pragmatic poli-sci research indicates that usually democracies over the long run make better decisions than autocracies, dictatorships and theocracies because the democracy theoretically has stronger accountability mechanisms that allows for a shorter lifespan for remarkably dumb ideas to continue. That does not allows happen but it is a good rule of thumb. We know that Iran has a multitude of competing governing factions and a byzantine security apparatus with multiple lines of responsibility, accountability, and power flows. We should always remember this when looking at the 'Iranians are arming everyone' stories.... define which version and section of IRAN is a big part of the story there.