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NightWatch 20130208

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NightWatch

For the night of 8 February 2013

Iran: Gallup published the results of a December survey taken in Iran about the effects of sanctions on Iranians.

A majority of Iranians (56%) said sanctions have hurt their livelihoods a great deal; an additional 29% said sanctions have hurt somewhat, according to a Gallup survey conducted in Iran in December 2012.

The majority of Iranians (63%) said that Iran should continue to develop its nuclear program, even given the scale of sanctions.

Iranians hold the U.S. (47%) responsible for the sanctions against Iran. One in 10 Iranians said their own government is most to blame for sanctions.

Comment: The Gallup survey indicates that sanctions are succeeding in making life difficult, but hardship is not translating into popular pressure on the government to end or even freeze the nuclear program. The data suggest the sanctions are strengthening public support for the program.

Mali: The Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, one of the three jihadist groups in northern Mali, claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing near a military checkpoint outside Gao in northeastern Mali. One Malian soldier was injured.

Comment: This was the first suicide bombing during the French campaign in Mali, though French forces found explosives in Gao when they recovered the town two weeks ago. The counter-terrorism fight appears to be morphing into an insurgency.

End of NightWatch for 8 February.

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