Thursday, March 09, 2006
Iran's Oil Threats
The world has now been left with no choice but to take Iran to the Security Council for action to stop its nuclear program. This comes with the knowledge that taking such steps will do little if anything to prevent Iran from finishing nuclear weapons they want to use against Israel first, with Europe, Russia, and even the United States coming later using an updated Shahab- 4 and 5 missles.
U.S. ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton, warned Moscow Thursday night that if Iran is allowed to develop nuclear weapons, Russia would be at risk from Tehran's nuclear-capable missile fleet.
"As the Iranians develop longer range, more accurate ballistic missiles, it's not just Israel or other American allies in the region or American-deployed forces that are at risk from an Iranian nuclear weapon," Bolton told ABC Radio host John Batchelor.
"Russia critically is at risk," he warned, adding: "Why anybody in Moscow thinks it's in their interest to have a nuclear-capable ballistic missile-equipped Iran near their southern border is a mystery to me.
Iran has threatened the U.S. with "harm and pain" for the decision to impose sanctions against the regime.
"We may face no greater challenge from a single country than from Iran, whose policies are directed at developing a Middle East that would be 180 degrees different than the Middle East we would like to see developed," Rice said at a congressional hearing.
The statements were delivered to the 35-member board of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is meeting to focus on Tehran's refusal to freeze uranium enrichment.
Iranian scientists appear to be stepping up the development of missiles capable of carrying atomic warheads, diplomats have told the British news agency Reuters.
Code-named "Project 111," the report said the program's goal was "arming Shahab-3 missiles with nuclear warheads."
An intelligence report obtained by Reuters Tuesday claims that a covert Iranian program run by people closely linked to Iran's military includes plans to ready the Shahab-3 missiles for a nuclear strike on Israel.
The Oil conundrum
UPDATE: Iran Threatens to Use Oil as Weapon in Nuke Standoff "If (they) politicize our nuclear case, we will use any means. We are rich in energy resources. We have control over the biggest and the most sensitive energy route of the world," Interior Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi was quoted as saying by the official Islamic Republic News Agency.
Iran is the No. 2 producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and has partial control over the narrow Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf. The strait is an essential passage for crude oil from key producers such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comments came as Tehran struck an increasingly threatening tone, with the top Iranian delegate to the U.N. atomic watchdog agency warning a day earlier that the United States will face "harm and pain" if the Security Council becomes involved.
"They know that they are not capable of causing the least harm to Iranian people," Ahmadinejad said during a visit to Iran's western province of Lorestan, according to the ISNA news agency. "They will suffer more." The Iranian president seems to be using tactics very similar to Adolf Hitler in Germany during his rise of Nazi power, eventually killing over six million people.
China and Russia will not back sanctions because they know that U.N. sanctions have never worked and are basically useless.
Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said the United States wants the any security council statement to include some condemnation of Iran. He said, "the U.S. may eventually seek a so-called Chapter 7 resolution, which can be enforced with military action."
OPEC has offered to not cut production of oil, reassuring the world of its intention to get oil proced at the optimal level in the $40-$50 range.
However, oil has been rising for months with minor fluctuations below $60/barrel going up near $70.
While demand seems to be dropping, Iran holds certain cards that could reshape the landscape if it goes ahead with its threat to cut oil production, which could include an oil bourse that would harm America and strengthen Europe. Oil prices would surely go up in that event, although there is now a surplus of nearly half a million barrels being produced today.
Recent attacks by terrorists in Iraq and Saudi Arabia have likely come from Iranian infiltrators to stir up trouble and market prices.
The world seems to be on a collision course for an expanded war in the middle east with rhetoric being heated up on all sides of the issue, thus playing right into the hands of Ahmadinejad who wants to create chaos in the region for religious purposes.
Iran, who is now drawing money from its European bank accounts in anticipation of sanctions, war or both, is operating a two-pronged strategy of funding and planning terrorist attacks against Israel as well as aggressively pursuing development of a nuclear and missile program. This strategy is such a diplomatic powder keg because it is steeped in religious beliefs rather than political expediency.
Expediency Council Chairman Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani declared, "If one day, the Islamic world is also equipped with weapons like those that Israel possesses now, and then the imperialists' strategy will reach a standstill because the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything… It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality." And recently Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Islam is “a universal ideology that leads the world to justice. We don’t shy away from declaring that Islam is ready to rule the world.”
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