Economic Warfare Against Iran Intensifies

FT.com:- The world’s largest oil traders have quietly stopped supplying petrol to Iran in a clear sign that the threat of sanctions and Washington’s behind-the-scenes efforts to convince companies not to sell to Tehran are paying off. However, the decision by Vitol, Glencore and Trafigura is unlikely to cut Tehran off completely from the global petrol market as traders said Iran’s long-standing suppliers were being replaced by small Dubai-based and Chinese companies. Although Iran is one of the world’s biggest oil producers, its refineries are dilapidated and it suffers from runaway petrol demand because of generous subsidies.

Energy executives said Vitol, Glencore and Trafigura, which have hitherto sold Iran half of its petrol imports of 130,000 barrels a day, stopped supplying Tehran because of mounting political risk. “The political and public relations problems more than outweigh the business rewards,” said one executive. The sale of petrol to Iran by non-US companies is legal as fuel imports have yet to be included in sanctions against the country. The companies declined to comment.

Vitol’s decision is particularly important as the company is by far the world’s largest oil trader. One executive familiar with Iran’s trade said “Vitol consciously decided not to participate in Iran’s tenders” at the start of the year. Trafigura, the Switzerland-based oil and metals trader, stopped selling to Iran about three months ago, an industry executive said. “They have concluded that there’s too much political and financial risk,” the executive said. Glencore stopped supply in late 2009, breaking a relationship with Iran of more than three decades.

Oil groups such as Total of France, Lukoil of Russia, Petronas of Malaysia and Royal Dutch Shell also sold petrol to Iran last year. Chinese oil traders, including the secretive ZhenHua Oil, began supplying fuel to Iran in 2009 and now provide up to a third of its imports.

This happened even as media trumpeted that over the last decade not every corporation on Earth had done what war pimps in Washington & the Knesset wanted and may even be interested in profit, shock horror!!! It is also worrying that the propaganda has worked- 71 percent of Americans believe that Iran currently has nuclear weapons. Shirin Ebadi a Nobel Laureate like Mr. Obama has said-

FT.com:- The United Nations should focus on pressing the Tehran regime to restore democracy and human rights rather than imposing economic sanctions on Iran for its nuclear programme, says Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian opposition activist.“A military attack or economic sanctions would be to the detriment of the people of Iran,” she said, adding that the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad had ways to circumvent further economic measures and their unintended impact might be to rally people behind the regime.

She called, however, for action against western companies that she said were supporting actively the censorship and repression of the opposition movement…{she} named Nokia-Siemens and France’s Eutelsat as among a number of companies she said were helping the regime.

But instead they stop fuel, used for transport, energy and heat, it will increase prices for all goods, create a greater need for independent nuclear power (which is their right and the weapons issue is the means to deny this civil program), while continuing to create the conditions (poverty, anger) that will provoke reactionary repression which can be reported by media and spun by governments into the need for military action on humanitarian grounds to conflate with the nuclear issue ie. WMD panic!!!!!™ Power wearing the humane mask that people fall for still. Trita Parsi-

Under these circumstances, the embattled Iranian government is unable to set a new course for its foreign policy. In a state of paralysis, Iran’s behavior is primarily driven by two forces: bureaucratic inertia and a willingness to take only those decisions that are deemed low-risk within Iran’s internal political context. That does not include compromise with Washington and the International Atomic Energy Agency on the nuclear issue. From the Iran-Contra scandal onwards, Iran’s history is ripe with examples of Iranian politicians losing their careers after trying to create an opening to the U.S. Iran’s opposing political factions fear that rivals would reap the political benefits of an end to the U.S.-Iran enmity. From the standpoint of those in the regime, the low-risk course is to respond to pressure by opting for confrontation and escalation. Iran’s hard-liners are more comfortable and astute at handling an easily defined threat such as a combative Bush than they are an elusive and indefinable Obama.

None of this bodes well for the U.S. Ratcheting up indiscriminate sanctions will likely close the window for diplomacy, leaving Obama in the same position as Bush placed himself. But Tehran’s tendency toward confrontation might lead to the situation spiraling out of control. Military confrontation, which no one in the Obama Administration favors, may become unavoidable.

I’d quibble that no one in the Obama administration wants to attack, but as he concludes, resistance, the ‘Green movement’ and progressives in Iran would be worst served by the course currently pursued by belligerents.

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2 Responses to “Economic Warfare Against Iran Intensifies”

  1. Jotman Says:

    71 Percent think WHAT??!!! That’s an amazing statistic.

    ITime’s assertion that “no one in the Obama Administration favors” attacking Iran is at least as troubling. The Magazine cannot possibly know that for sure. It’s humanly impossible to know this.

    It’s a symptom of the suck-up-to-power American media that assumes US political leaders — unlike the leaders of other countries — necessarily have the purest of intentions. It’s the default attitude of US journalism that led straight to the Iraq war.

    It’s especially dangerous when you have a national leader who is invariably given the benefit of the doubt by most Democrats.

  2. Happy Norooz! « Ten Percent Says:

    […] even when they admit it proudly on TV). This however does not make a case for military attacks or blind sanctions designed for other agendas. So Happy New Year, bittersweet as it is. Posted in Anti War, Authoritarianism, Iran. Tags: Iran. […]


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