Geopolitics

Oil Companies Defy US Sanctions on Iran

By Ryan McGreal
Published February 26, 2007

RTH reader David recently sent me an interesting article from Bloomberg.

President George W. Bush's campaign to turn Iran into an economic pariah is being rebuffed from Spain to Malaysia as countries and companies pursue long-term agreements to tap into the world's second-largest reserves of oil and gas. ...

U.S. officials have issued explicit warnings against such deals and even threatened to use a 1996 law to levy penalties against foreign companies that do business both in the U.S. and in Iran, now subject to United Nations sanctions for refusing to halt its nuclear program.

David comments:

Very interesting - oil companies sidestepping Bush's Iran sanctions. His lack of respect is becoming epidemic. It appears we are seeing a shift from economic support of the dollar debt, now to direct military support through bomb-manipulation of the oil markets assisting the Petrodollar Recycling System with the banker's-desired high oil prices - a double-edged sword since debt increases with this approach.

I'd add that oil companies rarely let political dogma get in the way of profitable investments. During the 1990s, when Dick Cheney was its CEO, Halliburton Oil Services maintained investments in Iraq's oil and civil infrastructure through foreign subsidiaries - despite the fact that it was illegal for an American company to do business in Iraq.

At the time, Cheney argued that the sanctions against Iraq were unfair ... to US companies wanting to do business there.

Thanks, David, for sharing an intriguing link.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By adrian (registered) | Posted February 26, 2007 at 21:07:01

I read today that the US is covertly funding terrorist groups to "sow chaos in Iran", the goal being to destabilize the country.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jht...

"America is secretly funding militant ethnic separatist groups in Iran in an attempt to pile pressure on the Islamic regime to give up its nuclear programme.

In a move that reflects Washington's growing concern with the failure of diplomatic initiatives, CIA officials are understood to be helping opposition militias among the numerous ethnic minority groups clustered in Iran's border regions.

The operations are controversial because they involve dealing with movements that resort to terrorist methods in pursuit of their grievances against the Iranian regime.

In the past year there has been a wave of unrest in ethnic minority border areas of Iran, with bombing and assassination campaigns against soldiers and government officials."

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted February 27, 2007 at 00:58:16

I should be past getting surprised at this sort of thing...

This passage struck me:

"The operations are controversial because they involve dealing with movements that resort to terrorist methods in pursuit of their grievances against the Iranian regime."

Note why the operations are controversial: not because the US is meddling in Iran's internal affairs (exactly what the US accuses Iran of doing in Iraq, btw), but because the meddling involves "terrorist methods" in this case.

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By David (anonymous) | Posted March 31, 2007 at 14:19:20

Interesting that the US has clearly decided that terrorism tactics are an effective tool. I think it is clear that a bomb invasion of Iran could be a major world destabilizing event, so the US will resort to anything to bring a change inside Iran by other means. But if that doesn't work, the carrier groups positioned in the Gulf are not going to limp home and signal another defeat, and since Iran does not appear to be blinking, it is clear the US will be going in there.

It's the "public excuses" that don't make any sense. Iraq was stable under S.H., but look at it now. Iran is many years from being a danger to anyone regarding nuclear weapons - N. Korea is detonating them today, and the US isn't headed for N. Korea!

No - it is Dollar hegemony support for the US global supremacy, and in fact their own survival. The US is being crushed by it's own debt, especially as countries are bailing out of the dollar. Iran has led the way, now along with Korea and Malaysia to make Dollar transactions illegal. Iran didn't just open a Euro Oil Bourse, they are now selling their oil in all currencies except the US Dollar, which is a good deal for the world. The US is in the ugly position of bomb-support of a plan that their Dollar depends on, but nobody else wants. Pat Buchanan reported this month that US global hegemony is history.

That is the real threat, and I believe the US is now in such a desperate situation to save the Dollar, that they are willing to risk the collateral damage to the US economy and maybe much of the world to bomb Iran's ability to undermine it. The nuclear program is a convenient world excuse, but will be quite hypocritic if reports are true that nuclear bunker busters may be used there.

I think the US is clearly in a lose-lose situation, if not on the precipice of a major turning point. Clearly any remaining positive world opinion will be lost with an Iran invasion, not to mention the resultant attitude of Iran's allies, trading partners, and those dependant on their oil. The US stands to be viewed as a rogue nation run-amuck, and at some point, world disdane will overcome any reason to cooperate - if it hasn't already.

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