I. Cut the branch on which they sit
“God disliked you? And you answer him the same! ”
From the film “Deadly weapon»
From the film “Deadly weapon»
Against the background of Western sanctions against Iran, the latter acted unpredictably and unexpectedly: he himself imposed sanctions against the West. To begin with, Tehran suspended oil supplies to Britain and France, to countries that Tehran considers to be the main allies of the United States. Now the next turn "off".
And it cannot be said that such tough countermeasures do not bring results.
As the Iranian channel recently noted Press TV, the EU has postponed the timing of the application of new economic sanctions against Iran from April to June - because of the problems of Greece related to the search for new suppliers of oil. The sanctions are planned to “launch” in full force no earlier than July 1. By this time, not only Greece, but also other EU countries affected by Iran’s countermeasures, must find alternative suppliers of crude oil. The Press TV report states that as a result of “counter-sanctions”, the prices of oil and gasoline in the UK and the USA reached a record maximum.
On April 10, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that “Iran will be able to quietly exist under the conditions of a total ban on the sale of oil for two or three years. He noted that the cessation of deliveries from Iran was organized in response to the economic sanctions of the United States and the European Union "(RBC). Ahmadinejad said: "They want to impose sanctions on our oil, and we must declare to them that we have enough to live in peace without selling oil for two or three years" (RBC).
Meanwhile, we must clearly understand the purpose for which Ahmadinejad launched the “oil blockade” of the EU.
“The Iranian leadership expects that at the upcoming meeting of representatives of Tehran and the leading world powers, the issue of easing EU sanctions on oil supplies from the Islamic Republic may be raised, Xinhua news agency reported with reference to Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Kassemi.
“If the Europeans do not lift the“ oil ”sanctions, they will feel a serious impact on the energy market, especially on energy security. We expect good News (from Europeans), and Europe’s response to Iran during the Baghdad meeting will be of great importance for the oil market, "Xinhua quoted the Iranian minister as saying" (RIA News").
However, no one is going to revise economic sanctions against Iran: the West is tough against Tehran, if not to say - aggressively. Currently, Iran is not expected to mitigate or lift international sanctions, despite the negotiations of the “six” recently held in Istanbul. This was stated by the deputy. US State Department representative Mark Toner (RIA "News", Maria Tabak). But a lot probably depends on the Baghdad meeting of the Six, scheduled for 23 May. It is this meeting that places certain hopes on Iran. For a month of oil starvation, Europe may come to its senses.
As reported from London correspondent. ITAR-TASS Vitaly Makarchev, the international sanctions currently acting against the IRI do not work to the proper extent, just as the Western countries would like. This is also acknowledged by the British Financial Times newspaper, which cited in its material the data of the London-based Center for Global Energy Studies, on which Iran will receive 2012 billion from oil exports in 56. The main thing here is this: if the export of Iranian oil has declined, oil prices have risen, which compensates for the partial loss of supply. As a result, the sanctions "do not work." (The change in world oil prices in 2011-2012, see, for example, here).
The following conclusion can be drawn: Iran, by introducing its own "counter-sanctions" against Britain and France, made it felt what the introduction of the sanctions they planned could turn for the EU states. From here and an economic panic in the same Britain. And because of Greece, the term for the introduction of new sanctions was shifted altogether.
However, not only Europe "sanctions" Iran. Japan reduces the import of Iranian oil: in April, Iran’s oil supplies to Japan will be 77% compared with January and February. Turkey, represented by the oil refining company Turpas, recently announced a reduction by 20% of Iranian oil imports. Meanwhile, this largest company acquires quite a lot of raw materials from Iran: for example, in 2010, Turpas bought 7,41 million tons of oil from Iran, or 38% of its purchases (ITAR-TASS).
Therefore, as one of the conditions for the future compromise agreement of 23 in May, Tehran put forward the requirement to immediately cancel the EU decision to impose an embargo on the import of Iranian oil. However, many market analysts expect that the oil shortage will fill Saudi Arabia. However, for this latter, it will be necessary to increase the extraction of “black gold” by 25% from the current level, for which, according to Andrew Hall, an analyst and head of the Estenbek Fund, she does not have reserve capacities. The Saudis will not be able, in his opinion, to increase production to 12,5 million barrels per day. The expert said: “The fact that Riyadh made a decision to re-launch the depleted Damman field as a whole after it was closed 30 years ago speaks volumes, including the difficulty with reserves” (ITAR-TASS).
As a result, it is difficult to predict what decision will be taken in the EU regarding sanctions: will they be relaxed, or will Europe remain firm in its intentions. Probably the next month - very difficult for the oil market - will show where the situation will be inclined. Iran is still selling oil to China, which replenishes strategic reserves, but in the future, bringing reserves from 40-day to 90-day, Beijing, most likely, will reduce the volume of purchases.
In fact, Iran is no stranger to sanctions. The United States applies sanctions against it from 1996 on the basis of the law on restrictive sanctions adopted by Congress against this country. US companies cannot conduct financial transactions with Iran and participate in the development of oil fields. American firms that violate this law will themselves be subject to sanctions.
The European Union thoroughly embarked on a “nuclear” Tehran in January 2012. The euro sanctions concerned the import, procurement and transportation of Iranian hydrocarbons and related financial and insurance operations. Stanislav Ivanov (“Russia's Arms”) writes on this topic:
“Investing in Iran’s petrochemical companies or creating joint ventures with them is no longer allowed. According to EU leaders, this embargo can cause Tehran sensitive damage, since hydrocarbons, fuel and related products make up more than 90% of all Iranian exports to EU countries.
The second largest article - the products of the chemical industry - is only 5,2%, the third place is agricultural products (2,6%).
At the same time, the EU countries consume less than a quarter of the oil sold by Iran for about 13 billion dollars a year. Tehran exports most of its hydrocarbons to China (20%), Japan (18%) and India (16%). None of these countries has yet supported the embargo, although Japan is trying to reduce its dependence on Iranian oil.
The EU also froze the assets of the Iranian Central Bank, located in Europe, trading in gold, precious metals and diamonds with Iranian companies, government agencies and the Central Bank. The transfer of banknotes denominated in Iranian currency and coins to the Iranian Central Bank, as well as the sale of a number of goods, is also prohibited. ”
In Iran, since January 2012, the rial has depreciated by half, and, as in any country with galloping inflation, the demand for gold and foreign currency has rapidly increased. The EU and the United States, which have a lot of experience in this regard, are waiting for popular discontent in Iran - and pin their hopes on the revolt of the protesters. However, unrest in Iran - not to mention armed uprisings like the Libyan one - does not occur. Western strategists have missed one important consideration — the same thing that they have missed in Syria. In the face of an external enemy - and yet the West has never been a great friend of Iran - society does not break up, but, on the contrary, is consolidating.
Therefore, the “preventive” economic response of President Ahmadinejad to Europe’s consumer, along with the existing euro-sanctions, will not only make things harder for Iran’s position than for the sanctioners themselves. The chopping bitches on which they sit.
Ii. Iranian Oil Minister: there would be no happiness, but misfortune helped
17 April 2012, the TV channel Press TV interviewed Iran's oil minister, Rostam Qassemi. Giving an answer to the TV journalist's questions, the minister said the following.
First, the negotiating process of Iran and Europe will have an impact on oil prices. After all, Iran is one of the largest owners of energy resources. Therefore, the continuation of the negotiations between Iran and the "six" can - with its positive results - have a positive effect on stability in the oil market.
Secondly, according to the minister, if it comes to that, Iran can expand the list of countries included in the counter-list. If you freely translate the words of the minister, then Iran is “ready to give the same and in the same place.”
Thirdly, the minister does not believe that the decline in oil production (already by 300 thousand barrels, and in 2012, according to the forecast, by 1 million barrels) threatens the economic security of Iran. The quality of oil produced in Iran is high, and Iran has its customers for whom there are no restrictions, Rostam Kassemi said.
Fourthly, answering a journalist’s question whether Saudi Arabia and Libya can take Iran’s place on the European oil market, the minister said: “... you are a witness of what is happening in European countries due to the tension in the market and the rise in oil prices” . Replacing Iran with other suppliers, according to the minister, is “impractical” and may even damage the oil production of competing countries in the future. Such a replacement may be only "temporary."
Fifthly, having recently held talks with the Saudi oil minister, Rostam Kassemi received assurances that Saudi Arabia “will certainly not replace Iranian oil” on the market. However, the Minister immediately added that the recent statements by the Minister indicate the opposite. However, Rostam Kassemi believes that Saudi Arabia can only temporarily increase oil production. Already its current level of production - the maximum.
In addition, the Iranian Oil Minister said that Iran is now exporting petrochemical products to fifty countries and that this is a “huge stable market.” For countries that are pursuing an “antagonistic policy” with respect to oil contracts and deals, Iran will respond in the same way.
At the end of the interview, the Iranian minister expressed himself in the sense that there would be no happiness — yes, misfortune would help. Sanctions, he said, gave Iran the opportunity to develop independently. Yes, now there are a large number of foreign firms operating in Iran and not subject to sanctions, but there are also large Iranian firms that have entered the industry against the background of sanctions. “We,” said the minister, “have a great project — the South Pars field ...” the Minister noted and the successes of Iranian firms and engineers in the field of high-tech.
Iii. “Worthy Response to Existential Threats” and 430 Tomahawks
In the meantime, the main opponents of Iran, Israel and the United States, are showing clear aggressive intentions. According to the resource "Fleet-2017", citing the Israeli channel Channel 10 and SalamNews, the data “on Israel’s transition to the implementation of an Iranian attack plan in case of discussions on the nuclear program was unsuccessful”. In case of failure to reach an agreement in negotiations with the "six" scheduled for 23 in May, the Israeli army may receive an order to attack the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is supposed to use modern F-15 aircraft and drones Eitan.
In a speech on the occasion of the Day of Catastrophe and Heroism (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Israeli President Shimon Peres said:
"Then we were a question mark, today we are a strong country ... There is no reason to underestimate the obvious and hidden opportunities that Israel has to cope with this (Iranian) threat."
“Humanity has no choice but to learn the lessons of the Holocaust and give an adequate response to existential threats before it is too late,” Peres said, calling Iran “the center of these threats, the center of terror” (RIA News").
In an interview with CNN, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta admitted that Washington has already developed a plan for attacking Iran. "At the same time Panetta, - reports Rosbalt- first tried to turn the conversation into a joke. He said that by becoming Minister of Defense, he realized that "the Pentagon is developing a lot of plans for all occasions." However, the head of the US military added that if the case reached the United States strike on Iran, the strike would be successful.
Former national security adviser to the US president James Jones, in an interview with the Washington Times, said that Israel’s strike on Iran would be an unjustified and unforgivable act (RIA "Novosti", Denis Voroshilov) because the United States provided Israel’s security assurances of the latter. Part of this security assurance program is probably the grouping of US warships with 430 Tomahawk missiles (range 1,6 ths. Km), on duty on the Iranian coast. Interfax transmits:
“The US Navy Information Service reported that a carrier-based strike group, led by the USS Enterprise, is currently in the Persian Gulf. According to reports, the ships of the military guard and the nuclear submarine assigned to the ship group may have at least 130 cruise missiles.
Another carrier strike group led by the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, located next door in the northern part of the Arabian Sea, has the same number of Tomahawks.
In addition, the Georgia nuclear submarine with 154 cruise missiles, as well as the nuclear submarine that is part of the amphibious amphibious ship group carrying the Tomahawks 12, are in the same region.
Experts, according to Interfax, believe that such a number of missiles will be enough to disable Iran’s air defense systems and military airfields.
Iv. America will do everything without Israel
In the meantime, Israel and the States are demonstrating their either warlike or peace-loving intentions (the United States, led by the peace-loving Obama, is still discouraging Israel from attacking Iran - at least they are asking Tel Aviv to postpone their plans until 2014, until the new throne reigns on Washington President), Iran strengthens the combat readiness of the army and fleet. Stanislav Ivanov (“Russia's Arms”) cites some data.
In 2012, Iran’s defense spending could exceed $ 20 billion. It is planned to increase funding and a nuclear program. All the available Iranian Air Forces aircraft, including the F-4, F-5, Su-24, MiG-29 and Iranian fighter "Sayege" (an improved analogue of the F-5) participated in the recent aviation training. Iran has a proprietary UAV and can withstand the unobtrusive enemy drones. “According to the Iranian leadership,” further writes S. Ivanov, “a sign of the power of the Islamic Republic of Iran was also the passage of a group of Iranian fighting ships consisting of the frigate Hark and the destroyer Nakdi” through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea to the shores of Syria, covered by internal unrest.
In addition to defense, the opponents of Iran should take into account the strategic capabilities of this country. Tehran has repeatedly stated the possibility of blocking the Strait of Hormuz - in the event of aggression against Iran. Iran will not endure a long war with the American fleet, but it can install minefields in the strait. Aggressors need to remember that up to four fifths of world oil is transported along the strait. The blockade of the strait, even temporary, will cause the spasms of the world economy. Not only Britain with France or Greece will remain without oil.
Therefore, taking into account the fact that in the fall in the United States - the presidential election - direct military aggression by America and Israel against Iran is unlikely. Most likely, economic pressure will continue - perhaps even in a softer version (after the 23 talks in May), and Iran will cooperate with IAEA inspectors - to cooperate without much haste. The statements of the Americans and Israelis about a military strike look so far only as an informational supplement to the economic pressure of Iran. If the States did not dare to get into Syria - bearing in mind both the upcoming elections and the recent failures to build democracy in Libya, then the Syrian ally cannot do it either. It seems that more and more often the world “hegemon” is being made to understand that its time has irretrievably gone.
Some analysts believe that the United States, seeking to dominate the Gulf region, will still have to "sooner or later" make a military decision against Iran:
“... the escalating confrontation between the US and Iran pursues one goal: to occupy a dominant position in the Middle East, North Africa and the Persian Gulf. And as evidenced историяThe questions of such a geopolitical order are not solved peacefully, for war is the continuation of politics by other means. Yes, and it is too well known how the United States takes advantage of the events of the so-called. "Arab Spring".
But Iran implements exactly the same strategy. Iranian diplomat Moshen Yazdi told the Brazilian newspaper IraNews 31 in January, for example: “We call this great movement of the Muslim population in the region not“ the Arab spring ”but“ Islamic awakening ”. I want to emphasize that we are witnessing the creation of a strong Islamic bloc in the region. In the future Middle East, of course, there will be no place for countries such as Israel or the United States. ”
As part of this strategy, Iran is swinging the situation in a number of Middle Eastern countries - Yemen, Lebanon, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and actively supports Islamic extremists in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. (This list is likely to continue Qatar soon. - O. Ch.).
Not without effort on the part of Tehran, an Islamic insurgency was carried out in Mali. The rapid spread of the bacilli of Islamic fundamentalism, encompassing an increasingly extensive territory of the Mediterranean and the Middle Eastern region, is alarming not only in the United States or Europe, but also in many Arab states. And for this reason, the United States will sooner or later have to decide on a military operation against Iran ”(Artem Ivanovsky, "Centenary").
In the future war, according to A. Ivanovsky, 140000 of American soldiers in Kuwait can be used, which will be reinforced by groups from the US 6 Fleet. The war will begin with airstrikes in which 9500-kilogram bombs can be used to destroy nuclear centers. In addition to the destruction of nuclear facilities, the main objectives of the attack will be the destruction of the Iranian air force and air defense systems. The 5 US Navy will help with this. At the second stage, infantry will invade the territory of the country - possibly from the side of Afghanistan, where in recent years - from January 2012 - large exercises have been held twice.
As for Israel, Ivanovsky writes about his non-participation (no slip of the pen) in the anti-Iranian war as follows: "... the US does not want Israel to participate in the war, because it will inevitably restore even Iran’s opponents among Arab countries against them."
It seems, however, that the United States, already taught by bitter experience, before starting a third world war, fraught with atomic wind and suicide bombings somewhere in Washington, will measure out seven times and will not be cut off once.
Information aggression, on which America ate the dog, is one thing, and the war, as a result of which the whole world will be set against America, is quite another.
V. Kate Hudson: "Inverted logic puzzles"
Qatari resource Al Jazeera April 20 published an article by Ph.D. Kate Hudson - the former chairman of the British "Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament", and now the secretary general of this organization.
Iran, says Dr. Hudson, is not the only country that has obligations for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and the preservation of peace in the world. Iran is “only part of the story,” the author of the article says, noting further that US President Obama is responsible for the world's largest nuclear arsenal - and at the same time undertakes to read notations to other countries about their nuclear-free commitments. The doctor of sciences considers that here it is “difficult to deny accusations of big hypocrisy”.
It is to the credit of Obama K. Hudson that he puts "diplomatic steps towards reducing global nuclear arsenals," including the "New START Treaty." "The agreement, signed in April 2010, is assessed as a significant step in bilateral nuclear disarmament and is an important step in strengthening global conditions, under which multilateral disarmament can make progress." Mentioned and the Nobel Peace Prize of Obama (2009 g.). But "the subsequent actions of the United States did not justify the hopes that were born when the new START treaty was signed."
Kate Hudson writes: “In October, 2010, just a few months after signing the Treaty, the White House proudly announced their“ firm commitment to US nuclear deterrence ”, announcing $ 85 billion to be spent on the nuclear infrastructure.”
This is an unprecedented level of nuclear financing - since the cold war, Hudson notes. But these 85 billions of dollars, she writes further, are insignificant "compared to the total projected US expenditures of $ 700 billion for nuclear weapons over the next decade. The scale of spending is amazing: that's about 150 percent of Iran’s total annual gross domestic product (GDP), according to estimates by the International Monetary Fund. ”
Hudson sums up the American policy of “nuclear deterrence”: “Instead of helping to escalate the escalation of the Cold War nuclear policy, such distorted priorities only lead to the consolidation of the positions of nuclear states while simultaneously encouraging non-nuclear countries to move away from their obligations under the NPT.”
For the sake of objectivity, Hudson talks about global spending in more than 1 trillion. dollars on nuclear programs. Including Russia plans to spend 70 billion dollars over the next 10 years, including the creation of eight nuclear submarines, and Britain, "despite the grim economic situation," is ready to spend over 100 billion pounds to maintain its nuclear arsenal and replace "Trident" new systems around 2060.
Therefore, Hudson writes, "it should not surprise anyone that when Barack Obama says that" Iran must fulfill its obligations, "his words have no effect in Tehran and in much of the rest of the world."
“Indeed,” writes the doctor of sciences, “the United States may pursue a policy that will only encourage Iran to develop nuclear weapons.”
In proof of this possible effect of American policy, Hudson cites the following arguments: 1) instead of showing genuine global leadership in the fight against the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the United States is demonstrating its “continued commitment” to supporting nuclear weapons programs; 2) The history of American intervention and manipulation in the Middle East (and especially interference in the affairs of Iran), as well as the “impudent desire” to pursue “national interests in the region” gave rise to “a foundation for distrust that continues today.” The article further states that a large regional government like Israel “has economic and military support from the United States and important privileges: the absence of disputes over its nuclear program. Such double standards, ”Hudson continues,“ are playing against bringing Iran to the negotiating table. ”
Dr. Kate Hudson observes that "there can be no military solution to this problem." “Israel advertised the success of Operation Babylon in 1981, the bombardment of the Iraqi nuclear reactor in Osirak, where it was suspected that Iraq was developing nuclear weapons. History has not only called into question the credibility of these Israeli suspicions, but, more importantly, the bombing probably hastened Iraq’s efforts to covertly acquire nuclear weapons over the next nine years. ”
The military option with a ground invasion of Iran seems Kate Hudson "catastrophic." “The loss of human life would be terrible ...” In addition, there would be widespread conflict in the region.
The only option Kate Hudson sees agreed, transparent and productive diplomatic negotiations. We need a "beginning of the dialogue." This year, writes Hudson, "The UN will hold a conference on the WMDFZ in the Middle East." This conference aims to “unite all the states in the Middle East to build the foundations for the realization of this most important goal”.
The conference could serve as an open platform for discussions on security and disarmament issues, Hudson said. But there is one “but”:
“However, last month Israel declared that it would not attend the conference until there was a“ comprehensive peace in the region ”. Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, said that until this is achieved, Israel views the conference as “absolutely irrelevant”. Inverted logic puzzles, Hudson concludes.
If the US really wants to see a long-term solution to the problems of the region, they should exert productive diplomatic pressure, and not just exaggerate talk of a military conflict. They can begin by stating that Israel, as the only nuclear weapon state in the Middle East, should attend this vital conference. ”
Thus, double standards and “inverted logic” are not something that will contribute to peace in the region. Those who see the mote in the eye of Iran, do not feel the log in their own eyes.
Observed and translated by Oleg Chuvakin
- especially for topwar.ru
- especially for topwar.ru