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Archive for the category “Iran”

Iran Backs Nabucco

nabucco[source]
Click to enlarge. The green pipeline within red ellipse is the planned but controversial Nabucco pipeline.

As of late, Russian-Irainian relations were intensifying: there was a power deal worth up to $10 billion, including new thermal and hydroelectric plants and a transmission network. And the barter trade oil-for-goods, according to which Russia may buy 500,000 barrels of Iranian oil a day. All much to the dismay of Washington.

However, now that Russia is itself under US and EU sanctions, and the West perhaps needs to see Iran as the lesser evil, now that ISIS is on the march, Tehran smells the chance to improve relations with Europe and position Iran as an alternative for Russian natural gas, knowing well that Europe sought to diversify its supply even before the Western engineered Ukrainian stand-off. Russia and Iran both have about the same reserves: 33 trillion m3. A logical route for transporting natural gas from Iran to Europe would be via Turkey. The alternative, the Friendship Pipeline, planned shortly before the Syrian civil war began, would connect the South Pars field, the largest natural gas field in the world, to the Mediterranean via Iraq and Syria. Obviously construction of such a pipeline is impossible under the current circumstances. Some claim that the outbreak of the civil war in Syria (begin anti-Assad protests March 2011, armed conflict started in September 2011) was related to the plan.

Iran is now in a difficult position. On the one hand it doesn’t want to spoil its good relationship with Russia, on the other hand Iran needs development and opportunities to sell its natural gas. And Iran knows that Europe wants to diversify and is anxious to invest in Iran provided a deal could be made. And that investment to the tune of $200 billion would be highly necessary to be able to deliver gas to Europe. In this respect Iran is lagging way behind Russia, meaning that Iranian gas is not going to replace Russian gas any time soon.

But then, out of the blue, Iran’s Deputy Oil Minister Ali Mejidi dropped the bombshell on August 11, by suggesting that “with Nabucco, Iran can provide Europe with gas. We are the best alternative to Russia.” It is not impossible that the US signaled Iran that benefits would be waiting if it would begin to promote the pet western pipeline project. For Iran this would mean business and some guarantee that the country could move itself out of the line of fire and have normalized relations with the West. Obviously this would come at the expense of Russia, although only in the long term, where South Stream could start to produce as early as by the end of next year, provided the stand-off and sanction baloney can be reversed quickly. Iran is the only country able to provide the necessary ‘content’ to the projected Nabucco pipeline. It could be in this light that bogeyman Iran could leave the ‘axis of evil’ in the future and is going to be replaced by Russia and ISIS as the new villains.

[rt.com] – Pepe Escobar, Energy ballet: Iran, Russia and ‘Pipelineistan’
[counterpunch.org] – Mike Whitney, Did Iran Just Knife Putin in the Back?

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India Ready to Pay Iranian Oil in Euro

Euro_vs_Dollar
New Delhi, March 23: India is likely to grant Iran’s request to be paid fully in euros for oil, against the current practice of partial payment in rupees… Reports quoting Mohsen Qamsari, director for international affairs of the National Iranian Oil Company, said, “Indians are interested in increasing oil imports from Iran and we welcome this matter in the event that it would be possible for us to receive payments in euros in our accounts.”

[telegraphindia.com]

Breakthrough Iranian Nuclear Program

For more than a decade the Iranian nuclear policy has been on the top of the international political agenda, but today a breakthrough was accomplished in Geneva between Iran and the P5 (China, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, United States). Terms of the agreement: Iran can continue to enrich uranium but no more than 5% and limits the stockpile of enriched uranium. More transparency is agreed upon. In return some sanctions will be lifted and the basic right of uranium enrichment is acknowledged. The agreement is intended for six months, creating time for a permanent settlement. The most important conclusion is that the agreement is acceptable for all and that military strikes are off the table.

[spiegel.de]
[reuters.com]
[rt.com]

Read more…

Construction Iranian-Pakistani Natural Gas Pipeline About To Begin

IPI-Pipeline[source]
Total cost: $7.5 billion. Capacity: 40 billion m3 (1.4×1012 ft3) per year. Supplier: South Pars field. Work on the 780-kilometer pipeline ($1.5 billion) would begin on the Pakistani side of the border, as the 900-kilometer Iranian portion of the pipeline is already nearly finished. Unsurprisingly, the US (and Saudi-Arabia) are not amused and are looking for ways to discretely sabotage the construction. But Pakistan needs the energy and construction will go ahead anyway. Weak point though is that the pipeline runs through politically insecure Balochi territory, where the US and SA support separatism.

[csmonitor.com]
[orientalreview.org] – War, Pipelineistan-style, Pepe ESCOBAR
[wikipedia.org]

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Turkey Pays Iran Billions in Gold for Gas

Turkey is now under threat from the US but is not impressed. Antiwar.com: “Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, fresh off his unsuccessful attempted visit to Iraqi Kurdistan, shrugged off the threat insisting that the US can’t sanction trades of gold for natural gas and that Turkey is just going to keep doing it no matter how much the US complains“.

[cnn.com]
[antiwar.com]

Iran considers halting uranium enrichment


Tehran may stop its enrichment of high-grade uranium if it is given nuclear fuel for research and medical reactors in exchange, Iranian officials said. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast said during a Eurasian media summit in Kazakhstan on Friday that, “If a guarantee is provided to supply the 20 percent [enriched] fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor, our officials are ready to enter talks.” German newspaper Der Spiegel earlier quoted Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi as saying that, “If our right to enrichment is recognized, we are prepared to offer an exchange.”
[rt.com]

Comment: We would be highly surprised if the US would accept this offer as it is our view that the US is using the uranium enrichment issue as a pretext for its global hegemony agenda, supported by both wings of the US one party political system.

Caspian Sea Oil Find

[source]
Iran has discovered oil in its Caspian Sea waters for the first time in more than a century, the state-run Fars news agency reported. The deposit was found at a depth of 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) during drilling on a natural-gas field and may contain 10 billion barrels of crude, Fars said, citing the National Iranian Oil Co. That’s equal to 7 percent of Iran’s known reserves. 10 billion barrels represent 3-4 months global oil demand at current consumption rate.

[Bloomberg]
[Iranian oil stats]

The Rising Shia Super Alliance

[source]
One of the, no doubt unintended, consequences of the US intervention in Iraq is that the country de facto has been handed over to the Iranian sphere of influence. Saddam was a dictator whose powerbase was rooted in the 18% Sunni minority. Installing democracy in an essentially tribal world, means that a country is going to be taken over by the largest tribe, and in case of Iraq that is the Shia majority of ca. 63%. And although the Shia flavor of Islam represents a minority, fate decided that most of the oil rich areas happens to be populated by Shia. Mind you: populated, not controlled. Not yet. Well, Iran and Iraq are, but Saudi-Arabia is Sunni controlled and does not like at all to see the rise of the Shia. To make matters worse, much of the Saudi territory that harbors the oilfields is Shia populated.
Read more…

Iran and The Gas Pipeline Battle

[Click to enlarge][source]
The West has a losing hand in the stand-off with Iran. The US incites its European allies, entirely against their own interest, to impose an oil-embargo against Iran. That is: Europe no longer buys oil from that nation. That is not a very smart move, since there are more than enough potential buyers in the tight market, lining up for the scarce resource. And every barrel of oil a supplyer does not sell today, it will sell for a much higher price in the future. Read more…

Iran fossil fuel infrastructure

[lib.utexas.edu]

Iranian oil exports first half of 2011


These are the countries Iran was selling its oil to during the first half of 2011, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

[Spiegel]

The Eurasian Triple Alliance.

Moscow and Tehran have strong common interests. Both want to prevent western control of the energy corridors of the Caspian Sea Basin. But the main factor they have in common is that they are both main geo-strategic targets of Washington. Russia, China and Iran are a strategic barrier against American expansionism. This ‘Triple Alliance’ can be seen as the last obstacle against U.S. global hegemony. All three are wary against U.S. and NATO military presence in Afghanistan. An Iran drawn into the U.S. sphere of influence would function as a primary energy corridor for the Caspian Sea Basin. The transformation of Iran into an American client state would threaten both Russia and China. In general support for Iran by Russia and China is underestimated. Both nations refused to cooperate with the latest 2012 unilateral sanctions imposed by Washington.

Credits: Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya [video]

[GlobalResearch]

Strait of Hormuz from space

Bottom left is Iranian teritory, the bright lights are in Dubai/United Arab Emirates and the Arabian Sea/Indian Ocean in the background.

Will the Strait of Hormuz be the Sarajewo/Danzig of World War III?
Read more…

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