War with Iran: It's More Than Nuclear
By Joshua Frank
January 24, 2005
Secretary of State Condi Rice doesn't think the United States and
European Union should continue talking to Iran about their potential
nuke development. Diplomacy should end and the UN Security Council must
now take action, she says. Rice admitted to reporters on January 23,
that dialogue between Iran and the international community had come to
a "dead end".
"I don't see much room for further discussion in any format," Rice huffed.
Of course, the US's true intentions for going after Tehran may have
more to do with what's hidden beneath Iran's arid soil than their
Currently the second largest untapped oil reserve in the world is in
Iran. Iran has five times more oil than the US. The industry's
reputable Oil and Gas Journal in 2005 estimated 125.8 billion barrels
were in the country just waiting to be pumped. Iran is also the number
2 producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The majority of Iran's crude oil is located in Khuzestan, which borders
Iraq and the Persian Gulf which is the home to two of Iran's largest
untapped oil fields -- Yadavaran and Azadegan. So it really
shouldn't be a surprise that the oil boys in Washington want dibs on
Iran's oil-rich land.
But there's a problem, and it could be a substantial glitch in the
neo-con's agenda if Iran's nuclear dabbling is taken before the
Security Council where it may well be vetoed by China and Russia. The
only other alternative if the Council were to veto Iran sanctions would
be to invade.
The Chinese government already has its eye on Yadavaran. The Chinese
state oil company China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation has a 50
percent stake in the vast Yadavaran oil field.
Russia too has a stake in Iran's oil-rich economy. In 2003 Russia
sought to diversify its oil procurement and distribution methods by
shipping Russian crude to Iran, where it is was refined for domestic
consumption. In return, Iran now delivers an equivalent amount of oil
to Russia. As the Asia Times explained in February 2003, ìThis
arrangement will make Russian oil available to non-European buyers at a
competitive price by sharply decreasing the cost of exports currently
done by oil tankers loaded at Russia's Black Sea ports...î
The threat of UN sanctions has the oil speculators and markets worried
sick. Prices have been in flux over the past few weeks as Iran has
threatened to pull its huge foreign exchange reserves from European
banks. If Tehran is anything, they certainly aren't stupid. They know
the threat of yanking their cash from Western banks will upset the US
stock exchange, which in turn will damage the Bush administration. Iran
is flexing what little muscle they have left in hopes that their
nuclear agenda doesn't go before the Security Council. Tehran is just
playing politics. But what's worrying Washington more than Iranian
nukes may be a much different WMD.
In March 2006, Iran is slated to open the long awaited Iranian Oil
Bourse (oil exchange program). Currently the petrodollar is dominated
by US currency, but Iran and other OPEC countries want that to end.
When the bourse opens, Iran will be trading on a euro-oil-trading
system, the first step toward an alternative petrodollar. That could be
bad news for the US.
ìIn economic terms, this represents [a great threat] because it
will allow anyone willing either to buy or to sell oil for Euro to
transact on the exchange, thus circumventing the U.S. dollar
altogether,î writes Krassimir Petrov, an economics professor at
the American University in Bulgaria in a January edition of the Energy
ìEuropeans will not have to buy and hold dollars in order to
secure their payment for oil, but would instead pay with their own
currencies. The adoption of the euro for oil transactions will provide
the European currency with a reserve status that will benefit the
European at the expense of the Americans ... The Chinese and the
Japanese will be especially eager to adopt the new exchange, because it
will allow them to drastically lower their enormous dollar reserves and
diversify with Euros, thus protecting themselves against the
depreciation of the dollar.î
The Bush boys don't want that to happen. Oil is likely not the only
reasons why the US wants to destroy Tehran's military capabilities, but
it does look like one of the big motivations. The United States wants
the global oil trade, and in particular OPEC, to primarily benefit
America as it has been.
What we are seeing may be a new form of economic globalization in the
making -- one that involves the forced eradication and trading of
You may want to think about that next time you start your engines.
Joshua Frank is the author of Left Out!: How
Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, just published by Common
Courage Press. You can order a copy at a discounted through Josh's blog
at www.BrickBurner.org. Josh can be reached at BrickBurner@gmail.com.
Published in the Jackson Progressive by the kind permission of the author.