13. februar 2008

Iran definitely represent more than a nuclear threat

Excerpt from: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/2312/michael_klare_on_blood_oil_and_iran 

“…No doubt the major U.S. energy companies would love to be working with Iran today in developing these vast oil and gas supplies. At present, however, they are prohibited from doing so by Executive Order (EO) 12959, signed by President Clinton in 1995 and renewed by President Bush in March 2004. The United States has also threatened to punish foreign firms that do business in Iran (under the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act of 1996), but this has not deterred many large companies from seeking access to Iran’s reserves. China, which will need vast amounts of additional oil and gas to fuel its red-hot economy, is paying particular attention to Iran. According to the Department of Energy (DoE), Iran supplied 14% of China’s oil imports in 2003, and is expected to provide an even larger share in the future. China is also expected to rely on Iran for a large share of its liquid natural gas (LNG) imports. In October 2004, Iran signed a $100 billion, 25-year contract with Sinopec, a major Chinese energy firm, for joint development of one of its major gas fields and the subsequent delivery of LNG to China. If this deal is fully consummated, it will constitute one of China’s biggest overseas investments and represent a major strategic linkage between the two countries.

India is also keen to obtain oil and gas from Iran. In January, the Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL) signed a 30-year deal with the National Iranian Gas Export Corp. for the transfer of as much as 7.5 million tons of LNG to India per year. The deal, worth an estimated $50 billion, will also entail Indian involvement in the development of Iranian gas fields. Even more noteworthy, Indian and Pakistani officials are discussing the construction of a $3 billion natural gas pipeline from Iran to India via Pakistan ¬ an extraordinary step for two long-term adversaries. If completed, the pipeline would provide both countries with a substantial supply of gas and allow Pakistan to reap $200-$500 million per year in transit fees. “The gas pipeline is a win-win proposition for Iran, India, and Pakistan,” Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz declared in January.

Despite the pipeline’s obvious attractiveness as an incentive for reconciliation between India and Pakistan — nuclear powers that have fought three wars over Kashmir since 1947 and remain deadlocked over the future status of that troubled territory — the project was condemned by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a recent trip to India. “We have communicated to the Indian government our concerns about the gas pipeline cooperation between Iran and India,” she said on March 16 after meeting with Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh in New Delhi. The administration has, in fact, proved unwilling to back any project that offers an economic benefit to Iran. This has not, however, deterred India from proceeding with the pipeline.

Japan has also broken ranks with Washington on the issue of energy ties with Iran. In early 2003, a consortium of three Japanese companies acquired a 20% stake in the development of the Soroush-Nowruz offshore field in the Persian Gulf, a reservoir thought to hold 1 billion barrels of oil. One year later, the Iranian Offshore Oil Company awarded a $1.26 billion contract to Japan’s JGC Corporation for the recovery of natural gas and natural gas liquids from Soroush-Nowruz and other offshore fields. …”


“Michael T. Klare is a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and the author of Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America’s Growing Dependency on Imported Oil (Metropolitan Books).”




Rovshan Ismayilov 10/04/07

 “Political analysts in Baku are debating the reasons for an unannounced late September trip to Azerbaijan by Central Intelligence Agency Director Gen. Michael Hayden. US diplomats remain tight-lipped about the visit. Many local experts, however, contend that Hayden’s talks with Azerbaijani leaders likely concerned Iran, Azerbaijan’s neighbor to the south…”


“Some Azerbaijani analysts, however, see “the Iranian issue” as the most pressing reason for the CIA director’s trip. The trip came five days before an October 3 statement by US President George W. Bush that Washington was prepared, under certain conditions, to negotiate with Tehran on the nuclear issue.

“This is a leader who has made very provocative statements, and we have made it clear, however, in spite of that we are willing to sit down with him so long as he suspends his program, his nuclear weapons program,” President Bush said, referring to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. “In other words, it’s his choice not mine any more.”

“It is obvious that the CIA director would not travel to Baku without a serious reason for discussions,” commented expert Rasim Musabekov. “It is clear – most likely Iranian issues were discussed.”…”



Rovshan Ismayilov 6/18/07 : http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav061807a.shtml

“After a decade of enmity, Caspian Sea energy players Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan have announced an ambitious plan to bolster cooperation.

A June 12 announcement by Azerbaijani Energy Minister Natik Aliyev on the possible joint exploration of an offshore Caspian Sea oil field — dubbed Kapaz by Azerbaijan, and Serdar by Turkmenistan — could serve as the point of departure in a broad rapprochement. The question of which country controls the rights to the oilfield has been at the center of the decade-long bilateral chill…”


“Both the United States and European Union have used the budding rapprochement to renew lobbying for the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline (TCP) between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan as a link to European markets. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].

Azerbaijani observers largely see the campaign as a response to a May 12 agreement between Turkmenistan, Russia and Kazakhstan for a rival Caspian Sea gas pipeline. At a June 6 speech at Baku’s Oil & Gas Conference, Bryza stressed that energy research estimates forecast that shipping gas from Turkmenistan to Europe via a TCP route would be “50 percent cheaper” than via the proposed route linking Turkmenistan with Kazakhstan and Russia. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]…”

More on the issue in Danish