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Iran ups 'ante' in poker-game with West
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TOPIC: Iran ups 'ante' in poker-game with West
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#17022
Re: Iran ups 'ante' in poker-game with West 2 Years, 4 Months ago Karma: 168
Japan bought 53 million barrels (8.4 million kiloliters) of oil from Iran from July through December 2011, compared with 64 million barrels (10.2 million kiloliters) in the same period of 2010, according to Japanese government statistics. That’s a 17.6 percent reduction. Japan’s finance minister, Jun Azumi, said his government welcomed the U.S. exemption and intends to “keep reducing oil imports at a certain pace.”

www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-23/u-s-wa...sk-sanctions-1-.html

It seems that the Japanese are serious in their intent to cut oil imports from Iran, or wait could it be that countries that face devastating earthquake and Tsunami like Japan faced last year, may just not need that much oil as the last year ?
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#17039
Re: Iran ups 'ante' in poker-game with West 2 Years, 4 Months ago Karma: 261
Good point Samix!

The U.S. may do MORE to harm Iran's oil exports through the economic destruction it is inflicting on the world rather than these anemic sanctions...


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#17060
Re: Iran ups 'ante' in poker-game with West 2 Years, 4 Months ago Karma: 26
The list keeps getting bigger

Sri Lanka gets US concession on Iran oil imports
www.lankabusinessonline.com/fullstory.php?nid=2006890066

A concession granted by the United States to Sri Lanka on its sanctions on Iran means the island would not face an immediate total ban on importing crude from the Persian Gulf country, a report said.

United States has asked Sri Lanka to scale down crude oil imports from Iran for the current year only by 15 percent, Petroleum Industries Minister, Susil Premajayantha, was quoted as saying bythe Sunday Times newspaper.

-----------------------------------

Everybody seems to be trying to pay their iranian oil bills

Shell scrambles to pay huge bill for Iran oil
www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/25/us-sh...dUSBRE82O07420120325

(Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell is struggling to pay off $1 billion that it owes Iran for crude oil because European Union and U.S. financial sanctions now make it almost impossible to process payments, industry sources said.
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#17064
Re: Iran ups 'ante' in poker-game with West 2 Years, 4 Months ago Karma: 261
Philipz, this is looking more and more like the U.S.'s "Coalition of the Willing" which it cobbled together for the invasion of Iraq.



Next they'll be boasting that they got Fiji to cut their Iranian oil imports by 10%...

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#17189
Re: Iran ups 'ante' in poker-game with West 2 Years, 3 Months ago Karma: 261
No surprise here. China is completely rejecting the U.S. sanctions campaign against Iran, and using some (relatively) blunt language in doing so.

Between some countries openly rejecting the sanctions, and the U.S. watering-down the sanctions for many others, we see the waning influence of the U.S. become more apparent by the day - a combination of it being more and more obviously corrupt, and less and less able to inflict its will on others.


"China rejects Obama’s push to punish countries importing Iranian oil, SKorea seeks agreement"


www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacifi...IQADgMfmS_story.html

BEIJING — China rejected President Barack Obama’s decision to move forward with plans for sanctions on countries buying oil from Iran, saying Saturday that Washington had no right to unilaterally punish other nations.

South Korean officials said they will continue working with the U.S. to reduce oil imports from Iran, as other U.S. allies who depend on Iranian oil worked to find alternative energy supplies.

Obama announced Friday that he is plowing ahead with the potential sanctions, which could affect U.S. allies in Asia and Europe, as part of a deepening campaign to starve Iran of money for its disputed nuclear program. The U.S. and allies believe that Iran is pursuing a nuclear bomb; Iran denies that.

China is one of the biggest importers of Iranian oil, and its Foreign Ministry reiterated its opposition to the U.S. moves.

“The Chinese side always opposes one country unilaterally imposing sanctions against another according to domestic law. Furthermore it does not accept the unilateral imposition of those sanctions on a third country,” the ministry said in a brief statement Saturday.

Beyond the rhetoric, Beijing has taken a two-pronged approach to the U.S. demands, insisting that China has the right to import oil from Iran or any other country while quietly reducing imports of Iranian oil. Though the government has not explained the reductions, oil traders and industry executives have said it may stem more from a pricing dispute with Iran than as a response to U.S. pressure.

Behind the scenes, Washington has repeatedly encouraged Beijing to seek supplies elsewhere, and Saudi Arabia offered to fill a shortfall when Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited Gulf countries early this year.

The looming U.S. sanctions aim to further isolate Iran’s central bank, which processes nearly all of the Iran’s oil purchases, from the global economy. Obama’s move clears the way for the U.S. to penalize foreign financial institutions that do oil business with Iran by barring them from having a U.S.-based affiliate or doing business here.

Obama’s goal is to tighten the pressure on Iran, not allies, and already the administration has exempted 10 European Union countries and Japan from the threat of sanctions because they cut their oil purchases from Iran. Other nations have about three months to significantly reduce such imports before sanctions would kick in.

The main importers of Iranian oil that have not received exemptions from the U.S. are China, India, Turkey, South Africa and South Korea. The administration would be loath to hit a close friend like South Korea or India, or a NATO ally like Turkey, with sanctions, and is working with those countries to reduce their imports.

Foreign Ministry officials in South Korea said Saturday that they expect to reach an agreement with Washington by late June on reducing oil imports from Iran. The officials declined to be named because discussions were still under way.

The U.S. sanctions are set to take effect on June 28. A European oil embargo, approved in January, starts in July. Put together, Obama administration officials contend Iran is about to face its most severe economic pressure ever.

The United States imports no oil from Iran.

Energy-starved India, which relies on Iranian oil for 12 percent for its power needs, has said that it does not heed unilateral sanctions such as those imposed by the U.S. and EU.

Nevertheless, New Delhi has not remained completely immune to sanction pressures and is slowly easing its dependence on Iranian oil, with a slow decline in Iranian oil imports. The Western sanctions also have made it harder for Indian companies to pay for Iranian oil, with international banks unwilling to handle transactions from Tehran.

In February, India irked the West by arranging to make 45 percent of its yearly $11 billion oil payments to Iran in Indian rupees, with the rest paid in a barter system as Tehran seeks Indian-made machinery, iron and steel, minerals and automobiles.

Turkey announced Friday it was shrinking oil imports from Iran by 20 percent, apparently bowing to pressure from the United States and the sanctions threat.
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#17317
Re: Iran ups 'ante' in poker-game with West 2 Years, 3 Months ago Karma: 261
Score another point for Iran. This one is going to be pretty hard for the U.S./Israeli axis to overcome: Iran has been SAVING MONEY since the beginning of the (illegal) U.S.-imposed sanctions against Iran.

If the U.S. thought it was difficult begging and pleading with nations to go along with the sanctions against Iran (which HURT all of these nations too) BEFORE, imagine how little enthusisam there will be for this sanctions game NOW - with news that the self-inflicted pain these nations are facing hasn't even BEGUN to take an economic toll in Iran.

Are any of the EUROPEAN nations backing these sanctions "adding to their savings" right now...???





"Iran oil development fund could reach $55 billion: Ahmedinejad"


www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/07/us-ir...dUSBRE83607Z20120407

(Reuters) - Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday the country's sovereign wealth fund could reach $55 billion by March next year if oil prices kept high, in an apparent bid to defend his economic record in the face of increasing isolation.

Washington and the European Union have stepped up sanctions on the Islamic Republic, alarmed by its disputed nuclear program.

Iran earned up to $100 billion in oil revenue last year but an EU embargo set to come into force in July could put a major dent in future income.

The president has also faced criticism inside Iran for his handling of the economy, particularly over his withdrawal of generous food and energy subsidies in favor of cash handouts - a move that critics say has fuelled inflation and increased hardship.

Iran's National Development Fund - which is currently valued at around $35 billion - was set up by Ahmadinejad's government last year to collect some of the proceeds from the country's oil and gas industries for the benefit of future generations.

A minimum of 20 percent of its reserves is supposed to be invested abroad.

"Taking into the account the upward movement of oil prices, Iran's National Development Fund could reach 55 billion by the end of the (Persian) year (March 2013)," The Iranian state news agency quoted the president as saying during a visit to north-eastern Iran.

"For the first time in history ... (the) government has been able to save a proportion of its oil revenues while previous governments spent all revenues every year," Ahmadinejad said.

Ahmadinejad added the 20 percent of oil revenues set aside in the past would increase to 23 and 26 percent in the following two years.

Previous governments had contributed to the Oil Stabilization Fund which was created in the year 2000 to support the national budget during oil price fluctuations. Its funds have been transferred to the National Development Fund.

Sanctions against Iran aim to hurt Iran's energy industry and its financial sector, forcing oil companies to choose between buying Iran crude or continuing business in the United States. Companies that want to continue trading with Iran have encountered increasing difficulties in meeting oil payments.

The International Energy Agency recently said that the wide-ranging sanctions against Iran could reduce its oil exports by as much as 1 million barrels per day, or 40 percent, from the middle of the year.

Western powers have ratcheted up sanctions to force Tehran to abandon uranium enrichment which they suspect is part of a program to development nuclear weapons. Iran has repeatedly denied the accusations.

Iran is due to hold further negotiations with Western powers next week in an effort to find a solution but the time and date of the talks have still not be finalized.
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#17339
Re: Iran ups 'ante' in poker-game with West 2 Years, 3 Months ago Karma: 261
Here we see Iran and the West engaging in one of their MOST familiar dance-steps...



It goes like this:

1) Iran offers to "negotiate" some more over its nuclear program (even though openly stating it will NEVER cease development).

2) The West AGREES to more negotiations, even though it knows with 100% certainty that this is only a STALLING TACTIC by Iran.

3) The propagandists then start gushing about "new hope in the stand-off with Iran" and OIL PRICES GO DOWN. This is something which ALWAYS appeals to the Oligarchs, but ESPECIALLY in a U.S. election year - with "their Boy" Obama looking to secure a second term.

Indeed, with it now being the beginning of April in a U.S. election year, a betting man would argue that it is no longer possible for their to be any OVERT military election this year, since THAT would cause a spike in oil prices, and THAT is not allowed in a Presidential election year!!




"Oil Falls on Sluggish U.S. Employment Growth, Iran Talks"

www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-09/oil-fa...wth-iran-nuclea.html

Oil dropped to a seven-week low as an employment report raised concern that U.S. fuel demand will slow and Iran agreed to resume talks on its nuclear program.

Futures fell as much as 2.4 percent after the government reported on April 6 that the U.S. created 120,000 jobs in March, below the median forecast of 205,000 in a Bloomberg survey. Negotiations between Iran and the United Nations Security Council members plus Germany are scheduled to start April 14, easing concern that supplies will be disrupted.

“Friday’s poor jobs numbers are raising concerns with regard to future economic activity,” said Stephen Schork, president of the Schork Group in Villanova, Pennsylvania. “The jobs number is having an exaggerated impact because we were closed on Friday. When you add the upcoming Iran talks, you have the makings of a big move lower.”

Crude for May delivery fell $1.82, or 1.8 percent, to $101.49 at 12:56 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract touched $100.81, the lowest level since Feb. 15. Prices have climbed 2.7 percent this year.

Brent oil for May settlement dropped $1.79, or 1.5 percent, to $121.64 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Commodity and equity markets were closed in New York and London on April 6 for Good Friday. European stock markets are shut today for holidays, along with Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Thailand and South Africa.
Light Volume

“Volume is very light because markets are shut in Europe, Australia and Hong Kong,” said Chris Dillman, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “This is probably exaggerating the size of moves.”

Electronic trading volume on the Nymex was 188,755 contracts as of 12:30 p.m. in New York. Volume totaled 494,088 contracts on April 5, 24 percent below the three-month average. Open interest was 1.56 million.

The U.S. employment increase was the smallest in five months. The data also showed the unemployment rate fell to 8.2 percent as people left the labor force, while workers put in fewer hours.

“Worries about the U.S. economy are coming back with last Friday’s employment numbers,” said Tom Bentz, a director with BNP Paribas Prime Brokerage Inc. in New York. “All of the markets are moving together today on economic worries. A test of $100 looks likely.”

Equities and commodities dropped. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was down 1 percent. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 commodities also fell 1 percent, led by coffee and gasoline.

Gasoline for May delivery declined 6.66 cents, or 2 percent, to $3.2739 a gallon in New York. Prices touched $3.2555, the lowest level since March 7.
Iran Talks

Iran and the representatives of the six nations will meet for nuclear talks starting April 14 in Istanbul, Michael Mann, a European Union spokesman, said yesterday. Their last meeting was in January 2011. The government in Tehran is under increasing economic pressure from trade, financial and energy sanctions, including U.S. penalties on banks that process payments for Iranian crude.

The Persian Gulf country’s Supreme National Security Council said in a statement today cited by the state-run Mehr news agency that a second round of talks will be held in Baghdad, the date of which will be announced at the end of the Istanbul meeting.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi today said he won’t accept any preconditions before the talks. His comment came after the New York Times, citing unidentified diplomats, reported that the allies plan to demand the immediate closure of a nuclear enrichment facility in central Iran.
Chinese Inflation

Consumer prices in China rose 3.6 percent from a year earlier after gaining 3.2 percent in February, the National Bureau of Statistics said on its website today. That was more than the median 3.4 percent estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 33 economists. Faster inflation may limit the government’s options to stimulate growth in the second-largest oil-consuming country.

Speculators reduced bullish bets on oil by the most in more than three months as U.S. supplies rose, according to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Commitments of Traders report on April 6. Money managers cut net long positions, or wagers on rising prices, by 10 percent in the seven days ended April 3, for the biggest drop since Dec. 20, the report showed.

Hedge funds and other money managers cut bullish bets on Brent crude by 11,809 contracts in the week ended April 3, according to data from ICE exchange. Speculative bets that prices will rise, in futures and options combined, outnumbered short positions by 139,074 lots, ICE said today in its weekly Commitment of Traders report.
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#17701
Re: Iran ups 'ante' in poker-game with West 2 Years, 3 Months ago Karma: 168
A pipeline that would allow crude oil from the United Arab Emirates to bypass the Strait of Hormuz separating it from Iran has been delayed because of construction difficulties, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

“The pipeline is almost complete, so hopefully it will be operational, say, within six months, by May-June,” U.A.E. Oil Minister Mohamed al-Hamli told reporters in Abu Dhabi today, confirming more time is needed to finish it. “It’s a big project, there’s a lot to do.”

www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-18/hor...d-iran-tensions.html
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#17706
Re: Iran ups 'ante' in poker-game with West 2 Years, 3 Months ago Karma: 261
samix wrote:
A pipeline that would allow crude oil from the United Arab Emirates to bypass the Strait of Hormuz separating it from Iran has been delayed because of construction difficulties, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

“The pipeline is almost complete, so hopefully it will be operational, say, within six months, by May-June,” U.A.E. Oil Minister Mohamed al-Hamli told reporters in Abu Dhabi today, confirming more time is needed to finish it. “It’s a big project, there’s a lot to do.”

www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-18/hor...d-iran-tensions.html


...and the game of tit-for-tat continues.



On the one hand, getting this pipeline operational COULD be enough to convince the psychopaths of the Axis of Evil that they COULD now risk open war with Iran (as opposed to the current Cold War - lol). Score one point for the Axis.

Now we hear of "delays due to construction difficulties".



Understand how the propaganda game is played. Even if the West had PROOF that Iran was responsible for these "delays" (through some sort of sabotage) it is highly unlikely it would PUBLICLY acknowledge this.

Why?

1) It would DRAW ATTENTION to the fact that the Axis was RUSHING completion of this project so that they could ATTACK Iran.

2) It would CREDIT Iran with a "victory" in the Cold War.

Thus we see the EXPECTED response from the various players in the construction of this pipeline when asked to EXPLAIN apparently ordinary construction delays:

"No comment."
"No comment."
"No comment."

Score one point for Iran...

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#18321
Iran to allow UN "inspectors" back into country 2 Years, 2 Months ago Karma: 261
And yet another farce continues to unfold before us. On the one hand Iran is fully aware that most of these "inspectors" are merely Western SPIES, intent more on passing along their "intel" to the Axis of Evil than in verifying whether (or not) Iran is complying with the latest UN bull-shit. On the other hand it allows Iran to engage in more stalling.

As for the West, we see a similar farcical trade-off. They KNOW that allowing the inspectors back in is only a stalling tactic by Iran. BUT they want to gain the SECRETS which the inspectors can pass along to them - and this causes oil prices to retreat, which increases the practicality of ATTACKING Iran.

And so the silly game of cat-and-mouse continues...




"Iran Gives UN Atomic Inspectors Access Before Talks"

www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-22/iaea-i...ions-amano-says.html

United Nations atomic inspectors and Iran broke a five-year stalemate with an agreement that gives the International Atomic Energy Agency access to the Persian Gulf nation’s disputed Parchin military complex.

IAEA head Yukiya Amano announced the breakthrough today after he returned from a surprise visit to Tehran, saying the two sides agreed yesterday to create a document outlining the steps necessary for Iran to clear suspicions over its atomic program. It’s the first time since June 2007 that the IAEA and Iran have agreed on methods to give inspectors greater access to facilities including Parchin, where work may have taken place on the trigger for a nuclear weapon, according to the agency.

“There was an important development on the structured approach document on which we have been working since January,” Amano told journalists in Vienna. “The decision was made to conclude and sign an agreement.”

The announcement was greeted with skepticism by Israel, where Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Iran is trying “the impression of progress” ahead of nuclear negotiations tomorrow in Baghdad, according to the Israeli Ministry of Defense.

Barak repeated Israel’s demand that Iran stop all uranium enrichment, with current stockpiles of enriched uranium removed from Iran, to ensure that the Persian Gulf nation won’t have the capability to produce nuclear weapons.
Cooperative Gesture

The accord, which Amano said will be signed “quite soon,” comes as negotiators from China, France, Germany, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S. -- the so-called P5+1 group -- head to Baghdad for a second round of talks tomorrow over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said it would be “improper” for the P5+1 group to seek a cooperative gesture from Iran while imposing new sanctions, according to Iranian state-controlled Press TV.

While IAEA inspectors regularly visit sites where Iran enriches uranium, the agency has been seeking more access to facilities suspected of hiding undeclared nuclear work. The 2007 agreement, negotiated by former IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei, cleared Iran of some suspicions before breaking down.

European and U.S. diplomats criticized that accord as a stalling tactic. The program was derailed after Iran refused to address allegations contained inside intelligence documents given to the agency, saying they were fakes.
‘Very Suspicious’

Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said his government is “very suspicious” of the latest agreement. Iran has “played a game of hide-and-seek” with the IAEA and the international community for years, he told Israel’s Army Radio.

U.S. envoy Robert Wood said in an e-mailed statement that the Islamic Republic should “take this opportunity to resolve all outstanding concerns about the nature of its nuclear program. Full and transparent cooperation with the IAEA is the first logical step.”

The deal with Iran, the second-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, helped push crude prices lower today. Brent oil for July settlement dropped as much as 71 cents to $108.10 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange before rising to $109.04 as of 2:45 p.m. The European benchmark contract was at a $16.61 a barrel premium to West Texas Intermediate crude, up from $15.95 yesterday.
Better Cooperation

“It doesn’t mean everything is going to be resolved, but it seems at least there’s some better cooperation between Iran and the IAEA,” said Olivier Jakob, a managing director at Zug, Switzerland-based Petromatrix GmbH. “It’s part of the process which for now is moving in the right direction. But the real significance will come tomorrow with the P5+1 meeting.”

Amano said Iran consented to an inspection of the Parchin site 18 miles (30 kilometers) southwest of Tehran, where the IAEA said in November it had “credible” evidence showing the country had worked on the trigger for an atomic weapon. While the final details must be hashed out between the IAEA and Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, they won’t scuttle the deal, he said.

“There remain some differences, but Mr. Jalili elaborated that the differences will not be an obstacle to reach an agreement,” Amano said. “We understood each other’s positions better. That was the reason we could make this important development.”

The P5+1 group had demanded that Iran take concrete steps to alleviate concern over its nuclear work.
‘Some Agreements’

“We had some agreements with the P5+1 in Istanbul for more cooperation,” Jalili said today at Baghdad airport, according to Iran’s Press TV. “Now we hope that talks in Baghdad will lead to that cooperation.”

Several Obama administration officials and Western diplomats said the P5+1 group won’t give Iran relief from oil and financial sanctions that are hobbling its economy. The group has agreed on confidence-building measures it may offer during talks in the Iraqi capital tomorrow in response to Iranian concessions, they said.

U.S. and European Union sanctions are crippling Iran’s ability to export and get paid for crude, its main source of revenue. The U.S. and the EU are in no hurry to ease that pressure before their concerns about Iran’s nuclear program are addressed, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
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