Iran News and Discussions

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member_20617
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby member_20617 » 07 Feb 2012 19:20

Samudragupta wrote:..the Iranian masterstroke will be when Israel will hit the Iranian millitary facilities....the game over Islamism will be paermanantly won by the Iranians...Wahabis will have to eat the crow....


I do not follow this, please elaborate.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby shyamd » 08 Feb 2012 18:53

Nice picture in the first post above.
Expect a collapse of the clerical system very soon - Iraq is getting powerful as Gold & USD are being bought and business booming as iraq supplies Iran with essentials. In future expect IRaq to dominate Iran and not vis e versa as it has been for the last few years.

Expect heavy turbulence/instability in Iran very soon. I think this will definitely affect our af-Pak plans in the short term. India better start getting contingency plans ready.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby shyamd » 08 Feb 2012 18:53

Nice picture in the first post above.
Expect a collapse of the clerical system very soon - Iraq is getting powerful as Gold & USD are being bought and business booming as iraq supplies Iran with essentials. In future expect Iraq to dominate Iran and not vis e versa as it has been for the last few years.

Expect heavy turbulence/instability in Iran very soon. Iran is getting ready for conflict with Israel very soon via Hezballah. US will have to act to defend Israel.

I think this will definitely affect our af-Pak plans in the short term. India better start getting contingency plans ready.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby member_21708 » 08 Feb 2012 19:21

Iran defaults on rice payments to India
(Reuters) - Iranian buyers have defaulted on payments for about 200,000 tonnes of rice from their top supplier India, exporters and rice millers said on Tuesday, a sign of the mounting pressure on Tehran from a new wave of Western sanctions.

The default prompted the head of the All India Rice Exporters' Association to call on members to stop rice exports to Iran based on credit, which would be a fresh blow to a country where imports of staple foods are already being hampered by sanctions.

"It is a serious issue and we do not rule out further payment defaults by Iran," said Vijay Setia, the association's president.

Indian sources said the Iranian buyers had defaulted on payments worth about $144 million for rice shipments under long-term supply deals. Iran shipped the cargoes from Indian ports in October and November. Most Indian rice exporters allow 90 days credit.

Iran relies on imports for about 45 pct of its annual rice consumption of 2.9 million tonnes, according to U.S. Dept. of Agriculture data.

In other supply disruptions, five deliveries of grain to Iran were diverted to new destinations because payments were held up, ship tracking data showed last week. Other cargoes are sitting offshore Iran because of difficulty with payments.

Under a tightening grip of sanctions, the country of 74 million people is finding it increasingly difficult to repatriate the hard currency from its crude oil exports, its major foreign currency earner, that it needs to pay for shipments of food and other imports.

A sharp drop in the value of the rial is adding to Iran's import costs and the financial sanctions make it difficult for traders in the country to channel import payments through unofficial routes involving middlemen based in Dubai.

India is Iran's top rice supplier, accounting for some 70 percent of its annual requirement of 1-1.2 million tonnes of the grain, mainly the aromatic variety called Basmati.

Traders and officials in Iran could not be immediately reached to comment.

The United States slapped fresh sanctions on Tehran from the start of this year, targeting financial institutions that deal with the central bank, hoping to stem oil revenues and persuade Iran to abandon a suspected nuclear weapons program.

U.S. President Barack Obama tightened those sanctions on Sunday, again targeting Iran's central bank and giving U.S. banks new powers to freeze assets linked to Tehran.

The European Union has agreed to ban Iranian oil imports, a measure expected to take full effect within six months.

SANCTIONS BITING?

The rice defaults could be the latest sign that those sanctions are biting as Iranian importers find it increasingly difficult to settle payments.

Ukraine's maize exports to Iran dropped 40 percent in January due to payment problems, Ukrainian consultancy ProAgro said last week.

Ukrainian and European traders said they were no longer booking Ukraine grains shipments to Iran because of the payments difficulties, although talks were underway to save the market, the country's farm minister said.

Five ships of grain have been diverted away from Iran to other destinations and about 400,000 tonnes of grains on at least 10 vessels have been held up outside Iranian ports because of payments problems, trade sources said last week.

The Indian rice association's Setia said the group had approached the Indian government to recover their dues.

"As part of efforts to minimize losses, we are asking our colleagues to avoid sending rice on credit," he said, adding they were not calling for a ban on exports to Iran.

A government source acknowledged exporters had sought help.

The rice default is the latest snag in India-Iran trade, which is heavily skewed towards Tehran.

India is Iran's second-largest buyer of crude and it has struggled to settle payments worth some $11 billion annually after New Delhi scrapped a long-standing mechanism in 2010 under pressure from Washington.

While New Delhi has switched to a payment conduit for its Iranian oil using a Turkish bank, Indian rice exporters have been using a loose, unofficial route involving a network of middlemen based in Dubai.

The middlemen receive payments from Iranian importers in rial and pay Indian exporters in U.S. dollars. The consignments are sent directly from India to Iran.

But Indian traders said the defaults started after the rial plunged over the past month, making previous purchases costlier for Iranian importers.

The cost of transactions also went up for the Dubai middlemen as they use U.S. dollars to pay Indian exporters.

On January 26, Iran announced an 8 percent devaluation of the rial and said it would enforce a single exchange rate, aiming to stamp out a black market where the dollar's value has soared due to fears over new sanctions imposed by the West.

Indian traders said about 20 Iranian companies have failed to clear their dues during the past month.

"It threatens to jeopardize the trade with them, hurting both India and Iran," Anil K. Mittal, chairman of KRBL Ltd, a leading Indian rice miller and exporter, told Reuters.

"Due to sanctions on Iran, currently banks are not involved in payments to Indian rice suppliers. The payments are direct and at times on credit, making Indian exporters vulnerable to defaults. Indian traders must avoid supplying on credit."

Setia said India should not send any more rice to Iran on credit, adding suppliers such as those in Thailand, Vietnam and Pakistan had already stopped doing so.

However, the Thai Rice Exporters' Association said Thailand had stopped selling rice to Iran about a decade ago.

Javed Agha, chairman of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan acknowledged that sanctions had made traders reluctant in both Pakistan and Iran to do deals.

"Banking if a problem between Pakistan and Iran," he said. "There is no proper system."

BOOSTING EXPORTS TO IRAN

New Delhi will send a delegation to Iran this month to explore boosting exports to smooth use of the restricted rupee currency, which the two sides have agreed to use to settle 45 percent of India's $11 billion a year oil bill.

But this would give Iran large amounts of a currency which is difficult to use for international trade.

An Indian ministerial panel on food exports meets on Tuesday to review rice and sugar shipments. The issue of exports to Iran is not on the agenda, government officials said, seeking to knock down reports that the panel could discuss the possibility of boosting rice and wheat exports to Tehran.

India, is expected to produce 102.75 million tonnes of rice in the crop year to June 2012, a farm ministry forecast said last month. Basmati makes up around 5 percent of India's total rice production.

India's January 1 rice inventory at government warehouses was 29.8 million tonnes against a target of 11.8 million tonnes.

China, Japan, India and South Korea, which together buy about half or Iran's 2.6 million barrels per day of crude exports, are under pressure from U.S. sanctions to cut back their purchases.

China has already cut Iran imports in the first three months of this year over a pricing dispute and a flurry of U.S. diplomats have discussed the sanctions with Asian government officials.

South Korea is paying Iran for crude in its local currency, but difficulty repatriating the funds under the weight of sanctions means won worth an estimated $5 billion has piled up South Korean banks. ($1=48.93 rupees)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/ ... CX20120207

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 08 Feb 2012 19:22

shyamd wrote:Expect heavy turbulence/instability in Iran very soon. Iran is getting ready for conflict with Israel very soon via Hezballah. US will have to act to defend Israel.

Predictably, the Iranian regime is resporting to brutalizing its own citizens in anticipation of any domestic turbulence:

Iran sentences blogger to 14 years in jail
Also, another journalist known for criticism of Iranian regime in popular blog was also sentenced to flogging, 10 years in exile. Interestingly, one of these is an Ayatollah's son.
A dissident Iranian blogger was sentenced to a flogging 14 years in prison by a Tehran court, media rights group Reporters Without Borders said Tuesday.

The Islamic Republic's revolutionary court delivered the sentence against Mehdi Khazali, editor of a blog called Baran, on Monday, the group said.

Khazali, the son of a prominent conservative cleric, was also to be exiled for 10 years, it added.

Reporters Without Borders said Khazali was arrested on January 9 – his third arrest in the past two years.

A doctor and veteran of the 1980-1988 Iraq war, Khazali is the son of Ayatollah Abolqasem Khazali, a long-time member of the Assembly of Experts, a clerical body tasked with overseeing the work of Iran’s supreme leader.

Ayatollah Khazali has disavowed his son’s criticism of the regime, which notably took Tehran to task for its policies and human rights violations.

Khazali frequently poked fun at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his allies on his widely read blog, which has been hacked and is no longer accessible, Reporters Without Borders said.

He was previously arrested in 2009 as part of the government’s crackdown on the mass street protests that followed the disputed re-election of Ahmadinejad. He was later released on bail.

Khazali was among scores of reformist politicians, journalists, human rights campaigners and student activists detained in the crackdown.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby shyamd » 08 Feb 2012 19:52

Last year the IRGC held an exercise on dealing with instability in Iran, just shows what they are expecting

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Christopher Sidor » 08 Feb 2012 21:22

Shankaraa wrote:....
....
Blockade of Strait of Hormuz by Iran will inevitably result in a war as Western powers need Saudi/Iraqi/Iranian oil and their economies will come to a standstill if oil cannot be imported. India, Japan and China also depend on Saudi/Iraqi/Iranian oil.

Defeated Iran is good for USA, Israel, Pakistan & Saudi Arabia but it damages our strategic interests as mentioned above.

Although India and Israel are natural allies, there will be a conflict of interest as far as Iran is concerned.


Iran cannot indefinitely block the straits. Moreover a blockade of straits will hurt us more. We dont have a strategic oil reserve. USA has. China is in process of building it. We dont have it.

What I doubt is the fact that India and Israel are natural allies. Our alliance with Israel is purely one of convenience. In Asia there were two states which were created on the basis of religion, after WWII. Both on basis of some twisted and flawed western logic. One was Pakistan and the other was Israel. One was for Islam and the other was for the Jewish faith. Israel became possible once the Palestinians were driven out of their lands. In the same way as the pandits were driven away from the valley or the Tibetans from Tibet or the hindus from lahore or from sindh. While yes Israel has helped us, most notably in Kargil and many other times, we have paid them top dollar for their services.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby RajeshA » 09 Feb 2012 13:47

Christopher Sidor wrote:What I doubt is the fact that India and Israel are natural allies. Our alliance with Israel is purely one of convenience.

In the bigger picture, this is not true!

India and Israel are the two ends, the two islands in an Islamic Arc! We keep the Islamic Focus divided. Without one the other would go under!

Israel is of absolute strategic value to India!

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 09 Feb 2012 21:47

RajeshA wrote:Israel is of absolute strategic value to India!

RajeshA ji, I agree that Israel is of strategic value to India, but its not "absolute". the picture is far more complex. India should never cast itself in such "absolute" alliances, because then we paint ourselves into a corner.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 09 Feb 2012 21:48

Turmoil deepens bleak Tehran winter
As the winter mercury slumps and pollution hovers over Tehran, it's not the smog but deteriorating standards of living and the feeling that the world is conspiring against them that has Iranians most vexed. A currency crisis continues to grip the city and hope is absent - not so the supply of kidneys from financially stricken donors.


Hiatus in European debate on Iran
The conspicuous absence of debate over Persian Gulf tensions at last week's Munich Security Conference underlines Europe's acquiescence to America on Iran. While failing to consider the mutual benefits of a European-Iranian security dialogue, leaders also seem blind to a reorientation in US defense policy that could cost the continent dearly in blood and treasure.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby AjitK » 09 Feb 2012 22:20

India Lifts Imports of Iran's Oil
India increased its imports of Iran's oil to become its largest customer last month, partly offsetting a cut in Chinese purchases, as sanctions failed to significantly dent Tehran's sales, people in the oil industry said.

Iranian crude exports to India rose to 550,000 barrels a day in January, up 37.5% from December. That coincided with a 50% cut in exports to China, the result of a pricing dispute. Indian officials declined to comment.China now imports around 250,000 barrels a day from Iran.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby UBanerjee » 09 Feb 2012 22:40

Christopher Sidor wrote:
Shankaraa wrote:....
....
Blockade of Strait of Hormuz by Iran will inevitably result in a war as Western powers need Saudi/Iraqi/Iranian oil and their economies will come to a standstill if oil cannot be imported. India, Japan and China also depend on Saudi/Iraqi/Iranian oil.

Defeated Iran is good for USA, Israel, Pakistan & Saudi Arabia but it damages our strategic interests as mentioned above.

Although India and Israel are natural allies, there will be a conflict of interest as far as Iran is concerned.


Iran cannot indefinitely block the straits. Moreover a blockade of straits will hurt us more. We dont have a strategic oil reserve. USA has. China is in process of building it. We dont have it.

What I doubt is the fact that India and Israel are natural allies. Our alliance with Israel is purely one of convenience. In Asia there were two states which were created on the basis of religion, after WWII. Both on basis of some twisted and flawed western logic. One was Pakistan and the other was Israel. One was for Islam and the other was for the Jewish faith. Israel became possible once the Palestinians were driven out of their lands. In the same way as the pandits were driven away from the valley or the Tibetans from Tibet or the hindus from lahore or from sindh. While yes Israel has helped us, most notably in Kargil and many other times, we have paid them top dollar for their services.


Without Israel, India is the lone, and I mean the only, bulwark in an Islamic crescent stretching from southern Europe and north Africa to Indonesia. One that is itself sandwiched between to heavily populated and growing Muslim nations and has a large Muslim population of its own.

The demographics are very bleak, even with Israel's continued existence.

Furthermore, hundreds of thousands of Jews were expelled from Arab lands during the creation of Israel, I mention this only because it is never mentioned by critics of Israel.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Prem » 09 Feb 2012 23:47

Israel is our this era Ghatotkach.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Sudip » 10 Feb 2012 05:05

India Explores Economic Opportunities in Iran, Denting Western Sanctions Plan

“We will be mounting a mission to Iran at the end of the month to promote our own exports,” Mr. Khullar told reporters in New Delhi, according to Indian and Western accounts of his news conference. “A huge delegation will be going.”


Mr. Khullar said India already was honoring the four rounds of United Nations sanctions aimed at dissuading Iran from its uranium enrichment program. Those sanctions, he told reporters, do not apply to “a vast range of products which India can export to Iran.”

Even if the United States and European Union wished to shun business with Iran, Mr. Khullar said, “Tell me why I should follow suit?” :D :D :D


Indian government had proposed a barter with Iran in which India would pay for some Iranian oil with Indian wheat. And Reuters reported that Iran was willing to accept rupees instead of dollars, the standard currency in oil transactions, for nearly half of the roughly $11 billion worth of oil that India buys from Iran annually.


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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby RajeshA » 10 Feb 2012 05:39

Carl wrote:
RajeshA wrote:Israel is of absolute strategic value to India!

RajeshA ji, I agree that Israel is of strategic value to India, but its not "absolute". the picture is far more complex. India should never cast itself in such "absolute" alliances, because then we paint ourselves into a corner.

Carl ji,

I said, Iran is absolute strategic value to India, however that does not mean that Israel has to be declared as India's special strategic ally.

All we have to do is to ensure that Israel survives and survives as a strong nation. This can be done through a robust defense partnership, a free trade agreement, and various programs for cooperation in science and technology, agriculture and a myriad other fields. What is NOT REQUIRED, are some overt political pronouncements in favor of Israel and too many high visibility political meetings.

I am pretty happy with the state of affairs as they are with respect to Israel. We can intensify these contacts and broaden them, but they need not be emphasized at the political level. Otherwise that would indeed constrain our strategic and tactical options.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Sudip » 10 Feb 2012 07:12

I think the best thing that could happen is that India acts as a broker between Israel-Iran peace talks. I think no other nation is as optimally placed as India to broker a peace deal between the two. Iranian society has as many similarities to India as does the Israeli society. Both nations find it hard to ignore India's dialogue. India also does not potray the selfish stereotype that US and Europe have created from themselves. If Iran can get rid of the Israeli-american albatross then it can re-focus back on Iran's pesky eastern neighbour and Wahhabi Sunnism :evil: :evil: where our real concerns lie. But o well all of that can only be possible if we didnt have a spineless leadership. Guess I can only day-dream :D

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Sudip » 10 Feb 2012 07:20

To those who are interested in matters of Iran, I would recommend them to watch the movie "A separation" Jodái-e Náder az Simin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Separation

It is available to download in torrents etc.

It shows the day-day to struggles of a family in modern day Teheran. The similarity of Farsi language further makes it look like life in any other city in India with parents struggling with things like education of their children, domestic help, grandparents etc and paints a more sane picture of iran than is generally portrayed by western media.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Prem » 10 Feb 2012 10:47

Iranian Nuclear Scientists Killed: Israel Teamed With Terror Group To Coordinate Deadly Attacks, U.S. Officials Say
http://www.businessinsider.com/us-offic ... sts-2012-2
The string of attacks that have plagued Iran's nuclear scientists have left the world wondering who was responsible.Mossad has been the name most bandied about, the Israeli secret service is renown for its bold attacks abroad that have brought down some of Israel's most prominent enemies, and it looks like they're behind these attacks as well. Way behind.US officials told Richard Engel and Robert Windrem at MSNBC News that Mossad is training, financing and equipping the Iranian dissident group the People's Mujahedin of Iran.The People's Mujahedin is a designated U.S. terror group, accused of killing American servicemembers and contractors in the 1970s, and helping take the U.S. embassy in 1979, before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980.The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity, saying

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby shyamd » 10 Feb 2012 17:56

24th Dec

shyamd wrote:GCC wants India to get involved in the Iranian nuclear file. A lot of chinwagging took place in security conferences and SSM visit. GCC sees India as a bigger power than Turkey and one that commands more respect in the region. If India plays ball, KSA will use the stick on TSP. And if India doesnt, PRC will be forced to be used and India's presence will be overshadowed by PRC.

They know India has good access to individuals and the type of discussions india is having with Afghanistan. They want India to mediate in this issue.


EU to pressure India over Iran
By Penny MacRae (AFP) – 4 hours ago
NEW DELHI — The European Union looked to push India at a summit on Friday to use its commercial and diplomatic influence to try to bring Iran back to the negotiating table over its disputed nuclear programme.
The move came a day after New Delhi announced it would send a large business delegation to Iran to exploit an opportunity to boost bilateral trade at a time when Europe and the United States are trying to isolate the Islamic republic.
India, which was the biggest buyer of Iranian oil worldwide last month according to Dow Jones Newswires, has emerged as a potential problem for Western nations as they look to ratchet up pressure on Tehran.
Speaking ahead of the EU-India summit in New Delhi, European Council president Herman Van Rompuy suggested New Delhi's refusal to join the sanctions programme could be used constructively.
"I plan to ask Indian leaders to apply their considerable leverage to Iran and help in convincing the Iranian leadership to give up their sensitive nuclear programme and return to the negotiating table," Van Rompuy told The Times of India said.
Indian foreign policy experts have previously suggested New Delhi could act as an interlocutor with Iran to help the world community engage with the country over its nuclear goals, which Tehran maintains are peaceful.
India's decision to send a business delegation to Iran comes amid reports the two sides are exploring ways to increase trade while sidestepping the EU and US sanctions that target the Iranian central bank and the oil industry.
Iran has reportedly agreed to accept Indian rupees for up to 45 percent of oil exports, while India sees opportunities to sell tea, wheat and rice, as well as iron and steel among others.
India's Economic Times reported on Thursday that New Delhi had proposed paying for crude imports with wheat exports to the Islamic Republic.
"If Europe and the US want to stop exports to Iran, why should I (India) follow suit? Why shouldn't we tap that opportunity?" an unnamed government official was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India on Thursday.
India argues it is bound only by UN sanctions on Iran, not embargoes imposed by other countries.
"We can't determine what Indian companies do," acknowledged EU ambassador to India Joao Cravinho this week.
During the summit -- attended by Van Rompuy, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh -- the two sides will also focus on bridging differences holding up a long-delayed free trade pact.
"We hope to bring a package together that will get the political blessing from the EU president and Prime Minister Singh," Cravinho told AFP.
Such a package would allow negotiators to move into the final lap of talks for an accord that could be wrapped up in the second half of 2012, embracing 1.8 billion people or nearly a quarter of the global population, Cravinho said.
Intense negotiations have been under way for weeks with both sides "working on the nature of trade-offs needed to reach a political agreement", he added.
Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said talks were in the "final stage" but a "few gaps" remained to be closed, while a senior Indian government official, who could not be named, said New Delhi hoped for a "significant announcement."
Deadlines for concluding the deal, under discussion since 2007, have been repeatedly missed with the EU pressing India to cut duties on cars, wines and spirits.
In turn India is seeking greater EU market access for its farm products, textiles and IT services.
The EU is also keen on making new inroads into India's banking and retail sectors, while India wants the EU to allow freer movement of its professionals in the 27-nation bloc.
"The EU-India free trade agreement is one of the biggest and most ambitious free trade agreements ever negotiated," said Cravinho.
India has already struck free trade deals with Japan, Malaysia and South Korea, while the EU is in trade liberalisation talks with Canada and Japan, among other countries.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Prem » 10 Feb 2012 23:59

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns- ... 1959.story

Iran turns to India for wheat as palm oil dries up
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Iran has turned to India for wheat supplies as other sellers divert grain cargoes away from the Middle East country because of sanctions-related payments problems that have caused palm oil imports to grind to a halt.Indian tea was also added on Thursday to a growing list of Iran's food imports that are being disrupted by U.S. and European Union sanctions aimed at forcing Tehran to scrap a suspected nuclear weapons program.
India's Trade Secretary Rahul Khullar said a private Iranian buyer is interested in importing "a very large quantity" of wheat, which the world's second-biggest producer of the crop has in surplus.Khullar, the most senior official in the ministry, suggested India was considering the sale. India wants to step up exports to Iran in a range of goods to settle part of its oil due to Tehran."There are UN sanctions which India honors, those don't cover the export of vast range of products which India can export to Iran," Khullar told reporters."If the EU and the U.S. both want to stop exports to that country, please tell me why I should follow suit? Why shouldn't I take up that business opportunity?""If Europe and the U.S. believe they wish to sanction exports of a large number of items to that country that is their choice. But for us we shall continue business," the trade secretary said.Iran imports around 4.5 million tonnes of grain a year, including about 3.5 million tonnes of maize, which is mainly used in animal feed.It relies on imports to meet more than 60 percent of its maize needs, about 45 percent of its rice demand but only 3 percent of its wheat, figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed for 2010-11.However, wheat could be used by Iran to replace maize as animal feed, which may explain the approach to India, especially after news last week that Ukrainian maize shipments had been cut in half.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Prem » 11 Feb 2012 00:14

India Explores Economic Opportunities in Iran, Denting Western Sanctions Plan
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/10/world ... .html?_r=1
India emerged as a major new irritant on Thursday in Western efforts to isolate Iran, announcing that it was sending a large trade delegation there within weeks to exploit opportunities created by the American and European antinuclear sanctions that are increasingly disrupting Iran’s economy. The trade delegation announcement coincided with new reports that India, an important consumer of Iranian oil, had eclipsed China for the first time as Iran’s No. 1 petroleum customer last month, subverting efforts by the United States to persuade other countries to find non-Iranian sources for their energy needs or risk onerous penalties under a new American sanctions law. The announcement also came ahead of a planned visit to India by Herman Van Rompuy, the European Union president, who was quoted in an interview with The Times of India as saying that he intended to seek the Indian government’s help in pressing Iran to give up its nuclear program.
It was unclear whether Mr. Rompuy knew at the time of the interview that India’s commerce secretary, Rahul Khullar, was about to announce a big economic push into Iran that could serve to counteract the effects of the very sanctions Mr. Rompuy has helped to promote. “We will be mounting a mission to Iran at the end of the month to promote our own exports,” Mr. Khullar told reporters in New Delhi, according to Indian and Western accounts of his news conference. “A huge delegation will be going.” In what amounted to a rejection of an underlying motive in the American-European sanction effort, Mr. Khullar said India already was honoring the four rounds of United Nations sanctions aimed at dissuading Iran from its uranium enrichment program. Those sanctions, he told reporters, do not apply to “a vast range of products which India can export to Iran.” Even if the United States and European Union wished to shun business with Iran, Mr. Khullar said, “Tell me why I should follow suit?”
“Why shouldn’t I take up that business opportunity?” he asked

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby ramana » 11 Feb 2012 01:59

Nightwatch Prespective:

Iran: Special comment. The evidence continues to pour in that the US banking sanctions are imposing large penalties on Iranian consumers. Iran can still sell its oil, but cannot get paid and cannot pay for imports of rice, palm oil, tea and other imported foodstuffs and commodities. Iranian companies are in default.


Today, Indian authorities reported Iran defaulted on a 90-day note to pay for the import of 200,000 tons of rice from India that was ordered last October and November. Iran also defaulted on payments for shipments of Indian tea and for 400,000 tons of Ukrainian wheat, some of which is aboard ships in Iranian ports. Ship owners refuse to allow the wheat to be offloaded. Iran also has defaulted in paying for imports of Indian tea. Ten ships are in Iranian ports but refuse to permit offloading because the Iranian rial is not negotiable as a medium of international exchange.


In the past week, Iran has offered to barter gold bullion in overseas vaults and filled oil tankers for basic commodities.

Comment: The collapse of the Iranian rial plus the refusal of banks and companies to deal with Iran are having serious impact. The price of everything in Iran is rising. The sanctions against Iranian banks that rely on the US dollar for international trade are proving to be devastating for everyday Iranians.


In order to meet domestic demand, Iran must import more than 1 million tons of rice, of which some 70% is purchased from India. Iran produces more than 2 million tons of rice, but still must import a million tons or so from India and other states to satisfy domestic demand. I


Iran has defaulted on payments because the Iranian rial is almost no longer convertible into internationally acceptable hard currency. Indian and UAE middle-man companies are going out of business because the Iranian currency is worthless, nonnegotiable.


Iran's customary trade partners are experimenting with barter swaps and trades paid in local currencies, such as Indian Rupees, Malaysian Ringgit and Indonesian Rupiah. Iran relies on India for 45% of its rice imports, but on Indonesia and Malaysia for all of it palm oil imports, meaning cooking oil, margarine and other industrial uses.


Iran can export but must now accept payment in currencies not traded on international markets or payment in kind. There is no predictability in the profit for traders; barter strikes at the heart of an integrated global economy, which the advanced western countries seek.



The impact on the Iranian micro-economy is serious. Imported basic commodities are becoming out of reach in price and rare. If the banking sanctions continue, the Iranian standard of living must decline. Western clothes and electronics, for example, will only be available to the wealthy elite. Their possession eventually will brand the owners as non-revolutionary and not devout Shiites.


The ayatollahs are not impervious to the plight of the people who must pay their salaries, but they have shown no movement on nuclear talks… yet. Resort to barter is a sign of growing national concern.


Banking sanctions are proving to work far more effectively than any others. Readers should expect Iran to make overtures for new talks without making promises. Iranians are not hurting enough yet. Nevertheless, urban dwelling Iranians are likely to engage in civil disobedience if prices for staple commodities continue to rise and imported goods become unavailable at any price.


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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby svinayak » 11 Feb 2012 04:45

Jhujar wrote:India Explores Economic Opportunities in Iran, Denting Western Sanctions Plan
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/10/world ... .html?_r=1
Even if the United States and European Union wished to shun business with Iran, Mr. Khullar said, “Tell me why I should follow suit?”
“Why shouldn’t I take up that business opportunity?” he asked

If United States and European Union can give similar business to India as an incentive in their domestic markets Indian companies may consider this as an option.


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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 11 Feb 2012 10:42

Iranian Authorities Raid House Church in Shiraz
ISTANBUL – Iranian authorities this week arrested Christian converts from Islam while they were meeting for worship at a home in the southern city of Shiraz, according to sources.

Officials are holding the Christians at an unknown location, they said.

The sources put the number of the arrested Christians, who belong to one of Iran’s many underground house churches, at between six and 10. Authorities often detain, question and apply pressure on converts from Islam, viewing them as elements of Western propaganda set against the Iranian regime; as a result, the converts are forced to worship in secret.

...

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 11 Feb 2012 12:18

Another pro-attack article,faulting the well-held commonsense reasons for not attacking Iran.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2 ... y-war.html

Israel and Iran on the Eve of Destruction in a New Six-Day War
Feb 6, 2012 12:00 AM EST
There are plenty of arguments against an Israeli attack on Iran. And all of them are bad.

Jerusalem—It probably felt a bit like this in the months before the Six-Day War of 1967, when Israel launched its hugely successful preemptive strike against Egypt and its allies. Forty-five years later, the little country that is the most easterly outpost of Western civilization has Iran in its sights.

There are five reasons (I am told) why Israel should not attack Iran:

1. The Iranians would retaliate with great fury, closing the Strait of Hormuz and unleashing the dogs of terror in Gaza, Lebanon, and Iraq.

2. The entire region would be set ablaze by irate Muslims; the Arab Spring would turn into a frigid Islamist winter.


3. The world economy would be dealt a death blow in the form of higher oil prices.


4. The Iranian regime would be strengthened, having been attacked by the Zionists its propaganda so regularly vilifies.


5. A nuclear-armed Iran is nothing to worry about. States actually become more risk-averse once they acquire nuclear weapons.


I am here to tell you that these arguments are wrong.


Let’s take them one by one.

Niall Ferguson: Why Israel has a strong case for striking Iran

The threat of Iranian retaliation. The Iranians will very likely be facing not one, not two, but three U.S. aircraft carriers. Two are already in the Persian Gulf: CVN 72 Abraham Lincoln and CVN 70 Carl Vinson. A third, CVN 77 George H.W. Bush, is said to be on its way from Norfolk, Va.

Yes, I know President Obama is a noble and saintly man of peace who uses unmanned drones only to assassinate America’s foes in unprecedented numbers after wrestling with his conscience for anything up to ... 10 seconds. But picture the scene once described to me by a four-star general. It is not the proverbial 3 a.m. but 11 p.m. in the White House (7 a.m. in Israel). The phone rings.


Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: Mr. President, we have reliable intelligence that the Israeli Air Force is in the air and within an hour of striking suspected nuclear facilities in Iran.


POTUS: Damn. What should I do?


CJCS: Mr. President, I want to recommend that you provide the Israelis with all necessary support to limit the effectiveness of Iranian retaliation.


POTUS: But those [expletives deleted] never ran this past me. They went behind my back, goddammit.


CJCS: Yes, sir.


POTUS: Why the hell should I lift a finger to help them?


CJCS: Because if the Iranians close the Strait of Hormuz, we will see oil above $200 a barrel.


POTUS [after a pause]: Just a moment. [Whispers] How am I doing in Florida?


David Axelrod [also whispering]: Your numbers suck.


POTUS: OK, General, line up those bunker busters.

Israeli soldiers conduct a drill in Tel Aviv., Ariel Schalit / AP
The eruption of the entire Muslim world. All the crocodiles of Africa could not equal the fake tears that will be shed by the Sunni powers of the region if Iran’s nuclear ambitions are checked.

The double-dip recession. Oil prices are on the way down thanks to concerted efforts of Europe’s leaders to reenact the Great Depression. An Israel-Iran war would push them up, but the Saudis stand ready to pump out additional supplies to limit the size of the spike.

The theocracy’s new legitimacy. Please send me a list of all the regimes of the past 60 years that have survived such military humiliation. Saddam Hussein’s survival of Gulf War I is the only case I can think of—and we got him the second time around.

The responsible nuclear Iran. Wait. We’re supposed to believe that a revolutionary Shiite theocracy is overnight going to become a sober, calculating disciple of the realist school of diplomacy ... because it has finally acquired weapons of mass destruction? Presumably this would be in the same way that, if German scientists had developed an atomic bomb as quickly as the Manhattan Project, the Second World War would have ended with a negotiated settlement brokered by the League of Nations.

The single biggest danger in the Middle East today is not the risk of a six-day Israeli war against Iran. It is the risk that Western wishful nonthinking allows the mullahs of Tehran to get their hands on nuclear weapons. Because I am in no doubt that they would take full advantage of such a lethal lever. We would have acquiesced in the creation of an empire of extortion.

War is an evil. But sometimes a preventive war can be a lesser evil than a policy of appeasement. The people who don’t yet know that are the ones still in denial about what a nuclear-armed Iran would end up costing us all.
It feels like the eve of some creative destruction.

Niall Ferguson is a professor of history at Harvard University. He is also a senior research fellow at Jesus College, Oxford University, and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His Latest book, Civilization: The West and the Rest, has just been published by Penguin Press.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby JE Menon » 12 Feb 2012 16:15

>>If United States and European Union can give similar business to India as an incentive in their domestic markets Indian companies may consider this as an option.

Whether they do or not is a matter for those governments. GoI will not be involved in such horse-trading; Indian businesses might, and let's wish all success to them in that.

But it is hard for GoI to square the circle of why the US just supplied F16 jets to a country that has in word and deed demonstrated its violent intentions towards India, is nuclear armed, and is far less stable or predictable than Iran has ever been. The US, together with the EU and their Arab vassal states, have provided the financial and military oxygen to keep our western neighbour, both alive and violently kicking - and kicking only India until recently.

Now what has Iran done to India that is comparable? And why, therefore, should India participate in the lynching of that state while nothing even remotely comparable has been contemplated against a more dangerous, and already nuclear armed, country called Pakistan that has and continues to directly threaten India?

This is not to suggest that we are umbilically tied to the Iranian theocratic regime, which is detested by a vast number of its own people. (Incidentally, I spent a day this past week with a few Iranians - the North Tehran version - in a corner of East Africa; and what they had to say wasn't pretty, albeit no doubt anecdotal). But, interests are interests. We might be able to work out, with all those involved, a solution that is just this side of acceptability for all concerned. India is uniquely positioned to do this.

There is, however, a price to pay. And the powers that want India to bend with what they think is the prevailing wind and impose sanctions on Iran, know exactly what that price is.

As for the prevailing wind, it would be utterly foolish of these countries to think they can tackle Iran without significantly damaging the global "system" currently in play. Iran has a lot of options. It's nuclear capability can be rendered unworkable, perhaps totally and irrecoverably, but that country's options are not limited to weapons of mass destruction. Plus, this is something that the Iranians are not that divided about. They see no logic in the argument that Iran cannot have nuclear weapons, but that Pakistan can, or that the US can, for that matter - and in this, the lunatic utterances of the current regime don't really filter down within the Iranian public as it does outside Iran. So, as was mentioned in an earlier post somewhere (or maybe I just thought of posting it and didn't), the US and its European allies are now in the post-colonial, quasi-imperial phase where the best they can do is generate chaos, and think wishfully that it is something in the form of "creative destruction".

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Pranav » 12 Feb 2012 18:17

JE Menon wrote:We might be able to work out, with all those involved, a solution that is just this side of acceptability for all concerned. India is uniquely positioned to do this.

There is, however, a price to pay. And the powers that want India to bend with what they think is the prevailing wind and impose sanctions on Iran, know exactly what that price is.


Difficult to see what might be acceptable to all parties, given that -

this is something that the Iranians are not that divided about. They see no logic in the argument that Iran cannot have nuclear weapons, but that Pakistan can, or that the US can, for that matter


One should bear in mind that (1) the Iran issue is presently the number 1 concern for the West (2) right now the Paks are the bad boys, but the West and the Paks are both very capable of jumping right back into bed together, which will help the Paks acquire another 10 year lease of life

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby JE Menon » 12 Feb 2012 19:31

^^Boss, you always force me to type these longish posts :D

Difficult to see what might be acceptable to all parties...

1. Iran's "nuclearisation" is a problem the West would rather see "go away"... The problem is the not the regime per se, nor the Iranian people.

2. How to make the problem go away? Compromise. No nuclear weaponisation by Iran, but no official admission of backdown. No official victory claim by "West", but official "permission" for Iranian civilian programme to continue. Nothing new here. Iran has been saying it has no weapon ambitions; west has been saying it does not have anything against a purely civil programme. Question is how to arrive at this compromise in a way that neither side seems to be "losing" (via leaks, loudmouth politicians, etc), and yet maintain a high level of trust in the long-term integrity of the outcome. This is where India can play a role, should it so desire. Maybe it already is ... I'm not of the view that GoI is doing nothing, will do nothing and has done nothing. Unfortunately, except for bits and pieces, we will probably never know exactly what it did. So it remains just a view :)

3. This is where Pakistan comes in. Contrary to popular opinion back home and on BRF, Pakistan is a pain in the ass not just of India, but also of Iran. And the latter is what is gaining utility at a time when the Pakisatan is desperate for the US to get into its knickers (and can't use the spurning of India as a lure); but there is Iran, and the Americans don't need much persuasion on the utility that the tired old condom still has in that regard. Which may also explain why GoI has been exceedingly sugary towards Pakisatan of late; it does not mind the Americans using the Pakisatan as a condom one more time (at least) as: it does not help Pakistan, generates more hate for the Pakistanis among its Muslim co-brethren, exacerbates the sectarian split within Pakistan, and distracts its attention from India for a while... No skin of a young mother India's bones (especially with a dodgy MFN thrown in);

4. But, this does not mean India will go as far as screwing itself economically (cutting off trade with Iran) to satisfy the sanctions bloodlust that is currently raging through US/EU/Arab League with regard to Iran. Nor does it mean that we are committed to it absolutely. In other words, there is a price to pay. Or we will continue to trade with Iran in whatever way possible until GoI judges that it is time to reassess or unless there is a war (which might prove to be quite lucrative as well). It does not matter either way. This might be used to excoriate us in the media for a bit, but who gives a crap. They will have to deal with us. No one is going anywhere.


Meanwhile, did anybody note the neat little trick pulled by Ayman Zawahiri? He has just called on jihadi pustules in Lebanon/Jordan/Turkey etc to move into Syria and explode. I wonder how the EU/US/Arab League feel about this. No doubt that rock solid feeling in the trousers is beginning to go flaccid.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Pranav » 12 Feb 2012 20:23

JE Menon wrote:But, this does not mean India will go as far as screwing itself economically (cutting off trade with Iran) to satisfy the sanctions bloodlust that is currently raging through US/EU/Arab League with regard to Iran. ... This might be used to excoriate us in the media for a bit, but who gives a crap.

Israel regards it as a life or death issue, and Israel's western backers regard it as their foremost concern ... it is not just a matter of having thick skin and weathering some media bashing. This will be remembered for a long time.

In other words, there is a price to pay.

What is the price that we want, and that they can give?

As regards finding a compromise solution, that just amounts to postponing the reckoning to another day. I would say that time is not on the side of the west. But if the west is willing to buy that, then well and good. Iran should probably accept such a deal, if somehow cast iron security guarantees can be given, maybe from China and Russia. In a decade, the US may no longer be the biggest economy in the world and calculations could be different.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby JE Menon » 12 Feb 2012 20:55

>>Israel regards it as a life or death issue, and Israel's western backers regard it as their foremost concern ... it is not just a matter of having thick skin and weathering some media bashing. This will be remembered for a long time.

Sure. And?

>>What is the price that we want, and that they can give?

You know it. I'm not going to say it here. They get Iran. They are smart enough to figure out what we want.

>>As regards finding a compromise solution, that just amounts to postponing the reckoning to another day.

To rephrase that, the idea is to postpone the reckoning for the longest possible period which would give time for those concerned to ensure that the reckoning comes under a different dispensation in Iran. But the reckoning will come, and not only in Iran. India is quite comfortable with that. You see, for us, the worst case scenario that any power can expect is already our reality - one lunatic Islamic nuclear power allied with a powerful, pragmatic, pitiless ideological power on our borders, and both co-operating to fu(k our happiness. Any other "reckoning" only increases the vulnerabilities of others. Ours will only get modified, or decline.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Pranav » 12 Feb 2012 22:39

JE Menon wrote:>>Israel regards it as a life or death issue, and Israel's western backers regard it as their foremost concern ... it is not just a matter of having thick skin and weathering some media bashing. This will be remembered for a long time.

Sure. And?


Why rush in where angels fear to tread. This standoff is probably viewed with more concern in the west than any other issue India has been involved with post 1947.

It would advisable engage the Israelis to determine what they could live with, which would also allow the relationship with Iran to be sustained. Beyond that best to keep a low profile.

>>What is the price that we want, and that they can give?

You know it. I'm not going to say it here. They get Iran. They are smart enough to figure out what we want.

As regards the Paks, the west might be able to cut off aid and military supplies, but it is not a simple matter to deal with the nukes, or rearrange boundaries in the region. So there are limitations on what the west could deliver, even if they wanted to. And of course, there are limitations on what India could do vis-a-vis Iran, even if we wanted to.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Christopher Sidor » 12 Feb 2012 22:52

I am pleasantly surprised that India is trying to work around US and EU sanctions and not giving up on Iran. After the dastardly decision to vote against Iran in IAEA, this turn of events shows that India is going towards a more even and balanced relation with Iran. All that we have to watch out, is not to end up with some sort of alliance or semi-alliance with the ayatollahcracy of Theran/Qom.

But what surprises me is the Israel hyperventilating about Iran. Iran has made life difficult for Israel, even without possessing nukes. If Israel, assumes that with Iranian nukes it will not be able to carry out an encore of the recent Lebanon invasion or Hezbollah will become even more recalcitrant then it is way overestimating the power of Iranian nukes. Israel problems are not of Iranian making. Rather it is of Israeli making. Its failure to come to peace with the Palestine is more harmful to it and its long term survival then Iran or its nukes will ever be.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby JE Menon » 12 Feb 2012 23:18

>>Why rush in where angels fear to tread. This standoff is probably viewed with more concern in the west than any other issue India has been involved with post 1947.

Who is rushing anywhere? There would be not a peep from us had we not been asked to participate in this standoff to the extend that we undermine our energy sourcing options. They can view the situation wih as much concern as they want. We understand the situation well. They should too. If they are going to attack Iran, they will, regardless of whether we trade with the Iranians or not. And that will happen not consequent to sanctions but consequent to Iran progressing with its nukes (whether real or not - like Iraq showed). Will sanctions stop the Iranian moving towards weaponisation? Highly unlikely. So what is the logic in us not trading with them? It will only disrupt our economic activity before we actually have to (in case there is war). If not, well, it would then be really foolish of us would it not.

>>It would advisable engage the Israelis to determine what they could live with, which would also allow the relationship with Iran to be sustained. Beyond that best to keep a low profile.

I don't know with certainty whether this is happening or not, but if I had to put money on it, I would say that we are engaging with them. We have a very close relationship with Israel. And we have a complex and mutually beneficial relationship with Iran. Our profile is our profile. Mostly low, but as our heft increases, so will our profile. We are now a 200-pound gorilla, but a gorilla nevertheless, and we are not becoming smaller any time soon. So others are increasingly having to engage us to determine what we can live with.

>>As regards the Paks, the west might be able to cut off aid and military supplies, but it is not a simple matter to deal with the nukes, or rearrange boundaries in the region. So there are limitations on what the west could deliver, even if they wanted to. And of course, there are limitations on what India could do vis-a-vis Iran, even if we wanted to.

I don't believe we are under any illusions where the Paks are concerned (despite the increasingly friendly gestures from our side). The Pak nukes are there to stay so long as the entity remains in one piece. And we can be quite certain that we know our limitations as far as influencing Iran is concerned as well. In fact, if anything so far we have preferred to err on the side of caution. So if any brokering is involved, it will be with the acquiescence of all parties involved.

But there are concrete things we may expect, in terms of action, on the Pak front; on the economic side, for instance, or on the transfer of military material. Then there is, of course, Afghanistan. And furthermore, after the war or during it, in case there is one, we will need to ascertain the dynamics of the relationship between the US/EU and the Paks. Certain boundaries will need to be clarified, no doubt.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby harbans » 12 Feb 2012 23:26

Changing refinery function is not easy. Particularly so if you import 12 % of crude of a particular grade. For smaller countries that import refined fuel it's much easier to comply with sanctions. For India i think that bit will hurt tremendously. It will hit at the bottom line. The defiance is more IMHO economic and practical reasons than a show of solidarity with Iran. For example Crude sulphur percentage reduction mandates to reduce SOX by EU take the refineries there years to achieve. Deadlines are given years ahead for the refineries to work out the necessary changes.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Pranav » 13 Feb 2012 00:21

JE Menon wrote:>>Why rush in where angels fear to tread. This standoff is probably viewed with more concern in the west than any other issue India has been involved with post 1947.

Who is rushing anywhere? There would be not a peep from us had we not been asked to participate in this standoff to the extend that we undermine our energy sourcing options.


That is the perception, at any rate. Letter from American Jewish Council to Ambassador Rao -

We were particularly struck by the announcement this week, by Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar, that "a huge delegation" of Indian business representatives would soon travel to Iran to capitalize on opportunities created by European withdrawal from the Iranian market. This suggests that New Delhi is attempting to take advantage of sanctions adopted by like-minded nations for the explicit purpose of preventing nuclear proliferation by a dangerously aggressive regime -- and which could, in turn, trigger an escalating arms race -- in a highly volatile region.

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/11/425633 ... nding.html

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby JE Menon » 13 Feb 2012 01:22

The perception may be there. But we deal with the reality. They also have to see what we can live with. It is not just for us to see what they can live with. We would not like to see Iran attack Israel... Indeed, we will be 100% on Israel's side (and whatever that might entail) if that happened. On the other hand, if Israel attacked Iran, our position would be more nuanced - although we would not oppose the idea in private. We do not encourage Iran's weaponisation, as that would be in contravention of its signature of the NPT, but nor can we explicitly condemn its pursuit of civilian nuclear ambitions... That too is part of NPT, which although we haven't signed we have adhered to, more rigorously than those who advocate it so forcefully. This is why a compromise is in our interest, as it is in Western interest and in Israeli interest.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 13 Feb 2012 06:28


Neshant
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Neshant » 13 Feb 2012 11:58

To invade them or provoke them into war is to nullify the NPT.

Surely its a scenario nobody wants.

If there's one thing they don't like more than their mullahs, its foreign powers invading them.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby svinayak » 13 Feb 2012 12:09

NPT is dead and that is why this is happening.


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