Iran News and Discussions

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Samudragupta
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Samudragupta » 19 Mar 2012 09:42

But Ramanna Ji Isnt' it true that Xerox may actually be a Western Intel asset..and western Intel was in full loop of this so called proliferation?

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Samudragupta » 19 Mar 2012 10:06

Iran then and now

With the possibility of a confrontation looming with Iran, one historical example that should command American attention in its hour of decision — but is being neglected — is the bloody conflict that Iran fought against Iraq from 1980 to 1988.
It is worth recalling the fierceness of that struggle to gain some appreciation of the enormity of any decision by Washington to go to war with Iran, for it may foretell what Tehran is capable of doing when it feels its Islamic Revolution is at stake.


http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/com ... 6691.story

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Austin » 19 Mar 2012 21:24

US prepared to attack Iran – Dempsey

According to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, the United States and Israel are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Appearing on the PBS network on Saturday, he said that the Pentagon had already drawn up plans to wage a military campaign against the Iranians, in the event diplomatic pressure and sanctions do not work.

The General also indicated that the US could wait, while Israel would attack now.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Garooda » 20 Mar 2012 21:56

CRamS wrote:
nvishal wrote:All the western chest beating against iran appears to be just hot air.

perhaps Iran could do some local damage, destroy a US carrier here, lob a missile into Israel etc.

One of the carrier USS Enterrprise is set for retirement in December 2012. There are speculations of it possibly being used for a 'false flag'. Remember when Iran had warned that any further carriers passing through in or around the Hormuz strait will be responded with retaliation? Now that was just a blough since now there are 3 carrier strike groups in the area.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/enterprise-just-4-days-away-arrival-swift-cut-iran

Wind Fallout Study?? http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/missions/atrex-nightlight.html

Its an old CVN http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Enterprise_(CV-6)

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Austin » 21 Mar 2012 11:19

Iran will produce nuclear weapons if attacked: Russia

Russia warned Tuesday that Iran would have no option but to develop nuclear weapons if it came under attack from either the United States or Israel over its contested atomic programme.

"The CIA and other US officials admit they now have no information about the Iranian leadership taking the political decision to produce nuclear weapons," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Moscow's Kommersant FM radio.

"But I am almost certain that such a decision will surely be taken after (any) strikes on Iran," Lavrov said.

The pre-recorded interview was aired shortly after Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that his country was ready to strike back against either the United States or Israel "at the same level as they attack us".

Moscow has close military and commercial ties with Tehran and has only grudgingly backed four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions over Iran's suspected nuclear weapons development drive.

But Lavrov argued that Russia was not defending an ally but trying to avert a broader conflict or possible nuclear arms race from breaking out in the region.

He added that Israel's threats against Iran were only pushing other nations on poor terms with the West to consider pursuing their own nuclear weapon drives.

"This happening... around Iran are forcing a lot of Third World countries to pause and realise that if you have a nuclear bomb, no one will really bother you.

"You might get some light sanctions, but people will always coddle you, they will court you and try to convince you of things," Lavrov said.

He particularly raised the case of North Korea and its decision to both develop and test nuclear weapons -- a move that was never followed by a threat of an attack from the United States.

"But we are all behaving responsibly" toward North Korea, said Lavrov.

"We are not proposing to bomb North Korea. We are all insisting on the immediate resumption of negotiations and looking for ways to make these negotiations productive."

He also repeated arguments from some Western military analysts saying that strikes could only set back but not permanently destroy any weapons programme Iran might have today.

"Scientists of almost all nations... agree that strikes against Iran can slow its nuclear programme. But do away with it, close it, eliminate it -- never."

Lavrov's comments represented one of Russia's most impassioned arguments to date against the start of another war on its southern periphery.

Russia had previously cautioned that such a campaign could lead to a mass flood of refugees to neighbouring countries like Azerbaijan. It has also warned of the dangers of possible reprisal attack from Iran.

But Lavrov appeared ready to drop that argument on Tuesday by noting that an attack against Israel could also endanger the lives of Palestinians.

"I am absolutely convinced that Iran will never decide to do this, if only because... a threat to destroy Israel will also destroy Palestine," he said.

He also went out of his way to strongly criticise Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for repeatedly threatening to destroy the Jewish state.

"This is completely unacceptable... and we categorically condemn it," Lavrov said. "It is simply uncivilised and unworthy of a country as ancient as Iran."

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby ManishH » 22 Mar 2012 15:44

Chinese firm ZTE sold telecommunication monitoring equipment to Iran

A Chinese telecommunications equipment company has sold Iran's largest telecom firm a powerful surveillance system capable of monitoring landline, mobile and internet communications, interviews and contract documents show.

"its capabilities included being able "to locate users, intercept their voice, text messaging ... emails, chat conversations or web access."

ZTE's 907-page "Packing List," dated July 24, 2011, includes hardware and software products from some of America's best-known tech companies, including Microsoft Corp, Hewlett-Packard Co, Oracle Corp, Cisco Systems Inc, Dell Inc, Juniper Networks Inc and Symantec Corp.

the ZXMT system utilizes "deep packet inspection," a powerful and potentially intrusive technology that can read and analyze "packets" of data that travel across the internet. The technology can be used to track internet users, search for and reconstruct email messages that have been broken up into data packets, block certain types of traffic and even deliver altered web pages to users.

Andrew Lewman, executive director of The Tor Project, which distributes software so that dissidents in places like Iran and China can surf the internet undetected, says the group has collected evidence showing that Iran has been using deep packet inspection since 2010 to monitor and block internet traffic.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby nvishal » 23 Mar 2012 16:05

Settlements yet to commence
Mehdi Nabi Zadeh, Iran's ambassador to India said Friday that the payment for Iranian crude oil in Indian rupees has not yet started.

India and Iran agreed earlier this month to settle 45% of their annual crude oil trade bill of around $12 billion in the Indian currency. The move was designed to bypass payment difficulties caused by international restrictions on financial dealings with Iran, which are part of sanctions against the country's nuclear program.

"The rupee payment mechanism has not yet started. The mechanism has to be defined by the two [countries'] central banks so that the letters of credit can be opened," Zadeh said.

The agreement to settle part of the payments in rupees could not be implemented immediately because any payment received in India by the National Iranian Oil Company would be considered income earned in India and therefore subject to a tax of up to 40%.

However, India in its fiscal 2012-13 budget paved the way for rupee payments to Iran by including a tax exemption.

"Any income received in India in Indian currency by a foreign company on account of sale of crude oil to any person in India is exempt from taxes provided it has been approved by the Indian government and also the foreign company is not engaged in any activity other than receipt of such income in India," the budget document said.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby shyamd » 23 Mar 2012 16:14

Source got back from PRC today will be interesting to see what he has to say about this and the PRC position. He told me before that the PRC wanted a FTA with GCC ASAP.

Now that India has resolved the petrochem duty issue with the KSA assistant Petroleum minister paying a secret visit to see Ambani in mumbai (who didnt want India to lower the duty) on his way back to KSA, this paves the way for the FTA to be finalised sooner.


In stitching a complex oil-for-food deal, India sets about placating Iran
Also woos Saudi Arabia with new petroleum diplomacy, while trying to soothe a vexed US, in an interesting coordination effort between external and other ministries
Jyoti Malhotra / New Delhi Mar 21, 2012, 00:32 IST

India is finally plunging into the oil politics of the Gulf and West Asia. It sent a team of senior officials from the commerce ministry to Iran around a fortnight earlier, to clinch an oil-for-food deal. And, is beginning to woo the Sunni oil kingdoms in the region, led by none other than Saudi Arabia.

Arvind Mehta, joint secretary in the ministry of commerce and as many as 70 members of the government-backed Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) met their counterparts in Teheran in an attempt to clinch a $1billion deal to sell rice, wheat, tea and pharmaceuticals to Iran, so as to partially offset India’s huge purchases of Iranian crude, of $12 bn annually.

At 12 per cent, Iran is only second to Saudi Arabia, India’s largest source of its energy needs. It is why the wooing of Saudi Arabia is also in substantial flow in Delhi these days. And, major plans are afoot in Delhi to also receive the Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, whose country is already a large source of oil and gas, as well as the fellow-sheikhs of Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

Energy reality
This dexterous diplomacy, in which the ministry of external affairs (MEA) has allowed the commerce ministry to take the lead in tackling extremely sensitive issues relating to India’s energy needs, comes as quite a surprise. Clearly, ceding space to the commerce ministry also means the MEA is creating for itself essential room for deniability. But it also means that irrespective of the struggle for the top foreign affairs profile between commerce minister Anand Sharma and external affairs minister S M Krishna, several parts of the government are at last working in tandem on cracking India’s energy conundrum.

Last month’s visit by defence minister A K Antony to Saudi Arabia followed a January decision by India to lift the 6.5 per cent anti-dumping duty on the export of polypropylene from there. Polypropylene is used in the manufacture of plastics and had become a thorn in the flesh of the growing India-Saudi relationship. None other than Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had been requested to remove the duty when he went visiting the Saudis about a year before.

The decision to send a team to Iran last week has been cloaked in considerable secrecy and came about after several rounds of both heart and hand-wringing, in which all parts of the establishment argued about what was to be done.

Government sources say there were two realities to be dealt with. First, energy-hungry India needed to continue to purchase Iranian crude, even as all efforts were made to reduce exposure to Iran and look for alternative sources of fuel, for example from Saudi Arabia.

Second, it would take at least a few years for India (and, especially, the Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd) to completely wean itself off Iran’s sweet and light crude.


India certainly did not want to be seen to be the only country breaking the US-led sanctions against Iran, especially as the Americans had become an important political and economic partner for Delhi.

The only via media, the government decided, was to increase Indian exports to Iran which would be exempt from US sanctions, besides allocating about 45 per cent of the oil trade to a rupee- Iranian rial mechanism.

During the Teheran visit, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for western Asia affairs, Ahmad Sobhani, was quoted by state television as confirming this decision, after he had met the Indian team. “At the moment, we have around $12 billion worth of trade with India. Some part of this will be directly in rupees and this will be beneficial for both countries,” Sobhani said. By replacing the dollar with the rupee, many middle channels in the India-Iran trade will be removed, he added.

The visiting Indian team agreed that over the next few years, bilateral trade with Iran could touch $25 billion yearly.

The FIEO team, consisting of private businessmen with hardly any or no dealings with the US, were said to be interested in the commodity deals with Iran, because government backing meant considerably reduced risk. It was also reported that the Iranian Bank Parsian would be allowed to open an office in Mumbai and India’s UCO Bank would be the lead Indian one doing business with Iran.


US vexation
Government sources admitted India’s Iranian connection was hardly going to go down well with the Americans, but said the country had little alternative. “India is hardly the sanction-buster it is being made out to be in the US,” said the sources.

Certainly, the Americans are not impressed. Nicholas Burns, former US under secretary of state for political affairs, who was involved in the negotiations for the Indo-US nuclear deal, put it succinctly: “India’s decision to walk out of step with the international community on Iran isn’t just a slap in the face for the US — it raises questions about its ability to lead,” he said in an article in the Diplomat, a leading US current affairs magazine.

“It represents a real setback in the attempt by the last three American presidents to establish a close and strategic partnership with successive Indian governments...There’s a larger point here about India’s role in the world. For all the talk about India rising to become a global power, its government doesn’t always act like one.”

Still, various parts of the Indian establishment are being told to keep a low profile even as they continue to carry out their Iranian dealings. Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar was at the receiving end of considerable US ire last month because of his comments that India had no option but to continue to deal with Iran, and visiting Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai is believed to have got an earful from US Congress members.

On its part, Delhi is continuing to engage with the US, hoping it would understand that the quality of its interaction with Iran was need-based, as well as limited. The India-US military exercises in the Thar desert began in early March as scheduled, and will go on for two weeks. India will point to the fact that it had twice voted against Iran at the International Atomic Energy Agency during negotiations with the US on the Indo-US nuclear deal. And, that it takes very seriously the attack against the Israeli diplomat at the hands of alleged Iranian extremists.

Saudi lever
As for the wooing of the Saudi kingdom and other Arab states in West Asia, none other than Reliance Industries’ Mukesh Ambani, who has large stakes in the petrochemical products business, including polypropylene, is said to have been persuaded to see the light of day when countervailing duties were lifted against Saudi Arabia in January 2012.

In fact, the Saudi assistant petroleum minister, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, capped his January visit to Delhi by reportedly meeting Ambani secretly on his way home, via Mumbai. In return, the Saudi prince is believed to have assured India that the kingdom could well enhance its oil sales to India from the coming financial year itself.


Informal curbs: India cutting Iran oil imports
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 21, 2012
Email to Author

In what is seen as a smart diplomatic move, New Delhi has publicly maintained a contrary stance on US sanctions on Iran while at the same time asking the state-run oil firms to cut down on their crude oil imports from Tehran, in a bid to carefully balance relations with the two
countries.


Suspecting that the Iran nuclear programme was meant to produce weapons, the US had said 12 countries that buy Iranian oil could eventually be subject to financial sanctions unless they cut their imports from Iran.

On Tuesday, the US granted exemptions, from its crippling financial sanctions, to Japan and 10 EU nations that had reportedly cut Iranian crude buys. However, India and China were still exposed to such a risk.

Sources in oil firms said under instructions from the foreign ministry, the oil ministry is privately demanding a 15-20% import cut from state-run refiners. This could help India gain an exemption from the US.

A Reuters report said the overall cuts that Indian refiners are planning to take could be as deep as 20%.

Calling it an “extremely sensitive issue”, a senior official of the petroleum ministry told HT, “We are not allowed to disclose anything on this”. He, however, did not deny that state refiners had been asked to cut 10-15% of oil imports from Tehran.

Industry experts said India had other sources of oil supply to replace supplies from Iran and there was no likelihood of any shortfall in supplies resulting from the cut.

India is Iran’s second largest buyer of oil after China. In lieu of oil imports from Iran, Indian refiners are seeking additional supplies from the world’s top oil exporters, including Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait.

The biggest oil producer in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries after Saudi Arabia and the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter, Iran says its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes. The US, however, suspects it is intended to produce weapons, so it pressuring Iran into giving up the N-program.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby shyamd » 25 Mar 2012 17:48

Russia is intalks with Baku for the lease of the Gabal radar and signt post, however talks are currently stalled because Baku is asking for $300m rent per year as against $7m pa they have been paying since 2002. current lease runs out in June. Russian mil want to replace the current station to Armavir which has already been fitted out. Tension with IRan will mean that Gabala is crucial. Azeris say that Israeli's want the base and are keen to see Russia out of the station.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 26 Mar 2012 05:51

Is Russia's statement about Iran definitely producing N-weapons if attacked ,in fact a veiled warning that it will assist Iran for the same if the attacks happen? There is considerable dismay in both Russia and China at the speed with which nations friendly to it,esp. energy rich nations like Libya,Iraq,Iran,etc. have or are being up-ended by the west.China has seen to it that both Pak and NoKo possess N-weapons and their delivery systems and is possibly attracting Russian policy makers to do the same in order to protect their own vital interests.Watch this space.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Deans » 28 Mar 2012 10:50

I've done business with Iran for a few years. While the Iranian people are among the nicest and most hospitable I have met, there is a real problem with Govt policy and in the context of the current crisis, the Iranian Govt might create several self goals - an example being the terrorist attack on Indian soil (Israeli embassy car). It is only the utter disinterest of GOI that has prevented Iran from losing one of their few remaining friends.

The power structure of Iran is complicated. Ahmedinajad actually has little leeway in policy since the council of guardians (run by the Mullah's) can veto any legislation he proposes. Oh the other hand, he too plays to the gallery, with for e.g. his anti Israel statements.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Samudragupta » 31 Mar 2012 12:35

Interesting Orbat regarding the Iran-GCC standoff...

http://csis.org/files/publication/09081 ... rPower.pdf

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby shyamd » 31 Mar 2012 16:03

x post

Exclusive - West wants Saudi not to neutralise oil release

By Richard Mably

LONDON | Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:24pm BST

(Reuters) - Oil consuming nations may seek reassurance from Saudi Arabia that it will not cut oil production and neutralise the impact on oil prices if consumer countries release emergency reserves, diplomats and industry sources said.

The issue may be raised by a U.S. delegation, led by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which is in Riyadh this weekend to discuss Syria with Gulf states. Clinton will see Saudi King Abdullah and Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal.

"If they're going to release reserves they need an assurance from the Saudis that they won't offset it by cutting supply," said one industry source familiar with thinking in Washington.

"There's no doubt the measure needs the cooperation of Saudi Arabia," said a diplomat.

The United States, with Britain and France, is considering a release from emergency stockpiles to cut fuel costs. Other countries including South Korea and Japan may join the plan.

Riyadh would not want deliberately to undermine an effort to bring down oil prices. But it might reduce supplies in response to a release of oil drawn from reserves if that were to displace Saudi supplies, particularly in the United States where the national Strategic Petroleum Reserve would provide the bulk of any drawdown.

Oil prices have risen sharply since the start of the year, at one point breaking $128 a barrel, largely because of sanctions against oil producer Iran aimed at slowing Tehran's nuclear programme.

Diplomats have said the sanctions aim to meet Israeli demands for action against Tehran by hitting Iran's oil earnings and to prevent the alternative - a military strike by Israel.

"The view is that higher oil prices are a price worth paying to prevent or push back a war against Iran and higher oil prices can be alleviated by using emergency stocks," said the industry source.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi has said publicly that Riyadh wants to bring down oil prices.

But he has also said that Saudi can do no more than meet demand for its crude, which it is already doing, and that the previous drawdown of oil reserves last June during the Libyan civil war did not work.

"That's up to them," he said to reporters in Doha last week of a possible consumer country release. "What I can tell you is that they have done it before and it didn't do anything. You saw what happened in the last release? Nothing."

The concern among Western diplomats is that oil from strategic stocks could displace Saudi barrels, particularly to the United States where Saudi imports have risen recently, leaving net supplies globally little changed.

Last year after the International Energy Agency tapped reserves at the end of June to fill the gap left by Libya's civil war, Saudi output at first remained high, and then fell.

Reuters estimates put Saudi production at 9.85-9.9 million barrels per day from July to September before falling to just over 9.4 million bpd in October and November. It has since risen steadily back to about 9.9 million bpd now.


Note the above link with below

KSA, US plan unified Syria strategy

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah is being greeted on arrival in Rawdat
Khuraim on Friday. A number of princes and high-ranking officials received the king who will stay for some days in Rawdat Khuraim, a favorite camping spot 100 km north east of Riyadh.

By GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN | ARAB NEWS

Published: Mar 30, 2012 23:28 Updated: Mar 30, 2012 23:28

RIYADH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah held wide-ranging talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton here yesterday that mainly focused on possible unified strategy on the crisis in Syria, according to Saudi and US sources.

The talks, attended by several high-ranking Saudi and US officials, also covered “a range of bilateral subjects and key regional issues,” said Mofid H. Deak, a spokesman of the US Embassy here.

Deak pointed out that “there were only two official meetings of Clinton yesterday — one with King Abdullah and the other with Prince Saud Al-Faisal, foreign minister.”

An SPA report said that Clinton conveyed the greetings of US President Barack Obama to the king, which were fondly reciprocated by King Abdullah. The talks, according to the report, covered “overall situation and developments in the region as well as on global level.”

The talks are extremely important keeping in view the 60-nation gathering of the "Friends of the Syrian People" in Istanbul over the weekend that is aimed at finding ways to aid Syria's opposition and to stop the bloodshed in that country.

The US and the Kingdom are hoping to help unify the opposition's ranks while pushing for humanitarian aid and further isolation of President Bashar Assad's regime.

The talks were attended by Prince Salman, defense minister; Prince Saud Al-Faisal, minister of foreign affairs; Prince Muqrin; chief of Saudi Intelligence; Prince Sattam, Riyadh governor; Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, minister of state, Cabinet member and commander of the National Guard; and Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah, deputy minister for foreign affairs. Saudi Ambassador to US Adel Al-Jubeir and American Ambassador James Smith were also present.

According to a Saudi official, the discussions with King Abdullah as well as Prince Saud mainly focused on “Syria and other developments in the Arab world.”

“But, Clinton will spell out her plans and policies possibly in the GCC-US ministerial meeting,” he added.

“The meeting of the foreign ministers of the GCC together with Clinton and other US officials will be held at the GCC General Secretariat today afternoon,” said Ahmed Al-Kaabi, said a GCC spokesman here yesterday.

The meeting at the GCC secretariat will focus on the Gulf’s position on Syria and the role of the US and other allies, said Al-Kaabi. In fact, Saudi Arabia, along with fellow Gulf nation Qatar, has called for a timely approach, including arming the rebels and carving out a safe haven inside Syria from where the opposition can operate.

Clinton, meanwhile, has cautiously welcomed the Syrian government's endorsement of the six-point plan that called for an immediate cease-fire with rebels and an eventual democratic transition in Syria.

She said it was an important step toward peace, but stressed that the Syrian regime now has to deliver. "Given Assad's history of overpromising and under-delivering, that commitment must now be matched by immediate action," Clinton told reporters in Washington before leaving for Saudi Arabia.

"We will judge Assad's sincerity and seriousness by what he does, not by what he says. If he is ready to bring this dark chapter in Syria's history to a close, he could prove it by immediately ordering regime forces to stop firing and begin withdrawing from populated areas,” she added.

Clinton said Assad must also implement the rest of UN envoy Kofi Annan's plan. Her hesitation reflected the Syrian leader's previous promises to meet the demands of protesters and later Arab League monitors on democratic reforms that were never enacted.

The GCC spokesman said that her meeting with GCC foreign ministers is “significant before engaging in broader meetings Sunday with Arab, Turkish and Western officials in Istanbul.” The meeting in Turkey follows the inaugural one Clinton attended in Tunis at the end of February — a response to Western and Arab failure to win Russian and Chinese backing at the UN Security Council.

Clinton will discuss how to make Assad comply with a new plan to end the crackdown, study further sanctions against his regime and consider ways to aid the opposition.

Meanwhile, at the weekend meeting with Clinton, Turkey plans to renew a call for international help to deal with the soaring numbers of Syrians fleeing violence to Turkey's southern provinces.


Obama Clears Sanctions Against Iran


By NATHAN HODGE And TENNILLE TRACY

WASHINGTON—The White House cleared the way for tough new sanctions on Iran on Friday, saying a cutoff of Iranian oil wouldn't significantly harm world markets.

The move, which was expected, allows the U.S. to move forward with new penalties approved last year by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama to target financial institutions doing business with Iran's central bank, a key conduit for the country's oil sales.

The sanctions provisions, part of a defense spending law, required the president to determine whether the nation could withstand the possible oil disruption that resulted.

The president said in a finding there was "sufficient supply of petroleum and petroleum products from countries other than Iran" to cushion the impact of sanctions on oil markets.

The White House cleared the way for tough new sanctions on Iran Friday, saying a cutoff off Iranian oil would not significantly harm world markets. Nathan Hodge reports on the News Hub. Photo: Reuters.
Journal Community

The move comes amid rising gasoline prices across the country, a growing issue in political campaigns. Republicans are unlikely to criticize sanctions against Iran, but are certain to blame any resulting price increases on White House energy and economic policies.

The sanctions, which take effect June 28, are part of a broader effort to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions. U.S. and European Union countries say Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, while Iran says its intentions are peaceful. Among other steps, the European Union is instituting an oil embargo beginning July 1.

The sanctions, intended to drive Iran toward compromise on it nuclear program, are having a "significant impact" on Iran's government and economy, a senior administration official said Friday. Iran has agreed to return to talks with world powers, with negotiations likely to begin in mid-April in Turkey.

Iran is the world's No. 3 exporter of crude oil, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration, raising the possibility that the sanctions might remove a significant amount of oil from the global market.

Saudi Arabia, the holder of the largest cushion of spare supply, has been seen as key to filling the gap left by Iranian cutbacks. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a meeting with Saudi King Abdullah in Riyadh on Friday, raised the issue of how to maintain stability in the oil markets, according to U.S. officials.

In recent weeks, oil markets have factored in the possibility that sanctions might take a significant amount of oil off the market. The price of crude in New York trading gained $4.19 per barrel in the first quarter, or 4.24%, closing at $103.02 Friday.

Obama administration officials have hinted in recent weeks that tapping the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve was a tool available to calm oil markets. "It's an option that is and will remain on the table," a senior administration official said Friday. "Nonetheless, there appears to be sufficient supply of non-Iranian oil," the official said.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said this year the world oil market is growing increasingly tight because of swelling demand, supply shortages and modest spare capacity.

U.S. officials have tried to persuade Iran's oil customers to halt or substantially cut back purchases and find alternative sources. The State Department has exempted nearly a dozen countries, including Japan, France, Germany, Italy and the U.K., from sanctions because of their efforts to cut back on Iranian oil.

The U.S. hasn't yet said how it will move forward with China and India, economic powerhouses that are large importers of Iran's crude oil.

A senior administration official said Friday that South Korea had indicated an interest in complying with the sanctions. And officials in Turkey, also an Iranian customer, said they would reduce purchases of Iranian oil by 10% and replace it with Libyan oil. Ankara's move came a day after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan returned from a visit to Iran.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Prem » 05 Apr 2012 02:08

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commen ... ass-eaters
Iran’s Nuclear Grass Eaters 8)
MADRID – Paki Paradigm and Its consequences

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Garooda » 05 Apr 2012 20:11

"We've trained hard since our last deployment to the region making sure that the capabilities we bring remain flexible, adaptable and persistent," said Rear Adm. Walter E. Carter, commander, Enterprise Carrier Strike Group. "Enterprise has been deploying to this region for 50-years, and we are looking forward to serving along side our coalition and regional partners in support of operations in the region."

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=66274

That makes 3 vessels in the region.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 05 Apr 2012 20:42

Indian delays on Iranian oil bills --> invest in north-south corridor?
India's plans to pay for Iranian oil through barter are looking impractical, raising the prospect that payment could be done by funding a prospective transport network from Russia through Iran to India. - Robert M Cutler

In a separate article Economic Times notes, and is not alone to do so, that one of the in-kind manners in which India can pay for Iranian oil is by contributing to the so-called International North-South Corridor project, earlier known as the North-South Transport Corridor, a prospective multi-modal transportation network that has been envisioned from India to Russia via Iran.

This corridor is not a new idea; India, Iran, and Russia signed a framework agreement as long ago as 2001. However, India has lately catalyzed new interest in the project first by promoting a January meeting with Bulgaria, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan, and second by sending a team to Iran that is said to have identified the rail links there that would be in need of refurbishment or reconstruction.

In addition to the just-named countries, the project reportedly also includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Oman, Turkey, and Ukraine. A further organizational meeting was reportedly planned in India for the end of last month.

India wants a rail route to Russia (whence perhaps even Europe) and Central Asia, but the Himalayas block the route northwards, even assuming China would permit such a project. The absence of Afghanistan from the project is noteworthy in light of the mineral and other raw materials resources that have recently been inventoried there, but the project organizers judge Afghanistan and Pakistan to be just too unstable.

According to one report, the prospective route would connect ports on India's west coast to Iran's Bandar Abbas on the Strait of Hormuz, whence heading northward overland to its Caspian Sea port of Bandar Anzali port on the Caspian Sea; onwards to Rasht and Astara on the border of Azerbaijan; from there both eastward, presumably across the sea to Kazakhstan, and northwards to Russia. No authoritative public announcement has been made.

At the same time, the Central Asian countries and Kazakhstan in particular have been seeking an Indian balance against geo-economic encroachment by China and Russia. India has no direct route to these countries, which are potential markets for Indian producer and consumer goods.

The logistical capabilities for trans-Caspian expedition of large-scale container ships are, however, far from clear. Given the evident lack of interest in the project on the part of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, Indian goods might have to reach Central Asia through Russia.

Iran is buying Chinese-made washing machines, refrigerators, electronics, and other personal and consumer goods with yuan paid into Chinese bank accounts, according to Kenneth Katzman of the Washington-based Congressional Research Service, quoted by Bloomberg News.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Christopher Sidor » 07 Apr 2012 21:36

It seems that in case of conflict with Iran, the conflagration will spread.

Russian armed forces are considering an action against Georgia in case of the conflict with Iran getting escalated to a full blown conflict. And Russia has some very logical reasons for this step. Russia has troops inside Armenia. Consider the map of Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Iran given below
Image

The quickest route to Armenia is through Georgia. Armenia is a christian country surrounded on three sides by Muslim countries, i.e. Turkey, Azerbaijan and Iran. Armenia's relation with Turkey are strained to say the least, partly due to the genocide that was conducted by the Turks against Armenians during the last days of WW-I. Armenia has an ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan involving two of its enclaves. Iran and Azerbaijan have very close cultural and political relations. The current supreme leader of Iran is a half Iranian Azeri, born of a Persian mother.

So the only way to supply Russian troops present in Armenia is via Georgia. But the problem is that due to the Russian-Georgian war of 2008, the Russia-Georgia-Armenia route is essentially blocked. There is an aerial route which is open, but essential items come via Iran. Now there are certain elements in Russia which believe that in case of a general conflict this route will be closed. If that happens then
According to Lt. General (retired) Yury Netkachev – former deputy commander of Russian forces in Transcaucasia – “Possibly, it will be necessary to use military means to breach the Georgian transport blockade and establish transport corridors, leading into Armenia (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, December 15). The geography of the region implies that any such “corridor” may go through the Georgian capital of Tbilisi.




Now the caveat is that there be a general conflict involving Iran and not a Osirak reactor style attack on Iran's nuclear assets. If there were to be a repeat of Osirak attack by Israel or USA or Gulf countries or a combination of any countries and the conflict did not transform into a general conflict, i.e. war, then the above scenario might not play out. Further to keep Russia in good humour it is possible that Iran keeps the corridor essentially open, even in case of an Osirak style attack or a general conflict. Please note that despite the close relations between Azerbaijan and Iran, Iran still allows Russia to supply its troops in Armenia.

There is a view doing rounds that Obama does not want an attack on Iran to take place till he gets reelected in Nov-2012. Once the elections are over, and the effect on sanctions are reviewed, then an Osirak style attack might be ordered or acquiesced to.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 08 Apr 2012 09:59

Christopher Sidor wrote:The quickest route to Armenia is through Georgia. Armenia is a christian country surrounded on three sides by Muslim countries, i.e. Turkey, Azerbaijan and Iran. Armenia's relation with Turkey are strained to say the least, partly due to the genocide that was conducted by the Turks against Armenians during the last days of WW-I. Armenia has an ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan involving two of its enclaves. Iran and Azerbaijan have very close cultural and political relations. The current supreme leader of Iran is a half Iranian Azeri, born of a Persian mother.

True, but AFAIK Iran's strategic ally in the Caucasus is Armenia, not Azerbaijan. Iran supported Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict while Turkey supported Azerbaijan. In recent times also there has been some tension and assassinations between Iran and Azerbaijan, which, like Turkey, is facilitating Israeli and NATO deployment. Also, Iran has some strategic leverage in Georgia, because the Ossetians are ethnic Persians.

However, it does strike me as strange that Iran should fear Azerbaijan so much. You are right, Khamanei has Azeri heritage, as did Khomeini before him. The bulwark of Shi'ite ideological support base comes from the Turko-Iranian Azeris - including the mercantile Bazari class. The ethnic Persian Iranians are generally less militant and not so IEDologically exclusivist. So it is not easy to understand the much hyped fear of Iran as regards Azeri separatism.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Samudragupta » 08 Apr 2012 20:16

Is Iran still controlled by the Turks?Is the feud between the Ahmenidejad and Khameini actually an ethnic conflict than ideological? What is the status of Persianification of the Azeris in Iran? What are the composition of the IRCG and the Basijees?

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 09 Apr 2012 06:52

Gunter Grass,the internationally acclaimed author (Tin Drum) has stirred a hornet's nest with his criticism of Iran recently,as Germany is supplying nuclear capable subs to Israel on concessional terms.Grass asks whether this is morally right.The debate has triggered off a "war" between advocates for Israel and those who support Grass' viewpoint.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/ap ... sfeed=true

News

Israel, Günter Grass and the right to artistic licence

guardian.co.uk, Sunday 8 April 2012

The occasion for Günter Grass's What Must Be Said is the sale to Israel by Germany of a submarine with the potential to carry nuclear weapons (With his last drop of ink, Grass's poem infuriates Israel, 6 April). It is a real issue amid many arms sales from the west and the east to Middle Eastern powers. What is less real, however, is the hyperbole Grass deploys when he writes of Israel's launching of "a pre-emptive strike which could wipe out the Iranian people". From where does this genocidal idea come? As far as I know, it is not even among Netanyahu's wildest fantasies.

Grass recognises that the Iranian people are "enslaved and coerced into contrived jubilation by a loudmouth leader", but makes no mention of threats this leader has in fact made to wipe out Israel. Menace against others, oppression of one's own, these gestures are often connected. In the face of the dangers of nuclear proliferation in this context, Grass proffers an agreeable vista of "surveillance of Israel's atomic potential and Iran's atomic sites by an international authority". No problem. But he then says that the "blemish" of his birth (German) must not prohibit him from "speaking the truth … to Israel" even though "the verdict 'antisemitism' is prevalent" for anyone who does so. Through this assemblage of national categories, Grass lends the authority of the author of the magnificent The Tin Drum to the appalling notion that antisemitism is an issue that can and perhaps should be ignored – whether in Europe or the Middle East.

By all means criticise the Israeli government. Its continuing occupation of Palestine, and lack of support for democracy among its neighbours are shameful and shortsighted. But let us support democrats wherever they may be, not blame a people. Grass used to know better.
Robert Fine
Emeritus professor of sociology, University of Warwick

• What is so exceptional about Günter Grass's verse that it should provoke such political and media hysteria? He merely points out what anyone who studies the Middle East knows: that Israel is trying to bounce the United States into war with Iran by wildly exaggerating Iran's alleged "existential" threat to Israel, regardless of the cataclysmic consequences.

Israel has nuclear weapons; Iran does not. Iran has not seriously threatened Israel: even rhetorically, the textual evidence of any real menace to Israel from Ahmadinejad is overinterpreted and exaggerated. Conversely, Israel is certainly threatening Iran.

Why do our commentators fall such easy prey to the machinations of the Israeli state and its supporters, and denigrate a great and wise writer who, after all, is only trying to give us due warning of a disaster in the making?
Tim Llewellyn
London

• Three cheers, or more, to Günter Grass for exposing the hypocrisy of Israel's stance and continuing complaints, with no evidence, about Iran developing nuclear weapon capability. Israel has significant nuclear-warhead capability, and it is constantly threatening to bomb Iran or organise land-based raids, thus creating mayhem across the Middle East. Grass might well have also mentioned the shocking Israeli blockade of Gaza and their illegal appropriation of land and water, and destruction of huge tracts of olive groves and orchards on the West Bank.

I note that, once again, a critic of Israeli policy is branded anti-Jewish. Is it no longer possible to criticise Israel as a nation without being accused of being antisemitic?
John Severs
Durham

• After all that has been said and done in the name of stopping weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, why is it outrageous for Günter Grass to ask for international inspections in the one state which undoubtedly does possess these weapons?
Alasdair Beal
Leeds

• My late husband, the German poet Erich Fried, was a colleague of Grass. In 1974 Erich published a whole book of poems about the Arab-Israeli conflict entitled Höre Israel, which has been republished recently by Melzer Verlag.

Grass's admission that he served in the Waffen SS in his teens serves as ready ammunition for the Zionists to use against him; for Erich it was the fact of being a Jew. For taking a critical stance of Israeli policies, he was dubbed an antisemite and even targeted by Mossad for a few years. It amazes me how this shameful – not to say quite illogical – equivalence can be so widely accepted.
Catherine Boswell
London

• Last month you published a wonderfully, poignant, bittersweet poem entitled Helmut Frielinghaus: Words in Farewell by Günter Grass (The Saturday poem, 2 March). I'd like to suggest that this poem about the death of Grass's editor may help us partly understand how such a great writer came to publish What Must Be Said – a poem that exhibits few poetic features and hugely oversimplifies issues in the Middle East.
Tristan Moss
Sheffield

• To see respected names such as Mark Rylance and Harriet Walter on a letter calling for a British boycott of Israel's Habima theatre company is shocking and profoundly disappointing. Habima was founded in 1905 in Moscow. It was performing across the whole of Palestine long before the creation of the state of Israel. These people are artists whose only motive in performing across historic Palestine is to build bridges across political boundaries at a time and in a place where many forces on both sides conspire against this. It is distressing and shaming to see artists of the calibre of Rylance and Walter joining such forces.
Thomas Adès
Paris

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 10 Apr 2012 02:47

X-posted from the Mil-For .

In 1980,the size of the Israeli bomb was "2ft. long and 22" in dia.In an ironic fact that the Israelis and Iranians actually collaborated together in developing a nuclear-tipped missile under "Operation Flower",when the Shah was in power.This $1B ultra-secret programme was hatched between the two def. mins,Ezer Weizmann and Hassan Toufanian in late 1977.The missile with a warhead of 750kg was to have had a range of 200+ km.The US was against giving the Israelis the Pershing,the Soviets anything equivalent too.Therefore the secret deal was hatched between the two seemingly antagonistic nations.

It was an oil-for-arms deal brokered by a Swiss entity,since Israel was facing an oil embargo from the Arab states.The assembly line was to be in Iran,Sirjin,with a 747 capable runway for flown in components from Israel.The Israeli project even then was to have had the ability of the weapon to be launched from subs! Israel had just recd. 3 Vickers built subs.This would've given the Israelis the capability to hit Libya,Tunis and Alexandria in Egypt.The money (oil) flowed into Israel from the Shah,$250m in '78 alone.However,the project suffered a major setback due to the fall of the Shah,but was reportedly completed by Israel.Israeli missiles are supposedly hidden in UG bunkers and on rail cars hidden in caves.With the controversial (Gunther Grass's diatribe against the sale) acquisition of the German built Dolphin subs ,even newer and more deadly warheads would've been developed and much longer ranged cruise missiles to carry the warheads.Terribly ironic at this time of tension with Iran to acknowledge that the Israeli nuclear deterrent was part funded by Iran itself!

This makes a mockery of the entire issue of Iran's N-threat when viewed in historical perspective.I wonder why the current regime in Teheran hasn't opened up about this as it was done during the era of the Shah,bum-chum of the great Satan!

The Great Shaitan now give Iran a "last chance"!

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 27554.html

Xcpts:
US gives Iran 'last chance' warning over shutting down nuclear facility

Obama demands concessions as crucial talks begin in Istanbul later this week
Guy Adams
Monday 09 April 2012

Iran must immediately close a large nuclear facility built underneath a mountain if it is to take what President Obama has called a "last chance" to resolve its escalating dispute with the West via diplomacy.

Other "near term" concessions which must be met in the early stages of talks to avoid a potential military conflict, include the suspension of higher level uranium enrichment, and the surrender by Tehran of existing stockpiles of the fuel, senior US officials said yesterday.

The demands were outlined as Iranian state TV announced that crucial negotiations over its disputed nuclear programme will begin in Istanbul on Friday, allaying fears that disagreements over the venue would derail the important and long-scheduled talks.

US diplomats, who will join counterparts from the UK, China, Russia, France and Germany, at the bargaining table, told reporters that they will insist on Iran's leadership giving up the Fordow enrichment plant, which is just outside the Shia holy city of Qom.

The facility is buried deep in a mountain, apparently to protect against air strikes, and is at the centre of Israeli fears that the country's military leadership is secretly developing weapons that could mount a long-range strike across international borders.

A senior US official told The New York Times that the White House has "no idea how the Iranians will react" to the demands, and "probably won't know after the first meeting".

But he said that more serious talks cannot proceed unless they are met. Another US source told Reuters that the country must also export its entire stockpile of uranium enriched to 20 per cent purity if they are to stave off potential military action, saying, "20 per cent and closing Fordow are near-term priorities" for the Obama administration.

The negotiations are hugely delicate, both on the international stage and in the US, where in the run-up to November's election, President Obama is anxious to challenge Republican claims that he has been "soft" on Iran.

Many of Mr Obama's predecessors have taken a gung-ho approach to foreign affairs prior to their re-election battles, perhaps banking on the theory that the patriotic fervour of an America at war is more likely to give its incumbent President a second term.

The current debate over Iran isn't quite so straightforward, though.

Firstly, there is no guarantee that the US electorate would back intervention there, given the cost and mixed outcome of their country's interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Secondly, an unpredictable conflict in the Middle East could cause oil prices to spiral, threatening America's economic recovery and directly impacting the financial resources of voters, who are already voicing disquiet at fuel costs that are approaching record levels.

With this in mind, the White House hopes to persuade its allies that a mixture of crushing sanctions and diplomacy can be more effective than intervention. It has repeatedly pressed Israel to hold off pre-emptive military strikes until sanctions are proven to have failed.

US intelligence agencies are convinced that Iran suspended its nuclear weapons programme in 2003. Recent surveillance operations, particularly by drones, have failed to provide any evidence that such operations have actually recommenced.

Iran, for its part, insists that the nuclear programme is designed for power generation and medical and scientific research. It has repeatedly rejected calls by the UN Security Council to suspend nuclear enrichment.

On paper, Iran's government may in any case find it tricky to give in to US demands to close Fordow. After recent domestic developments, they face growing threats to their powerbase, so are anxious to retain the appearance of political strength.


PS:The US has already begun logistic ops for the attack against hardened alleged Iranian N-facilities.16 MOABs (mother-of-all-bombs) have already been reportedly delivered to the USAF for stealth bomber attacks.similar munitions have already been allegedly given to the Israelis too.

We have just been told by the Iraqi defector live on British TV that his yarns about Saddam's WMDs were just that,b-sh*t,which led to the west going to war with Iraq,a misadventure that has killed about a million Iraqis,are we going to see the same BS on Iran too,just becasue the Om-baba wants a second term? Indian foreign policy is on for a very rough ride.We have been earlier warned that anytime in/after April could be the scheduled attack on Iran by either or both the Israelis and US.Stock up on gas fast!

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Ambar » 10 Apr 2012 06:54

Garooda wrote:
"We've trained hard since our last deployment to the region making sure that the capabilities we bring remain flexible, adaptable and persistent," said Rear Adm. Walter E. Carter, commander, Enterprise Carrier Strike Group. "Enterprise has been deploying to this region for 50-years, and we are looking forward to serving along side our coalition and regional partners in support of operations in the region."

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=66274

That makes 3 vessels in the region.


2 strike groups. USS Enterprise joins USS Abraham Lincoln. I think the later replaced USS John Stennis. News is HMS Illustrious may join them once she's done with the NATO winter exercise.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby brihaspati » 10 Apr 2012 19:43

Narada, narada!
How Christian Europe secretly weeps for the lost opportunity for a permanent solution to the Jewish problem!

What happened to the pure trade, profits, growth and prosperity line onlee? Everything that a national gov does in international interactions is in the economic interest of the nation onlee! So Germany's sale is justified if it brings prosperity and profits to the national economy! There should be no moral or ethical questions in determining foreign policy, isnt it?

By the way, when are the ME experts' predicted west+yahudi perfidy led Iranian Holocaust of an immoral and unethical war starting off? It seems to have been long overdue.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 11 Apr 2012 08:52

Bri,the western media is full of tales of Israel "chafing at the bit",all "gung-ho" and forcing the US to allow it to go to war with or without US assistance.It now appears that Obama ,after much wargaming,has seen that a quick conflict to "teach Iran a lesson",might not prove catastrophic to the international economy and secure his re-election as a strong leader.Sen.John McCain is going around in true rabid warmongering fashion ,like the Crusaders of yore,demanding war as if "God wills it".The US simply cares a f**k for the rest of the world,least of all independent-minded nations like India,and its clear impatience at India not jumping with alacrity onto the US-led war bandwagon against Syria,Iran,etc,despite having its own man,once in the employ of the IMF,as our PM who can't even deliver on the MMRCA deal,is seeing a certain chill developing in relations,with a mere career diplomat and not a high-profile individual being posted as envoy to India.

Iranian Kilos and mini-subs are going to have a short but exciting future!

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby brihaspati » 11 Apr 2012 08:59

Philip,
All that the west - including Obama will hope for - is mounting pressure to paralyze Khomeini+Ahmedinijad, best mash up Nijad to keep Khomeini [originally their pick to replace a recalcitrant Shah] cowered down, and hope for an internal pro-"democracy" coup.

There are enough material for such an uprising concentrated inside. But this one may escalate. That is something that they will not take the risk of.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 15 Apr 2012 06:36

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... lenews_wsj

In War Against Iran, U.S. Firepower Would Vie With Guerrilla Tactics

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby shyamd » 15 Apr 2012 14:21

X post

Leak by source. Before any news bulletin - In Ankara talks, Iran asked US and Europeans to make sure Israel not to launch an attack as long as negotiations continue!!! There is also semi approval of stopping 20% enrichment and the Iranians made a list of demands such as saying not to dismantle the reactor near Qom and remove some sanctions.

You heard it first here!

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Kati » 16 Apr 2012 00:19


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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby shyamd » 16 Apr 2012 01:14

x post

On My Blog:
Ankara Whispers...
The latest from Ankara is the following:

The latest from Ankara is that Iran asked US/European powers to restrain Israel from striking as long as negotiations continue. There is also semi approval of stopping 20% enrichment and in return Iranians made a list of demands such as saying that they wont dismantle the reactor in Fordo and asking the west to gradually remove some sanctions in return.

Next will continue to talk in Baghdad: - why Baghdad? This is possibly due to Iran having an extensive intelligence network there in order to find out what the negotiators are thinking.

Why do the Iranians want to talk all of a sudden?
1. Possibility of an Israeli military strike and 2. Congress's decision to pass another batch of U.S. economic sanctions affecting the import oil from Iran. Analysts believe that Iran has been accumulating during the last six months of Uranium enriched to 20%, giving it greater flexibility to withdraw from the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and putting together a bomb during a short period as did the North Koreans. The Iranians know that the Israelis know it and so the fear of Israeli strike seriously.

[b]India has started looking elsewhere for oil because it fears that Iranian oil may be disrupted as a result of a war.



Syria:

Turkish strategists have released a report on the 10th of April regarding intervention in Syria. For more insight into what an intervention will look like please read the report:
http://www.orsam.org.tr/en/enUploads/Ar ... BCrkin.pdf

However, the Turkish/NATO strategists know that action in Syria means challenging Russia hence are extra cautious on Syria. Challenging Russia is a big NO NO for NATO and don't really want to go into conflict with Russia. Plans are certainly in place. It is likely that intervention in Syria will only take place if NATO are with Turkey on the plans as they are challenging Russia.

A leak of a report by officials, giving an insight into failures by NATO in the recent campaign in Libya suggests that NATO is not onboard.
The article in NYT can be read here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/world ... ato&st=cse

PM Erdogan's visit to KSA also ended in numerous disagreements on financing of refugees, purpose of the safe haven and most notably Islamists ruling the Free Syria in a post Asad world.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 20 Apr 2012 02:06

NIAC in overdrive.
How Hawks on the Hill Plan to Kill Talks With Iran
As a staffer on Capitol Hill when Barack Obama was elected, I was in the meetings with AIPAC in which -- facing a president with enormous political capital and a pro-diplomacy agenda -- they claimed to support talks with Iran. This despite the savaging that Obama as a candidate endured from Iran hawks and so-called "pro-Israel" groups because of his pledge to break with the Bush administrations refusal to engage adversaries.

But in those Hill meetings, we weren't being lobbied to support diplomacy, we were being lobbied to sign onto sanctions that AIPAC said were necessary as the next step if and when the talks did not yield results. Those sanctions would become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

[...]

So, if the talks this weekend yield progress, hawks will say, "Ah ha -- that progress was only because of sanctions, so we need more and we need to shift the goal posts to achieve maximalist ends." If the talks don't yield progress, hawks will say, "Ah ha -- that stalemate is because the sanctions are not crippling enough, so we need more and we need to shift the goal posts to ensure maximalist ends." Either way, Congress is pushing its sanctions. And if a new Congressional sanctions push is successful, the president may be blocked -- either politically or perhaps even legally -- from leveraging sanctions in exchange for Iranian concessions, killing any deal.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 20 Apr 2012 09:13

X-post from W.Asia thread

Eight Iranian sailors executed in Saudi city of Dammam: Reports
Officials in Saudi Arabia have reportedly executed eight Iranian sailors in the city of Dammam without any legal proceedings, a Saudi news channel reports.


According to Al-Tagheer, the eight Iranian nationals were executed in a prison in Dammam, the capital of Eastern Province, on April 15.

The channel also reported that the executions were carried out on the order of the Saudi Interior Ministry, which has been implicated in the unrest in Syria and the violence in Iraq.

Saudi officials have so far refused to make any statement about the issue.

The sailors were arrested on a fishing boat in the international waters near Saudi Arabia six years ago on charges of possessing drugs.

Meanwhile, the families of the sailors have called on Riyadh to provide information about their loved ones. The brother of one of the sailors said they have been informed by some sources in the city of Dammam that the detainees have been executed.

On Monday, Iran's Foreign Ministry summoned Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Tehran Osama Ahmed Snoussi over concerns about a number of Iranian prisoners kept in the kingdom’s jails, after the ministry received worrying news about Iranian nationals jailed in Dammam.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby arun » 22 Apr 2012 16:40

X Posted from the Terrorist Islamic Republic of Pakistan thread.

Aman Ki Asha Newspaper The News reports that Dr. Shireen Mazari, spokesperson for foreign policy of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) political party, is rather upset that the US State Department lauded India for having “a solid nonproliferation record”.

Setting aside the veracity of the claim, it certainly does not seem “brotherly” of a political party of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to begrudge the alleged help given by India to fellow members of “Ummah” namely Iran and Iraq.

Appears that there is a sectarian angle to this action by Imran Khan’s PTI as both Iran and Iraq have Shia Mohammadden majorities while Pakistan is a majority Sunni Mohammadden country:

Contrary to US claim India’s ‘nonproliferation record’ is highly suspect

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 24 Apr 2012 04:31

Iran's sub force to factor in,in any conflict.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8101300521

Xcpt:
Iran Building Power Submarine Force in Persian Gulf

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran has been building up its submarine fleet with mainly indigenously built boats considered ideal to carry out Tehran's threat to close the Strait of Hormuz in case of military confrontation with the US and its western allies, a report said.


Iran has been building up its submarine fleet for the last decade, adding mainly indigenously built small boats armed with torpedoes and mines that make them ideal platforms to carry out Tehran's threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, the gateway to the Persian Gulf, if it comes under attack by the US or Israel or if export of its crude supplies are blocked by the US-led West.

Accurate data on the Islamic Republic's underwater fleet, the only one in the Persian Gulf region, are hard to come by but Western analysts estimate the Iranian navy and the more powerful naval arm of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) operate around 20 submarines, a UPI report said.

Most of these have been built by the state-owned Defense Industries Organization, a conglomeration of defense companies controlled by the Defense Ministry that supervises all military production, research and development, it added.

The submarines are seen as a danger to international tanker traffic, which ships one-fifth of the world's oil supplies through the narrow strait every day, and to Western warships if Iran carries out its threat to close Hormuz if its oil exports are blocked.

According to UPI, US military planners say they factor in the Iranian submarine threat if the Americans, spearheaded by the US Navy 5th Fleet based in Bahrain, square off for possible conflict with Iran over its civilian nuclear program.

"The Iranians would not have acquired so many submarines if they did not think they would come in handy," US defense analyst Scott Charney observed in an April 9 assessment of Iranian submarine capabilities.

"Thanks to these undersea craft, the Tehran government may have developed the ability to dominate its neighbors and ward off attack from faraway powers even as most of the foreign policy community has been chasing the specter of nuclear weapons."

The report also mentioned that the Iranian sub fleet is led by three Russian-built Type 877EKM Kilo class, diesel-electric boats delivered in 1991-96 and capable of crippling US warships. But these subs are built for long-range, blue-water operations outside the Persian Gulf.

They operate primarily in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean, although in July 2011 at least one Kilo, possibly two, deployed to the Red Sea, a key shipping lane. It was believed to be the first such deployment, and suggested the Iranians were prepared to operate at greater range than they have so far.

The Kilos are based at Bandar Abbas, headquarters of the IRGC's naval wing but they also have pens at Jask, on the East of the Strait of Hormuz.

The bulk of the fleet consists of Iran's midget subs. There are at least 12 Ghadir class boats, named after Ghadir Khumm, a Shiite Muslim holy eve, and unveiled in 2007.

The last two of these 120-ton boats were handed over to the regular navy in February. Iranian officials say these 92-foot craft can fire torpedoes and anti-ship missiles and are specifically designed for the Persian Gulf's shallow waters.

The latest addition is a Nahang class vessel, the first of a new type of sub currently under construction at the main Bandar Abbas navy base on the Southern coasts of Iran.

The 76-foot, 350-400 ton Nahang - Farsi for "Whale" - is said to be able to evade detection by radar. An unknown number of vessels of this class are expected to be produced.

The next class planned is the diesel-electric Qaaem, the lead ship of which is under construction by the DIO at Bandar Abbas.

The Iranians announced the start of production in August 2008. Officials describe this as "semi-heavy" sub of 1,000-plus tons deadweight capable of launching torpedoes and missiles.

"The Iranians seem to be seeking to bridge the gap between the midget subs and the Kilos by constructing what they call 'semi-heavy' subs of the Qaaem and/or Fatah class, with more possibly to come," Charney observed.

"Such submarines, if successful could complement the Kilos at first and eventually supplant them when the larger submarines reach the end of their service lives …

"In the case of conflict with the United States, Iranian submarines could sink one or more American ships and/or submarines, resulting in unacceptable casualties for the United States. This strategy is behind most of Iran's recent military moves," Charney noted according to UPI.

Iran's naval power has even been acknowledged by foes. In a Sep. 11, 2008 report, the Washington Institute for the Near East Policy also said that in the two decades since the Iraqi imposed war on Iran, the Islamic Republic has excelled in naval capabilities and is able to wage unique asymmetric warfare against larger naval forces.

According to the report, Iran's Navy has been transformed into a highly motivated, well-equipped, and well-financed force and is effectively in control of the world's oil lifeline, the Strait of Hormuz.

The study says that if Washington takes military action against the Islamic Republic, the scale of Iran's response would likely be proportional to the scale of the damage inflicted on Iranian assets.

The Islamic Republic's top military officials have repeatedly warned that in case of an attack by either the US or Israel, the country would target 32 American bases in the Middle East and close the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

An estimated 40 percent of the world's oil supply passes through the waterway.

A recent study by a fellow at Harvard's Olin Institute for Strategic Studies, Caitlin Talmadge, warned that Iran could use mines as well as missiles to block the strait, and that "it could take many weeks, even months, to restore the full flow of commerce, and more time still for the oil markets to be convinced that stability had returned".


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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby gunjur » 24 Apr 2012 10:23

Suspected cyber attack hits Iran oil industry
A virus was detected inside the control systems of Kharg Island - which handles the vast majority of Iran's crude oil exports. Computer systems controlling a number of Iran's other oil facilities have been disconnected from the Internet as a precaution. IT systems at the oil ministry and at the national oil company were also disconnected to prevent the spread of any virus.

The oil ministry's own media network, Shana, quoted a spokesman as saying some data had been affected but that there was no major damage.

Iran's nuclear program is thought to be the principal target of the Stuxnet worm - discovered in 2010 - the first virus believed to have been specifically designed to subvert industrial systems. Late last year, Iran also identified damage it said was inflicted by a similar virus aimed at disrupting industrial processes, called Duqu.

The authorities said there had been no disruption to production or exports, Mehr news reported, but a shipping source with knowledge of operations at Kharg Island said that the NIOC has been prevented from sending out the crude-loading program at the terminal.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 26 Apr 2012 08:40

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_n ... eapon.html

Contradicting his own politiclal establishment ,crying out to attack Iran! What gives?

Xcpt:

Israel military chief doesn't think Iran will make nuclear weapon
April 25, 2012
Israel's military chief says he doesn’t think Iran would choose to make nuclear weapons, though it is “going step by step to the place where it will be able to decide” whether to do so, Haaretz reported.

In an interview with the Israeli daily published Wednesday, Israel Defense Forces chief Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said Iran's nuclear program was still too vulnerable to attack for the country to produce a nuclear bomb.

“It will happen if [supreme leader Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei judges that he is invulnerable to a response. I believe he would be making an enormous mistake, and I don't think he will want to go the extra mile,” Gantz told Haaretz. "I think the Iranian leadership is composed of very rational people."

His words echo the assessment of U.S. intelligence agencies, which believe Iran is pursuing research to make it capable of building an atomic bomb, but don't think it is actively trying to build one.

Gantz has taken a more measured tone toward the Iranian nuclear threat than Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The same day that Gantz was quoted as saying that economic sanctions and international pressure were helping nudge Iran away from nuclear weapons, Netanyahu appeared on CNN saying such measures "haven't rolled back the Iranian program -- or even stopped it -- by one iota."

Iran insists its nuclear program is purely for peaceful purposes, but Western nations believe Iran wants the ability to build nuclear weapons. The Israeli government has threatened to bomb Iranian nuclear installations if the program continues, fearing that Iran is closing in on having the knowledge it needs to build a bomb.

Iran recently agreed to more talks with six world powers over its nuclear program; Netanyahu derided the agreement because it allows Iran to keep enriching uranium.

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Sohum » 28 Apr 2012 07:33

Comments by Sayyid Fahd, deputy prime minister for council of ministers of Oman to US ambassador to oman

Oman is encouraging India to engage in the region diplomatically and politically. He said that as Iran wants to be seen as a regional power, Oman wants a balance of power and sees India possibly as that balance. India does not need to present a military presence, according to Sayyid Fahd, a political presence will do. He termed India as a reliable country and a reliable partner, and that India would contribute to regional stability and security. .. Sayyid Fahd said that Pakistan is quite a different issue. It is a large country "with so many fanatics." The social fabric and the cultural fabric are under real threat and Pakistan needs help, both material and psychological support from its friends. He continued, noting that the situation spreads beyond Pakistan's borders, citing the problem in Great Britain, with its substantial Pakistani population. Sorting out who is a fanatic, and who is not, "is a big problem." It doesn't stop there, he noted, it spreads throughout Europe, as these Pakistanis are British, with freedom of travel.

Source: http://www.cablegatesearch.net/cable.ph ... 20pakistan

Philip
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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Philip » 29 Apr 2012 05:56

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/world ... .html?_r=1

Xcpt:
Ex-Israeli Security Chief Questions Current Leadership
By JODI RUDOREN
Published: April 28, 2012

JERUSALEM — The recently retired chief of Israel’s internal security agency said on Friday night that he had “no faith” in the ability of the current leadership to handle the Iranian nuclear threat, ratcheting up the criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak from the defense and intelligence communities.
Related

Defense Minister Adds to Israel’s Recent Mix of Messages on Iran (April 27, 2012)
Israeli Army Chief Says He Believes Iran Won’t Build Bomb (April 26, 2012)

“I don’t believe in a leadership that makes decisions based on messianic feelings,” said Yuval Diskin, who stepped down last May after six years running the Shin Bet, Israel’s version of the F.B.I. “I have observed them from up close,” Mr. Diskin said. “I fear very much that these are not the people I’d want at the wheel.”

Echoing Meir Dagan, the former head of the Mossad, Israel’s spy agency, Mr. Diskin also said that the government was “misleading the public” about the likely effectiveness of an aerial strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

“A lot of experts have long been saying that one of the results of an Israeli attack on Iran could be a dramatic acceleration of the Iranian nuclear program,” Mr. Diskin said at a community forum in Kfar Saba, a central Israeli city. “What the Iranians prefer to do today slowly and quietly, they would have the legitimacy to do quickly and in a much shorter time.”

The comments followed interviews published last week in which the current chief of the Israeli Defense Force, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, appeared to be taking a more moderate approach on Iran than Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Barak, although aides to all three men later insisted that they were on the same page.

Mr. Diskin has been widely thought to share the views of Mr. Dagan — who has been harshly attacking the government’s approach in speeches and interviews for nearly a year — but this is the first time he has spoken about it publicly. Shin Bet does not deal with foreign affairs, and Mr. Diskin was careful to say that he was not saying that attacking Iran “is not a legitimate decision,” but was instead questioning the leaders’ abilities and their motives for their hawkish policies. Still, his biting statements, coming so soon after Mr. Gantz’s remarks, suggest that Mr. Netanyahu might be facing more of a challenge of his policy on Iran than before.

Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Barak have made clear for months that they believe urgent action is needed to stop Iran from building a bomb, and that they consider themselves the main decision makers on whether to stage a pre-emptive strike on Iran.

Ronen Bergman, an Israeli analyst and author of the 2008 book “The Secret War With Iran,” said in an interview that Mr. Diskin’s comments were significant because he left the government in good standing with Mr. Netanyahu — unlike Mr. Dagan, who was forced out — and because he was widely respected “for being professional and honest and completely disconnected from politics.”

Still, Mr. Bergman noted the growing chorus of criticisms: “They have an impact, but I wouldn’t say that this is a crucial factor in the decision-making process. The opinion of the current chief of Shin Bet and the chief of Mossad and the current chief of the military are much more critical when it comes to whether to strike Iran or not.”

Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian-Israeli who runs the blog Middle East Analyst, said Mr. Diskin, in his comments, offered an insider’s view of the motivations and decision-making processes of the nation’s leadership. “Israel’s citizens would be forgiven for thinking that when it comes to addressing the Iranian nuclear threat, Netanyahu and Barak rely more on their own self-created image as the messiahs,” Mr. Javedanfar wrote in an e-mail, “than mounting evidence and warnings that such an attack could be counterproductive.”

“The public nature of such warnings by former intelligence officials puts pressure on Netanyahu and Barak,” he added, “because if they attack Iran and it backfires, such warnings could be used against both of them in postwar commissions.”

The prime minister’s office was expected to respond to the comments on Saturday night. A vice prime minister, Silvan Shalom, hinted in an interview with Israel Radio that Mr. Diskin might have political motives, and promised that any decision on attacking Iran would not be made by Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Barak alone, but in a wider forum.

Indeed, Mr. Diskin did not limit his critique to the policy on Iran. He said Israel had in recent years become “more and more racist,” and, invoking the 1995 assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, said there were many extremist Jews today who “would be willing to take up arms against their Jewish brothers.”

Isabel Kershner contributed reporting.


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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Agnimitra » 05 May 2012 08:09

Iranian regime's mouthpiece PressTV had this documentary on Kurdish "terrorism" inside Iran. There has been an upsurge of salafi cells in the Sunni part of Iranian Kurdistan, and quite a few have lost lives. This is part of a general trend observed by some that shows that jihadists in some areas are turning on the "less pure" amongst their own people rather than against the non-Moslems. This is happening in war-torn areas like Iraq, or in areas of Iranian Kurdistan which are seeing rising rates of unemployment.

Aside from the typical PressTV spin, what is most shocking is that the dastardly idealogical statements of the terrorists is clarified by a theologian as wrongly being applied to fellow Moslems (declared less pure by salafis), but it is accepted that those statements surely do apply to non-Moslems. E.g. of such statements by some Kurdish terrorists apprehended:

"The Qur'an says saabeqoonem kheyrat..we ought to compete with one another to acquire merit...hit and kill the kaafers... that's our main/only job here on Earth..."

"Whoever it may be, doesn't matter...only the killing of, say, one's father, is not recommended...but if it is one's older brother, it makes no difference (if they are kaafers)."

When asked why these jihadists are turning on the supposedly "less pure" amongst their own people rather than against Washington and Israel, one whippersnapper answers: "We all do consider America to be the greatest Satan. We will definitely get to them once we're done with the kaafers amongst us...The Great Lord says that one must begin with the kaafers nearest to oneself, and so we began like that..."


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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby Kati » 09 May 2012 20:11

Iran trade (The Telegraph, May 9, 2012)

New Delhi, May 8: India plans to strengthen its economic ties with Iran with a bilateral trade pact despite pressure from the US. “The government has commissioned a study for a preferential trading arrangement with Iran,” Arvind Mehta, joint secretary in the commerce ministry, said today

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Re: Iran News and Discussions

Postby shyamd » 10 May 2012 00:44

India in a bind on Iran investments
Anupama Airy, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 09, 2012
Email to Author

With geopolitical tensions surrounding Iran in the wake of sanctions imposed by the UN against the oil and gas-rich nation, India is in a dilemma over whether or not to go ahead with its investments in developing a promising gas field in the Persian Gulf that entails an investment of over $5
billion ( Rs. 27,000 crore).


In a recent letter to the petroleum ministry, a copy of which is available with HT, state-owned ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) has sought the government's advice on the way ahead, as Iran has indicated unwillingness to wait further and sought India's commitment at the earliest.

"With regard to options available with OVL to get the project going, the present geo-political scenario of the UN, US and EU sanctions against Iran severely limit the possibilities to successfully execute the project," OVL said in the April 23 letter.

"Iranian side has been expressing urgency to develop the Farzad-B gas field (in the prolific Farsi block) and also indicating intentions to award the development contract to some other party, if not satisfied by the progress of negotiations," the OVL's letter added.

"Negotiations have now been continuing for more than two years and prolonging the negotiations any further is becoming increasingly difficult in view of IOOC's (Iran's Offshore Oil Company) urgency to develop the shared field. Also, this option has the risk of IOOC passing the project on to some other party," said OVL.

To Iran's proposal that OVL should immediately sign a development plan for this block at the earliest, OVL has proposed that it will try and negotiate a development service contract (DSC) with terms and conditions favourable enough to take care of the high risk to its large scale investment in the current scenario. This option, OVL said, is however subjected to the Iranian side being receptive to its propositions.

Sources said a team of IOOC is likely to visit New Delhi soon for further discussions.

OVL has so far invested $36 million in the gas field Farzad-B. The gas field was bagged by a consortium of ONGC, Indian Oil and OIL in 2002. While OVL and IOC hold a 40% stake each in the field, OIL has the remaining 20% share.


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