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The ongoing struggle between the United States and Iran over Tehran's nuclear program continues to affect countries in East Asia. Reinforced sanctions from the US, initiated at the end of June, threaten to punish countries that have deviated from Washington's efforts to completely isolate Tehran from the global oil market. This constitutes a major problem for countries in Northeast Asia that import significant portions of their crude oil from Iran.
The New Delhi government ordered Indian state-run insurers to provide cover to the country's ships transporting Iranian oil, allowing refiners to avoid any interruption in supplies due to the western sanctions.
United India Insurance Co. has agreed to provide protection and indemnity cover to Indian tankers carrying oil from Iran with General Insurance Corp. offering reinsurance. ››read more
What does an oil refinery do when it loses its supply of Iranian crude? A contract for Saudi Arabian oil is probably the best replacement, over the medium term. But in a rush, little beats a few barrels of Urals, the Russian main export oil stream.
Iran’s central bank and Oil Ministry have signed an agreement with the Iranian Oil, Gas & Petrochemical Products Exporters’ Association to secure delivery of 500,000 barrels per day to Europe, bypassing the EU sanctions. ››read more
Remember the reports that Iran was storing oil in its tanker fleet because it couldn't sell the oil?
Like the fairy-tale Big Bad Wolf, the United States and the European Union continue to huff and puff and say that economic sanctions will blow Iran’s house down. ››read more
World oil prices surged again to new nine-month highs Friday as traders fretted about the impact of heightened geopolitical tensions over Iran on global crude oil supplies. ››read more
It is not only the balance of power, but also the balance of threat that Saudi Arabia is trying to preserve. Interview with Ali-Akbar Assadi. ››read more
The United States is making its anger plain as India tries to close a delicate deal to circumvent international sanctions and pay for Iranian oil. With Israel blaming Tehran for a bomb blast against its diplomats in New Delhi, the dilemma for India - and Washington's litmus test of friendship - just got harder. ››read more
An influx of cheaper oil by Iran can neutralize the sanctions. Interview with Gholam-Reza Kiamehr. ››read more
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. ››read more
This week, as the European Union inches closer to imposing a total oil embargo on Iran, thus escalating tensions to dangerous new levels, it is important to scrutinize the causes of what is rapidly turning into a major international crisis with unforeseen consequences, and to ponder the potential option of alternative Western policies that would prevent yet another crisis of choice, rather than necessity. ››read more
The inexperienced British government has not properly read through the pile of documents in the Foreign Ministry archives on Tehran-London relations. ››read more
As of late Friday, the U.S. military had grown silent on the incident, directing queries to the Iraqi government. Earlier in the day, the Agence France-Presse news agency quoted U.S. Army Col. Peter Newell, an Army commander in Maysan, as saying the well in question is on Iraqi soil about 550 yards from an Iranian border fort. Newell told the AFP that Iraqi oil workers make maintenance visits every few months, leave an Iraqi flag and paint Iraqi colors. "They'll hang out there for a while, until they get tired, and as soon as they go away, the Iranians come down the hill and paint it Iranian colors and raise an Iranian flag. It happened about three months ago, and it will probably happen again," Newell told the AFP. ››read more
A man with a background among the colonised has never before become the head of the world's largest empire. Obama's grandfather was detained in a British Guantanomo for six months during the bloody occupation of Kenya. As a child, Obama watched helpless as the CIA armed and funded the crazed dictator Suharto to commit mass murder of civilians. ››read more
LONDON (Reuters) - The global financial crisis has eclipsed Western jitters over Iran's nuclear program and may have put paid to the possibility of the United States or Israel resorting to preemptive military strikes. ››read more
Eric Margolis: Medvedev will continue policy of opposing any US attack on Iran
Dmitry Medvedev was inaugurated as the new president of Russia last week, following the resignation of his mentor and predecessor, Vladimir Putin.
The outgoing president will now act as Prime Minister, a position from which he will oversee both domestic and foreign policy. Pressing issues for the new leadership include expanding relations with Iran, and acting as a counterweight to American involvement in the region. ››read more
Why then did the U.S. invade Iraq? Why is occupying Iraq so "vital" to those "national security interests" of ours? None of this makes sense if you don't have the patience to drill a little beneath the surface and into the past; if you don't take into account that, as former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz once put it, Iraq "floats on a sea of oil"; and if you don't consider the decades-long U.S. campaign to control, in some fashion, Middle East energy reservoirs. If not, then you can't understand the incredible tenaciousness with which George W. Bush and his top officials have pursued their Iraqi dreams or why -- now that those dreams are clearly so many nightmares -- even the Democrats can't give up the ghost. ››read more
Iran’s nuclear program, far from being the “root cause” of Iranian-American animosity, is simply a facilitator for those who are predisposed to accept at face value anything that paints Iran in a negative light. The same can be said of almost every effort undertaken by the US government, post-1998, regarding Iran. ››read more