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Iran - So what’s happening there while we "transition?"
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Iran has decided that Mr. Obama's touted "carrot and stick" approach is just more of the same:
Iran said Monday that it would not abandon its nuclear program and urged President-elect Barack Obama to change America’s “carrot-and-stick policy” toward Iran, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Hassan Ghashghavi, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, said that Iran, which has repeatedly refused to suspend its enrichment of uranium, would not change its nuclear policy. He added that Iran expected Mr. Obama to stick to his campaign promise to change the previous administration’s policy.
Even Rafsanjani got in on the act helping Iran present a united front:
Influential former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Tuesday accused US president-elect Barack Obama of mimicking his predecessor's tough stance on Tehran's nuclear drive.

"I don't expect someone who considers himself to be originally from Africa and a member of the oppressed black race in America to repeat what (George W.) Bush has to say," Rafsanjani said in a sermon on state radio.
You've got to love the "oppresssed black race" statement. Rafsanjani went on:
"I advise (Obama)... we don't want your incentives and your punishments will not stop us either," he said in a speech marking the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice or Eid al-Adha.

"It's better for you to be reasonable and not to deprive Iran of its rights."
Of course I'm sure "resonable" means they want to see us back off on the punishment and leave them alone. As adament and self-delusional (little dog thinks its a big dog) as they've been through all of this, I don't see that changing. They expect the "change" to come from Obama.
Mr. Ghashghavi said that the carrot-and-stick approach was “a failed policy” and that Iran expected Mr. Obama to change the “confrontational policy to one based on interaction.”

“They have to recognize our legal rights, and we are willing to engage in an interaction to resolve their concerns,” he said. “We need to engage in progress and development.”
If "engage in interaction to resolve their concerns" doesn't sound like Saddam inviting the inspectors in to try to delay military action, I don't know what it sounds like.

And, of course, good old reliable friend of the US - Russia - plays it up for Iran as well:
Iran does not currently have the capability to build a nuclear weapon, a senior Russian diplomat was quoted as saying by Interfax and ITAR-TASS news agencies Tuesday.

"One cannot say today that Iran can create nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them," Vladimir Voronkov, head of the Russian foreign ministry's department of European cooperation, was quoted as saying.

"This information is confirmed by all the services responsible for the collection and analysis of information," he added, in an apparent allusion to Russian intelligence agencies.
Well there you go - because alls the services "responsible for the collection and analysis of information" have been so reliable in the past.

All this says is Obama shouldn't look to Russia for any help in this regard.

Of course Iran has some problems of its own it must face pretty soon. One is the drop in crude oil prices. Another, however, is even more pressing:
Iran, the second-largest crude producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, may reduce output by as much as 25 percent and cease exports because of ageing fields and a lack of foreign investment.

Crude oil production may fall to as much as 3 million barrels a day by 2015 from 4.02 million last year and the country may halt exports, pending the approval of refining projects, after shipping about 2.3 million this year overseas, Singapore-based Facts Global Energy said in a report today. Iran has plans to produce 4.5 million by 2010 and 5 million after 2015.

``Without a major change in policy and investment climate in Iran, crude oil production and exports are projected to decline drastically in the future,'' analyst Vijay Mukherji said in the report e-mailed today. ``The incremental supply that Iran is promising to the world will simply not be available.''
Iran is in desperate need of foreign investment to upgrade its aging fields. The reality is, someone is going to do it. The problem, however, is the concessions are preventing it right now. China, however, still hungry for energy supplies and not picky about where they get them, will most likely find a way to rationalize helping Iran out in that regard. And it would surprise me if Russia didn't do the same. How Obama could use this, then, becomes very tricky and difficult and, perhaps, impossible.

A drop in Iranian production over the long haul would certainly impact world oil prices. Every large energy user knows that. They're going to be trying, within the next few years, to secure supplies where ever they can - Iran's plight, the size of its reserves and the need of these countries is going to drive someone to make that deal.

It'll be interesting to see how the incoming administration plans on handling that probability as well as the nuclear hot potato it is inheriting.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Well, during a global recession, with demand for oil shrinking and prices way down, that would be the time to relieve Iran of its nuclear pistol.

Hello, IDF.

Better to hand the silly Obama a fait accompli than to give his bunch of foreign policy pikers dithering room.
Written By: Martin McPhillips
"Hello, IDF."

Hello, yourself. We were unable to dislodge the Hezzies from Lebanon and are likewise unable to halt the rockets streaming in from Hamasistan. The political will to strike down our enemies is sorrowfully lacking at present here; we prefer to keep the issues "manageable" and kick the can down the road. And don’t expect Bibi to change that calculus in any significant way.
Written By: CR
URL: http://
"Hello, IDF."

Hello, yourself. We
Who are you suggesting that you speak for?
Written By: Martin McPhillips
"Who are you suggesting that you speak for?"

I am just pointing out that many people, apparently including you, still ascribe a certain mythical infallability to the IDF. The results of their actions over the past couple of decades do not seem to justify this evaluation, I think. BTW, who are YOU to conscript their services so glibly in this particular case? You seem to be willing to fight Iran down to the last Israeli.

Written By: CR
URL: http://
BTW, who are YOU to conscript their services so glibly in this particular case? You seem to be willing to fight Iran down to the last Israeli.
Oh, so you’ve made a major foreign policy decision for Israel, that Iran having nuclear weapons will be of no consequence. That’s mighty big of you.
Written By: Martin McPhillips
"Hello, IDF."

Hello, yourself.
Obviously it is the ghost of Moshe Dayan ;)
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
"Oh, so you’ve made a major foreign policy decision for Israel..."

Tu quoque, Mr. McPhillips.
Written By: CR
URL: http://
Tu quoque, Mr. McPhillips.
You say you’re offering a tu quoque response?

Because I didn’t propose that Israel’s leaders do nothing about what they have been saying is one of their most serious concerns: Iran with a nuclear arsenal. And I didn’t pretend to be a "we" of some sort, never clarified, but sounding as though it were to be taken as on behalf of Israelis.

I’m assuming that Israel’s people and leaders takes seriously threats to "wipe it off the map."

Hence my encouragement that Israel act on its own in its own interests against Iran’s nuclear facilities while oil prices are down and before the dithering Obama team takes office.
Written By: Martin McPhillips

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