Discussion: America's Iran gamble and how Iran is benefiting from it

Pawns and the Middle EastIn his article for the ePluribus Media Journal, Adam Lambert takes a close look at relations between the US and Iran -- what might have been vs what the situation is today.

Iran made several attempts at diplomatic outreach towards the US in 2001, 2002 and 2003, but the Bush administration made the decision to rebuff and ignore these gestures and Iran quickly became an enemy of the Bush administration. One consequence of these decisions was the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as President as the more moderate leadership in Iran was pushed aside.

However, there is another side to this story, and another large consequence to the United States and its economy, as well as its energy policy (both current and future). And as a result of this gamble by the Bush administration, Iran has taken the opportunity to strengthen its position in the global economy, all while the US economy has floundered, its standing and influence in the world has decreased, and it is being shut out of a growing global alliance with respect to much of the world’s oil.

It still remains to be seen whether there will be any oil deals in Iraq. However, with the price of oil exceeding $100 as of early 2008, Saudi Arabia rebuffing President Bush’s attempts to have them increase the output of oil and the number of alliances and deals Iran has entered into, it is clear that the decision to ignore Iran in 2001, 2002 and 2003 was a poor one with far-reaching ramifications.

Read the whole article on the ePluribus Media Journal and come back here to discuss ...

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Couple of items I didn't see: the growth and importance of the SCO, and the more recent announcement by India of it's intent to finally negotiate price for gas delivery over the IPI (Iran-Pakistan-India) pipeline. Smallish nit: . . going largely unreported . . .

All of these items have been reported in both domestic and overseas newspapers.

I find it hypocritical how the Bush Admin speaks out of both sides of its mouth regarding Iran...following is a recent article: Administration Puts Its Best Spin on Iran Report

Monday, March 24, 2008

Comments last week by President Bush and Vice President Cheney suggested continuing White House unhappiness at the conclusions of last December's national intelligence estimate on Iran's nuclear program.

Bush told U.S.-funded Radio Farda, which broadcasts into Iran in Farsi, that Iranian leaders have "declared they want to have a nuclear weapon to destroy people," a statement that went well beyond the findings of the NIE.

Cheney, meanwhile, jousted with ABC's Martha Raddatz when she tried to pin him down on whether he agreed with the NIE's finding that Iran shut down its nuclear weapons program in 2003. Despite having several opportunities to endorse this finding, the vice president said in an interview only that "I have high confidence they have an ongoing enrichment program."

Bushco just keep pounding on the same log no matter what any report indicates... No wonder the Iranians have just tuned them out and are doing their own thing...with vigor!

Here we are......square one...Maliki makes a fool out of Bush et al!

Instead, Maliki - perhaps smarting from U.S. sniping at his incompetence - gave the Americans hardly any notice before embarking on a disorganized military venture. His Iraqi forces weren't capable of ousting the militias. More than 1,000 of his troops reportedly deserted, including top commanders; U.S. forces and air power had to come to the rescue.

A Baghdad cease-fire by Sadr that U.S. commanders consider crucial to post-surge security gains came close to breaking.

But most galling to U.S. officials was this: When the going got tough, top Iraqi Shiite officials rushed to the holy city of Qom in Iran to get help mediating a Basra cease-fire with Sadr. And whom in Iran did they ask for help? As first reported by McClatchy News Service's intrepid Baghdad bureau chief Leila Fadel, it was none other than Brig. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, commander of the Quds Brigade of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps. This is the group U.S. commanders accuse of training and arming radical militias.

In other words, Iraq's leaders had to turn to an Iranian we label a "terrorist" to get Maliki and his American backers out of a jam. The commander of the Quds Brigade apparently told Sadr to cool off.

Sounds to me like it might be time to change gears or make some new friends who have plenty of oil!

Russian Oil Slump Stirs Supply Jitters

Russian output fell for the first time in a decade in the first three months of this year, according to the International Energy Agency, which represents industrialized oil-consuming countries. It said Russian production averaged about 10 million barrels a day, a 1% drop from the first-quarter of 2007.

Declining production from the world's largest oil producer and one of its largest exporters puts further pressures on an already strained market and adds to the potential for higher prices for a global economy coping with a slowdown. Global production constraints -- along with surging demand, rising oil-field expenses and political instability in petroleum-rich regions -- already have sent oil to more than $110 a barrel from $30 in about four years.

In New York futures markets Monday, oil reached another new high on the falling dollar and other supply constraints. It settled at $111.76 a barrel, up $1.62, or 1.5%.

Industry watchers and Russian officials generally blame the country's production slowdown on a combination of weather and tight electricity supplies in some parts of the country. In a longer-term worry, they also point to aging Siberian fields that once fueled its production growth.
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Still, it cautioned: "Russian oil production growth is no longer to be taken for granted."