Iran Cuts Oil Supply to UK and France

February 19, 2012

 Iran has stopped selling crude to British and French companies, the oil ministry said on Sunday, in a retaliatory measure against fresh EU sanctions on the Islamic state’s lifeblood, oil.

“Exporting crude to British and French companies has been stopped … we will sell our oil to new customers,” spokesman Alireza Nikzad was quoted as saying by the ministry of petroleum website.

The European Union in January decided to stop importing crude from Iran from July 1 over its disputed nuclear program, which the West says is aimed at building bombs. Iran denies this.

Iran’s oil minister said on February 4 that the Islamic state would cut its oil exports to “some” European countries.

The European Commission said last week that the bloc would not be short of oil if Iran stopped crude exports, as they have enough in stock to meet their needs for around 120 days.

Industry sources told Reuters on February 16 that Iran’s top oil buyers in Europe were making substantial cuts in supply months in advance of European Union sanctions, reducing flows to the continent in March by more than a third – or over 300,000 barrels daily.

France’s Total has already stopped buying Iran’s crude, which is subject to fresh EU embargoes. Market sources said Royal Dutch Shell has scaled back sharply.

Among European nations, debt-ridden Greece is most exposed to Iranian oil disruption.

Motor Oil Hellas of Greece was thought to have cut out Iranian crude altogether and compatriot Hellenic Petroleum along with Spain’s Cepsa and Repsol were curbing imports from Iran.

Iran was supplying more than 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) to the EU plus Turkey in 2011, industry sources said.

By the start of this year imports had sunk to about 650,000 bpd as some customers cut back in anticipation of an EU ban.

Saudi Arabia says it is prepared to supply extra oil either by topping up existing term contracts or by making rare spot market sales. Iran has criticized Riyadh for the offer.

Iran said the cut will have no impact on its crude sales, warning that any sanctions on its oil will raise international crude prices.

Brent crude oil prices were up $1 a barrel to $118.35 shortly after Iran’s state media announced last week that Tehran had cut oil exports to six European states. The report was denied shortly afterwards by Iranian officials.

“We have our own customers … The replacements for these companies have been considered by Iran,” Nikzad said.

EU’s new sanctions includes a range of extra restrictions on Iran that went well beyond U.N. sanctions agreed last month and included a ban on dealing with Iranian banks and insurance companies and steps to prevent investment in Tehran’s lucrative oil and gas sector, including refining.

The mounting sanctions are aimed at putting financial pressure on the world’s fifth largest crude oil exporter, which has little refining capacity and has to import about 40 percent of its gasoline needs for its domestic consumption.

Iran, Hezbollah not a Threat to US, says Napolitano

by Kurt Nimmo
February 16, 2012

Despite all the hype drummed up by the establishment media about a scary Iranian or Hezbollah attack on “soft targets” in the United States, the Department of Homeland Security has admitted there is no specific threat facing the country.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Pete King fretted over a Hezbollah attack on the fatherland – specifically synagogues – but DHS boss Napolitano was obliged to admit no such threat exists. She said, however, that there is “a threat that bears watching.” Big Sis told King and his colleagues DHS and partners like the FBI “are constantly monitoring [Hezbollah's] activities around the world.”

Following attacks in India, Georgia and Thailand attributed to Iran and Hezbollah by Israel, the United States and the corporate media, the NYPD’s intelligence boss said Iran is the number one threat to the Big Apple.

CNN and the establishment media have enthusiastically hyped Israel’s terror narrative by running reports and stories speculating an attack on Jewish targets inside the United States.

Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, threw cold water on CNN’s fear mongering when he told the network “there is no call for panic.”

Napolitano’s DHS said last week that Jewish groups in the U.S. do not face a specific threat, but this has not stopped CNN and other networks from engaging in lurid speculation with little basis in reality.

Salon journalist Jeff Greenwald hit the nail on the head when he talked with Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks on Tuesday. Greenwald said the Obama administration has more or less taken a backseat and the current round of anti-Iran hysteria is coming primarily from the establishment media.

Greenwald said the corporate media’s one dimensional coverage is skewed because it invariably sides with Israel and acts as a megaphone for its propaganda campaign to demonize Iran and drum up public consensus backing an attack.

Read Full Article…

Irán, China, Rusia, Pakistán frente a EE.UU. e Israel

Por Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
10 de febrero 2012

El Alto Comisionado de Pakistán en Gran Bretaña ha reiterado el apoyo de su país a la República Islámica de Irán en caso de ataque del régimen israelí.

Wajid Shamsul Hasan le dijo al periódico británico The Sun que “Pakistán no tiene otra opción que apoyar a Irán si Israel le ataca”.

“No nos gustaría ser vistos como parte de la campaña de Israel contra cualquier país. Si Israel ataca a Irán, esto tendrá un impacto en Pakistán “, dijo el Comisionado de Pakistán.

“Tenemos que proteger nuestros propios intereses. También tenemos una población Shia en Pakistán, que no se quedará de brazos cruzados”, subrayó.

El funcionario paquistaní advirtió a Gran Bretaña que debe ayudar a detener la guerra que Estados Unidos realiza en Pakistán usando “drones” que están masacrando a cientos de sus civiles inocentes.

Wajid Shamsul Hasan, dijo que las relaciones de su país con Estados Unidos están en su punto más bajo. ”La paciencia está, sin duda llegando a niveles de agotamiento”, dijo.

Hasan dijo que Pakistán apoya la guerra contra el terrorismo llevada a cabo por Gran Bretaña y EE.UU.. Pero, instó al primer ministro británico, David Cameron, para condenar los ataques estadounidenses con aviones no tripulados en su país como “crímenes de guerra” y ”ejecuciones Estatales”.

“Los daños son graves - escuelas destruidas, comunidades, hospitales. Las víctimas son civiles, niños, mujeres,familias. Nuestras pérdidas son enormes “, el periódico lo citó diciendo.

“Creo que el tiempo se acaba para que el gobierno de Pakistán tome una posición. Tendrán que en algún momento tomar acciones punitivas para detenerlos. Tienen los medios para tomar este tipo de acciones para defender su propia frontera y territorios ”, añadió Hasan.

Hasan instó al primer ministro británico para convencer a los EE.UU. que los ataques con aviones no tripulados son contraproducentes, por eso los americanos son “las personas más odiadas en la mente dela gente de Pakistán”.

Junto con Pakistán, Russia y China han dicho públicamente que apoyaran a Irán si Estados Unidos o Israel se atreven a atacar ese país. Ambos Rusia y China vetaron una iniciativa de las Naciones Unidas que impondría más sanciones sobre Siria, y en el pasado se opusieron a sanciones similares contra Irán. Rusia y China también han denunciado el envío de tropas especiales de Inglaterra y Estados Unidos a suelos Iranianos y Sirios para desestabilizar a los gobiernos de esos países.

Artículo traducido del original Iran, China, Russia, Pakistan vs US and Israel

Iran, China, Russia, Pakistan vs US and Israel

February 10, 2012

The Pakistani High Commissioner to Britain has reiterated his country’s support for the Islamic Republic of Iran in case of an Israeli regime’s attack.
Wajid Shamsul Hasan told the British The Sun newspaper that “Pakistan would be left with no option but to support Iran if Israel attacks it”.

“We wouldn’t like to be seen as part of Israel’s campaign against any country. If Israel attacks Iran, it will have an impact on Pakistan as well”, said the Pakistani High Commissioner to Britain.

“We will have to safeguard our own interests. We also have a Shia population in Pakistan who will not take it lying down”, he stressed.

The Pakistani official warned Britain to help stop the U.S. “Drone Wars” that are slaughtering hundreds of its innocent civilians.

Wajid Shamsul Hasan said that his country’s relations with America are at their lowest ebb.

“Patience is definitely reaching exhaustion levels”, he said.

Hasan said Pakistan backs the War on Terror waged by Britain and the US.

But, he urged British Prime Minister David Cameron to condemn US drone attacks on his country dubbing them as “war crimes” and “little more than state executions”.

“We know the damage – destroyed schools, communities, hospitals. They are civilians – children, women, families. Our losses are enormous,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

“I think time is running out until the Pakistan government can take a stand. They will have to at some stage take punitive actions to stop them. They have got means to take such actions to defend their own frontier and territories,” Hasan further added.

Hasan urged the British Prime Minister to convince the US that the drone attacks were counter-productive, making the American “the most hated people in the minds of the people in Pakistan.”

Iran warns US and Israel accomplices in the Middle East

by Parisa Hafezi
February 6, 2012

Iran will target any country used as a launchpad for attacks against its soil, the deputy Revolutionary Guards commander said, expanding Tehran’s range of threats in an increasingly volatile stand-off with world powers over its nuclear ambitions.

Last week, Iran’s supreme clerical leader threatened reprisals for the West’s new ban on Iranian oil exports and the U.S. defense secretary was quoted as saying Israel was likely to bomb Iran within months to stop it assembling nuclear weapons.

Although broadened and sharpened financial sanctions have begun to inflict serious economic pain in Iran, its oil minister asserted Saturday it would make no nuclear retreat even if its crude oil exports ground to a halt.

Iran says its nuclear program is for civilian energy purposes. But its recent shift of uranium enrichment to a mountain bunker possibly impervious to conventional bombing, and refusal to negotiate peaceful guarantees for the program or open up to U.N. nuclear inspectors, have thickened an atmosphere of brewing confrontation, raising fears for Gulf oil supplies.

“Any spot used by the enemy for hostile operations against Iran will be subjected to retaliatory aggression by our armed forces,” Hossein Salami, deputy head of the elite Revolutionary Guards, told the semi-official Fars news agency Sunday.

The Guards began two days of military maneuvers in southern Iran Saturday in another show of force for Iran’s adversaries associated with tensions over its disputed nuclear program.

Sunday Israel appointed a new air force chief who last month, in his position as top military planner, warned publicly that Israel could not deal a knock-out blow to its enemies, including Iran, in any regional conflict.

The United States and Israel, Iran’s arch-enemies, have not ruled out a military strike on Tehran if diplomacy fails to resolve the nuclear stalemate. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to visit Washington next month, his office said Sunday, and Israeli political sources said he is likely to meet U.S. President Barack Obama while there.

Iran’s Salami did not identify which countries he meant as possible hosts for military action against it.

The six, U.S.-allied Arab states in the Gulf Cooperation Council, situated on the other side of the vital oil exporting waterway from Iran, have said they would not allow their territories to be used for attacks on the Islamic Republic.

But analysts say that if Iran retaliated for an attack launched from outside the region by targeting U.S. facilities in Gulf Arab states, Washington might pressure the host nations to permit those bases to hit back, arguing they should have the right to defend themselves.

The Gulf states that host U.S. military facilities are Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait.


Iran has warned its response to any such strike will be “painful,” threatening to target Israel and U.S. bases in the Gulf, along with closing the Strait of Hormuz used by one third of the world’s seaborne oil traffic.

Betraying nervousness about possible blowback from any military strike on Iran, two of its neighbors – Qatar and Turkey – urged the West Sunday to make greater efforts to negotiate a solution to the nuclear row.

Speaking at the annual Munich Security Conference attended by top world policymakers, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said an attack would be a “disaster” and the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program could be ended very rapidly.

“If there is strong political will and mutual confidence being established, this issue could be resolved in a few days,” he said. “The technical disputes are not so big. The problem is mutual confidence and strong political will.”

He added: “A military option will create a disaster in our region. So before that disaster, everybody must be serious in negotiations. We hope soon both sides will meet again but this time there will be a complete result.”

Turkey was the venue of the last talks between Western powers and Iran a year ago which ended in stalemate because participants could not even agree on an agenda.

Qatari Deputy Foreign Minister Khalid Mohamed al-Attiyah said an attack “is not a solution, and tightening the embargo on Iran will make the scenario worse.

“I believe that with our allies and friends in the West we should open a serious dialogue with the Iranians to get out of this dilemma. This is what we feel in our region.”

Tehran has warned several times it may seal off the Strait of Hormuz, throttling the supply of Gulf crude and gas, if attacked or if sanctions mean it cannot export its oil.

A military strike on Iran and Iran’s response, which might include an attack on the oilfields of No. 1 exporter Saudi Arabia, would send oil prices soaring, which could seriously harm the global economy.

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