Category Archives: Energy matters

Iran: clear menace, difficult solution

Iran is at this day and according to Bush the most important menace USA (and the rest of world, I add) has to face. Not only there are reports of Iran sending weapons to Iraq that even can penetrate the military armours, but also, according to Bush, some of the most powerful explosive devices now seen in Iraq come from Iran.
Vital Perspective offers us the Hans Blix perspective on this matter:

Dr. Hans Blix, the former UN Chief Weapons Inspector, does not believe the IAEA has the hard evidence Iran intends to build a nuclear bomb or that Iran has violated the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. What Blix fails to grasp is that the nature of the regime is secretive, and the world cannot afford to wait for hard evidence of a nuclear weapons program to come in the form of a missile test.

His perspective is rather different than that of John Bolton‘s:

“The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, on Wednesday compared the threat from Iran’s nuclear programs to the September 11 terror attacks on the United States.

“Just like September 11, only with nuclear weapons this time, that’s the threat. I think that is the threat,” Bolton told ABC News’ Nightline program.

“I think it’s just facing reality. It’s not a happy reality, but it’s reality and if you don’t deal with it, it will become even more unpleasant.”

Winds of Change thinks that there is not going to be any invasion of Iran, and that it’s unlikely that the mullah regime will anounce the termination of its nuclear weapons program. Also, they think that the mullahs already have the bomb made with North Korean plutonium. The Times reported some months ago that “North Korea’s plutonium pile” attracted Iran:

The belief that Iran and North Korea are talking about plutonium stems from a recently reported offer of oil and gas from Tehran in exchange for nuclear technology.

The discovery by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2004 that North Korea had sold an estimated 1.7 tons of uranium to Libya established a precedent for the sale and showed how hard it is to stop, diplomats say.

So the problem remains intact: what to do with Iran? Israpundit quotes Bohlinger saying:

Military strikes would be a godsend for the regime in Iran, especially the hardliners that the United States most fears. Targeted strikes on several key installations might indeed disrupt the nuclear program, but again these would generate immense consequences for the US and its allies. Military strikes would create ill-will from ordinary Iranians and extend indefinitely the lifetime of the regime. Such strikes also would not be enough to topple the regime and no government now has the manpower or will for such an occupation.

To the degree that military strikes would be successful and would manage to destabilize the regime, US foreign policy would be faced with a vortex of anarchy stretching from Islamabad to Damascus. The internal chaos in Iran in the early 1980s showed how deep and virulent Iran’s ideological divisions can be. All of these divisions could be strengthened or influenced by elements outside of Iran were the regime to collapse. This, coupled with the potential for ethnic unrest from the almost 50% of Iran that is not Persian, could lead the country into a long civil war. Furthermore, even if a stable regime were to emerge, there is no guarantee that it would be a more responsible international citizen.

I do not agree with him though in other things, mainly that the main worry of USA is the undermining of its influence in the region, and the consequently growing of Iran’s. The problem here is a) Iran has menaced Israel with “wiping it off the map” and US. b) the mullah regime is an autocratic one that violates repeatedly the human rights and so just for the Mullahs does not matter how much the citizens are going to suffer or how much of them will die. c) Iran sponsors Hizbollah and other terrorists movement in the world. So, really only US should be worried about a nuclear Iran?

No, all the world should be worried.

Even the regime thinks that the military strikes are not impossible. As Krishna from A Deeper Look reports:

Iran’s leaders have built a secret underground emergency command centre in Teheran as they prepare for a confrontation with the West over their illicit nuclear programme, the Sunday Telegraph has been told. The complex of rooms and offices beneath the Abbas Abad district in the north of the capital is designed to serve as a bolthole and headquarters for the country’s rulers as military tensions mount.

The construction of the complex is part of the regime’s plan to move more of its operations beneath ground. The Revolutionary Guard has overseen the development of subterranean chambers and tunnels – some more than half a mile long and an estimated 35ft high and wide – at sites across the country for research and development work on nuclear and rocket programmes.

The number of people against the regime grows everyday. Today, for example, it’s been reported that 1000 workers from the Kerman coal mines have gone on strike; that approximately 150 workers of the Miral Glass factory have not been paid for more that 11 months set the factory on fire, that 300 workers from Iran Auto factory gathered in a protest, that hundreds of workers from the Sangrood mines have remained unpaid for 13 months.

StrategyPage contends that it is unlikely the Iranian regime can be changed from within, as the mullahs have shown that they will massacre peaceful opposition.

Anyway, Bolton has said about the conversations the mullah want to have with US, that “There are still areas of disagreement… but I am very encouraged”. Secretary of State Rice has called Iran also to resume negotiations, and, at the same time she has called the country a “central banker of terrorism”.

And that is another problem: the Iranian sponshorship to terrorist organizations. According to the Counterterrorism Blog, the Lebanese army is asisting its Hizbollah allies to squeeze Al-Qaeda elements out of the Southern Lebanon. Whatever their intentions, the suspects of the Al-Qaeda attack in Israel, who have been arrested by the Lebanese army, have testified about the success of Al-Qaeda in the region. The future of this “war” will depend on the next steps the Syrian and Iranian Governments will take.

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European Union and energy matters

From TIMESONLINE: Here’s an excerpt:

ALARMED by a surge in energy costs and the threat of an acute gas shortage, the European Commission has made an attempt to seize control of energy policy from national governments.

The move follows a decision by Britain to yield control over energy policy to Brussels when output of North Sea oil and gas has gone into sharp decline, contributing to a big increase in domestic heating bills.

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The common energy policy, announced yesterday, marks a dramatic step in the integration of Europe on a key strategic issue, akin to the creation of the Common Agriculture Policy and the single trade policy, transferring considerable powers from national capitals to Brussels.

José Manuel Barroso, the President of the Commission, said: “We are proposing a common strategy for energy. We are in a new energy century. Demand is rising. Europe’s reserves are declining. There is underinvestment and our climate is changing.

“We must have an approach to match this new reality – the EU can no longer afford 25 different and uncoordinated energy policies.”

Brussels proposes the creation of a single European electricity grid, new gas and oil pipelines into the heart of the EU from North Africa, the Middle East and the Caspian region and the setting up of emergency gas stocks to be shared by members in the event of a disruption in supplies.

There would be a European energy regulator and an EU energy observatory to advise of any problems ahead. However, it would be left to governments to decide whether or not to build nuclear power stations or invest in renewable energy such as wind farms.

Brussels would also take over energy negotiations with third parties such as Russia, Europe’s main energy supplier, arguing that EU members will get a better deal if they combine forces rather than negotiate on their own. Senhor Barroso will hold talks with President Putin of Russia about energy issues next week. Mr Putin has been invited to address EU leaders about energy at a summit in a fortnight.

These last paragraphs are very important. The EU is intending to build unique European market, but instead of investing in the development of new sources of energie that could Europe to be independent from foreign regions is going to put ALL the market into the hands of countries that have no democratic traditions or are refuges of Islamist terrorists. They are just going to leave the governments the possibility (wow!) of investing in that issues. That is NOT sufficient, I’m afraid. The situation is so important there should be a common policy in investment or the strategic situation is going to be worse and worse everyday.

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