News Iran - why the nuclear programme ?

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Hi All,

I'm not much for world politics, but I was wondering if someone could tell me in blunt terms why Iran would start a nuclear program when they clearly know it's going to cause these kinds of problems. Is there some alternate reason other than weapons that I don't know about, or are they simply trying to build up an arsenal so that people think twice before attacking them?

Thanks
Warrick
 

Pengwuino

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To directly answer your question, Iran does it because no one really knows what the UN or US or EU will do if Iran makes nuclear weapons. If they are able to stall long enough and actually build the weapons, then you have a huuuuuuuuuuge bargaining chip in world affairs. It's like, why have a big economy when oops, you have a nuclear weapon. Give me what I want or Israel goes up in a puff of smoke, etc etc.
 
WarrickF said:
Is there some alternate reason other than weapons that I don't know about, or are they simply trying to build up an arsenal so that people think twice before attacking them?
Thanks
Warrick
you mean aside from energy? this is their official policy, not weapons.
 
A naive first image analysis suggests Iran seeks to increase its power vis a vis its neighbors and particularly balance against Israel. This tracks well with what official statements I've read. At the third image, if there is any misperception on Tehran's part of Europe and US' ultimate intentions regarding a continued Iranian nuclear program, they likely stem from the discontinuity between US Near East policy the European public's view of the state and prefered course in the region. Those last considerations don't appear to affect Tehran's final calculus insofar as Iran's nuclear destiny goes, but it should have some impact on the timing. Telegraphing direct defiance of IAEA by breaking the seals likely follows Tehran's judgement that Europe will not hasten to act and that the US cannot afford to at this time.

I wouldn't try to guess what Iran's intentions are beyond acquiring nuclear weapons, just that they likely perceive their value particularly in light of the events of past four years.
 

Astronuc

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WarrickF said:
I'm not much for world politics, but I was wondering if someone could tell me in blunt terms why Iran would start a nuclear program when they clearly know it's going to cause these kinds of problems. Is there some alternate reason other than weapons that I don't know about, or are they simply trying to build up an arsenal so that people think twice before attacking them?
Iran could have a nuclear program without the enrichment facilities. Russia has offered VVER (Russian PWR) technology with a fuel supply, which is what Russia did in Eastern Europe before the Iron Curtain came down. All Iran has to do is buy the reactor and the fuel.

Just because Iran has enrichment, doesn't mean they are making weapons, but they would probably want to do so - no surprise there.

VVER/PWR fuel is enriched up to a max of about 5% U-235. That is way too low for weapons. Even 20% would be too low. 90% U-235 would be a concern. Also, it would have to be metal, rather than oxide form.

The bigger concern is that Iran would start irradiated U-238 targets from which they could extract Pu-239, which requires a reprocessing facility, and that is a whole different matter.
 

SOS2008

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This thread probably should be combined with the Attack Iran thread. In any event...

Though Iran is the fourth largest producer of crude oil, they are now off-peak. Iran's economy relies heavily on oil export revenues (around 80% of total export earnings, 40%-50% of the government budget, and 10%-20% of GDP). Nuclear energy to produce electricity for domestic use would allow for more export of oil/gas, and at the same time begin diversification of energy sources for the time when oil reserves dwindle.

With the aggressive behavior seen from the Bush administration, as exemplified by the unprovoked invasion of their neighbor Iraq, no doubt Iran is interested in deterrence capability. With that said, the U.S. must now consider this:

Any move to use full-scale sanctions against Iran, let alone military action, could send world oil prices rocketing and reopen some of the international rifts opened by the Iraq war.
<http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2006-01-18T163440Z_01_L18188832_RTRUKOC_0_UK-NUCLEAR-IRAN.xml>[/URL]

[QUOTE]Despite the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, the Bush Administration has not reconsidered its basic long-range policy goal in the Middle East…

…According to a former high-level intelligence official, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff shortly after the election and told them that America was committed to staying in Iraq and that there would be no second-guessing.

“This is a war against terrorism, and [B]Iraq is just one campaign[/B]. The Bush Administration is looking at this as a huge war zone,” the former high-level intelligence official told me. “[B]Next, we’re going to have the Iranian campaign[/B]. We’ve declared war and the bad guys, wherever they are, are the enemy. This is the last hurrah—we’ve got four years, and want to come out of this saying we won the war on terrorism.” [/QUOTE][Bold added] [PLAIN]http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?050124fa_fact [Broken]

So the “rumors of war” continue to circulate, the most recent being that the US is working to gain commitments from our allies for another “coalition of the willing” in an attack against Iran.

Here are the options:

1) Maybe a grand bargain can be struck - an offer that combines economic aid from Europe, and diplomatic recognition and relaxation of currents sanctions by the US.

2) Accept that there is an Islamic theocracy that possesses nuclear weapons.

3) Initiate another war of attrition, driving U.S. deficit and foreign debt even higher, further increasing alienation with much of the world, and causing suffering to the Iranian people.

When countries like Pakistan have nuclear weapons, somehow #2 doesn’t look as bad as #3 to me. But #1 would certainly be the best.
 
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EnumaElish

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Under a U.N. convention (may be the same as non-proliferation treaty, but I am not sure); Iran has a right to build nuclear facilities and fuel to provide for their energy needs, just like any other nation.

As far as I understand, there are two problems. The first is general and applies to any nation: there isn't a clear demarcation line between a peaceful vs. a military technology, as Astronuc implied in his post above. (Is my statement accurate, technically?)

The second problem is specific to Iran and the region. Not a lot of other nations or governments completely trust Iran that it will not build weapons, and either use them or threaten to use them to further its strategic goals in the region and in the world.
 
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Astronuc

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there isn't a clear demarcation line between a peaceful vs. a military technology
There is a clear line, which has to do with enrichment - the portion of U or Pu which is fissile, and the physical form (metal, particularly metal sphere) vs some other form suitable for power reactors.

Uranium is naturally about 0.71% U-235 (fissile), 99.2% U-238 (not fissile, but fertile), and traces of U-234, U-236.

To make a U-based nuclear weapon, one needs high enrichment > 70%, and the higher the better - e.g. > 90%. The greater the enrichment, the lower the critical mass. And the mass is U-metal.

The form for nuclear reactor (LWR) fuel is usually UO2 in the form of cylindrical pellets (~8.2-10 mm OD) inside a metal tubes (usually an alloy of Zr) hermetically sealed at both ends, and situated in a rectilinear or triangular (hexagonal) lattice sorrounded by cooling water, which also acts as a moderator. The U can be natural as in a CANDU system or enriched up to a maximum licensed limit of 5% form the vast majority of LWRs in the world, and in some special cases in the range of 5-20% for special reactor systems.

Similarly, WG Pu is something like 90+% (Pu-239, Pu 240) in metal form, as opposed to RG Pu which would have enrichments on the order of 5-6% or less, and would be in an oxide form, usually PuO2 dispersed in UO2 matrix (mixed oxide, MOX).
 

EnumaElish

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Thanks, Astronuc. I now understand that there are "peaceful" vs. "militaristic" enrichment grades. The practical question is, is there a technology that can be used to enrich nuclear fuel to, say, a max of 20% (but not above)? Or have some other strict constraint (e.g. shape of the solid that comes out of the process) that would preclude making a nuclear weapon?

Also, do you think whether someone could use low-grade nuclear fuel to manufacture a "dirty" conventional weapon?
 

BobG

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SOS2008 said:
Here are the options:
1) Maybe a grand bargain can be struck - an offer that combines economic aid from Europe, and diplomatic recognition and relaxation of currents sanctions by the US.
2) Accept that there is an Islamic theocracy that possesses nuclear weapons.
3) Initiate another war of attrition, driving U.S. deficit and foreign debt even higher, further increasing alienation with much of the world, and causing suffering to the Iranian people.
When countries like Pakistan have nuclear weapons, somehow #2 doesn’t look as bad as #3 to me. But #1 would certainly be the best.
I agree. The idea of any of the three, N. Korea, Pakistan, or Iran, having nuclear weapons isn't very comforting, but both N. Korea and Pakistan are more of a threat than Iran.

When it comes down to it, any country capable of making a nuclear weapon has a right to do so. It's also unrealistic to think you can prevent knowledge and technology from spreading. You can only slow it down enough that your own technology is always ahead of other peoples, not stop it - hopefully slow the spread down enough that the US actually gets some kind of working missile defense before any of our enemies get both nuclear weapons and a way to get them here.
 
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agree. The idea of any of the three, N. Korea, Pakistan, or Iran, having nuclear weapons isn't very comforting, but both N. Korea and Pakistan are more of a threat than Iran.
Why is Pakistan a threat? They are just as much a threat to world peace as the US is, and judging by recent war mongering by the neocons, they are more peaceful.
 

Lisa!

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BobG said:
I agree. The idea of any of the three, N. Korea, Pakistan, or Iran, having nuclear weapons isn't very comforting, but both N. Korea and Pakistan are more of a threat than Iran.
When it comes down to it, any country capable of making a nuclear weapon has a right to do so. It's also unrealistic to think you can prevent knowledge and technology from spreading. You can only slow it down enough that your own technology is always ahead of other peoples, not stop it - hopefully slow the spread down enough that the US actually gets some kind of working missile defense before any of our enemies get both nuclear weapons and a way to get them here.
I have a fair question: why do you think all countries that get nukes and are no fan of US are a threat to world?(better to say a threat to US)
Don't you think that why these countries are a threat to US? what's wrong with US that these countries might want to attack it?
Anyway I think you should think of solving the problem between the countries not thinking of how US can stop a war against itself by getting more and more developed weapons!:rolleyes:
Somehow I think it's US threat to its enemies which lead them to think of getting nukes. And Us thinks they could be kind of threat to them since US is a threat to them.
 

SOS2008

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Anttech said:
Why is Pakistan a threat? They are just as much a threat to world peace as the US is, and judging by recent war mongering by the neocons, they are more peaceful.
Exactly. What is the criteria -- where is a line supposed to be drawn and why? I think BobG is saying that furthermore, once the technology is out, what can we realistically expect?
Lisa! said:
Somehow I think it's US threat to its enemies which lead them to think of getting nukes. And Us thinks they could be kind of threat to them since US is a threat to them.
Once again, exactly. If the U.S. does not want other countries to arm themselves, than the U.S. should stop threatening them in the first place. If the U.S. is concerned with terrorism, the U.S. should stop it's bias toward Israel and stop meddling in other countries in self-serving ways.
 

BobG

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Lisa! said:
I have a fair question: why do you think all countries that get nukes and are no fan of US are a threat to world?(better to say a threat to US)
Don't you think that why these countries are a threat to US? what's wrong with US that these countries might want to attack it?
Anyway I think you should think of solving the problem between the countries not thinking of how US can stop a war against itself by getting more and more developed weapons!:rolleyes:
Somehow I think it's US threat to its enemies which lead them to think of getting nukes. And Us thinks they could be kind of threat to them since US is a threat to them.
Saying they are a threat to US interests is more accurate (generally) than saying they are a threat to the world as a whole. They are sometimes a threat to their neighbors regardless of US interests.

Pakistan's and India's threat to each other is very real since they have frequent conflicts with each other over border areas. Since Pakistan's government is less secure and since people we regard as extremists are the biggest internal threat to the Pakistani government, Pakistan is the bigger threat. With both having nuclear weapons, a nuclear war would still be an unlikely turn of events.

N Korea is more of a threat to S Korea and Japan than the US. That threat is tempered quite a bit by the fact that it would be very beneficial for N Korea to interact economically with their neighbors - at least if they could find a way to isolate economic interaction from social and cultural interaction. I think being paid to make nuclear concessions is one way they've found to do that. I think possession of nuclear weapons would make them only slightly more likely to invade S Korea and the possibility would still be slim (theoretically, if N Korea is able to nuke Japan, the world might sacrifice S Korea to avoid losing both).

Iran is a threat based on their hostility to the US and the possibility of their interfering in Iraq (that's bad from the US point of view - from a global point of view, it would be hard to say one way or the other). A nuclear capability would make it harder for the US to prevent Iran from interfering. Iran has close cultural ties with Iraqi Shiites. Iran is not very fond of Iraqi Sunnis, since it was the Sunni Baath Party (Hussein's party) that ruled during the Iran-Iraq war. Their potential interference is a real possibility.
 

Astronuc

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EnumaElish said:
Thanks, Astronuc. I now understand that there are "peaceful" vs. "militaristic" enrichment grades. The practical question is, is there a technology that can be used to enrich nuclear fuel to, say, a max of 20% (but not above)? Or have some other strict constraint (e.g. shape of the solid that comes out of the process) that would preclude making a nuclear weapon?

Also, do you think whether someone could use low-grade nuclear fuel to manufacture a "dirty" conventional weapon?
In answer to the first part, the enrichment process works by successive stages to separate U-235 from U-238 with the U in the form of UF6, uranium hexafluoride. UF6 is formed chemically from processed U-oxide ( U3O8 ) and is a gas at 56.5°C. In modern processes, the UF6 gas is feed into successive stages of centrifuges which separate by centrifugal force the gas molecules containing heavier U-238 from those with lighter U-235. The output of one centrifuge stage (one enrichment, richer in U-235) is the input to the next. The resulting enrichment depends on the number of stages and incremental enrichment of each stage.

The key issue with regard to the Iranian program is "what enrichment do they plan to acheive?"

The UF6 gas, once enriched, may be converted chemically to a green ceramic form of UO2, which with additives is then mechanically pressed and then sintered into cylindrical pellets for use in nuclear reactor fuel. Alternatively, the UF6 may be concerted to metal, e.g. by hydrogen reduction. The metal can be formed into any geometry, always of a pre-determined subcritical mass.

Of more concern would be a reprocessing program in which Pu-239 and Pu-240 would be extracted from U-targets or spent fuel, and the resulting Pu would be formed into nuclear weapons. All modern nuclear warheads us Pu spheres (pits), which are also the triggers of thermonuclear weapons.

So-called "dirty bombs" use radio-nuclides, which are a by-product of the fission process, i.e. fission products, such as Cs-137, Sr-90, etc. The objective there is to disperse radioactive material into the environment. Nuclear reactors provide a most practical means of producing radionulides, otherwise radionuclides must be produced by neutron activation of some inert/stable nuclide.
 

Lisa!

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BobG said:
Saying they are a threat to US interests is more accurate (generally) than saying they are a threat to the world as a whole. They are sometimes a threat to their neighbors regardless of US interests.
Pakistan's and India's threat to each other is very real since they have frequent conflicts with each other over border areas. Since Pakistan's government is less secure and since people we regard as extremists are the biggest internal threat to the Pakistani government, Pakistan is the bigger threat. With both having nuclear weapons, a nuclear war would still be an unlikely turn of events.
N Korea is more of a threat to S Korea and Japan than the US. That threat is tempered quite a bit by the fact that it would be very beneficial for N Korea to interact economically with their neighbors - at least if they could find a way to isolate economic interaction from social and cultural interaction. I think being paid to make nuclear concessions is one way they've found to do that. I think possession of nuclear weapons would make them only slightly more likely to invade S Korea and the possibility would still be slim (theoretically, if N Korea is able to nuke Japan, the world might sacrifice S Korea to avoid losing both).
Iran is a threat based on their hostility to the US and the possibility of their interfering in Iraq (that's bad from the US point of view - from a global point of view, it would be hard to say one way or the other). A nuclear capability would make it harder for the US to prevent Iran from interfering. Iran has close cultural ties with Iraqi Shiites. Iran is not very fond of Iraqi Sunnis, since it was the Sunni Baath Party (Hussein's party) that ruled during the Iran-Iraq war. Their potential interference is a real possibility.
First of all, thank you for answering my question in properly!:smile:
You know I agree that these countries might be a threat to some of their neighbors, but I think US interference could even make the situation worse. Us Should let them solve their problems by their own or by the help of UN.( I still don't know why US politicians thinks that they have the right to interfere in everything which's going on in the world!)
Right now US isn't going (and probably can't do anything) to do anything about Pakistan and India since they have nukes. and I'm sure 2 countries with nukes aren't crazy enough to start a war against each other and they have to put up with each other anyway.
As for N. Korea, I'm hopeful that N. and S Korea solve the problems between themselves and after that I think there would be no need to worry about N. korea as well.(perhaps I sound very naive or optimist here! But I think UN should work on it)
Right now the only problem is with Iran. As SOS2008 mentioned Iran and US could solve their problems.
You say Iran is a threat based on their hostility to the US and the possibility of their interfering in Iraq, but honestly what's the reason of this hostility ? I'm sure you know the reason better than me, but anyway do you think attacking Iran could make it any better? And What makes Iran to interfere in Iraq? Don't tell me it's only because of cultural similarities. If you ask me it's only because of the threat of US to Iran. Anyway I think there are other reasons for attacking Iran and these are only excuses. Sounds like US want to have all control and power over ME!
 

BobG

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Lisa! said:
You say Iran is a threat based on their hostility to the US and the possibility of their interfering in Iraq, but honestly what's the reason of this hostility ? I'm sure you know the reason better than me, but anyway do you think attacking Iran could make it any better? And What makes Iran to interfere in Iraq? Don't tell me it's only because of cultural similarities. If you ask me it's only because of the threat of US to Iran. Anyway I think there are other reasons for attacking Iran and these are only excuses. Sounds like US want to have all control and power over ME!
Why isn't a cultural tie enough to spur interference in another country's affairs? What strategic advantage does the US gain by supporting Israel? If anything, US support for Israel, whether military, economic, or diplomatic, has made it a lot more difficult to deal with other Arab countries. If oil were the only concern of the US in the Middle East, they would drop support for Israel entirely. A closer and more open relationship with Saudi Arabia would be more beneficial economically and strategically than a close relationship with Israel.

The main reason the US has a closer tie to Israel than Arab countries in the Middle East is because there is a lot larger Jewish population in the US than Arab and Muslim population (assuming Asian Muslims would be more sympathetic to Arab countries than to Israel).

Global politics is more than just a game of chess. A lot of decisions are made for irrational and/or emotional reasons that directly conflict with purely logical reasons.
 

SOS2008

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BobG said:
Why isn't a cultural tie enough to spur interference in another country's affairs? What strategic advantage does the US gain by supporting Israel? If anything, US support for Israel, whether military, economic, or diplomatic, has made it a lot more difficult to deal with other Arab countries. If oil were the only concern of the US in the Middle East, they would drop support for Israel entirely. A closer and more open relationship with Saudi Arabia would be more beneficial economically and strategically than a close relationship with Israel.
The main reason the US has a closer tie to Israel than Arab countries in the Middle East is because there is a lot larger Jewish population in the US than Arab and Muslim population (assuming Asian Muslims would be more sympathetic to Arab countries than to Israel).
Global politics is more than just a game of chess. A lot of decisions are made for irrational and/or emotional reasons that directly conflict with purely logical reasons.
Though the U.S. does want as many military bases and allies possible, especially in the Middle East because of oil, I agree that cultural or religious ties are a factor.

Why Israel? Yes, the Jewish constituency is larger than the Arab constituency in the U.S., but it is also more powerful (via business/money). But it’s largely due to the “Judo-Christian tradition” and that the U.S. is primarily a Christian nation, many of whom believe prophecies in the Bible as instructing them to defend Israel. While Arab countries are wary of Infidels placing military bases on holy land, Israel receives U.S. aid equivalent to a total taxpayer cost per Israeli of $23,240/year. So naturally the Israeli’s are U.S allies.

The U.S. installed the Shah to prevent nationalization of oil in Iran. During the Shah, Iran served as a base for the U.S. in addition to Israel. However, since the overthrow of the Shah, the U.S. has found itself unhappily dealing with an Islamic theocracy in Iran. The irony is Iraq could well become an Islamic theocracy too as a result of the invasion and removal of Saddam. Yet no one is debating what the U.S. would actually achieve if we attack Iran as well. Also, what might be done to improve relations with other Arab countries? Somehow I don’t think attacking Iran is going to improve relations with any country (except Israel).
 

Lisa!

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BobG said:
Why isn't a cultural tie enough to spur interference in another country's affairs? What strategic advantage does the US gain by supporting Israel? If anything, US support for Israel, whether military, economic, or diplomatic, has made it a lot more difficult to deal with other Arab countries. If oil were the only concern of the US in the Middle East, they would drop support for Israel entirely. A closer and more open relationship with Saudi Arabia would be more beneficial economically and strategically than a close relationship with Israel.
The main reason the US has a closer tie to Israel than Arab countries in the Middle East is because there is a lot larger Jewish population in the US than Arab and Muslim population (assuming Asian Muslims would be more sympathetic to Arab countries than to Israel).
Global politics is more than just a game of chess. A lot of decisions are made for irrational and/or emotional reasons that directly conflict with purely logical reasons.
Well, I laways think that US support Israel because American Jews are very rich and powerful(as SOS mentioned). And Sounds like they have lots of supporters in US administration.
But as for Iran, I was just saying that cultural tie couldn't be the only reason for interference. not so many years ago, Iraq attcked Iran and Iran always claims that it was US encouragemnet and support which made Iraq to do it.
Let's face it: US and Iran have no good relationship and for sure US's been plans for getting rid of the Iran current administration from so many years ago. And for sure if US would be able to do it by Iraq, it could be alot better. But what if the Iraq government would have a good relation with Iran? So US is trying to
Anyway I think cultural tie isn't the main reason of interference, but it could be a very good help for Iran to get its goals.
Hope both US and Iran let Iraqies to decide about their own country.

SOS2008 said:
Somehow I don’t think attacking Iran is going to improve relations with any country (except Israel).
And as you know Israel and US relations is already good(perhaps even more than enough).
 

SOS2008

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I am re-posting this post from the thread that is locked. Once again, based on information originally posted by Art, I believe it is very important that we (the U.S. in particular) look at the big picture when considering options in relation to Iran.

The current scramble to secure energy just might be setting the final stage of the Great Game. The growing ties among Russia, China, and Iran – which some deem the new triangle – will increasingly task the West in accessing the remaining energy supplies, despite its grand plan to integrate pariah countries into an investment-friendly international neighborhood. The U.S., in particular, has blundered by conflating military might with real power – the latter measured more and more by quantifiable energy reserves, or in the case of China, monetary reserves available for energy purchase. The U.S. has also stubbed its toe with its sanctions policy on Iran. Sanctions, of dubious value in a unilateral world, are self-defeating in a multilateral one. Mideast/Asian/Russian investment transactions have never been more entwined. By replacing hostilities with peaceful commercial relations, the region has further marginalized the West.
http://www.antiwar.com/orig/berga.php?articleid=8416

Iran to remove funds from Europe in nuclear dispute 21.01.06 1.00pmTEHRAN, Iran - Embroiled in a nuclear standoff with the West, Iran said today it was moving funds out of Europe to shield them from possible UN sanctions and flexed its oil muscles with a proposal to cut Opec output..…Financial markets reacted nervously to the uncertainty about Iran's foreign holdings, estimated at more than US$30 billion (NZ$44bn), helping send oil to a four-month high above US$68. US stock prices fell and the dollar dipped against the euro and the safe-haven Swiss franc.…Flexing its oil muscle, Iran proposed slashing a million barrels a day from Opec production, saying the market was oversupplied. However, Opec is considered unlikely to cut production at a month-end meeting. Most traders are more concerned about a shortage of spare capacity and an array of geopolitical risks. Iran is the world's fourth biggest oil exporter. Oil revenue, 80 per cent of its export earnings, is expected to exceed US$40 billion in the year to March 2006.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/st...ectID=10364757 [Broken]

Almost 70% of the world's international currency reserves—the money that nations use to finance international trade and protect themselves against financial speculators—takes the form of U.S. dollars. The dollar is used for this purpose because it is relatively stable. Because the United States has a major share of world trade and financial assets, certain commodities, in particular oil, are denominated in it. The net result is a large diversified demand for dollars.The use of the U.S. dollar as an international currency, however, has been declining gradually for over thirty years. In the past several years, this reduction in the share of dollar reserves has accelerated with the decline in the value of the dollar and the rise of the euro as a legitimate contender for reserve currency status. Traditionally, speculation over movements in the dollar's value have focused on technical issues surrounding the sustainable size of the country's current account deficit and the relative attractiveness of U.S. financial markets. While these factors still dominate discussion in the financial press, the scope of the debate has broadened to America's "unilateral approach to foreign affairs," and decisions concerning the war on terrorism and the war in Iraq.

…Europeans would like to create their own virtuous cycle with the euro linked to oil, allowing international hard currency reserves to flow back into Europe as investment. In addition to reducing the commercial and military power of the United States, many Europeans see the displacement of the dollar by the euro as the international reserve currency ushering in a new era, similar to that associated with the displacement of the pound sterling by the United States dollar following World War II. The EU welcomed President Putin's statement (October 9, 2003) that Russia was considering pricing its crude in euros (petroeuros) rather than dollars.

…a number of commentators have speculated about the likelihood of and consequences of other oil producing countries or even OPEC as a whole also shifting to euro pricing.One of the best descriptions of this scenario—that the war with Iraq was not so much over oil as it was over the pricing of oil in euros by Saddam Hussein—has been developed by W. Clark [William Clark]. The Federal Reserve's greatest nightmare is that OPEC will switch its international transactions from a dollar standard to a euro standard. Iraq actually made this switch in November 2000 (when the euro was worth around 82 cents), and has actually made off like a bandit considering the dollar's steady depreciation against the euro (17% in 2002). The real reason the Bush administration wants a puppet government in Iraq—or more importantly, the reason why the corporate-military-industrial network conglomerate wants a puppet government in Iraq—is so that it will revert back to a dollar standard and stay that way. (While also hoping to veto any wider OPEC momentum towards the euro, especially from Iran—the 2nd largest OPEC producer who is actively discussing a switch to euros for its oil exports). The effect of an OPEC switch to the euro would be that oil-consuming nations would have to flush dollars out of their (central bank) reserve funds and replace these with euros. The dollar would crash anywhere from 20-40% in value and the consequences would be those one could expect from any currency collapse and massive inflation (think Argentina currency crisis, for example). You'd have foreign funds stream out of the U.S. stock markets and dollar denominated assets, there'd surely be a run on the banks much like the 1930s, the current account deficit would become unserviceable, the budget deficit would go into default, and so on.
http://www.ccc.nps.navy.mil/si/nov03/middleEast.asp

I’ll repeat earlier suggestions.
1) We impeach Bush immediately, sending a clear message to the neocons in his administration and the Pentagon that they can no longer put our country at risk.
2) We begin to work on our outrageous deficit, first scaling back military spending in Iraq, etc., focusing on ways to increase exports of finished goods, and ways for Americans to remain employed with incomes in keeping with cost of living increases.
3) We begin sincere work toward energy diversification and ending dependency on foreign oil.

To the neocon slogan of "Four more wars! Four more wars! Four more wars!" I say NO!
 
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