Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

News & Supplemental  

Rising crude oil prices very good, says Ahmadi-Nejad

By Guy Din­more and Gareth Smyth
22 April 2006

Mah­moud Ahma­di-Nejad, Iran’s fun­da­men­tal­ist pres­i­dent, yes­ter­day said ris­ing crude oil prices were “very good”, reflect­ing his belief that events are mov­ing in Iran’s favour as Rus­sia appeared to rule out sanc­tions against Tehran with­out proof its nuclear pro­gramme was designed to pro­duce weapons.

Oil prices yes­ter­day rose above Dol­lars 75 a bar­rel on con­cern that ship­ments from Iran and Nige­ria will be dis­rupt­ed.

The pres­i­den­t’s remarks will be read in some quar­ters as a warn­ing, to those who advo­cate action — either eco­nom­ic or mil­i­tary — against Tehran over its nuclear ambi­tions, that Iran’s posi­tion as the fourth largest glob­al oil pro­duc­er makes it a dif­fi­cult tar­get.

On Thurs­day Mr Ahma­di-Nejad announced Tehran was study­ing a dual pric­ing scheme to cush­ion poor coun­tries against high oil prices while coun­tries with “hun­dreds of bil­lions of dol­lars should pay the real price of oil”.

Since becom­ing pres­i­dent last year, Mr Ahma­di-Nejad has faced west­ern con­dem­na­tion for fiery ver­bal attacks on Israel but his sup­port for the Pales­tini­ans and egal­i­tar­i­an slo­gans have court­ed pop­u­lar­i­ty among many in the Arab and Islam­ic worlds. His pro­pos­al that “poor con­sumers” should get low­er oil prices plays into that same pop­ulism.

In Wash­ing­ton, Nicholas Burns, a senior State Depart­ment offi­cial who failed in talks in Moscow this week to get Rus­sia and Chi­na to com­mit to sanc­tions, said it was time for coun­tries to use their lever­age against Iran.

He sin­gled out Rus­sia, call­ing on it to stop all arms sales to Iran, includ­ing a recent deal to pro­vide anti-air­craft mis­siles.

In a clear ref­er­ence to Chi­na he said states with “bil­lion dol­lar com­mer­cial rela­tions” should rethink those ties.

Ramp­ing up the pres­sure on Moscow, Mr Burns said the Iran nuclear issue would top the agen­da of Group of Eight for­eign min­is­ters meet­ing ahead of the sched­uled sum­mit in St Peters­burg in July.

If the UN Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil failed to take action against Iran with­in “a rea­son­able time” then “groups of coun­tries” would get togeth­er to impose sanc­tions, Mr Burns said, indi­cat­ing that the US was pulling togeth­er anoth­er ad hoc “coali­tion of the will­ing”.

Robert Joseph, a senior US offi­cial who toured Gulf Arab states last week to co-ordi­nate pos­si­ble steps against Iran, includ­ing mis­sile defence, said Iran was “very close to that point of no return” where it had mas­tered tech­nol­o­gy to enrich ura­ni­um.

At home, Mr Ahma­di-Nejad’s domes­tic crit­ics charge him with reck­less­ness over Iran’s nuclear pro­gramme.

Its resump­tion in Jan­u­ary led the Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil to impose a 30-day dead­line, expir­ing on April 28, to sus­pend its atom­ic activ­i­ties.

How­ev­er, a Russ­ian spokesman yes­ter­day reit­er­at­ed Moscow’s con­tin­u­ing oppo­si­tion to Unit­ed Nations sanc­tions.

“One can speak of sanc­tions only after the appear­ance of con­crete facts prov­ing Iran is not engaged exclu­sive­ly in peace­ful nuclear activ­i­ties,” Mikhail Kamynin, the for­eign min­istry spokesman, was quot­ed as say­ing by Itar-Tass news agency. RIA-Novosti news agency quot­ed Niko­lai Spassky, deputy head of the Krem­lin Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil, as say­ing Rus­sia was not dis­cussing sanc­tions.

Rus­sia does con­tin­ue to argue, how­ev­er, that Iran should improve co-oper­a­tion with the Inter­na­tion­al Atom­ic Ener­gy Agency (IAEA), whose head, Mohamed ElBa­radei, will soon present his lat­est report on unan­swered ques­tions over Iran’s nuclear pro­gramme.


No comments for “Rising crude oil prices very good, says Ahmadi-Nejad”

Post a comment