Tuesday, January 17, 2006

THE THINNING THREAD UPDATE

A couple more paving stones in the road to war…

FoxNews reports everyone agrees now about Iran:

“Permanent Security Council Members Agree on Iran”

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,181751,00.html

Everyone, that is, except Iran…

At issue is whether or not Iran will enrich uranium. Iran insists it’s for nuclear power, but nobody believes it…

Meanwhile, the Iranian government still doesn’t know when to shut up…

Robert Tait writes for the UK Guardian from Tehran:

Iran issues stark warning on oil price”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,16518,1687381,00.html

Suggesting the industrialized Nations of the world need Iran more than Iran needs them, Iran's economy minister said “Any possible sanctions from the west could possibly, by disturbing Iran's political and economic situation, raise oil prices beyond levels the west expects”…

“Levels” as high as $100 a barrel have been suggested.

Wheels within wheels…

In the above piece, FoxNews discusses a Russian proposal to move Iranian uranium enrichment to Russia, where presumably third-party monitoring would insure the material produced would be reactor-grade only. And this morning, Debka reported “Moscow opposes sanctions against Iran over its nuclear activities”

http://debka.com/

At the same time, as I noted in “Buying Smart” back on the fifteenth, China – Iran’s #1 customer – and India have concluded a cooperative oil buying agreement.

China and Russia clearly have their own interests and agendas to consider here.

The happy ending becomes harder to see all the time…

Israel, who is widely believed to have the means to eliminate the threat insists a nuclear-armed Iran is not acceptable. One of many treatments, this one from the authentic horse’s mouth, Haaretz:

http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasen/spages/671405.html

Meanwhile, Iran begs to differ, claiming they have “300 scattered nuclear sites:”

http://www.iranfocus.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=5330

And thanks to our involvement in Iraq, the US can’t really do anything. Oh, we can drop some bombs with the Israelis… That worked so well in the Balkans, after all… But as far as fielding a force capable of occupying Iran and thereafter maintaining order, preventing terrorism, and maintaining the flow of that vital oil, well…

All this, with 4 million barrels of oil production a day on the line.

A very dark muse:

The Security Council, which initially declines sanctions, reverses itself after the Iranians make it clear they aren’t stopping and the Israelis make it clear they’re stopping one way or another.

Iran cuts off its own nose, spiting our face… Losing the oil production precipitates a crisis in the world economy, and losing the revenue disrupts Iran.

The UN votes military action to restore order… And the Chinese move in under UN flag.

Comments:
The idea that Russia, the EU3 (Britain, France, Germany) or the US would allow China to move into Iran is problematic.

China has it's own problems with Jihadi's, and moving in to Iran would exacerbate this situation. It would also take away resources from the perpetual build up for the "repatriation" of Taiwan.

They are even reluctant to move against North Korea, and there is really no down side to that.

China *might* be invited to participate in a multinational force, but would not be allowed to spearhead the effort.

And now that Eqypt and Libya are pushing against intervention, the idea of a Gulf War I coalition is a non-starter.

This will have to be a long build up (supporting/creating internal guerilla forces) and a strike at the leadership and Revolutionary Guard C3I structure.

We will take troops from Iraq to support this, letting the Iraqis pick up the slack.

Look for action after the peak of summer.
 
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