Partnering with America has consequences. Europe's paying by
shooting itself in the foot.
On January 23, EU representative for foreign and security affairs,
Catherine Ashton, broke the news. She announced an "unprecedented"
anti-Iranian oil embargo, effective July 1 and immediately from new
The ban covers crude oil, petroleum and petrochemical products, oil
related business, equipment and technology, selling Tehran refined
products, new investments, and dealing with its central bank.
Europe buys up to 20% of its oil from Iran. Ending it means greater
strain on economically stressed countries. Making up lost volume
won't be easy. Putting lipstick on this pig doesn't wash.
Alternatives are few and far between. Claiming Saudi Arabia can
compensate is false. Iran's reserves are third largest globally. No
combination of Gulf states can replace its shipments.
Seyyed Emad Hosseini, Iran Majlis (parliament) Energy Committee
Iran's "powerful and oil sanctions imposed by European countries
will only harm the European Union because Iran can easily prove its
oil supremacy in the Middle East region."
MP Nasser Soudani said "Europe will burn in the fire of Iran's oil
wells....the structure of (Europe's) refineries is compatible with
Iran's oil," so what's their alternative.
Moreover, expect oil prices to spike. Economic damage will follow.
Weak EU nations will crater. Policy makers behind this scheme should
be fired and replaced.
It gets worse. On January 28, Soudani said Iran's Majlis
(parliament) Energy Committee finalized a bill to "halt all oil
exports to European countries as long as they continue to ban oil
imports from Iran."
Moreover, another clause forbids importing goods from countries
imposing sanctions. If adopted, EU oil shipments may end in days.
Vital supplies will be lost. Rogue EU countries will be left high
and around 20% dry.
Sanctions cut both ways. Iran's extracting its own price. Going
along with America is misguided. Policy makers in other countries
know better. China's Foreign Ministry said "blindly pressur(ing) and
impos(ing) sanctions on Iran are not constructive approaches."
Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said:
"We have very good relations with Iran, and we are putting much
effort into renewing Iran's talks with the 5+1 (the five permanent
Security Council members plus Germany) mediators' group. Turkey will
continue looking for a peaceful solution to the issue."
Too bad Ankara isn't like-minded on Syria and wasn't firm against
join NATO's anti-Libyan alliance. As a result, its credibility falls
Rogue EU states gave Iran an ultimatum. Like Washington, they're
using its alleged nuclear threat to pursue regime change plans.
Direct intervention may follow if other measures fail. In response,
Iran's hitting EU nations where it hurts.
At the same time, its saying partner with America's belligerence and
suffer the consequences. As a result, some EU nations may have
Others already dismissed sanctions, including Russia, China, Brazil,
India, and perhaps Japan and South Korea. Expect growing numbers to
join them. Partnering with Washington's self-destructive. Wiser
nations refuse when their own interests are sacrificed.
Washington's also harmed in other ways. It's showing up in
non-dollar denominated bilateral trade agreements. America relies on
global dollar hegemony.
China excludes dollar transactions in numerous bilateral deals. So
do many other countries, including Russia, Brazil, India, Argentina,
Indonesia, Iran, UAE, South Korea, Malaysia, Syria, Cuba, Belarus,
Venezuela, and others.
In fact, swap agreements are proliferating. In 2009, seven Latin
American nations established the Bank of the South. They include
Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and
Plans are to include all regional countries, outside the dollar, IMF
and World Bank. Part of it's establishing a new SUCRE currency
within the Union of South American Nations, independent of America.
Moreover, oil-rich Middle East countries plan their own monetary
union and common currency. In the late 1990s, Asia's Chiang Mai
Initiative (CMI) promoted financial cooperation among Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
ASEAN swap agreements expanded to the Chiang Mai Initiative
Multilateralization (CMIM), regional bond markets, and bilateral
swap deals. China's arrangement with Japan is especially significant
given their mutual trade volume. It also promises others regionally
away from the dollar, weakening it in the process.
While China, Japan, India, Brazil, Russia and other developing
countries build strong bilateral and multilateral ties, America's
making more enemies than friends.
In May 2009, Nouriel Roubini warned about a dollar decline. It'll
take a decade or longer, he believes, but could happen sooner if
America doesn't "get its financial house in order."
Moreover, the more other countries diversify, the faster it'll
happen. It's only a matter of time as long as Washington's wicked
ways continue. So far, there's no ending them in sight.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to
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