The U.S. continues to use its dominant position in the world financial
markets, to block Iranian attempts to maintain and improve its oil industry.
Foreign companies interested in helping Iran maintain oil facilities, find
themselves unable to arrange the financing. As a result, oil production is
slowly declining, while local consumption (and very cheap prices) continues. At
the current rate, Iran will have little, or no, oil to export in ten years.
This kind of "weapon" does not work quickly, but it does work surely.
Nuclear weapons could give the Iranians some muscle to help them block this
stranglehold the U.S. has on them. It's not just the corruption of the
religious dictatorship that is ruining the economy, its also the difficulty of
bringing in foreigners to help fix it. With the threat of American financial regulators
eventually nailing them, few foreign firms are willing to take the risk.
8, 2007: Iran is negotiating with an Indian firm to build a much needed oil
refinery in Iran. But the looming threat of trade sanctions (in response to the
Iranian nuclear weapons program) have stalled the refinery project, and most
other major foreign investments.
1, 2007: U.S. and Iraqi troops have been cracking down on Iran backed militias
in Iraq, and this has led to raids which have captured about a dozen Iranian
officials. Some had diplomatic immunity, and had to be releases. Others did
not, and are still being interrogated. These men, and documents captured with
them, indicate an aggressive Iranian plan to control, as much as possible, the
Iraqi government. Over 60 percent of Iraqis are Shia Moslems, like about 90
percent of Iranians. These two countries are the only two in the world
controlled by Shia Moslems, and, together, they control about half the oil in
the Persian Gulf. The Sunni Arab nations in the region are very afraid of these
two Shia dominated nations cooperating.
31, 2006: Russia has delivered, on time, about half the 29 Tor-M1 short range
antiaircraft missile system.
30, 2006: The U.S. imposed sanctions on Russian and Chinese weapons exporters,
for selling weapons to Iran. Russia and China have protested, and it remains to
be seen how far the U.S. will go to back up its sanctions.