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UK pushes Iran Oil Ban, Military Action on Table

 
 
 
 
 
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The military showdown in the Persian Gulf seems even more inevitable, with the UK foreign secretary not ruling out military action against Iran. Applying even more pressure to the country, Europe may ban Iranian oil imports by the end of the month.

­The UK will continue to pursue a diplomatic solution to bringing Iran to the negotiating table, although, according to the UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, his country has not “ruled out any option, or supporting any option.”

“We believe all options should be on the table, that is part of the pressure on Iran, but we are clearly not calling for or advocating military action,” Hague said.

European foreign ministers are expected to meet on January 23 and Hague believes that the EU will come to an agreement on the measures against Iran. His remark of a military action still being on the table is the latest play in the game of threat and counter-threat unfolding around Iran.

“We are advocating meaningful negotiations, if Iran will enter into them, and the increasing pressure of sanctions to try to get some flexibility from Iran,” Hague said.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said that the new sanctions would help to cut off funding to Iran’s controversial nuclear program.

“So with new sanctions that we want to approve this month, we are now targeting the heart of the Iranian nuclear program: its oil and, with that, its sources of financing,” Westerwelle said as cited by the Associated Press. “But the door to dialogue with Iran remains open at the same time.”

Iran is OPEC’s second-largest oil producer and the third-largest crude oil exporter in the world, according to US Energy Information Administration.

Such countries as the UK and Germany have only about 1 per cent of Iranian oil in their total imports at the moment. Meanwhile, debt-stricken Italy, Spain, and Greece depend quite significantly on exports from Iran, with Iranian oil constituting around 13 per cent of total crude imports to each of these countries in 2011.

As a whole, Iran’s export volume to the EU countries had decreased to 18 per cent of total crude exports by the middle of 2011. At the same time, China, India, and South Korea have increased their imports of Iranian oil. Iran exports 22 per cent of its oil to China alone, with Japan, India, and South Korea consuming 14, 13 and 10 per cent of Iran’s total exports respectively.

In 2010, Iran’s total oil export revenues amounted to approximately US$81 billion, according to the IMF, and in 2011 Iran’s revenues are estimated to have risen to around $100 billion.

Iran’s oil exports have already been affected by sanctions. In 2011, Iran experienced significant problems with receiving payments from India, when the Reserve Bank of India halted a clearing mechanism. And with the latest round of US sanctions targeting Iran’s financial sector, Iran is expected to have even more troubles receiving payments from most of his clients.

­Meanwhile, a group of UN experts has identified that Iran violated the arms embargo set up by UNSC by exporting military equipment to the Syrian regime among other things, the French Foreign Ministry said on Monday. Iran is forbidden from importing or export weapons or ammunition under the terms of UN Security Council resolutions dating 2007 and 2010.

“These arms deliveries are illegal and deeply shocking because they benefit a regime that has chosen a kind of repression that the UN rights council has repeatedly said constitutes ‘crimes against humanity’,” said spokesman Romain Nadal.

Washington is beefing up its naval presence in waters just outside the Gulf in response to Iran’s threats to block the crucial strait if the West places sanctions on its oil exports.

The first encounter of between Iranian and US ships already happened on January 6, when US Navy amphibious ship New Orleans was heading through the Strait of Hormuz to the Persian Gulf. Three Iranian boats approached it at high speed, but turned away after a radio warning. The incident was considered “routine” according to US military officials.

Iran has received a letter from the US government about the Strait of Hormuz and will respond “if necessary.” On Sunday, Masoud Jazayeri, the deputy chief of Iran’s armed forces, claimed that any US aggression in the region would fail.

“Despite their propaganda, the United States knows that it does not have the ability to halt the Islamic Republic’s activities in certain areas, notably in closing the Strait of Hormuz,” Jazayeri said as cited by the Fars news agency.

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  • JanB

    How stupid do the war criminals in command of EU, UK, Israel and USA think the 99% are? There is a list of countries and their nuclear arsenals, from which it is too obvious that even if Iran had a couple of nukes, their use would mean lethal revenge, transforming all of Iran into an eerily glowing glassy desert.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_with_nuclear_weapons

    IOW the cabal of financial gangsters and war criminals is after the oil via violent regime change, appointment of another shah, and another savak. The next country, up for regime change but via a color revolution with the help of Wall Street-supported NGO mafiosi, is Russia.

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  • Ali

    Is not it the Nuclear Bomb that allowed
    some countries to have a Veto Power?

    We are getting closer to the disintegration of
    the Undemocratic Nations Club that we now call
    United Nations.

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  • William Tell

    What fun. Tighten your belts folks, support the Cameron/Clegg drive to cut the deficit. More taxes, less services, more pain, less jobs, more companies closing, more homes being reposessed. Fuel prices being hiked daily, inflation rising, record joblessness, old people dying of cold and kids starving to death

    Don’t ask how many billions that Teflon Tony spent on the Afghanistan war and above all, don’t ask how much Clegg and Cameron have spent on it either.

    Don’t ask how many billions the UK spent on an illegal war in Iraq, or how musch it costs to pay and treat the wounded and the cripples which resulted.

    Don’t ask how much Cameron/Clegg have spent on enforcing a “no-fly zone” and murdering countless civilians and supplying covert troops, logistics and weapons in Libya

    Now give your wholehearted support and your money to a bald-headed, arrogant TWAT who is desperate to start wars in Syria and Iran. Support him so that he can raise oil prices so that you have to go back to the horse and cart age. You think HE cares how many young Brits get killed? He doesn’t give a shit how many die in battle, or how many die as a result of his stupidity. HE doesn’t have to fight, nor do his family. HE has a place reserved in the UK bunker for the elite.

    So come on folks get that belt tightened even more. It’s your DUTY to support Islam, Muslim extremists and the billions of amnesty seekers that the UK welcome as a result of their actions!

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  • BG

    Homo’s should be barred from Cabinet.

    Panto is okay.

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  • roslan bayu

    WHAT ARE THE USA 30 THOUSAND LBS. BOMBS FOR. PLEASE THINK,PONDER,EVALUATE,FORESIGHT N WISE CONCLUSIONS. IRAN MOUNTAINS ARE MADE OF SOLID ROCK FORMATIONS.150,000 MISSILES ARE WARMING UP, THUS PLS. CONSIDER.,,,,,,,,,,,

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