Friday, August 05, 2011

The New Head Of OPEC..A Senior Commander Of Iran's Revolutionary Guard

As Barry Rubin puts it:

"It’s not every day when a high-ranking official of a revolutionary Islamist group that seeks world revolution, wiping Israel off the map, the widespread use of terrorism, and the destruction of the United States becomes head of the world’s most powerful energy organization on whose supplies America is dependent.

The man he's talking about is Rostam Ghasemi, a senior commander of the Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who runs one of its big military-industrial operations. He's in charge of manufacturing armaments, some of which are sent to Iraq and Afghanistan to kill Americans an dothers which go to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. He's also Iran’s oil minister and apersonal favorite of Iran's Supreme Leader the Ayatollah Khamenei. Ghasemi also has the distinction of being personally named in sanctions against Iran by the United States and EU because of his involvement in Iran’s illegal nuclear weapons program.

Ghasemi being named head of OPEC - no election was involved, it's simply Iran's turn - ought to give you a good idea of what those sanctions are worth.

This could actually trigger a certain amount of dissension in OPEC. Iran has severe econ0mic problems, is spending massive amounts on its military and on supporting proxies like Hezbollah, Hamas and the Mahdi Army and other Shi'ite militias in Iraq and need the price to be as high as possible. Also, Iran's output is decreasing by about 12-15% each year because of corruption, inefficiency and antiquated facilities, and lowered production not only helps the regime stretch out its supplies but increases prices.

The Saudis and the Gulf states, on the other hand, want to see more moderate prices and increased production because they have a financial interest in keeping western economies healthy because of their investments there, and to fulfill their inherent bargain with the West, especially America - they keep the oil flowing and the US protects them.

Or at least we did. As they see President Obama's weakness and fecklessness demonstrated almost daily, that protection becomes worth a lot less to them.

Another factor worth mentioning is that thanks to the Saudis and the Gulf States, the international oil trade is conducted in dollars, which means the oil producers import our inflation. The Iranians, among other OPEC nations have been screaming for years to end this practice, and if they get their way it will result in sharply higher oil prices and less leverage over OPEC by the US.

Of course, the reason we're so dependent on Persian Gulf oil is because our president refuses to allow us to drill for our own oil, plain and simple. Ghasemi is not going to just be able to do whatever he wants, but in view of the situation President Obama might want to reconsider that particular bit of stupidity on his part and make a few changes.

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1 comment:

NavyOne said...

This is not encouraging news. I am blogrolling your site, Rob. . .