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August 30, 2015 / 15 Elul, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘sanctions’

Iranian Oil Production Rises in July

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Iranian crude oil production rose to 3.13 million barrels per day in July.

The hike brought Iran’s oil production to its highest level in two years, according to the monthly report by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The figure was an increase of six tenths of a percent from the previous month.

According to the OPEC accountant, however, Iranian oil production was actually at 2.86 million bpd – still a healthy increase of 1.1 percent over June.

Iran’s pre-sanction production was at 3.6 million bpd of crude oil.

Iran was among the 12 OPEC members contributing to overall gains in production last month, said OPEC, which reported that crude oil prices dropped by at least $10 per barrel.

The organization blamed “the outcome of the P5+1 talks on Iran’s nuclear program” as well as financial concerns in Greece and China for the market conditions.

In January, Mohsen Rezaei, secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council said that exports had dropped by 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd), pulling out more than $100 billion in lost revenue from the country due to the sanctions.

Under the terms of a November 2013 agreement, Iran is allowed to export some oil in exchange for its commitment to restrict some of its nuclear research activities, UPI noted in a report on Tuesday.

More to the point, the newly-signed nuclear agreement between Iran and the U.S.-led delegation of world powers has begun to lead numerous global energy firms, from Royal Dutch Shell to Italy’s Eni, to visit with an eye toward reviewing potential business opportunities with the Islamic Republic.

Last December, Iran was already producing just under 2.8 million bpd, about 20 percent less than its production levels in 2011.

At present, however, Iran is limited to exporting approximately one million bpd, and to six nations, under the terms of existing sanctions.

Iran Banks on End to Sanctions, Will Raise Oil Production to 1M bpd

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

Iran is already banking on the passage of the nuclear deal it signed with the U.S. and world powers last month in Vienna. Its government plans to raise its output of oil to one million barrels per day within months after sanctions are lifted, according to Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh.

In remarks broadcast on Sunday, Zanganeh said, “We are already doing the marketing, and within a day after the lifting of sanctions, we will raise [production] by 500,000 barrels per day.” Within months, he said, production would double to one million bpd.

Much of the current oil production in the Middle East is flowing from Iraqi Kurdistan through Turkey into Europe and elsewhere, although some of the oil still comes from Iran. There may soon be competition from another quarter, however.

Recently the executive director of Russia’s Union of Gas and Oil Industrialists told RIA Novosti, however, that as soon as the situation in Syria is stabilized, Russian oil and gas companies are likely to revive their contracts with that government.

Gissa Guchetl told the newspaper the companies held contracts worth a total of $1.6 billion, that froze their work because of the civil war that has since destroyed that country.

Nevertheless, he said, “If military actions cease and the situation becomes stable … [they] will be ready to renew their activity within a short period of time.” A week ago Guchetl met in Damascus over the issue with Syrian Prime Minister Wael Nadr Halqi and Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Suleiman Abbas.

The two Syrians told Guchetl they are interested in Russian companies supplying crude and other oil products to Syria, and in cooperation with Chinese firms to increase oil exploration in Syrian fields that are safe from “rebel attacks.”

Netanyahu Answers Obama with Khamenei’s Words

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu used the Iranian leader’s own words Sunday morning to answer President Barack Obama’s claim that the nuclear agreement with Iran is the best option available.

The Prime Minister used the weekly Cabinet meeting as a platform for another offensive in the long-distance verbal battle with President Obama, who is trying to sell “ObamaDeal.’

One of the most directly opposite claims by both leaders concerns other options.

President Obama, joined on Friday by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, argue that no one has suggested a better alternative, while Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated Sunday:

The alternative to this failed agreement, which we proposed repeatedly, is the continuation and strengthening of the sanctions on Iran and conditioning the lifting of the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program, and the lifting of the pressure on Iran, only if it changes its policy. As long as the Iranian leadership is encouraging calls of ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’, there is no reason to make any concessions to them.

Obama has claimed that sanctions will be dropped by major countries even if an agreement were not reached. Kerry told PBS on Friday that “no alternative” has been offered and that Iran won’t be “crushed” by continuing sanctions “because we will lose the other people who are helping to provide those sanctions’

He added, “So, there is a lot of fantasy out there about this quote ‘better deal.'”

The Obama administration’s assumption that sanctions cannot continue is speculative, and no substantive claims have been made to support or deny the theory.

Netanyahu raised another objection to the deal, one that is proving much harder for President Obama to defend. Lifting sanctions will pump more than $150 billion into Iran’s bank accounts, and even President Obama admitted that “some” of the money will be used to fund Hezbollah and other terrorist fronts that are a direct threat to Israel.

Netanyahu said Sunday:

If someone thought that the extraordinary concessions to Iran would lead to a change in its policy, they received an unequivocal answer over the weekend in Iranian ruler Khamenei’s aggressive and contrary speech.

The Iranians aren’t even trying to hide the fact that they will use the hundreds of billions that they will receive under this agreement in order to arm their terror machine and they are clearly saying that they will continue their struggle against the US and its allies, first among them being Israel, of course.

 

What Sanctions? Iran Receives 13 Tons of Gold From S. Africa

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

The Central Bank of Iran took deliver of 13 tons of Iran’s gold reserves from South Africa, worth close to $12 billion, Iranian Bank Governor Volilollah Seif announced on Wednesday, according to IRNA.

Seif said that Iran’s delegation to Vienna had taken up the issue of the gold reserves last week, in the course of the nuclear talks. Once again, Iran got everything it asked for.

Seif explained that the shipments of Iranian gold reserves, purchased from South Africa two years ago, had been blocked due to the sanctions.

The Central Bank governor confirmed that three shipments had been returned to the central bank since the start of the week, and on Tuesday night “the last parcel of that gold reserve, weighing four tons, arrived in Iran and was delivered to the safe of the CBI.”

Around $100 billion of Iranian assets have been frozen by the various sanctions, though sanctions were supposed to still be suspended until a deal was reached on Iran’s nuclear program as well as its support for terrorist organizations and developing ballistic missiles.

Iran already received $4.2 billion in thawed assets under the 2013 interim agreement with the US, followed by another $2.8 billion that the Obama administration freed last year to keep Iran at the negotiating table.

Iran has already been able to free up some 20% of its frozen assets, around $19 billion. At best, that’s without doing anything, and at worse, that’s while continuing to rush towards a nuclear bomb.

So much for sanctions.

Iran Grants Venezuela $500 Million Line of Credit

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

Iran has granted Venezuela a $500 million line of credit, according to the Saudi website, Aawsat.

The line of credit is part of a larger framework of six economic cooperation agreements with Venezuela.

Back in 2012, when Iran was banned from SWIFT banking transactions, which could have actually kept it out of much of the international markets and made the sanctions even more effective, Iran easily bypassed the problem with an alternative, rogue financial system it help set up with some South American countries, including Venezuela.

The system had already been set up by Iran in anticipation of the SWIFT ban.

The Iranians are demanding an immediate lifting of sanctions and freeing of their assets as part of the nuclear deal with President Obama.

Sometimes it appears the Iranians are always 2 steps ahead of the U.S.

New York State Assembly Passes Anti-BDS Resolution

Friday, June 19th, 2015

The New York State Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution rejecting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, becoming the latest state government to do so.

The resolution, introduced by Assemblyman Walter T. Mosley (D-Brooklyn) and co-sponsored by 74 other members, rejects BDS activities that “undermine efforts to achieve a negotiated two-state solution and the right of Israelis and Palestinians to self-determination.”

The resolution states:

This Legislative Body is concerned that the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement and its agenda are damaging to the causes of peace, justice, equality, democracy, and human rights for all peoples in the Middle East.

The resolution also recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and says the U.S. and Israel share “a common bond rooted in the values of freedom, democracy, and equal rights.”

The New York resolution follows anti-BDS measures in several other states, most recently in Illinois, which prohibited state pension funds from including in their portfolios companies that participate in the BDS movement. State legislatures in Indiana and Tennessee also recently passed resolutions condemning BDS, but those measures were non-binding, as opposed to the Illinois bill’s specific economic action.

Obama Sends Biden to Threaten War on Iran

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Vice President Joe Biden used the “W” word – war – in a speech Thursday night that is part of a new White House charm offensive to calm down Israel’s concerns that Washington is ready to sign a “bad deal” with Iran over its nuclear program.

Biden said at his speech to the conservative Washington Institute for Near East Policy:

A war with Iran, if required, it will happen. It is a risk we may have to take should Iran race to a bomb….

The finest military in history remains at the ready. Don’t underestimate my friend Barack Obama. He has a spine of steel and he is willing to do what it takes to keep our allies safe.

Biden also emphasized parts of the proposed deal that Iran has thoroughly rejected in public, particularly “phased sanctions relief” and a demand that Iran take off the mask off past nuclear weapons research.

President Obama sent Biden two weeks ago to placate Israel at the annual Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebration in Washington, where he began his speech by declaring, “My name is Joe Biden, and everybody knows I love Israel.”

The White House clearly is trying to mend fences after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech in Congress in March, when he warned of a “bad deal” with Iran.

Obama lost the elections in Israel two weeks later. His aides not only have given up hope that Netanyahu won’t be able to form a new coalition government, they also have finally realized it will be much more stable and more right-wing than previous governments.

The president has no choice but to play ball with Netanyahu, and Biden is his pitcher, although he showed his ignorance of Jewish self-guilt by throwing a couple of spitballs in his Yom Ha’Atzmaut speech , bragging that two of his children married Jews.

Netanyahu is reciprocating to a certain extent and laying off high-profile attacks on the proposed Iran deal.

Zalman Shoval, an adviser to Netanyahu and former ambassador to the United States, told Bloomberg News Thursday that Israel “would like to do what we can to remove the unnecessary hindrances in our relationship with the U.S.”

“Neither side want to have an open conflict, but Netanyahu will certainly continue to criticize the Iran talks and there isn’t much he can deliver on the actual peace process,” Robbie Sabel, a Hebrew University professor and a  former Israeli diplomat, told Bloomberg.

Netanyahu last month suddenly released nearly half a billion dollars in tax revenues that Israel collects for the Palestinian Authority, without deducting the entire sum from a large debt Ramallah owes Israel for electricity and other services.

Israel also has allowed more permits for Arabs in Judea and Samaria to travel to Jerusalem.

Obama reiterated last month he will visit Israel, but not before June 30th, the deadline for a final deal with Iran.

Tehran already has said that the deadline is not holy, so don’t expect Obama land at Ben Gurion Airport on July 1

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-sends-biden-to-threaten-war-on-iran/2015/05/01/

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