T Nation

Control Iran by Stopping Imports?


#1

Interesting conclusion from an opinion piece attributing that view to former CIA director Woolsey:

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_449468.html

[i]Iran produces about 4 million barrels of oil a day, most of which it exports. The country imports nearly all of its refined petroleum products -- such as gasoline and diesel fuel -- from Europe and India.

"And I think the thing that would bring the Iranian government and economy to its knees, quite quickly, would not be a cut-off of their exports of unrefined petroleum (but to ban) their imports of refined petroleum products," Woolsey said. [/i]


#2

It's a good idea, and needs to happen soon.

I read an article where apparently most of the Arabs are fed up with Iran. It was about the "Arab Persian Gulf" and the argument over that, which is kind of silly, but a lot of the contextual issues were interesting. The Middle East has as much to fear from the crazy bastard as we do, especially if Iran attacks US bases.

If I find the story again I'll post a link.


#3

Back them into a corner...for what reason?


#4

They backed themselves into a corner.

They're like the noisy neighbor that everybody wants to kick out.

Iran clearly does not want to be part of the international community -- why allow them to continue to reap benefits from a community they do not want to be part of?

It's a no-brainer to me.

We need to star having the balls to do what needs to be done...


#5

Blockades can be very effective.

Punitiuve action against Iran could also embolden the opposition to the government in power.

I'd support it.


#6

I'm not arguing against it, but if I'm not mistaken a blockade is considered an act of war...


#7

Is it a blockade or a sanction? It's a blockade if nation A blocks nation B from trading with C, D, or E. It's a trade sanction if A, C, D, and E agree not to trade with B, and that's what I though was being referred to.

Blockade seems unlikely: Iran borders Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia and ports in the Persian Gulf.

Has Iran done anything to a neighbor that would be dangerous to its neighbors? Perhaps Iran aids militias in Iraq, but that isn't the reason for all of this. The reason for all of this is for things they claim they want to do, and the steps they're doing to follow up on that threat. I don't support invasion or bombing at this point, but pressure should be threatened if they likewise threaten to cross an intolerable point, quid pro quo. Is what they have done so far intolerable? Ehhhhh. Is it heading that way? yes.


#8

...because despite the fact that we think they can develop NUCLEAR FUCKING WEAPONS, there's no way in HELL they could ever build an OIL REFINERY.

Reeeeeediuclous. And to think, I actually thought one had to be reasonably inteligent to become the head of the CIA.


#9

They can't build them overnight -- much like we can't just start using Ethanol overnight.

It would cause them severe problems, disruptions and quite possibly civil unrest.

It also sends a clear message.

It is a good idea.


#10

I don't think it's a particularly BAD idea - short term it could TOTALLY mess them up - but LONG term, it's not too big a deal - especially when you consider that this idea is now being publicly advocated - this gives them a head start on constructing one and stockpiling refined products in the meantime.

I'd rather see a complete blockade - nothing goes in, nothing comes out - but we'd have to have some HUGE bargaining chips to convince Russia and China to go along with that.

....maybe that's why Bush has been pushing for us to start drilling in Alaska - so we can export that to China and Russia in place of Iranian oil. Sounds like a sizeable bargaining chip.

Even if this is the case, I STILL don't support drilling in Alaska!

I suppose we could also continually thwart their attemts and building a refinery through strategic missile strikes, but this would clearly be an act of war, and only make us more enemies in the region, and only build support for the Iranian government within the country.


#11

Iran can build a refinery long before they can build a nuclear weapon.

Iran has been able to enrich uranium to just less than 4% and they need to get to 90%+ to make weapons grade material.

Not to mention they would need to increase their production capacity at the 90%+ enrichment level (which they have not achieved by the way) by a multiple of 50 times or more.

Iran is talking out of their @$$ much like Saddam did.

Iran must submit to 24/7 IAEA oversight immediately and our goverment should be flooding Iran's streets with DVDs, CDs, clothes, etc. from our pop culture as more than half of Iran's population is under 30 and wants it.