Live by Oil, Die by Oil
"If (they) politicize our nuclear case, we will use any means. We are rich in energy resources. We have control over the biggest and the most sensitive energy route of the world," [Iran's Interior Minister,] Pourmohammadi was quoted as saying by the official Islamic Republic News Agency.Whether the hostilities in Iraq and Iran are designed to control the oil that props up dollar hegemony, or designed to reshape the map of the Middle East, one thing is certain. You cannot prosecute a war without energy.
Iran is the No. 2 producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries after Saudi Arabia. It also lies on one side of the narrow Strait of Hormuz, a key passage for most of the crude oil shipped from the Persian Gulf nations.
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Some diplomats saw the comments as veiled threats to use oil as a weapon, though Iran's oil minister ruled out any decrease in production. Iran also has leverage with extremist groups in the Middle East that could harm U.S. interests.
About 90 percent of the oil exported from the Gulf in recent years passed through the Strait of Hormuz, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration.
Closure of the strait would require more costly shipping of oil and natural gas by pipeline across Saudi Arabia, according to the agency's Web site.
Oil is the American military's Achilles heel.
I just ran into this 1997 piece written by former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger from "The Oil Deal With Iran."
Iran's large and talented population, its considerable resources and its geographic position all destine it to play a vital, in some circumstances decisive, role in the gulf and in the Islamic world. This is why, when in office, I treated Iran as the linchpin of our gulf policy.This is the culmination of a long-term strategy for the Middle East.
American policy also needs to be concerned with the difficulty of preserving stability in the gulf. In precarious alliance with Saudi Arabia, we are confronting the two most powerful states in the region -- Iran and Iraq -- while, in both the United States and Germany, there are serious domestic obstacles to close association with Turkey, the other relevant regional power.
Finally, an embargo against Iran involves the practical long-term danger of closing off the most efficient route for transporting oil from Central Asia to world markets.
That makes it likely that the vast majority (if not all) of the pipelines from these vital regions will have to go through Russia, giving Moscow a stranglehold should either the growth of industrial production around the world or political upheavals in key oil-producing states lead to another energy crisis.