Reuters, Iran flag
Yesterday the Iranian's moved to cut off oil shipments to Britain and France in response to those countries voting for the coming embargo on Iran's oil by the E.U. and the U.S. as well as their voting for increased economic sanctions on Iran.
The move by Iran is mostly symbolic however, as it ships only about 1% of its oil to both countries so it's unclear if oil prices in those countries or elsewhere will be affected.
The move comes as rhetoric has increased lately over the possibility of Israel attacking Iran's nuclear facilities. The U.S. government through General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have been outspoken in opposing such a move by the Israeli's.
But getting back to the coming embargo and tougher sanctions on Iran; quite simply they won't work. And further restricting banks that transact oil business with Iran in dollars will only force the Iranian's to do such business in the Rial, their own currency or the Renmindi with China, the Rupee with India or whatever currency is necessary to do business with any country receiving Iranian oil.
Besides, if countries decide to curtail buying Iranian oil, Iran will just increase its supply to countries outside the E.U. which want to continue buying Iranian oil such as China and India. Already Japan and South Korea have asked for an exemption from taking part in the new sanctions about to be put on Iran as they import some 10% of their oil from Iran.
So as the tensions escalate and moves and counter moves by all sides abound in this ongoing dispute over Iranian nuclear intentions two things seems clear; Iran is intent NOT to be bullied by threats of economic sanctions no matter how harsh and has made it known it WILL retaliate in kind if Israel or the U.S. conduct a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.
Finally this notion of bringing about regime change in Iran; it remains a pipe dream conjured up by the neo conservatives and the hard right Israeli Lobby in the U.S. led by AIPAC which strongly endorse a military strike on Iran. Regime change in Iran is not going to come from tightening the screws economically, assassinating Iran's nuclear scientists or conducting "Stuxnet" type cyber attacks on Iran's computers that run centrifuges processing uranium. All these tactics, clandestine and otherwise, do is strengthen the grip of the current clerical regime.
Iran has recently called for the resumption of talks without pre-conditions with the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China. That course of action seems the most rational and should temper the overheated war rhetoric coming out of Israel and put a damper on the hyperventilating and drumbeat for war by AIPAC and the rest of the Israeli Lobby in the U.S.