Reprinted from Counterpunch
"The European Union is quietly increasing the urgency of a plan to import natural gas from Iran as relations with Tehran thaw (and) those with top gas supplier Russia grow colder."
"EU turns to Iran as alternative to Russian gas," EA.- Advertisement -
The Iran nuclear agreement has less to do with proliferation than it does with geopolitics. The reason Obama wants to ease sanctions on Iran is because he wants to push down oil prices while creating an alternate source of natural gas for Europe. In other words, the real objective here is to hurt Russia which is currently at the top of Washington's Enemies List.
Keith Jones at the World Socialist Web Site explains what's going on in an article titled "Obama promotes historic nuclear deal with Iran." Here's an excerpt:
"If Obama made haste to promote the deal with Tehran, it is because it represents a major tactical shift on the part of US imperialism -- one that is being opposed by significant sections of the US political and military-intelligence establishments, as well as by longstanding US client states in the Middle East, first and foremost Israel and Saudi Arabia.- Advertisement -
"Behind this shift lies a series of strategic calculations, bound up with the aggressive actions of the Obama administration around the world to assert US global hegemony.
"The most important of these calculations are, (1) that US imperialism's conflict with Tehran must be subordinated to its drive to strategically isolate Russia and China and prepare for war against one or both states, which the US ruling elite views as the main obstacles to its global domination, and (2) that Iran's crisis-ridden bourgeois regime can be harnessed to serve US strategic interests." ("Obama promotes 'historic' nuclear deal with Iran," Keith Jones, World Socialist Web Site)
Bingo. Obama isn't easing sanctions because he thinks it "will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon." That's baloney. What he's trying to do is replace Russian gas with Iranian gas in order to hurt Russia. He wants to steal Moscow's best customer, slash its revenues, weaken it economically, and push NATO further eastward hoping to foment regime change in the capital.
It's all about the pivot to Asia, the plan to break up Russia, control China's growth and dominate the world for the next hundred years. And it all starts by blocking the flow of Russian gas to the EU, which means sabotaging Gazprom's pipeline strategy (South Stream), arming and supporting Russia's enemies on its western border, demonizing Putin in the media, and doing everything it can to prevent further economic integration between Europe and Asia. That's the basic game plan; annoy the hell out of everyone until they're so frustrated, they finally give up.
Now check out this clip from an article in the Harvard International Review by Tara Shirvani, who "currently works for the Energy and Transport Unit of the World Bank Group":
"According to studies by the European Parliament, in 2013 Russia provided 43.2 percent of the European Union's gas imports, 31.38 percent of its oil imports, and 26.7 percent of its coal imports. As oil and gas exports to Europe account for almost 52 percent of Russia's federal budget income (US$515 billion), the European Union acts not only as crucial trade partner for Russia but also as vital economic crutch to its rather fragile real economy..." ("The Dash for Gas How Iran's Gas Supply Can Change the Course of Nuclear Negotiations," Tara Shirvani, Harvard International Review)
There it is in black and white. Russia provides nearly half of the EU's natural gas, so if you want to hurt Russia's "fragile" economy, then you have to figure out a way to cut off the flow of gas.
How about a coup in Ukraine? That ought to do the trick. That ought to drive a wedge between the EU and Russia.
Can you see how this type of article can be tailored to fit US imperial ambitions? Here's more from the same article:
"While the European Union is not importing any oil and gas from Iran to date, the long-term potential of opening and stabilizing trade patterns with the energy-rich country should be carefully considered...From a supply perspective, Iran's gas production volumes are more than promising. According to recent BP statistical reports, Iran holds the second-largest natural gas reserves after Russia -- equivalent to 15.8% of global total gas reserves. It shares the world's largest offshore gas field, the South Pars/North Dome field, situated in the Persian Gulf with Qatar which holds an estimated 1,800 trillion cubic feet of natural gas...The European Parliament has highlighted Iran's total export capacity to be more than 150bcm/year, which in the future, could easily rival current Gazprom's export volumes of 140bcm to the European Union." ("The Dash for Gas How Iran's Gas Supply Can Change the Course of Nuclear Negotiations," Tara Shirvani, Harvard International Review)