Monday, May 29, 2006

U.S. Intelligence "Trolling" Through Iranian Financial Holdings Abroad

Economic warfare, in the form of sanctions that may drive up the cost of oil worldwide, are being put into place against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

U.S. intelligence agencies have spent months trolling through the personal accounts of Iranian leaders in foreign banks, analyzing Iranian financial systems and transactions and assessing how the government does its banking. They have calculated the amount of foreign investment at stake and even which charities have connections to the Tehran government...

The plan is designed to curtail the financial freedom of every Iranian official, individual and entity the Bush administration considers connected not only to nuclear enrichment efforts but to terrorism, government corruption, suppression of religious or democratic freedom, and violence in Iraq, Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories. It would restrict the Tehran government's access to foreign currency and global markets, shut its overseas accounts and freeze assets held in Europe and Asia.

The United States, which has imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran for nearly three decades, would shoulder few of the costs of its ambitious new proposal. But internal U.S. assessments suggest that the sanctions could not hurt Tehran without causing significant economic pain for Washington's friends. That calculation has made the plan a difficult sell, especially in capitals such as Rome and Tokyo, which import significant quantities of Iranian oil.

In an effort to minimize financial risks, the plan does not include oil or trade embargoes. But, according to a Treasury Department assessment, it could jolt world oil prices nonetheless if Iran responds by limiting exports. The internal assessment also predicts additional economic repercussions for Western allies, such as trade loss, and adverse effects for the Iranian people as their government is squeezed out of global markets and foreign banks stop taking their business...

(T)he impact on U.S. allies could be steep as well. A Treasury Department memo recently predicted that Britain, which does not import Iranian oil, faces a low level of financial risk if it agrees to implement the sanctions plan. Germany, which imports 1 percent of its oil from Iran, and France, which gets 6 percent, are deemed at medium financial risk, whereas Italy and Japan would be taking the largest risks. The assessment is considered internally "an initial -- first blush -- estimate based on each country's overall volume of exports to Iran, dependence on Iranian oil and degree of investment in Iran oil projects," according to the Treasury memo.

The tendency of U.S. punitive initiatives abroad to backfire on the American people is unrecognized only by the administration in Washington.

If (more likely, when) the Iran economic and military gambit blows up in the face of U.S. interests, Bush and his enablers will stand there with a straight face and tell everyone that nobody thought [enter ensuing catastrophe] could happen.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm.. reading your post made me google "who buys Iranian oil?" The answer I got? China, Russia and India....And, hilariously enough, Russia and China are only too happy to exchange oil for arms...

So, what is the U.S. really accomplishing with its trade sanctions? I'm not an economist or anything but something seems very off kilter --- even I know that the U.S. is dependent on China buying their T-bills... and China is dependent on Iran for oil so somehow or another everyone is mixed up with each other ... like one of those comedies where people are sleeping with each other but only the audience knows the extent of everyone's interconnection... If real people didn't get hurt by all this it would almost be funny...


5/29/2006 1:54 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...


The U.S. is messing around with Iran's financial situation simply because they can.

There are also rumors that they are engaging in the economic sabotage because Iran is threatening to sell their oil only for Euros.

Who knows what they will accomplish? Probably the electronic theft of Iranian funds from banking institutions. This is a trick that has been perfected over the last couple of decades. U.S. enemies, especially suspected drug traffickers overseas (ones who don't play ball with the U.S. government), find their laundered cash cleared out of their "secret" accounts. IIRC, we did the same to Saddam and his sons at the outset of Iraq War II.

5/29/2006 2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we did the same to Saddam and his sons at the outset of Iraq War II

Really? Wow. I only get my info from the occasional spy movie... but I guess that's why they prefer gold bars..

--I can understand why the U.S. wouldn't want Iran to sell their oil in Euros -- but I can't understand why they feel it is OK to forcibly stop them -- given that they believe in a "free" economy etc..

-- but like I think you said the other day, they aren't really for democracy etc. unless it suits them -- they are just, as I think you put it, corporate facists.


5/29/2006 2:50 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...


but I can't understand why they feel it is OK to forcibly stop them -- given that they believe in a "free" economy etc..

In the same way that some restaurant patrons perversely enjoy abusing waiters and waitresses, the current administration in power in the U.S. likes tormenting people they view as inferiors.

And likewise, the abused waitstaff can often find it within their ability to negatively impact their tormentor, making the dining experience less satisfying in tangible or intangible ways.

The U.S. will likely be the last to realize that someone has spit in the food on the way to their table.


5/29/2006 3:44 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home