Iran offers Pakistan help for multi-billion gas pipeline construction


Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline between energy deficient Pakistan and energy rich Iran is a feasible and doable project, but it has been lingering since 1995 when an MOU was signed to construct the pipeline between Pakistan and Iran. The project was designed to deliver natural gas from Iran to Pakistan and India.
The 2775 km (approximately 1100 km in Iran, 1000 km in Pakistan and 600 km in India) long pipeline was proposed to emanate from South Pars gas field and pass through Bandar-Abbas, Khuzdar, Sui to Multan and then to Delhi, at an estimated cost of US $ 7.5 billion. India had proposed an alternative route along the coast. The project was termed as the “peace pipeline” as it was hoped that it would help in obliterating old rivalries and “pipeline diplomacy” would bring peace to the region.
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Wichaar.com

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Iran offered Pakistan help for construction of a multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline. Iran and Pakistan set up a joint working committee to finalize a deal for laying Pakistan’s portion of pipeline by Tehran.

 
Iran also offered to set up an oil refinery in Pakistan. Earlier, it had discussed a plan to lay an oil pipeline to Gwadar where a refinery would be set up to process crude oil. The proposals were made during two days talks last week in Islamabad.
 
Iranian authorities reiterated their resolve to provide technical and financial help for constructing gas pipeline. A joint working committee will consider different options for Iran to lay pipeline.
 
Tehran had agreed to provide $250 million and willing to arrange more financing through commercial banks.
 
German-based firm ILF completed detailed engineering design of pipeline and according to interim feasibility report, project will cost $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion. If local companies participate, cost will come down and if foreign firms undertake the venture it will go up. There is also option under which local and Iranian companies will join hands to complete project.
 
Though Iran is an option to strike deal on government-to- government basis, Pakistan is also discussing construction of pipeline with China and Russia.
 
Iran-Pakistan joint committee on oil, gas, energy meeting this week in Islamabad discussed bilateral cooperation in oil and gas sectors. Iranian team was headed by Dr Ahmad Khaledi, Deputy Oil Minister for Internal Affairs. Pakistan team was led by Abid Saeed, Additional Secretary Petroleum & Natural Resources Ministry. Iran team expressed intention to invest in hydrocarbon exploration, production including upstream and midstream sectors.

Iran offered Pakistan help for construction of a multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline. Iran and Pakistan set up a joint working committee to finalize a deal for laying Pakistan’s portion of pipeline by Tehran.

 Iran also offered to set up an oil refinery in Pakistan. Earlier, it had discussed a plan to lay an oil pipeline to Gwadar where a refinery would be set up to process crude oil. The proposals were made during two days talks last week in Islamabad.
 
Iranian authorities reiterated their resolve to provide technical and financial help for constructing gas pipeline. A joint working committee will consider different options for Iran to lay pipeline.
 
Tehran had agreed to provide $250 million and willing to arrange more financing through commercial banks.
 
German-based firm ILF completed detailed engineering design of pipeline and according to interim feasibility report, project will cost $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion. If local companies participate, cost will come down and if foreign firms undertake the venture it will go up. There is also option under which local and Iranian companies will join hands to complete project.
 
Though Iran is an option to strike deal on government-to- government basis, Pakistan is also discussing construction of pipeline with China and Russia.
 
Iran-Pakistan joint committee on oil, gas, energy meeting this week in Islamabad discussed bilateral cooperation in oil and gas sectors. Iranian team was headed by Dr Ahmad Khaledi, Deputy Oil Minister for Internal Affairs. Pakistan team was led by Abid Saeed, Additional Secretary Petroleum & Natural Resources Ministry. Iran team expressed intention to invest in hydrocarbon exploration, production including upstream and midstream sectors.

Iran offered Pakistan help for construction of a multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline. Iran and Pakistan set up a joint working committee to finalize a deal for laying Pakistan’s portion of pipeline by Tehran.

 
Iran also offered to set up an oil refinery in Pakistan. Earlier, it had discussed a plan to lay an oil pipeline to Gwadar where a refinery would be set up to process crude oil. The proposals were made during two days talks last week in Islamabad.
 
Iranian authorities reiterated their resolve to provide technical and financial help for constructing gas pipeline. A joint working committee will consider different options for Iran to lay pipeline.
 
Tehran had agreed to provide $250 million and willing to arrange more financing through commercial banks.
 
German-based firm ILF completed detailed engineering design of pipeline and according to interim feasibility report, project will cost $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion. If local companies participate, cost will come down and if foreign firms undertake the venture it will go up. There is also option under which local and Iranian companies will join hands to complete project.
 
Though Iran is an option to strike deal on government-to- government basis, Pakistan is also discussing construction of pipeline with China and Russia.
 
Iran-Pakistan joint committee on oil, gas, energy meeting this week in Islamabad discussed bilateral cooperation in oil and gas sectors. Iranian team was headed by Dr Ahmad Khaledi, Deputy Oil Minister for Internal Affairs. Pakistan team was led by Abid Saeed, Additional Secretary Petroleum & Natural Resources Ministry. Iran team expressed intention to invest in hydrocarbon exploration, production including upstream and midstream sectors.

Iran offered Pakistan help for construction of a multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline. Iran and Pakistan set up a joint working committee to finalize a deal for laying Pakistan’s portion of pipeline by Tehran.

 
Iran also offered to set up an oil refinery in Pakistan. Earlier, it had discussed a plan to lay an oil pipeline to Gwadar where a refinery would be set up to process crude oil. The proposals were made during two days talks last week in Islamabad.
 
Iranian authorities reiterated their resolve to provide technical and financial help for constructing gas pipeline. A joint working committee will consider different options for Iran to lay pipeline.
 
Tehran had agreed to provide $250 million and willing to arrange more financing through commercial banks.
 
German-based firm ILF completed detailed engineering design of pipeline and according to interim feasibility report, project will cost $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion. If local companies participate, cost will come down and if foreign firms undertake the venture it will go up. There is also option under which local and Iranian companies will join hands to complete project.
 
Though Iran is an option to strike deal on government-to- government basis, Pakistan is also discussing construction of pipeline with China and Russia.
 
Iran-Pakistan joint committee on oil, gas, energy meeting this week in Islamabad discussed bilateral cooperation in oil and gas sectors. Iranian team was headed by Dr Ahmad Khaledi, Deputy Oil Minister for Internal Affairs. Pakistan team was led by Abid Saeed, Additional Secretary Petroleum & Natural Resources Ministry. Iran team expressed intention to invest in hydrocarbon exploration, production including upstream and midstream sectors.
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Whirling Dervish and TAPI Politics


It had to eventually happen–Afghan politics have come full circle, and then some.  It was only a matter of time before the TAPI pipe dream would once again be offered as a solution to the Afghan conflict.  The Taliban are once again being handed the keys to the kingdom in exchange for partnering with Western oil giants as the means for ensuring TAPI pipeline security.  The last time we heard the snake charmers make this offer was  in 1996, when Marty Miller of Unocal tried to convince all the factions that the “pipeline was a conflict resolution process.” When this approach also failed to keep all parties satisfied, speculation arose that Unocal or another consortium partner gave secret support to the Taliban, in order to push-out the Northern Alliance forces of Ahmad Shah Massoud from their northern sanctuary, the location of the finalized pipeline route. 
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IS THE WHIRLING DERVISH OF TAPI POLITICS SPINNING AMERICA’S WAY?

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by Peter Chamberlin

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It had to eventually happen–Afghan politics have come full circle, and then some.  It was only a matter of time before the TAPI pipe dream would once again be offered as a solution to the Afghan conflict.  The Taliban are once again being handed the keys to the kingdom in exchange for partnering with Western oil giants as the means for ensuring TAPI pipeline security.  The last time we heard the snake charmers make this offer was  in 1996, when Marty Miller of Unocal tried to convince all the factions that the pipeline was a conflict resolution process.”  When this approach also failed to keep all parties satisfied, speculation arose that Unocal or another consortium partner gave secret support to the Taliban, in order to push-out the Northern Alliance forces of Ahmad Shah Massoud from their northern sanctuary, the location of the finalized pipeline route. 

What will happen this time, when the Taliban or the mega-corporations prove to be unmovable and the whole diplomatic episode is exposed as another charade?  Karzai is a marked man, just as Rabbani before him was marked for termination by the medieval Taliban.

When it comes to Afghanistan and energy corridors, there are no new ideas under the sun–even Hillary Clinton’s favorite project, the “Silk Road,”  is just another attempt to revive one of her husband’s policy failures.  The following  testimony was given to Congress on 12 February 1998, by John Maresca, International head of Unocal–

“There are few, if any, other areas of the world where there can be such a dramatic increase in the supply of oil and gas to the world market. The solution seems simple: build a ‘new’ Silk Road.”

Anyone who has been paying attention to the decisions being made in Washington concerning the final resolution of the Afghan dilemma should have seen something like this coming down the pipe.  The Obama team has consistently pushed a revived TAPI project like it was already a done deal.  All of Obama’s emissaries have done everything imaginable to coerce Pakistan into signing-on to the mega-project, usually by portraying  TAPI as something in Pakistan’s best interests and the Iranian IPI pipeline as something harmful. 

If  today’s report that the Taliban also want TAPI is true, then the US has once again performed another act of “ju jitsu diplomacy,” whereby a foreign entity’s decisions are turned on their heads, so that blatant lies are swallowed whole, as if they were the only truth.  In Pakistan’s case, after Ambassador Holbrooke successfully donned the disguise of humanitarian benefactor he was able to dominate the media with pro-American propaganda.

The pipeline plot was actually a subtle form of arm-twisting, intended to force Pakistan into helping the US bring the war to a close.  If Pakistan would only consent to forcibly bending the Taliban into a cooperative frame of mind, then all of these economic benefits and problem-solving initiatives would simply fall into their laps.  Such is the nature of American Fascist “diplomacy.”  Holbrooke’s hallmark.

Just as Pakistan is now being forced into an undesired partnership with America, through a combination of economic incentives and military pressure, Turkmenistan has been maneuvered into a corner until conditions could be made amenable to TAPI development.  TAPI would be a reality by now were it not for American obstructionism.  By February 10, 1993, Bridas Corp. of Argentina had already signed contracts to build the pipeline with the Turkmen state gas company, Turkmenneft,  but construction was blocked by Unocal of California lawyers, who hung the project up in US courts on legal technicalities.

In hindsight, it is apparent that the President of Turkmenistan at that time, Saparmurat Niyazov, also helped Unocal negate the contract which he had previously signed with Bridas, because he didn’t like the 75/25 split specified in the contract, since Bridas would receive the 75% as the project developer.  Thereafter, with development rights to all of that gas and oil up in the air, the Saudis took control of the project, as they assumed the dubious position of financier of both factions in the legal and political battles to build TAPI.  New corporations were formed by different Saudi royals, Delta and Ningharco; Delta partnered with Unocal and Ningharco backed Bridas. 

Ningharco was a shell company based in the Jersey Isles, run by the head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Turki.  The Saudis were controlling both sides of the bidding war and negotiations, which continued behind the scenes right up until the attacks in Washington and New York, committed by mostly Saudi terrorists on September 11, 2001.  Is it simply an awful coincidence that the TAPI negotiations came to a dead end simultaneously with the rise of the mostly Saudi terrorist organization, we know as “Al-CIA-da”?

Saudis, Saudis everywhere, most of them stirring-up trouble of some sort,…and yet they are still helping us to run the terror war–the war which has made this new TAPI deal with the Taliban  possible.  This entire war has been a farce, an exercise in building Saudi wealth.  And still, no one in Washington gives a damn–as long as their schemes help bring about the dreamed-of strategic pipeline corridor through Afghanistan and Balochistan.  It will all be celebrated as a great victory, Obama snatching Hillary’s pipe dreams and his second term out of thin air,  making it the cornerstone of a “New American Century.” 

All of this, thanks to Saudi double-dealing and the twisted legacy of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, administered by the capable hands of Clinton’s wife.

More from Peter Chamberlin on Wonders of Pakistan

1. Shaitan is smiling in Balochistan 2. Investing Your Future In a Poison Peace Process 3. Understanding Reality From Deception in the War on Terror 4. Smashing Greater Central Asia-Part One [in three parts] 5. Washington’s Silk Road Pipe Dream
Peter Chamberlin is an op-ed writer and a blog editor. Peter has been very active against all types of wars since 1982. He has been writing letters to newspapers and magazines, as well as recalcitrant national leaders, speaking-out against war, nuclear war, and the impending violent collapse of the Western empire (that is now at hand). Chamberlin has had several hundred letter-to-editors printed in this time. peterchamberlin@naharnet.com
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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ‘Wonders of Pakistan’. The contents of this article too are the sole responsibility of the author (s). WoP will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statement / s contained in this post.

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DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR COMMENT

Wonders of Pakistan supports freedom of expression and this commitment extends to our readers as well. Constraints however, apply in case of a violation of WoP Comments Policy. We also moderate hate speech, libel and gratuitous insults.
We at Wonders of Pakistan use copyrighted material the use of which may not have always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” only. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

Why Washington’s Iran Policy Could Lead to Global Disaster [2 of 2]




It’s a policy fierce enough to cause great suffering among Iranians — and possibly in the long run among Americans, too. It might, in the end, even deeply harm the global economy and yet, history tells us, it will fail on its own. Economic war led by Washington (and encouraged by Israel) will not take down the Iranian government or bring it to the bargaining table on its knees ready to surrender its nuclear program. It might, however, lead to actual armed conflict with incalculable consequences.
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THE IRAN CONUNDRUM

WHAT HISTORY TEACHES US ABOUT BLOCKADING IRAN

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by Juan Cole

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INDIA AND CHINA DECLINE TO BOW TO PRESSURE FROM WASHINGTON

Like China, India has declined to bow to pressure from Washington. The government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, which depends on India’s substantial Muslim vote, is not eager to be seen as acquiescent to U.S. strong-arm tactics. Moreover, lacking substantial hydrocarbon resources, and given Singh’s ambitious plans for an annual growth rate of 9% — focused on expanding India’s underdeveloped transportation sector (70% of all petroleum used in the world is dedicated to fuelling vehicles) — Iran is crucial to the country’s future.

India is one of the BRIC economies that this past decade has tremendously increased its economic growth . In addition, India is slowly opening up its economy to foreign investors by loosening some investment restrictions and regulations. Thus with massive investments from home and abroad, it has to keep its wheels moving, hence blockage of fuel supplies [of which Iran is the major contributor]might disturb India’s growth potential and hence India’s intent not to bow to US pressure over Iran sanctions.

To sidestep Washington, India has worked out an agreement to pay for half of its allotment of Iranian oil in rupees, a soft currency. Iran would then have to use those rupees on food and goods from India, a windfall for its exporters. Defying the American president yet again, the Indians are even offering a tax break to Indian firms that trade with Iran. That country is, in turn, offering to pay for some Indian goods with gold. Since India runs a trade deficit with the U.S., Washington would only hurt itself if it aggressively sanctioned India.

A HISTORY LESSON IGNORED

As yet, Iran has shown no signs of yielding to the pressure. For its leaders, future nuclear power stations promise independence and signify national glory, just as they do for France, which gets nearly 80% of its electricity from nuclear reactors. The fear in Tehran is that, without nuclear power, a developing Iran could consume all its petroleum domestically, as has happened in Indonesia, leaving the government with no surplus income with which to maintain its freedom from international pressures.

Iran is particularly jealous of its independence because in modern history it has so often been dominated by a great power or powers. In 1941, with World War II underway, Russia and Britain, which already controlled Iranian oil, launched an invasion to ensure that the country remained an asset of the Allies against the Axis. They put the young and inexperienced Mohammed Reza Pahlevi on the throne, and sent his father, Reza Shah, into exile. The Iranian corridor — what British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called “the bridge of victory” — then allowed the allies to effectively channel crucial supplies to the Soviet Union in the war against Nazi Germany. The occupation years were, however, devastating for Iranians who experienced soaring inflation and famine.

Discontent broke out after the war — and the Allied occupation — ended. It was focused on a 1933 agreement Iran had signed with the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) regarding the exploitation of its petroleum. By the early 1950s, the AIOC (which later became British Petroleum and is now BP) was paying more in taxes to the British government than in royalties to Iran for its oil. In 1950, when it became known that the American ARAMCO oil consortium had offered the king of Saudi Arabia a 50-50 split of oil profits, the Iranians demanded the same terms.

The AIOC was initially adamant that it would not renegotiate the agreement. By the time it softened its position somewhat and began being less supercilious, Iran’s parliamentarians were so angry that they did not want anything more to do with the British firm or the government that supported it.

On March 15, 1951, a democratically elected Iranian parliament summarily nationalized the country’s oil fields and kicked the AIOC out of the country. Facing a wave of public anger, Mohammed Reza Shah acquiesced, appointing Mohammed Mosaddegh, an oil-nationalization hawk, as prime minister. A conservative nationalist from an old aristocratic family, Mosaddegh soon visited the United States seeking aid, but because his nationalist coalition included the Tudeh Party (the Communist Party of Iran), he was increasingly smeared in the U.S. press as a Soviet sympathizer.

Mohammad Mossadegh (1882-1967), Iranian nationalist politician and prime minister (1951-1953), led the movement for the nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. His democratically elected government was overthrown as the result of a coup d’état sponsored by Great Britain and the United States.

The British government, outraged by the oil nationalization and fearful that the Iranian example might impel other producers to follow suit, froze that country’s assets and attempted to institute a global embargo of its petroleum. London placed harsh restrictions on Tehran’s ability to trade, and made it difficult for Iran to convert the pounds sterling it held in British banks. Initially, President Harry Truman’s administration in Washington was supportive of Iran. After Republican Dwight Eisenhower was swept into the Oval Office, however, the U.S. enthusiastically joined the oil embargo and campaign against Iran.

Iran became ever more desperate to sell its oil, and countries like Italy and Japan were tempted by “wildcat” sales at lower than market prices. As historian Nikki Keddie has showed, however, Big Oil and the U.S. State Department deployed strong-arm tactics to stop such countries from doing so.

In May 1953, for example, sometime Standard Oil of California executive and “petroleum adviser” to the State Department Max Thornburg wrote U.S. ambassador to Italy Claire Booth Luce about an Italian request to buy Iranian oil: “For Italy to clear this oil and take additional cargoes would definitely indicate that it had taken the side of the oil ‘nationalizers,’ despite the hazard this represents to American foreign investments and vital oil supply sources. This of course is Italy’s right. It is only the prudence of the course that is in question.” He then threatened Rome with an end to oil company purchases of Italian supplies worth millions of dollars.

In the end, the Anglo-American blockade devastated Iran’s economy and provoked social unrest. Prime Minister Mosaddegh, initially popular, soon found himself facing a rising wave of labor strikes and protest rallies. Shopkeepers and small businessmen, among his most important constituents, pressured the prime minister to restore order. When he finally did crack down on the protests (some of them staged by the Central Intelligence Agency), the far left Tudeh Party began withdrawing its support. Right-wing generals, dismayed by the flight of the shah to Italy, the breakdown of Iran’s relations with the West, and the deterioration of the economy, were open to the blandishments of the CIA, which, with the help of British intelligence, decided to organize a coup to install its own man in power.

A DANGER OF BLOWBACK

The story of the 1953 CIA coup in Iran is well known, but that its success depended on the preceding two years of fierce sanctions on Iran’s oil is seldom considered. A global economic blockade of a major oil country is difficult to sustain. Were it to have broken down, the U.S. and Britain would have suffered a huge loss of prestige. Other Third World countries might have taken heart and begun to claim their own natural resources. The blockade, then, arguably made the coup necessary. That coup, in turn, led to the rise to power of Ayatollah Khomeini a quarter-century later and, in the end, the present U.S./Israeli/Iranian face-off. It seems the sort of sobering history lesson that every politician in Washington should consider (and none, of course, does).

As then, so now, an oil blockade in its own right is unlikely to achieve Washington’s goals. At present, the American desire to force Iran to abolish its nuclear enrichment program seems as far from success as ever. In this context, there’s another historical lesson worth considering: the failure of the crippling sanctions imposed on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in the 1990s to bring down that dictator and his regime.

What that demonstrated was simple enough: ruling cliques with ownership of a valuable industry like petroleum can cushion themselves from the worst effects of an international boycott, even if they pass the costs on to a helpless public. In fact, crippling the economy tends to send the middle class into a spiral of downward mobility, leaving its members with ever fewer resources to resist an authoritarian government. The decline of Iran’s once-vigorous Green protest movement of 2009 is probably connected to this, as is a growing sense that Iran is now under foreign siege, and Iranians should rally around in support of the nation.

Strikingly, there was a strong voter turnout for the recent parliamentary elections where candidates close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei dominated the results. Iran’s politics, never very free, have nevertheless sometimes produced surprises and feisty movements, but these days are moving in a decidedly conservative and nationalistic direction. Only a few years ago, a majority of Iranians disapproved of the idea of having an atomic bomb. Now, according to a recent Gallup poll, more support the militarization of the nuclear program than oppose it.

The great oil blockade of 2012 may still be largely financially focused, but it carries with it the same dangers of escalation and intervention — as well as future bitterness and blowback — as did the campaign of the early 1950s. U.S. and European financial sanctions are already beginning to interfere with the import of staples like wheat, since Iran can no longer use the international banking system to pay for them. If children suffer or even experience increased mortality because of the sanctions, that development could provoke future attacks on the U.S. or American troops in the Greater Middle East. (Don’t forget that the Iraqi sanctions, considered responsible for the deaths of some 500,000 children, were cited by al-Qaeda in its “declaration of war” on the U.S.)

The attempt to flood the market and use financial sanctions to enforce an embargo on Iranian petroleum holds many dangers. If it fails, soaring oil prices could set back fragile economies in the West still recovering from the mortgage and banking scandals of 2008. If it overshoots, there could be turmoil in the oil-producing states from a sudden fall in revenues.

Even if the embargo is a relative success in keeping Iranian oil in the ground, the long-term damage to that country’s fields and pipelines (which might be ruined if they lie fallow long enough) could harm the world economy in the future. The likelihood that an oil embargo can change Iranian government policy or induce regime change is low, given our experience with economic sanctions in Iraq, Cuba, and elsewhere. Moreover, there is no reason to think that the Islamic Republic will take its downward mobility lying down.

As the sanctions morph into a virtual blockade, they raise the specter that all blockades do — of provoking a violent response. Just as dangerous is the specter that the sanctions will drag on without producing tangible results, impelling covert or overt American action against Tehran to save face. And that, friends, is where we came in.

Concluded.

Previous: Why Washington’s Iran Policy Could Lead to Global Disaster [1 of 2]

Page  1 2

More from Juan Cole on Wonders of Pakistan

1. China wins struggle for Pipelinestan 2.Empire’s Paranoia About the Pashtuns [in three parts] 3. Turkmenistan Gas is now flowing to China Overland
Juan Cole (born October 1952) is an American schoolar, public intellectual, and historian of the modern Middle East and South Asia. He is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. As a commentator on Middle Eastern affairs, he has appeared in print and on television, and has published several peer reviewed books on the modern middle East. Juan is a translator of both Arabic and Persian. Since 2002, he is running his weblog ‘Informed Comment (juancole.com)
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Related Posts:
1. Pakistan speeds pursuit of Iranian pipeline, defying U.S. 2. The Politics Of Gas Pipelines In Asia
Source, Title image, Image downwards (in the middle), (bottom)
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ‘Wonders of Pakistan’. The contents of this article too are the sole responsibility of the author(s). WoP will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this post.

YOUR COMMENT IS IMPORTANT

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR COMMENT

Wonders of Pakistan supports freedom of expression and this commitment extends to our readers as well. Constraints however, apply in case of a violation of WoP Comments Policy. We also moderate hate speech, libel and gratuitous insults.
We at Wonders of Pakistan use copyrighted material the use of which may not have always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” only. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

Why Washington’s Iran Policy Could Lead to Global Disaster [1 of 2]




It’s a policy fierce enough to cause great suffering among Iranians — and possibly in the long run among Americans, too. It might, in the end, even deeply harm the global economy and yet, history tells us, it will fail on its own. Economic war led by Washington (and encouraged by Israel) will not take down the Iranian government or bring it to the bargaining table on its knees ready to surrender its nuclear program. It might, however, lead to actual armed conflict with incalculable consequences.
·

THE IRAN CONUNDRUM

WHAT HISTORY TEACHES US ABOUT BLOCKADING IRAN

 ·

by Juan Cole

·

US SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAN MAY LEAD TO ACTUAL ARMED CONFLICT [WITH INCALCULABLE CONSEQUENCES]

It’s a policy fierce enough to cause great suffering among Iranians — and possibly in the long run among Americans, too. It might, in the end, even deeply harm the global economy and yet, history tells us, it will fail on its own. Economic war led by Washington (and encouraged by Israel) will not take down the Iranian government or bring it to the bargaining table on its knees ready to surrender its nuclear program. It might, however, lead to actual armed conflict with incalculable consequences. (more…)

Pakistan and the Potential for Conflict in the Strait of Hormuz




Pakistan’s Balochistan Province is on the Arabian Sea; and the Strait of Hormuz lies to the east, at the border with Iran. Around 20 per cent of the world’s daily oil supply passes through the Strait of Hormuz, which Iran has threatened to close after the latest wave of sanctions [EPA]. The only point of interest on the coast is the port of Gwadar, which was built and commissioned with Chinese technical and financial support in May 2007. To that point, the project cost a total of $280 million. Several piers are currently in operation, and the port’s infrastructure is under construction. One purpose of the port is to serve as a freight hub for raw hydrocarbons destined for Pakistan’s domestic market. Also, the local media has reported that a naval base for the Pakistani and Chinese navies will be located there.
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ANALYSING PAKISTAN’S POSITION ON POSSIBLE US-IRANIAN CLASH

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by Natalya Zamarayeva 

 ·

According to US Central Command, on January 10, 2012 a U.S. Navy carrier strike group entered the Indian Ocean en route to the Arabian Sea. The USS John C. Stennis carrier strike group is already sailing those waters. This move was precipitated by several factors.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed that Iran’s nuclear program is military in nature. Iran denies all allegations. Concerned about the situation, EU countries have agreed to ban the import of Iranian oil. In response, Tehran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which passes 40% of all maritime oil shipments from the Persian Gulf. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the United States will respond if Iran tries to close the Strait.

It is no less important to analyze Pakistan’s position regarding these developments from various points of view: international, regional and defense of national political and economic interests.

So, the Strait of Hormuz: Pakistan’s Baluchistan Province is on the Arabian Sea; and the Strait of Hormuz lies to the east, at the border with Iran. The only point of interest on the coast is the port of Gwadar, which was built and commissioned with Chinese technical and financial support in May 2007. To that point, the project cost a total of $280 million. Several piers are currently in operation, and the port’s infrastructure is under construction. One purpose of the port is to serve as a freight hub for raw hydrocarbons destined for Pakistan’s domestic market. Also, the local media has reported that a naval base for the Pakistani and Chinese navies will be located there.

(more…)

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