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Mahmoud the Matchmaker

In a recent editorial, The New York Times wrote that Iran threatened to shut the Strait of Hormuz if the United States and Europe pressed ahead with new sanctions against corporations doing business with Iran’s central bank — which they must in order to buy Iranian oil.

As of December 29, 2011, The Times reported that one fifth, or 20 percent, of the world’s oil supply flows through that narrow shipping lane.  On January 2, 2012, that percentage doubled, according to The Globe and Mail’s reporting, to 40 percent of the world’s oil.

Whether you believe in the Times or the Globe does not really matter. Either way you cannot deny Iran’s position as a major world power broker.

So far, only Russia and China have stood behind Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s interest in nukes and his arsonist tendencies. Both countries oppose United Nations sanctions against Iran.  Money and geography may explain the position of Medvedev and the Chinese Communist Party.  Both countries, proud of their non-Western identity, are big enough to survive whatever attack Mahmoud might one day decide to launch against the Russian and Chinese infidels.

We, and I mean the United States, are willing to play it coyly for the time being, and deny Iran its matchmaking powers regarding the West and the rest of the World.  For now, we are only asking our corporate partners for pro-Iranian guidance and rely on the political fame seekers of the day, such as Rick Perry, and his anti-Iranian sound bite.  With a post-colonial demeanor, the Obama administration has simply chosen to signal “in deliberately moderated ways [2]” that sanctions may be announced against Iran.

The European Union, on the other hand, is even shyer if that is possible.  The EU is willing to acknowledge merely that it is thinking about what it should moderatedly say to its newspapers if the United States pressures it to take a public position.

So far nothing of too much interest. Except that here we are again in a 1948 of sorts… As then, most countries are on the brink of bankruptcy, but not annihilation. Today, most oiligarchies are in need of Iranian crude, or risk bankruptcy, but only one nation’s actual survival is threatened by Iran. You guessed it the winner is Israel.

So, the new 2012 Monopoly game seems to be: “Whose Money Is Your Mama?” Its rules are few and clear.

What’s next? Your guess is mine. But it seems that today’s politicians play only with friends with benefits. And if benefits must be crude, Israel hasn’t any.



[1] http://aol.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/aolstory/TGAM/20120102/NWIRANNUCLEARWIR.

[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/30/opinion/iran-and-the-strait.html.


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