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Posts Tagged ‘Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’

Iran says oil prices to reach $150 per barrel

Posted by Admin on April 6, 2011

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran

Belligerence and Hypocrisy

http://in.finance.yahoo.com/news/Iran-says-oil-prices-reach-reuters-728569414.html

On Monday 4 April 2011, 9:22 PM

 

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday that oil prices will reach $150 per barrel and the current crude prices were “not real”.

“The price of oil will increase to $150 per barrel in a period of time … the current oil prices are not real,” Ahmadinejad told a news conference.

Oil traded above $119 a barrel for Brent on Monday, just off a two-and-a-half year high touched in February, spurred by political instability in the Middle East and North Africa.

Iran is OPEC ‘s second biggest crude producer after Saudi Arabia .

Disruption of Libyan exports because of violent unrest in the OPEC member country also provided an opportunity for Iran to sell some of the crude that had built up in floating storage.

A popular uprising in Libya has shut down almost all of the country’s 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil production, prompting Saudi Arabia to boost crude output to try to compensate for the loss and rein in oil prices.

(Editing by Jason Neely)

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US-Saudi arms deal ripples from Iran to Israel

Posted by Admin on October 21, 2010

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – As American and Saudi officials spent months quietly hammering out a wish list for a mammoth sale of American warplanes and other weapons to the oil-rich kingdom, leaders in Iran were busy publicly displaying their advances in missiles, naval craft and air power.

In one memorable bit of political theater, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stood under a cascade of glitter in August to unveil a drone bomber — dubbed the “ambassador of death” — that he claimed would keep foes in the region “paralyzed” on their bases.

The response by Washington and its cornerstone Arab ally, Saudi Arabia, moved a step ahead Wednesday. The Obama administrationnotified Congress of plans to sell as many as 84 new F-15 fighter jets, helicopters and other gear with an estimated $60 billion price tag.

The proposed deal — one of the biggest single U.S. arms sales — is clearly aimed at countering Iran’s rising military might and efforts to expand its influence.

But it ties together other significant narratives in the region, including an apparent retooling of Israeli policies to tacitly support a stronger, American-armed Saudi Arabia because of common worries about Iran.

It also reinforces the Gulf as the Pentagon’s front-line military network against Iran even as the U.S. sandwiches the Islamic republic with troops and bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“In this way, Saudi Arabia does become some sort of buffer between Israel and Iran,” said Pieter Wezeman, a senior researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a Swedish think tank that tracks arms sales.

Israel has made no diplomatic rumblings over the proposed Saudi deal — a marked contrast to almost automatic objections decades ago to Pentagon pacts with Arab nations. It’s widely seen as an acknowledgment that Israel’s worries over Iran and its nuclear program far outweigh any small shifts in the Israel-Arab balance of power.

Israel is moving toward a policy of “pick your fights,” said Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University near Tel Aviv.

“After all,” he added, “Saudi Arabia is not such a big threat to us.”

And Israel does not come out of the current American arms bazaar empty handed. Earlier this month, it signed a deal to purchase 20 F-35 stealth fighters that could possibly reach Iran undetected by radar. Israel has an option for 75 more.

“This equipment is primarily to give (Israel) a better feeling facing the Iranian threat. It is not related to Israeli-Arab relations,” said Inbar. “Ironically, in the current situation, Saudi Arabia is in the same strategic boat as Israel is in facing the Iranian threat.”

Besides the new fighters for Saudi Arabia, the U.S. plans to upgrade an additional 70 of the kingdom’s existing F-15s. State Department and Pentagon officials told lawmakers the sales also will include 190 helicopters, including Apaches and Black Hawks, as well as an array of missiles, bombs, delivery systems and accessories such as night-vision goggles and radar warning systems.

Congress has 30 days to block the deal, which was first revealed in September but has been in negotiations for months. U.S. officials say they aren’t expecting significant opposition.

Iran, meanwhile, has concentrated on its missile arsenal overseen by the powerful Revolutionary Guard. Its solid-fuel Sajjil missile has a reported range of more than 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) — within range of Israel and all main U.S. bases in the region.

Iran’s navy has staged war games in the Gulf and announced major additions to its fleet, including three Iranian-built submarines designed to operate in the Gulf’s shallow waters.

It marks the Gulf as a buyer’s market for arms, led by the U.S. as the dominant Western military power from Kuwait to Oman. Throughout the Gulf, Washington counts on access to Arab allies’ air bases, logistics hubs and the Bahrain headquarters of America’s naval powerhouse in the region — the U.S. 5th Fleet.

A report last month by the U.S. General Accountability Office said Washington approved $22 billion worth of military equipment transfers to the six Gulf Arab states between fiscal 2005 and 2009 through a Pentagon-managed program.

More than half was earmarked for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, including a $6.5 billion deal in 2009 for the UAE to buy the Patriot missile defense system.

The UAE agreement was the largest single arms approval during the five-year period — but is dwarfed by the proposed Saudi deal.

The researcher Wezeman said Iran is clearly the top perceived threat for the Gulf Arabs, but there are background concerns about Iraq’s stability and the unrest in neighboring Yemen that includes Shiite Hawthi rebels and Islamic extremists linked to al-Qaida. The Saudi military was drawn into rare fighting in northern Yemen starting late last year, using airstrikes and artillery to battle a Hawthi rebellion that was spilling across the border.

“Of course it’s against Iran. Of course it’s against Yemen,” said Wezeman. “You can read between the lines … but there are not any official statements about it.”

Wezeman’s group issued a report this month that estimates the eight nations ringing the Gulf — including rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia — accounted for 10 percent of all conventional weapons imports between 2005-2009.

The appetite was on display earlier this month when envoys from more than 50 U.S. defense and aerospace firms held talks in Abu Dhabi, where they were welcomed by the UAE’s minister of foreign trade at an opulent hotel on the shores of the Gulf.

As the American defense budget tightens, the Gulf’s deep pockets beckon.

“This is a critical time for our companies abroad as the U.S. defense budget continues to face pressures at home,” said a statement from Lawrence Farrell, head of the National Defense Industrial Association based outside Washington.

Jane Kinninmont, a Middle East and Africa specialist at the Economist Intelligence Unit, said concerns over Iran are the primary motivation for the Saudi arms expansion. But she wonders how much the untested Gulf forces rattle Iranian commanders who are almost all veterans of the 1980-88 war with Iraq.

“I would not be surprised if the Iranians are pretty cynical about the armies here,” she said during an interview in Dubai. “To put it bluntly, they’ve fought a war.”

___

Associated Press Writers Mark Lavie and Aron Heller in Jerusalem, and Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.

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Ahmadinejad calls for US leaders to be ‘buried’

Posted by Admin on October 3, 2010

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran’s president Sunday called for U.S. leaders to be “buried” in response to what he says are American threats of military attack against Tehran’s nuclear program.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is known for brash rhetoric in addressing the West, but in a speech Sunday he went a step further using a deeply offensive insult in response to U.S. statements that the military option against Iran is still on the table.

“May the undertaker bury you, your table and your body, which has soiled the world,” he said using language in Iran reserved for hated enemies.

Several top U.S. officials including Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff have said in recent months that the military option remains on the table and there is a plan to attack Iran, although a military strike has been described as a bad idea.

The crowd of military men and clerics in the town of Hashtgerd just west of the capital chuckled at the president’s insult and applauded.

The speech was broadcast by both state television and the official English-language Press TV, but the latter glossed over the insult in the simultaneous translation.

Ahmadinejad’s remarks come in sharp contrast to ones he made to Al-Jazeera Arabic news channel in August in which he offered the U.S. Iran’s friendship.

In Sunday’s speech, Ahmadinejad also questioned once more who was behind the Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S. and said they gave Washington a pretext for seeking to dominate the region and plunder its oil wealth.

During his speech in front of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, he said a majority of people in the U.S. and around the world believe the American government staged the attacks, drawing a strong rebuke from President Barack Obama.

Ahmadinejad often resorts to provocative statements to lash out enemies. He has already compared the power of Iran’s enemies to a “mosquito,” saying Iran deals with the West over its nuclear activities from a position of power and he has likened the United States to a “farm animal trapped in a quagmire” in Afghanistan.

Iran also condemned the latest U.S. sanctions slapped on eight Iranian officials Wednesday, saying they show American interference in Tehran’s domestic affairs.

Washington this week imposed travel and financial sanctions on the eight Iranians, accusing them of taking part in human rights abuses during the turmoil following Iran’s June 2009 presidential election.

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