Some analyses show that oil, instead of military attack or sanctions on the basic needs of people, would be an effective weapon both for the West and Iranian people to confront the plague of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Iran holds 11% of the world’s oil reserves. Government revenue of oil is 70%. A great proportion of this national revenue is not invested to improve the cause of people, but is mainly set aside to finance the repressive organs and internal security services of the Mullahs’ regime.
Oil, in the hands of Mullahs, fuels corruption and repression rather than boosts development for people. In short, oil income does not play an important role to improve national economy; in fact, both rate of inflation and unemployment increases while line of poverty sinks.
The IRI is precarious, unpopular mullahs hold onto power by all means of repression. If the oil revenue were suddenly to drop, the repressive regime would lose its steady income and would have serious problems to invest its repressive machine to repress domestic population and finance international terrorism.
Mullahs do not care about the extraction and abuse of Iranian oil wealth and hike the production to fulfil their agenda — the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), to which Iran belongs, agreed to hike output by 500,000 barrels per day.
Mullahs know the risk of an international oil sanctions; they try to abuse the relatively expensive oil price, to export as much as they can.
They are buying oil tankers from South Korea to increase their transport fleet and consequently oil transportation capacity to 11 million tons by 2010 which would put it at fourth position in the world-–the IRI will also increase its gas production over 80 million tons of liquefied gas par annul, according to National Iranian tanker Co (NITC).
We know that interconnected global economies vitally depend on oil. The industrialised world, especially the US, is the main consumers of fuel and despite of their deep economical interconnections, the industrial countries are not always in harmony. China, Russia, and the EU because of their intensive trade with Iran avoid harsh sanctions on the IRI. They all have remained cooperative with Iran after the Iranian revolution.
The EU’s share of Iran’s total imports increased to 45%. EU trade with Iran has even expanded since Iran’s secret nuclear programme was exposed. The EU imports 40% Iran’s oil—the rest goes to Japan, China and other Asian countries.
Under such economic considerations, IRI’s sponsored terrorism and nuclear programme have been ignored a long time by the EU while partly helped by Russia.
European firms which supplied Saddam’s machine war, especially chemical weapons which were used against both Iranian troops and civilian Iraqi Kurds, went into trade with both countries after the war to rebuild the damaged infrastructures. Because of IRI’s nuclear ambitions, the U.N. Security Council has previously passed two sanctions resolutions against Iran for failing to halt uranium enrichment.
The West and IRI’s friends, China and Russia, once offered a package of civil nuclear and, economic incentives if the Mullahs suspend the enrichment, but the regime stubbornly continues its atom ambition and very likely plans to build the bomb for its military ambitions.
Now, we stand before new UN and separate EU and US sanctions against the IRI. This time, the sanctions seem more serious. The EU seems to gradually approach US policy vis-à-vis sanctions on Iran. It is likely that new sanctions will be more effective and from this point of view oil seems to play a role in the new regime sanctions.
Although Iran is the world’s fourth-largest crude oil exporter, it lacks refining capacity to meet all domestic demand for gasoline. Rationing was recently introduced in an effort to curb consumption and cut the rising cost of importing fuel, but the backward Mullahs are not to refine oil.
In the light of international oil sanctions on Iranian, India has already shown ready to join the West. India imports Iranian crude oil and after refining it exports it to Iran. By avoiding the trade, India can play a curtail factor to paralyse Mullahs’ regime.
According to Iran’s Oil Ministry, the country needs to import up to 15 million litres of gasoline a day for domestic consume. Before rationing was imposed, the domestic consume was estimated 75 million litres a day of gasoline, of which about 36 million was imported. In the case of only gasoline sanctions, Iran’s consummation can be hardly affected.
Oil sanction, instead of military or economic sanctions, can be a new weapon in the favour of both inner victims of the tyranny and the West to confront the IRI. As such, oil will remains more intact source for a free Iran, while, as regimes sanctions, can now render the IRI more vulnerable.
The lack of oil as a guarantee of power to finance Mullahs’ repressive organs would favour to create more occasions for Iranian people to challenge the plague of the ,weak, IRI, many Iranians believe.