Iran Guards vow to replace Western oil firms
AFP / Jay Deshmukh
24-Apr-2010 (one comment)

TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards boasted on Saturday that they can fill the gap in the country's energy sector left by Western oil firms pulling out in the face of new sanctions against Tehran.

A top commander highlighted the unit's growing influence in the economy even as Guards ground, air and naval forces flexed their muscles in a drill in the key Strait of Hormuz oil route that began on Thursday.

Brigadier General Yadollah Javani, who heads the Guards' political bureau, also played down the impact of Western sanctions on its trading arms and personnel.

"Today, the Revolutionary Guards are proud to declare that they have the ability and know-how to easily replace large foreign companies," Javani told the ILNA news agency.

"For example, we can take up big projects in (the southern port and energy hub of) Assalouyeh and replace Total and Shell," he said, referring to oil majors that had previously been involved in Iran.

The Guards' presence in the economy has risen under the presidency of hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, even as the United States and European Union target the body for "weapons proliferation" amid accusations it is involved in Tehran's controversial nuclear programme.

The Guards were formed by Iran's revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini soon after the 1979 revolution to defend the Islamic republic from internal and external threats.

They are one of Iran's most powerful instit... >>>

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that's right - bring Ghomi mullahs to replace oil-experts too

by MM on