Tuesday, September 19, 2006




It could hardly come as a surprise to anyone in the US State Department that Iran and Venezuela were going to officially secure their alliance in a public way.

That they have pledged to support each other militarily, in the event of US aggression, will surprise most who haven't been watching the see-sawing machinations underway as the world powers firm up new alliances.

Russia and China are pulling Iran ever closer, quietly backing their push to become a nuclear energy power, and defying US threats and pressure to isolate Iran on the world stage.

And now Iran has found an ally in South America with its military, corporate and diplomatic relationship with Venezeula.

Both countries are using the spectre of possible US attacks as a way to draw the overwhelming support of voters, and an increasing number of other world leaders.

The brutal destruction of Lebanon was a joint US/Israel operation. Israel supplied the ground muscle, the US encouraged Israel to make a decisive strike against Hizbullah, and fought off the most of the UN to delay the implementation of a cease fire.

As far as Iran and Venezuela goes, they can easily sell the 'US Threat' to their people off the back of the hundreds of Lebanese civilians slaughtered by Israel.

Just how far the United States, under President Bush, has fallen in the eyes of the world will become evident in the next few days at the United Nations. It is the United States who is regarded by most UN member states as acting aggressively, not Iran, or Venezeula.

From the Washington Post :
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shored up opposition to a U.S. drive to curb Iran's nuclear program on a visit to Venezuela on Sunday that cemented an anti-American front with President Hugo Chavez.

Ahmadinejad's first trip to Venezuela highlighted Iran's backing for the fellow OPEC country's bid for a U.N. Security Council seat that Chavez would use to challenge Washington's campaign for international sanctions against Tehran.

"It is a union that seeks a balance in the world and to save the future of your children, my children and our grandchildren," (Chavez) told a state-owned TV network.

Buoyed by high oil prices that underpin their popularity at home and tapping into anti-American sentiment around the world, both presidents are awkward foes for the United States.

Chavez : "They (the Iranians) are threatened by the American empire. The empire does not want any nation to develop..."

This story from the Jerusalem Post :
Chavez has said Venezuela "will stand together with Iran at all times and under any conditions," accusing the US of planning to invade Iran.

In the past few days, Chavez has sought to drum up support for Iran at the Nonaligned Movement summit in Cuba.

"I ask for full support for the government and the people of Iran in developing their sovereign right to move forward with (nuclear) research," Chavez told fellow leaders at the summit in Havana on Thursday.

"It's part of the formula of the future - nuclear energy. We aren't talking about atomic bombs."

Together with Iran, Cuba and Syria, Chavez is seeking to form "a new world order" opposing traditional US dominance...

Venezuela and Iran, both major oil-producing countries, have proposed pricing their oil in euros rather than US dollars, a move...likely disrupt the US economy by decreasing reliance on dollars.

The US remains the No. 1 buyer of oil from Venezuela, despite increasing political tensions.
Iran and Venezuela have signed more than 100 commercial accords and cooperation pledges, which include developing a jointly owned petrochemical industry, creating vehicle manufacturing industries, producing surgical tools, training Venezuelan iron workers in Iran, making bricks, cements and even bicycles.

Investment deals signed between Venezuela and Iran in the past few days alone total more than $US200 million.

The US has recognised the serious threat that an expanding Iranian economy presents to its declining financial supremacy, and is using the 'War On Terror' to shut down some of its key banks :
Iran has vowed to take legal action to challenge US sanctions on Iranian lender Bank Saderat and has said it is considering shifting some of its foreign exchange reserves out of US dollars.

'We intend to take all legal recourse available to us and expect the IMF (International Monetary Fund)... also to take an appropriate stance against this unilateral and illegal action, that can seriously disturb international payments,' (said) the head of the Iranian central bank, Ibrahim Sheibany....

The US Treasury Department announced on September 8 that it had taken steps to prevent Bank Saderat, one of Iran's largest lenders, from doing any business with US-owned banks on grounds that it supports terrorism.

'This move may cause us to distance ourselves from (the dollar), and I'm sure other countries are looking at us. Even now we are using other currencies, and this encourages us to get away from the dollar.'

He said Iran could place its oil-generated revenues into 'neighbors' banks,' such as those in Saudi Arabia or Bahrain, and added: 'We also have very good relations with European banks.'
The New York Times explains further :
The United States pressed the top finance officials of the world’s leading industrial nations on Saturday to crack down....on the exploitation of their banking systems by at least 30 Iranian front companies (the US claims is) involved in illicit activities...many of them “blue chip banks.”

Last week, in what administration officials call a major escalation in the effort to squeeze Iran economically, the Treasury Department announced that Bank Saderat, a major bank in Iran, would no longer have even indirect access to the United States financial system.

Banking experts say that the decree means that Iran will have difficulty selling anything for dollars through Bank Saderat, because any commercial exchange that uses dollars normally obtains them from an American bank.

After the announcement on Bank Saderat, two senior Treasury officials visited Europe to try to persuade regulators and banks to stop doing business with Bank Saderat ...but many leading banks have refused.

Stuart Levey, under secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, visited Britain, France, Switzerland, Italy and Germany, and the deputy Treasury secretary, Robert Kimmitt, went to Germany.

France, Italy and Germany have extensive commercial relations with Iran and its trading companies.

Iran's President Calls For Expading Relationship With North Korea

Iran's Supreme Leader Claims Pope's Controversial Talk Of Islam Is Part Of US-Israel Conspiracy

More Talks Will Solve Nuclear Crisis With The West, Says Iran's President

International Atomic Energy Association Slams US Report On Iran's Nunclear Plans For Being "Outrageous And Dishonest" - Iran Not Producing Weapons Grade Materials