Obama Wields the Gas Weapon

I couldn’t help but laugh out loud today as I prepared my morning coffee, and heard on the news that Obama was considering shutting off the gas supply to Iran. Ironically, the only major complication of such a plan is that it would necessitate the cooperation of of Russia and China, whose natural reaction would be to reject it.

So can we finally confirm that the legitimate use of the ‘gas weapon’ is in the eye of the beholder? Also, this marks yet another example of how effective action re: Iran requires Russia’s cooperation, no matter how insignificant that action may be. I would point out that the only reason Russia has any leverage over Iran is because it has not completely disengaged from that country, in contrast to the U.S. Finally, does anyone else think it’s crazy that Iran is dependent on gasoline imports?

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2 Responses to Obama Wields the Gas Weapon

  1. agreed about the need for russian cooperation. at the same time, iran is (ironically enough) dependent on imports. because of the sanctions of the last 30 years, they have very little refining capacity, so they have to export the raw resources before they can import for domestic consumption. it's gotten pretty bad under ahmadinejad, so bad they've been forced to begin rationing. see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Iranian_petrol_rationing_riots

  2. João Vargas says:

    This is really nothing new, George W. Bush tried to push for this back in 2007. It would be extremely difficult to push something like this through and would, rightfully so, require support not only from Russia and China, but also from all of Iran's neighbours (very unlikely).And regarding Iran not having enough refining capacity for domestic gasoline consumption, this is also not recent; even under the Shah, Iran had to import gasoline. Sure, subsidies encourage waste and overconsumption, but one key problem is that Iranian crude is sour (high sulfur content) and generally heavier than Saudi and other Gulf blends. This makes it inherently more costly to refine crude into lighter by-products such as gasoline; importing it is more economical as a result.

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