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December 27, 2006
So The Message Got Delivered, Then

Iran has acknowledged that its oil industry has fallen on hard times, and guess who they blame for their troubles? The Great Satan, this time, might not mind:

Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh has lamented that the development of Iran's oil industry was suffering from US pressure.

"Iran has been under different sanctions for years and many companies have not been able to cooperate with our country for fear of US pressures," Vaziri Hamaneh said, according to the semi-official news agency Fars on Tuesday.

"They even do not easily deliver some dual-purpose equipment that we had previously bought. They cause trouble for us under different pretexts," he said.

Thanks for confirming the receipt of our messsage, Vaziri! Their own government has made it clear that they see us as an enemy at conferences where attendees were asked by their president to imagine a world without America and Israel. I guess imagining that would also imagine a world without the spare parts they need to fix their production issues at their oilfields.

The fact that they even offer this as an excuse demonstrates the tough economic position in which the existing sanctions from the US has placed Iran. Even with the weak-kneed sanctions offered by the UN this week, those woes will only increase. As the economic noose tightens, the Iranians -- who by and large oppose Ahmadinejad's excessive provocations -- will start preparing political nooses, or perhaps even real nooses, if their disaffection grows large enough.

An internal removal of the mullahcracy and the establishment of a real democracy offers the safest and most effective path to prevent nuclear proliferation. The US and the West should insist on strict enforcement of the economic sanctions to expedite this development and to thoroughly discredit the theocracy that placed Iran in this poor position. At this rate, it looks like Iran will be unable to export oil by 2015, but their final economic collapse will happen long before that. If we can remain firm, we could avoid a lot of the bloodshed that would accompany our other options to stop Iran's nukes. (via It Shines For All)

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 27, 2006 6:32 AM

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