(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

 

BY STEVEN SPARKMAN

ANCHOR CHRISTIAN BRYANT

 

Back in November, the U.N.’s nuclear agency released a report accusing Iran of pushing for nuclear weapons technology. Since that report, tensions between the regime and the West have reached a boiling point. So where does it go from here, and what do the events of the past two months mean?

 

We’ll try to break down the situation, starting with a front-page New York Times story saying Iran and the West might already be at war.

 

“As arguments flare in Israel and the United States about a possible military strike to set back Iran’s nuclear program, an accelerating covert campaign of assassinations, bombings, cyberattacks and defections appears intended to make that debate irrelevant...”

 

Iran has had its supply chains sabotaged, its scientists reportedly tempted to defect, and a devastating computer virus wreaked havoc on its uranium enrichment plant, all apparently meant to slow down or stop the nuclear program.

 

But the actions taken against Iran aren’t all covert. A Fox News security analyst says the newest round of sanctions could devastate the Iranian economy.

 

“But I think there’s an opportunity in the next month, even, to have sanctions that might actually topple the Iranian government. … This is, in effect, a blockade against Iranian oil. Iranian oil won’t get to market. We’re not blockading with gunboats, but we’re blockading with banks.”

 

Iran’s economy does seem to be in a slide. The currency, the Rial, has dropped more than 20% against the dollar in the past week. In response to the economic threats, Iran conducted naval exercises and threatened to block the vital oil passage, the Straight of Hormuz.

 

This was taken as an act of provocation against the West by many media outlets, but a foreign policy professor tells Al Jazeera -- this could actually be a sign the regime feels threatened.

 

“My perception of the 10-day naval exercise is that it was primarily propaganda and it was primarily for the Iranian population. … You have to remember that since the Straits were effectively kept under military threat in the 1980s, that both shippers and foreign governments have made a number of measures -- contingency measures -- in case anyone threatened to block them again.”

 

So Iran sabre-rattles while the West isolates -- all over the regime’s suspected nuclear ambitions. The Iranians reportedly view the nuclear program as a matter of national pride. But back in November, an analyst for Foreign Policy pointed out, developing nuclear weapons would actually weaken the country.

 

He says acts of nuclear terrorism would be immediately blamed on Iran if it were known to have weapons. He also says, by staying out of the nukes club, it could have greater influence in the region.

 

“It has more people, more economic potential, and plenty of oil and gas too. If it ever had competent political leadership it would easily be the strongest conventional power in its neighborhood. But if it gets an overt nuclear capability, that act would raise the likelihood that other states in the region … would follow suit.”

 

Saudi Arabian officials have already said they would develop nuclear weapons if Iran did. Stick with Newsy for more updates on this developing story.

Analysis: Iran's Oil and Nuclear Situation

by Steven Sparkman
0
Transcript
Jan 13, 2012

Analysis: Iran's Oil and Nuclear Situation

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

 

BY STEVEN SPARKMAN

ANCHOR CHRISTIAN BRYANT

 

Back in November, the U.N.’s nuclear agency released a report accusing Iran of pushing for nuclear weapons technology. Since that report, tensions between the regime and the West have reached a boiling point. So where does it go from here, and what do the events of the past two months mean?

 

We’ll try to break down the situation, starting with a front-page New York Times story saying Iran and the West might already be at war.

 

“As arguments flare in Israel and the United States about a possible military strike to set back Iran’s nuclear program, an accelerating covert campaign of assassinations, bombings, cyberattacks and defections appears intended to make that debate irrelevant...”

 

Iran has had its supply chains sabotaged, its scientists reportedly tempted to defect, and a devastating computer virus wreaked havoc on its uranium enrichment plant, all apparently meant to slow down or stop the nuclear program.

 

But the actions taken against Iran aren’t all covert. A Fox News security analyst says the newest round of sanctions could devastate the Iranian economy.

 

“But I think there’s an opportunity in the next month, even, to have sanctions that might actually topple the Iranian government. … This is, in effect, a blockade against Iranian oil. Iranian oil won’t get to market. We’re not blockading with gunboats, but we’re blockading with banks.”

 

Iran’s economy does seem to be in a slide. The currency, the Rial, has dropped more than 20% against the dollar in the past week. In response to the economic threats, Iran conducted naval exercises and threatened to block the vital oil passage, the Straight of Hormuz.

 

This was taken as an act of provocation against the West by many media outlets, but a foreign policy professor tells Al Jazeera -- this could actually be a sign the regime feels threatened.

 

“My perception of the 10-day naval exercise is that it was primarily propaganda and it was primarily for the Iranian population. … You have to remember that since the Straits were effectively kept under military threat in the 1980s, that both shippers and foreign governments have made a number of measures -- contingency measures -- in case anyone threatened to block them again.”

 

So Iran sabre-rattles while the West isolates -- all over the regime’s suspected nuclear ambitions. The Iranians reportedly view the nuclear program as a matter of national pride. But back in November, an analyst for Foreign Policy pointed out, developing nuclear weapons would actually weaken the country.

 

He says acts of nuclear terrorism would be immediately blamed on Iran if it were known to have weapons. He also says, by staying out of the nukes club, it could have greater influence in the region.

 

“It has more people, more economic potential, and plenty of oil and gas too. If it ever had competent political leadership it would easily be the strongest conventional power in its neighborhood. But if it gets an overt nuclear capability, that act would raise the likelihood that other states in the region … would follow suit.”

 

Saudi Arabian officials have already said they would develop nuclear weapons if Iran did. Stick with Newsy for more updates on this developing story.

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