The Iranian People Lose Again

This morning, July 5, 2008, the CASMII website posted this extraordinary essay by Michel Chossudovsky/Global Research:

Iran: War or Privatization: All Out War or “Economic Conquest”?

Another way of saying it:  Is Iran’s chance for democratic self-government gone the way of the overthrow of Mossadeqh, absent only a Roosevelt tossing money at thugs?

In broad strokes, Chossudovsky opens the multiple Russian dolls:  at first blush, it appears that Tehran’s agreement to sell off state owned assets to foreign investors might be the ruling regime’s bid to stave off an American-Israeli war and maintain power by placating the US-Israel-WTO-IMF cabal. Although Tehran does insist on Iranian ownership of at least 65% of any privitazed assets sold to foreign entities, shares are still at rock-bottom prices, a bell that cannot but cause voracious dogs like Carlyle Group to salivate to the point of drowning in their own drool.

But Chossudovsky keeps pulling wooden dolls out of the box:  H Con Res 362 signals that

Washington has no interest in the imposition of a privatization program on Iran, as an “alternative” to an all out war. In fact quite the opposite. There are indications that the Bush adminstration’s main objective is to stall the privatization program.

Rather than being applauded by Washington as a move in the right direction, Tehran’s privatization program coincides with the launching (May 2008) of a far-reaching resolution in the US Congress (H.CON. RES 362), calling for the imposition of Worldwide financial sanctions directed against Iran:

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Little bit of background: My interest in Iran took a turn toward alarm after I heard Patrick Clawson deliver a speech to an audience organized by the United Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh.  The flier advertising the speech shocked me:  a flame-colored mushroom cloud on a black field, with the block letters: Nuclear Iran: A Threat to Humanity jabbing off the page to spear readers.

Clawson’s talk was the kick-off event of UJF’s Iran Task Force, whose goal was to “inform Pittsburghers” of the threat Iran posed to the world; to support legislation working its way through the Pennsylvania State legislature that would permit divestment of Teachers’ and State Employees’ pension funds from corporations doing business with Iran; and to advocate for further divestment from Iran.

Although UJF’s Iran Task Force billed itself as an “interfaith alliance,” a list obtained from the Task Force’s administrator included these groups:

~American Israel Public Affairs Committee

~Anti-Defamation League

~Bnai Zion, Pittsburgh Region

~Community & Public Affairs Council of the United Jewish Federation

~Friends of Israel

~Greater Pittsburgh Rabbinic Association

~Hadassah, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter

~Holocaust Center of the United Jewish Federation

~Pittsburgh Persian Gulf Initiative

~Pittsburgh Chapter American Jewish Committee

~Scholars for Peace in the Middle East*

~Zionist Organization of America, Pittsburgh District

To be fair, Clawson was introduced by an African American Christian pastor whose contact information was only a PO Box.

Otherwise, the definition of “interfaith” as applied to the list of sponsors of the Iran Task Force has a meaning I am not acquainted with.

The goal of UJF’s Iran Task Force is to encourage

Terror-Free investment options, offered by Wall Street’s best firms, {that} exclude foreign companies conducting business with Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria while ensuring high-yield returns.

Plagued by insufficient internal investment and technology, these rogue regimes rely on foreign companies to prop-up their struggling economies, thus allowing these governments to maintain business as usual – ignoring the welfare of their people and sponsoring global terrorism.  Investing Terror-Free allows all of us to say “not with my money.”

Inspired by similar campaigns that shut down South African apartheid…

The Pittsburgh Persian Gulf Initiative, invites exploration.  PPGI (which has since changed its name) is a brand new alliance established by persons affiliated with Greycourt & Co. Inc. whose mission is

Greycourt advises clients who range in size from approximately $25 million in investable assets to a number of Forbes 400 families.

 Hey, everybody’s gotta make a living.

Sidebar: * letter from Scholars for Peace: Jews created democracy or something; NO: quote Jefferson.

Gregory Friedman, chief investment officer for Greycourt, included this slide in a 2007 Powerpoint presentation for Greycourt:

Broader Opportunity Set…

Global Rank  Company Name  Country  Capitalization %

3 China Mobile Ltd.       HONG KONG         0.82%

5 Gazprom OAO             RUSSIA            0.79%

8 BP PLC                  UNITED KINGDOM    0.52%

10 Petroleo Brasileiro S/A BRAZIL            0.49%

11 Electricite de France   FRANCE            0.49%

12 Toyota Motor Corp.      JAPAN0            0.49%

13 Vodafone Group PLC      UNITED KINGDOM    0.48%

14 HSBC Holdings PLC       UNITED KINGDOM    0.47%

16 China Construction Bank Corp.CHINA        0.46%

18 Total S.A.              FRANCE            0.46%

Total Non-US Based in Top 20 Non-US          5.48%

Total US-based in Top 20 United States       6.30%

Here is a list of firms UJF Pittsburgh advises the Pennsylvania State Teachers’ Pension fund and the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Pension fund to divest:

Gazprom

Petrobras

Total SA

Royal Dutch Shell *

China in general,

The key obstacle to stronger international pressure against Tehran has been China, Iran’s largest trading partner. After the Iranian government refused to comply with two U.N. Security Council resolutions dealing with its nuclear program, Beijing balked at a U.S. proposal for a resolution that would have sanctioned the Revolutionary Guard, U.S. officials said.

and these Chinese corporations in particular:

China National Petroleum Corp.

China National Offshore Oil Corp.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp.

* Royal Dutch Shell: According to research completed by Trita Parsi

On slide #19, Friedman advises:

Inefficiently traded markets offer ample opportunity for skillful managers to generate excess returns.

Watch out for potentially adverse legal systems, capital controls and insider control.

George Soros comment, __________

A new venture, PPGI kicked off its establishment by sponsoring a talk in Pittsburgh by author Azar Nafisi, whose controversial book, “Reading Lolita in Tehran,” was underwritten by the

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Back to Michel Chossodosky’s nested Russian dolls:

The largest foreign investors in Iran are China and Russia.

While US companies are notoriously absent from the list of foreign direct investors, Germany, Italy and Japan have significant investment interests in oil and gas, the petrochemical industry, power generation and construction as well as in banking. Together with China and Russia, they are the main beneficiaries of the privatization program.

One of the main objectives of the proposed economic sanctions under H. RES CON 362 is to prevent foreign companies (including those from the European Union and Japan) , from acquiring a greater stake in the Iranian economy under Tehran’s divestment program.

Other countries with major foreign investment interests in Iran include France, India, Norway, South Korea, Sweden and Switzerland. Sweden’s Svedala Industri has major interests in Iran’s copper mines.

UJF’s divestment program includes thes Japanese, French, Indian, Norwegian, South Korean, Swedish, and Swiss firms:

INPEX: The Japanese market accounts for 22 percent of Iran’s oil exports which account for 85 percent of Japan’s total oil imports. The Tokyo-based INPEX, which is part-owned by the Japanese government, has billions of dollars invested in many Iranian oil projects including the Soroosh, Nowrooz and Azadegan oil fields.

Alcatel SA: French telecommunications giant Alcatel, has signed numerous multimillion dollar contracts deals with Iran as well as Sudan over the past five years. Alcatel supplies Iran with most of its telecommunications facilities, high-speed Internet service and communication devices and infrastructure for offshore oil and gas platforms.

ONGC: India’s Oil and Natural gas Company (ONGC) signed a $40 billion deal with Iran in 2005 to import millions of tons of liquid gas. ONGC is involved in many lucrative exploration projects in Iran and is on the verge of signing a deal in the South Pars oilfields valued at over $100 million.

Norsk Hydro: Norsk Hydro is Norway’s second largest energy company and is partially owned by the Norwegian government. Norsk Hydro has massive investments in Iranian oil projects including a $107 million contract signed with Iran last year.

Hyundai: South Korea’s Hyundai supports Iran by supplying it with energy-related construction and development help, manufacturing components and ship maintenance. Among its other mega-deals with Iran, Hyundai recently signed a $1 billion contract along with Daewoo to build oil tankers for the regime.

and

LG Engineering and Construction Co.: In 2002, South Korea’s LG Engineering and Construction Co. signed a $1.6 billion deal for a gas processing plant project in the South Pars gas fields. The company has a 45.3 stake in the deal that allows it to claim $700 million of the total project cost.

1.Neville Chamberlain: who will take the role of Chamberlain? see Legacy of Ashes

2. Clawson: Iran has no friends. PHOTO OF FLAGS. the problem, Iran has many friends, but most of them are not the US and Israel.  Iran is the beautiful, wealthy, eligible young person in town whose father guards her virtue with a shotgun and who remembers a slight and doesn’t invite those who have insulted him to the party.  And carrot cake is not on the menu.

3. Greycourt is a Carlyle Group wannabe. How does Carlyle operate?  see video: government information at the highest level, including making things happen in the absence of naturally occuring phenomenon — see Victorian Holocausts.

Is this moral?  in the world of Bob Kagan, yes. the curious morality of James Glassman.

America does not share that value system.

1 comment

  1. The real motives for the chest-thumping about Iran do seem to be taking place in the shadows.  

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