Never Short Oil Over The Weekend

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by eagle488, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. U.N. Security Council sanctions Iran over nuclear program

    PrintEnable live quotesRSSDigg itDel.icio.usBy Steve Kerch
    Last Update: 12:32 PM ET Dec 23, 2006

    CHICAGO (MarketWatch) -- The U.N. Security Council unanimously agreed on Saturday to impose sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program, the Associated Press reported. The agreement came after months of difficult negotiations and only after Russian President Vladimir Putin called President George W. Bush Saturday to discuss the vote, the news agency said. The final draft of the agreement calls for all countries to ban the supply of specified materials and technology that could contribute to Iran's nuclear and missile programs. It also imposes an asset freeze on key companies and individuals in the country's nuclear and missile programs named on a U.N. list.
  2. Why should oil go up much?

    US doesn't get oil from Iran...
  3. You just opened up a can of worms with that question...

  4. Iran denounces U.N. sanctions as illegal
    POSTED: 1:03 p.m. EST, December 23, 2006
    Story Highlights• Iran accuses U.N. of failing to act on Israel's nuclear arsenal
    • Iran's parliamentary speaker warns Iran's relationship with IAEA could change
    • Iran failed to comply with U.N. deadline to suspend uranium enrichment

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    TEHRAN, Iran (Reuters) -- Iran condemned the U.N. Security Council resolution imposing sanctions on Iran's nuclear work on Saturday as an illegal measure outside the council's jurisdiction.

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini told state-run television the resolution "cannot affect or limit Iran's peaceful nuclear activities but will discredit the decisions of the Security Council, whose power is deteriorating."

    The resolution, which the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved, imposed sanctions on Iran's trade in sensitive nuclear materials and ballistic missiles in an attempt to get Tehran to halt uranium enrichment work.

    Iran also accused the U.N. Security Council of pursuing a double standard in imposing sanctions on what it said was Tehran's peaceful nuclear program while ignoring Israel's nuclear arsenal.

    "It is indisputable that nuclear weapons in the hands of the Israeli regime with an unparalleled record of noncompliance with Security Council resolutions ... poses a uniquely grave threat to regional and international peace and security," Iranian U.N. Ambassador Javad Zarif told the 15-nation council.

    Earlier Saturday, Iran's parliamentary speaker said parliament would alter Iran's relationship with the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, if the U.N. Security Council issued sanctions against Iran.

    "If they intend to deprive the Iranian nation of its certain right to nuclear technology by a resolution ... parliament will reconsider the nature of its relationship with the [International Atomic Energy Agency]," Parliament Speaker Gholamali Haddadadel told state television.

    Haddadadel said if the pressure mounts on Iran, parliament will have to discuss a plan, approved by the parliament's national security committee, that wants a serious reconsideration in Iran's relation with the IAEA.

    He did not elaborate on the contents of the bill and how it was meant to alter Iran's relationship with the IAEA. Parliament has already banned IAEA snap inspections in February in response to its nuclear case referral to the U.N. Security Council.

    However, the head of parliament's national security committee Alaeddin Boroujerdi said on Saturday that Iran was not interested in quitting the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) despite possible sanctions.

    "Since Iran seriously opposes building nuclear weapons it is not interested in signing out from such an important matter in international aspect," Boroujerdi was quoted by Iran's student news agency ISNA as saying.

    The U.N. resolution is a reaction to Iran's failure to comply with an August 31 U.N. deadline to suspend uranium enrichment work and resume negotiations.

    It is under Article 41 of Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which makes enforcement mandatory but restricts action to nonmilitary measures.

    It would suspend sanctions if Tehran in turn suspended "all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development." Iran has vowed to continue its nuclear work regardless of the sanctions.
  5. U.S. weighs Navy buildup in Mideast
    From Times Wire Reports
    December 20, 2006

    The Pentagon is considering a buildup of Navy forces in the Persian Gulf as a show of force against Iran, a senior defense official said.

    Speaking on condition of anonymity because the idea has not been approved, the official said one proposal called for sending a second aircraft carrier to the region amid increasing tensions with Iran. Tehran is blamed for encouraging sectarian violence in Iraq as well as allegedly pursuing a nuclear weapons program.
  6. Navy may beef up forces in Persian Gulf

    The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower is already in the Persian Gulf region.

    The Defense Department is thinking about a major buildup of U.S. Navy forces in the Gulf as a show of force against Iran, a senior defense official said Tuesday.

    Speaking on condition of anonymity because the idea has not been approved, the official said one proposal is to send a second aircraft carrier to the region amid increasing tensions with Iran, blamed for encouraging sectarian violence in neighboring Iran as well as allegedly pursuing a nuclear weapons program.

    The United States and its European allies are seeking sanctions against Iran because of its refusal to stop uranium enrichment, a technology that can be used to produce nuclear fuel for civilian purposes or fuel for a nuclear bomb.

    In Tehran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that U.N. sanctions would not stop Iran from pursuing its uranium enrichment program, which he has said is for peaceful development of energy.

    The idea of building up U.S. Navy forces has been discussed over some time, and it is unclear when a decision will be made, the official said.

    The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower is already in the region. It left the United States in late September with four other ships and submarines carrying 6,500 sailors.

    The flotilla headed to the Mediterranean Sea and eventually went to relieve the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise strike group, which was in the region supporting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Also, the U.S. in late October led a naval training exercise aimed at blocking smuggling of nuclear weapons in the Gulf.

    The six-nation maneuvers off the coast of Iran were the first of their kind since North Korea's October 9 nuclear test and U.N. sanctions that called on the international community to conduct searches at sea. The measures were made to ensure the reclusive communist nation is not secretly expanding its nuclear program.

    Meanwhile, the Bush administration said Monday that Iran is making headway in building nuclear weapons, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tried to iron out differences with Russia over a U.N. resolution designed to stop the program with economic sanctions.

    State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the Iranians were trying to perfect technology to enrich uranium.

    The spokesman provided no details of Rice's telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Russia, which has close economic ties with Iran, has favored diplomacy over punitive sanctions, but the Bush administration is hoping Moscow may be prepared to approve a watered-down resolution at the U.N. Security Council.

    Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  7. U.S. and Britain to mobilize in Gulf
    By Thom Shanker

    Thursday, December 21, 2006
    The United States and Britain will begin moving additional warships and aircraft into the Gulf region in a display of military resolve toward Iran that would come as the United Nations debates possible sanctions against it, according to military officials.

    The officials said Wednesday that Defense Secretary Robert Gates was expected to approve a request by commanders for a second aircraft carrier and its supporting ships to be stationed within quick sailing distance of Iran by early next year.

    Senior U.S. officers said the increase in naval power should not be viewed as preparation for a strike against Iran. But they acknowledged that the ability to hit Iran would be increased and that Iranian leaders might well call the growing presence provocative.

    Vice Admiral Patrick Walsh, commander of naval forces across the U.S. military's Central Command, said that while "Iranian tone and rhetoric creates an environment of intimidation and fear," the United States "must be careful not to contribute to escalation."

    One purpose of the deployment, they said, is to make clear that the focus on ground troops in Iraq has not made it impossible for the United States and its allies to maintain a military watch on Iran. That would also reassure Washington's allies in the region who are concerned about Iran's intentions.

    The officials said the planned growth in naval power in the Gulf and surrounding waters would be useful in enforcing any sanctions that the United Nations might impose. Washington says Iran wants to acquire nuclear weapons and is seeking to punish it for that.

    The buildup would address another concern: that Iran could attempt to block oil shipments from the Gulf in retaliation for UN sanctions or other U.S.-led pressure.

    Steps are already being taken to increase the number of minesweeping vessels and magnetic sleds carried by helicopters to improve the ability to counter Iranian mines that could block oil-shipping lanes, Pentagon and military officials said.

    As part of future deployments after the first of the year, the British Navy plans to add two mine-hunting vessels to its ships that already are part of the international coalition patrolling waters in the Gulf.

    A British Navy news release said the ship movements were aimed at "maintaining familiarity with the challenges of warm-water mine-hunting conditions." But a senior British official said: "We are increasing our presence. That is only prudent."

    Military officers said doubling the aircraft carrier presence in the region could be accomplished quickly by a shift in sailing schedules.

    As opposed to ground and air forces that require bases in the region, naval forces offer the ability to project power into parts of the world where a large U.S. presence is controversial, unwanted even by allies. Many of the ships could be kept over the horizon, out of sight but close enough.

    In an interview from his headquarters in Bahrain, Walsh declined to discuss the specifics of future deployments. "To assure our friends, we have to have capabilities to secure the critical sea lines of communication," Walsh said.

    "They need reassurances that we expect to be part of the effort here for the long term, that we will not run away from intimidation and that we will be part of the effort here for security and stability at sea for the long term," he added. "Our position must be visible, and it must have muscle in order to be credible. That requires sustained presence."

    Other military officials did describe specifics of the planned deployments in order to clarify the rationale for the movement of ships and aircraft, but they would not do so by name because Gates has not yet signed any deployment orders.

    Pentagon officials said the military's joint staff, which plans operations and manages deployments, had recently received a formal request from commanders for a second aircraft carrier strike group in the region. That request was mentioned in various news accounts over the past few days.

    The aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower and its strike group — including three escort ships, an attack submarine and 6,500 sailors in all — entered the Gulf on Dec. 11 after an autumn naval exercise to practice halting vessels suspected of smuggling nuclear materials in waters across the region.

    A carrier had not been inside the Gulf since the Enterprise left in July, according to Pentagon officials. The next carrier scheduled to sail toward the Middle East is the John C. Stennis, already set to depart Bremerton, Washington, for the region in late January, according to naval officers.

    Officials expressed doubt that the Stennis and its escorts would be asked to set sail before the holiday season, but it could be ordered to sea several weeks earlier than planned. It could then overlap for months with the Eisenhower, which is not scheduled to return home until May, offering ample time to decide whether to send another carrier or to extend the Eisenhower's tour.

    Doubling the number of carriers in the region offers commanders the flexibility of either keeping both strike groups in the Gulf or keeping one near Iran while placing a second carrier group outside the Gulf, where it would be in position to fly combat patrols over Afghanistan or cope with growing violence in the Horn of Africa.

    But these same officials acknowledge that Iran is the focus of any new deployments, as administration officials view recent bold moves by Iran — and by North Korea, as well — as at least partly explained by those countries' assessments that the U.S. military is bogged down in Iraq.

    Admiral Mike Mullen, chief of naval operations, has made the case that the United States should seek to create what he calls "a thousand-ship navy." That would be impossible for the United States alone, given current budgets, so instead it would be accomplished by operating more closely with allied warships to better cover critical areas like the Gulf.

    He said that such a cooperative naval concept would be a "global maritime partnership that unites navies, coast guards, maritime forces, port operators, commercial shippers and many other government and nongovernment agencies to address maritime concerns."
  8. Saudis dispute strategy on Iran
    By Philip Sherwell, Sunday Telegraph
    Last Updated: 12:37am GMT 24/12/2006

    A power battle within the secretive Saudi royal family over how to contain Iran lay behind the abrupt resignation of its high-profile ambassador to Washington, it was reported yesterday, writes Philip Sherwell.

    Prince Turki al-Faisal resigned after just 18 months

    Prince Turki al-Faisal, the kingdom's former intelligence chief who was previously ambassador to Britain, stunned diplomats in Washington when he abandoned his prestigious posting after just 18 months.

    But according to The Washington Post, Prince Turki was constantly undermined by his predecessor and brother-in-law, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who represented Saudi Arabia for 22 years in the US and was an old friend of President George W Bush.

    Quoting sources close to the family, the newspaper said Prince Bandar, now the Saudis' national security adviser, returned secretly to America – sometimes monthly – for unofficial talks with US officials including Vice-President Dick Cheney. Prince Turki was not usually informed, and the Saudi embassy resorted to sending diplomats to the airport to check whether Prince Bandar's jet was in the country.

    The focus of the royal rift is apparently a dispute over how Saudi Arabia, the home of the Sunni branch of Islam, should counter the growing regional influence of Iran, the Middle East's major Shia Muslim power.

    advertisementPrince Turki publicly supported diplomatic negotiations with Iran, which backs armed groups hostile to the West in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority, and is pursuing a nuclear weapons programme. But Prince Bandar was reportedly lobbying to maintain the US policy of isolating Teheran.

    Prince Bandar, who has the ear of King Abdullah, was alarmed that the Iraq Study Group recommended direct US talks with Iran about Iraq. As The Sunday Telegraph reported earlier this month, Mr Cheney was summoned to Riyadh to hear Saudi concerns amid reports that the kingdom might intervene to help Iraq's Sunni minority against the Iranian-backed Shias. Prince Bandar flew to Washington, for further talks with US officials, shortly before Prince Turki resigned.

    In an apparent side-effect of the royal split, several US lobbying groups and event organisers told The Washington Post that they were owed millions of dollars for work conducted recently for the Saudi embassy.

    No Saudi official was available in Washington yesterday to comment, but one outside adviser said: "Of course there are sometimes differences on how to approach policy, but the royal family remains very close."

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  9. US: Further steps needed on Iran

    After UN unanimously approves sanctions, Iran nation insists on continuing nuclear program. US: 'We want international community to take further action. We're certainly not going to put all our eggs in the UN basket'
    Dudi Cohen

    Following the United Nations Security Council's approval of sanction on Iran Saturday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued a statement saying: "The Iranian government, through its own actions, has further isolated itself and the Iranian people from the international community.

    "This resolution is a strong signal to the government of Iran that it should accept its international obligations, suspend its sensitive nuclear activities and accept the negotiations path that the US and its Security Council partners offered six months ago," she said.

    Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said: "We don't think this resolution is enough in itself. We want the international community to take further action. We're certainly not going to put all our eggs in the UN basket."

    Burns said the resolution takes away a main argument against bilateral penalties by individual countries, which have told US officials that they could not do so until the UN acted. "We want to let the Iranians know that there is a big cost to them," Burns said, so they will return to talks.

    UN Security Council: Unanimous (Photo: AP)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier saw the UN move as an important signal that Iran should follow its obligations and promises to the international community.

    Merkel said that the unanimous nature of the resolution Against Nuclear Iran

    UN approves Iran sanctions / Reuters

    Security Council unanimously imposes sanctions on Iran's trade in sensitive nuclear materials and ballistic missiles, in move aimed at getting Tehran to halt uranium enrichment work; Israeli ambassador to UN: Very important decision; Iran: Decision illegal, won't limit our nuclear activities
    Full Story

    reinforced the importance of the move and demonstrated that the international community was prepared to come together to find a solution to the conflict surrounding Iran's nuclear ambitions.

    Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni responded to the decision saying that the imposition of sanctions “constitutes an important decision in the struggle to prevent the nuclear armament of Iran.”

    “The international community must continue to show determination in this common fight to halt Iran’s nuclear program," she noted.

    Defense Minister Amir Peretz said, “This is a most important step. We must continue to pressure the international community to impose even more significant sanctions on Iran.”

    Iran not fazed

    Despite the unanimous United Nations Security Council vote, the Islamic nation insists on persisting with its nuclear program. The Iranian Foreign Ministry noted Saturday that uranium enrichment would not be interrupted, regardless of international sanctions.

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini told state-run television the resolution "Cannot affect or limit Iran's peaceful nuclear activities but will discredit the decisions of the Security Council, whose power is deteriorating."

    "Ratifying this resolution is an illegal measure outside the jurisdiction of the Security Council and contradicting the regulations of the United Nations charter," Hosseini said.

    "Some of the members of the Security Council, especially the United States ... Do not commit themselves to the NPT and freely provide this technology and equipment to other countries and do not commit themselves to any of the articles of nuclear disarmament," he said. "On the contrary they develop their nuclear arsenals."

    "This decision cannot stand against the will of the Iranian nation," the spokesman added.

    The Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that, “Today, when the Zionist entity is not willing to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty or agree to supervision by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), when the Security Council is doing nothing in response to the Zionist prime minister’s public announcement regarding the entity’s nuclear capabilities, Iran does not accept the Security Council’s discriminating treatment regarding its nuclear program.

    “The Iranian people will not gable on their fate,” the statement said.

    Ronny Sofer, Hanan Greenberg and news agencies contributed to the report
  10. down to business: how much do you think this will affect price?

    I say very little will change until Iran starts making believable oil specific threats. The oil markets could care very little about geopolitical premium right now.
    #10     Dec 23, 2006