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OPEC to US: Stop harassing oil producers

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    OPEC to US: Stop harassing oil producers Wed, 02 Jul 2008 http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=62300§ionid=3510213 OPEC Secretary General Abdallah el-Badri
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 3, 2008
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      OPEC to US: Stop harassing oil producers
      Wed, 02 Jul 2008

      OPEC Secretary General Abdallah el-Badri
      The OPEC Secretary General, Abdullah el-Badri says that Washington
      should stop harassing countries within the oil producers group.

      "As the world's major power, I want them to stop harassing OPEC
      countries," el-Badri told the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

      In an effort to pressure OPEC members to pump the amount of oil that
      the US deems sufficient, the US House of Representatives has passed
      a bill allowing the Justice Department to sue oil-producing
      countries for what it calls their collective effort to limit oil
      supplies and set crude prices.

      "With the boycott of Libya, the boycott of Iran and the problem
      created in Iraq, there are five to six million barrels per day
      lacking on the market," el-Badri said.

      He called the lack of supplies a 'myth' and held that speculation
      sparked by the subprime-mortgage crisis in the United States
      responsible for the current price of oil.

      "In reality, it's all quite simple to explain: the subprime crisis
      last summer in the United States had a bad effect on stock markets.
      Investors are looking for other (financial) products and commodities
      have become the most attractive for speculation," he said.


      Iraqis dispute bogus US claims of Iranian arms Bogus Claim,
      al-Maliki Stall US Plan on Iran Arms
      Wednesday, 14 May 2008

      WASHINGTON — Early this month, the George W. Bush administration's
      plan to create a new crescendo of accusations against Iran for
      allegedly smuggling arms to Shiite militias in Iraq encountered not
      just one but two setbacks. The government of Prime Minister Nouri al-
      Maliki refused to endorse US charges of Iranian involvement in arms
      smuggling to the Mahdi Army, and a plan to show off a huge
      collection of Iranian arms captured in and around Karbala had to be
      called off after it was discovered that none of the arms were of
      Iranian origin.

      The news media's failure to report that the arms captured from
      Shiite militiamen in Karbala did not include a single Iranian weapon
      shielded the US military from a much bigger blow to its anti-Iran

      Disinformation intended to build political support The Bush
      administration and top Iraq commander Gen. David Petraeus had
      plotted a sequence of events that would build domestic US political
      support for a possible strike against Iran over its "meddling" in
      Iraq and especially its alleged export of arms to Shiite militias.
      The plan was keyed to a briefing document to be prepared by Petraeus
      on the alleged Iranian role in arming and training Shiite militias
      that would be surfaced publicly after the al-Maliki government had
      endorsed it and it used to accuse Iran publicly.

      Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, told
      reporters on Apr. 25 that Petraeus was preparing a briefing to be
      given "in the next couple of weeks" that would provide detailed
      evidence of "just how far Iran is reaching into Iraq to foment

      The centerpiece of the Petraeus document, completed in late April,
      was the claim that arms captured in Basra bore 2008 manufacture
      dates on them.

      Planned to display fake 'Iranian' weapons

      US officials also planned to display Iranian weapons captured in
      both Basra and Karbala to reporters. That sequence of media events
      would fill the airwaves with spectacular news framing Iran as the
      culprit in Iraq for several days, aimed at breaking down
      congressional and public resistance to the idea that Iranian bases
      supporting the meddling would have to be attacked.

      But events in Iraq diverged from the plan. On May 4, after an Iraqi
      delegation had returned from meetings in Iran, al-Maliki's
      spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, said in a news conference that al-Maliki
      was forming his own Cabinet committee to investigate the US
      claims. "We want to find tangible information and not information
      based on speculation," he said.

      Another adviser to al-Maliki, Haider Abadi, told the Los Angeles
      Times' Alexandra Zavis that Iranian officials had given the
      delegation evidence disproving the charges. "For us to be impartial,
      we have to investigate," Abadi said.

      Iraqis remain skepticalAl-Dabbagh made it clear that the government
      considered the US evidence of Iranian government arms smuggling

      "The proof we have is weapons which are shown to have been made in
      Iran," al-Dabbagh said in a separate interview with Reuters. "We
      want to trace back how they reached [Iraq], who is using them, where
      are they getting it."

      Senior US military officials were clearly furious with al-Maliki for
      backtracking on the issue. "We were blindsided by this," one of them
      told Zavis.

      Then the Bush administration's campaign on Iranian arms encountered
      another serious problem. The Iraqi commander in Karbala had
      announced on May 3 that he had captured a large quantity of Iranian
      arms in and around that city.

      Earlier the US military had said that it was up to the Iraqi
      government to display captured Iranian weapons, but now an Iraqi
      commander was eager to show off such weapons. Petraeus' staff
      alerted US media to a major news event in which the captured Iranian
      arms in Karbala would be displayed and then destroyed.

      Story unreported by world's news media But when US munitions experts
      went to Karbala to see the alleged cache of Iranian weapons, they
      found nothing that they could credibly link to Iran.

      The US command had to inform reporters that the event had been
      cancelled, explaining that it had all been a "misunderstanding". In
      his press briefing May 7, Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner gave some details
      of the captured weapons in Karbala but refrained from charging any
      Iranian role.

      The cancellation of the planned display was a significant story, in
      light of the well-known intention of the US command to convict Iran
      on the arms smuggling charge. Nevertheless, it went completely
      unreported in the world's news media.

      A report on the Los Angeles Times' Blog "Babylon & Beyond" by
      Baghdad correspondent Tina Susman was the only small crack in the
      media blackout. The story was not carried in the Times itself,

      The real significance of the captured weapons collected in Karbala
      was not the obvious US political embarrassment over an Iraqi claim
      of captured Iranian arms that turned out to be false. It was the
      deeper implication of the arms that were captured.

      Not a single item of Iranian origin Karbala is one of Iraq's eight
      largest cities, and it has long been the focus of major fighting
      between the Mahdi Army and its Shiite foes.

      Moqtada al-Sadr declared his ceasefire last August after a major
      battle there, and fighting had resumed there with the government
      operation in Basra in March. Thousands of Mahdi Army fighters have
      fought there over the past year.

      The official list of weapons captured in Karbala includes nine
      mortars, four anti-aircraft missiles, 45, RPGs and 800 RPG missiles
      and 570 roadside explosive devices. The failure to find a single
      item of Iranian origin among these heavier weapons, despite the
      deeply entrenched Mahdi Army presence over many months, suggests
      that the dependence of the Mahdi Army on arms manufactured in Iran
      is actually quite insignificant.

      The Karbala weapons cache also raises new questions about the
      official US narrative about the Shiite militia's use of explosively
      formed penetrators (EFPs) as an Iranian phenomenon. Among the
      captured weapons mentioned by Gen. Jawdat were what he called "150
      anti-tank bombs", as distinguished from ordinary roadside explosive

      Sophisticated anti-tank devices made in Iraq itselfAn "anti-tank
      bomb" is a device that is capable of penetrating armor, which has
      been introduced to the U.S. public as the EFP. The US claim that
      Iran was behind their growing use in Iraq was the centrepiece of the
      Bush administration's case for an Iranian "proxy war" against the
      U.S. in early 2007.

      Soon after that, however, senior US military officials conceded that
      EFPs were in fact being manufactured in Iraq itself, although they
      insisted that EFPs alleged exported by Iran were superior to the
      home-made version. The large cache of EFPs in Karbala which are
      admitted to be non-Iranian in origin underlines the reality that the
      Mahdi Army procures its EFPs from a variety of sources.

      But for the media blackout of the story, the large EFP discovery in
      Karbala would have further undermined the credibility of the US
      military's line on Iran's export of the EFPs to Iraqi fighters.
      Apparently understanding the potential political difficulties that
      the Karbala EFP find could present, Gen. Bergner omitted any
      reference to them in his otherwise accurate accounting of the
      Karbala weapons.

      Gareth Porter is an historian and national security policy analyst.
      The paperback edition of his latest book, Perils of Dominance:
      Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam, was published in



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