Friday, December 29, 2006

Iran under pressure Iran under pressure

Two interesting articles today about Iran. Victor Davis Hanson in Iran's Ahmadinejad Far Weaker Than He Lets On suggests that it is not in our best interests to deal with Iran right now on its terms. The country is under a lot of internal pressure right now, and Ahmadinejad just lost big in the recent municipal elections.

Jack Kelly in The Looming Regional Mideast War looks at the money angle, and, in particular, at Iran's current and future financial problems.
On Christmas day, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report which indicates Iranian oil production is about to plunge.

Iran currently earns about $50 billion a year in oil exports. Oil profits account for about 65 percent of Iranian government revenues.

But Iranian oil exports could decline by half within five years, and virtually disappear within ten, said Roger Stern, an economic geographer at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

The effect on Iran would be catastrophic. Thanks to mismanagement by the mullahs, and corruption on a scale so vast as to make even an Iraqi blush, Iran's economy is already a basket case. According to the CIA World Factbook, more than 40 percent of Iran's people live in poverty; the unemployment rate is 11 percent (more than double that for people under 30), and the rate of inflation tops 13 percent. Oil exports are just about Iran's only source of foreign exchange.
I have been saying for quite awhile that time is mostly on our side as to Iran. Knowing this, they have been trying to push us by backing the militias in Iraq and Hizballah in Lebannon.


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