Mullahs Threaten Global Oil Crisis

Majid Rafizadeh, an Iranian-American political scientist and scholar, is president of the International American Council and serves on the board of the Harvard International Review at Harvard University. Rafizadeh is also a senior fellow at the Nonviolence International Organization based in Washington, DC and is a member of the Gulf project at Columbia University. He can be reached at rafizadeh@fas.harvard.edu. Follow Rafizadeh at @majidrafizadeh.


ayatollah-ali-khameneiA few days after the Obama administration signed the nuclear deal with the Islamist state of Iran, after the easing of sanctions on the ruling cleric and Iranian authorities began to take off, the Mullahs initiated their first hegemonic ambition to reclaim and regain its No.2 position in OPEC, threatening to trigger an oil price war if the other 12 countries oppose Iran’s plan. In addition, Iran has put forward a candidate for the position of OPEC secretary general, considered to be the voice of the OPEC organization between meetings.

If the next time you stopped to fill up your car at a gas station, or to buy any other product, and you notice a sudden increase in prices, this can be attributed to the tireless efforts of the Obama administration to start lifting sanctions on Iran, easing pressure on the nation and integrating the Islamists of Iran into the international community, legitimizing them, giving them credibility, calling them rational actors, and pushing for the recent nuclear deal with the ruling cleric in the Iranian regime.

Last week, ahead of the upcoming OPEC meeting, Iran threatened to trigger a price war in the global oil markets. Iranian authorities warned OPEC’s 12 members that Tehran will ratchet up its oil output, no matter what the consequences would be, in an attempt to gain its former influential position. Bijan Zangeneh, Iran’s Oil Minister, said before going into the closed meetings that “we will not give up our rights on this issue.” The sanctions, accumulated through many years in the international community, reduced Iran’s leverage to disrupt and control the world economy through managing oil prices. However, the recent agreement with President Obama gave the Iranian Ayatollah and leaders a freedom to more aggressively reclaim and reassert their Islamist ambitions in the region and on the international scale.

There is a special quota assigned for each main oil exporter at OPEC. Iranian leaders stated that they will not comply with that quota. This will result in a disruption in supply and demand, which will ultimately create uncertainty in the market and lead to the rising of oil prices. For industrial countries, this will affect the prices of many other goods, because oil is used as a primary source for fuel. If Iran does not respect individual targets of oil sales in the global market and the quotas of OPEC members, Tehran’s attempts can definitely result in oil glut. In addition, this will lead to an increase in geopolitical tensions in the region and particularly among OPEC members.

An adviser to Iran’s oil minister, Mehdi Hosseini, was previously quoted in the Financial Times as saying that the Iranian government is developing a form of contract that could change the current system of buyback contracts, which currently do not permit foreign companies to book reserves or take equity stakes in Iranian oil, gas, or other projects. This can be viewed as a considerable increase in Iran’s growing power and leverage, which has previously been exposed to little investment in its oil and gas fields due to the international sanctions and pressure.

The primary reason that brought Iranian leaders to the negotiating table was the very sanctions that have accumulated over the past years by the international community and other US administrations. By the conciliatory and submissive stance that the Obama administration is taking towards Iranian and Islamist authorities, and by the easing of sanctions, the Ayatollahs have viewed America’s recent fragile position and the recent nuclear deal as a freehand to threaten the global economy, regain its no.2  position in OPEC, and increase its hegemonic ambitions in the region, particularly towards Israel. Empowered by the temporary nuclear agreement that was reached two weeks ago, Iranian leaders are aiming to increase their oil sale from nearly 2.5 million barrels a day to 4 million barrels.

Obama promised and pushed for a deal— beside the secret deals and talks with the Ayatollahs— arguing that Iranian leaders are rational actors, and if the international community eases the sanctions and trusts the Islamic Republic of Iran, this would be the most efficient deal to get Tehran to reciprocate, since there is a “moderate” cleric in power.  But anyone who has studied the political structure of Iran closely would be cognizant of the fact that there is no fundamental differences between Iran’s political spectrum (reformists like Khatami, moderates like Rouhani, and hardliners like Ahmadinejad) when it comes to pursuing the regime’s Islamist revolutionary ideals; including obtaining nuclear weapons, supporting terrorists organizations, wiping Israel off of the world map, denying the Holocaust, and spreading their Islamist ideology across the world by force.

In addition, the final say rests in the hand of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has clearly declared his denial of the Holocaust, his antagonism towards the United States and Israel, and his ambitions for the world to finally be an Islamist state under the rule of Allah. In fact, recently, Khamenei called Israel a “rabid dog,” adding, “Israeli officials cannot be called humans. They are like animals.” He furthermore called the United States a state criminal. All politicians and Ayatollahs in Iran support the current hegemonic and Islamist ambitions of the regime, with the Supreme Leader in charge of foreign policy.

The recent activities after lessening sanctions indicate that efforts by the Islamists in Iran to regain their influence economically— by controlling the oil market— and geopolitically— by further supporting and funding terrorist groups. Thanks to President Obama’s lessening sanctions on Iran, and his blocking of the bipartisan sanctions on the nation, Iran’s increasing control of OPEC’s main decisions and increasing influence in the global oil market is essentially handing over power and leverage to the Ayatollahs. If the current status continues, the United States will soon find itself on the other side of the spectrum, the weak position, in which it would have to struggle to bring the Iranian regime to the negotiating table, bargaining and probably accepting Iran’s demands, along with its hegemonic and nuclear ambitions in order to avoid Tehran’s threats and plans to significantly disrupt the oil market.

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  • Robert Johnson

    This is just what Hitler did, of course. After every agreement, he became even more dominating and aggressive and kept demanding more and more and more concessions. Feeding the wolves won’t save you, they will want more and more of your meat and then they will eat…YOU.

    • Kim

      Good point and analysis.

    • Hamed

      Hitler was created by the white culture.Islam doesn’t create this kind of stuff.

      • Demetrius Minneapolis

        You’re quite correct, islam did not create fascism, they just plagiarized it and made it their own.

        Of course the violence was always there from the time of momo, along with the child molesting…

        • defcon 4

          Islam was a fascist ideology from the get-go. Muhammad himself had his critics murdered, unbelievers slaughtered/enslaved/expeilled/tortured and apostates murdered.

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        May your prophet of Satan, Muhammed, continue to BURN In H E L L for ETERNITY.

        INSHALLAH!!

    • Dyer’s Eve

      I agree with you. History always repeats. Satan laughs each time he draws up a new game. The same lie over and over agan. The tragedy is that we fall for it over and over again.

      • Notalibfool

        Yep. Welcome to the 1930s part 2. At least some of us are smart enough to see it.

        • Drakken

          It still ends the same way, maybe we can get an unconditional surrender out of the savages. Either that, or leave their country nothing more than a smoldering ash heap.

  • Icansee4miles

    For those of you that support Iran’s right to nuclear technology, take a good look at the creation of the Shia Crescent, the new Islamic Persian Empire; Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.

    Look at the population demographics of the oil fields of the Arabian Gulf; Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar; they contain significant populations of Shia Muslims.

    Review the primary tenet of the Shia; not to recognize any sovereign authority except that of the Shia religion. The Head of the Shia is the Grand Ayatollah in Iran.

    Look at Iran’s actions; spreading their fanatical religion in South America, to Mexico and the borders of the U.S.A.

    And lastly, Iran’s growing nuclear program. Once it gets its nuke, Iran will hold a knife to the throat of the Arabian Gulf’s oil producing countries; it will be an existential threat not just to the West, but to the entire world.

    The Bahrain Protocol, Amazon Kindle’s new thriller spells out the truth in a gripping novel about the U.S.’ withdrawal from the Middle East; and if the U.S.
    won’t stop Iran, Israel will-with an interesting new partner- Saudi Arabia.

    • defcon 4

      Saudi Barbaria, an ally you can trust…NOT.

  • Ron

    Stick with Barry and we’ll all be buried. He is the Devil’s shadow.

  • YoshiNakamura

    “…there is no fundamental differences between Iran’s political spectrum
    (reformists like Khatami, moderates like Rouhani, and hardliners like
    Ahmadinejad) when it comes to pursuing the regime’s Islamist
    revolutionary ideals;…”

    Indeed not! After all, they are all loyal to the same constitution.

    Everyone is talking about “Iran”. But, “Iran” is NOT the name of the
    country! The official name of that country is “The Islamic Republic of
    Iran”, and there is a world of difference between “Iran” as a nation state, and “The Islamic Republic of Iran.” “The Islamic Republic of Iran” is not a nation state in the normal sense of that term. The difference is clear from the Preamble of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, one part of which reads as follows: “An Ideological Army In the formation and equipping of the country’s defense forces, due attention must be paid to faith and ideology as the basic criteria. Accordingly, the army of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps are to be organized in conformity with this goal, and they will be responsible not only for guarding and preserving the frontiers of the country but also for fulfilling the ideological mission of jihad in God’s way; that is, extending the sovereignty of God’s law throughout the world (this is in accordance with the Koranic verse “Prepare against them whatever force you are able to muster, and strings of horses, striking fear into the enemy of God and your enemy, and others besides them.” [8.60])”

    To ask the Ayatollahs to give up their ambitions to acquire nuclear weapons is to ask them to violate their Constitution and their Koran which requires them to acquire “whatever force you are able to muster”, — and that includes nuclear weapons! — in order to extend Sharia law throughout the world. They will not violate their constitution and their religion. It won’t happen. Negotiations and this “deal” are worse than fruitless because they give the ayatollahs time to acquire their nuclear weapons. And then it will be too late. Kerry, of course, understands none of this. You can be sure that he has never troubled himself to read the
    Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Neither has practically anyone else.

    • Cath

      Very well put.

    • Melly

      Why on earth, liberals have so much difficulty understanding this basic thing?

    • stephencarter

      That’s startling. I had no idea the Constitution of Iran clearly lays out such a roadmap to global Islamic hegemony achieved through jihad (terrorism and state-on-state war), a hegemony far worse than what the Soviets had planned. And it’s all interwoven with their religious worldview. Yet leftist discourse reigns supreme in all Western nations, and actively councils appeasement. The West and its leftist mental illness is attracting and in a sense ‘coalescing’ its evil twin, Islamism. Really, in effect, the ‘Left’ is destroying the West, and is using Islam as its weapon of choice.

      • YoshiNakamura

        Most people have no idea about the importance of the name “Islamic Republic Of Iran” or of their constitution. Neither journalists nor politicians have ever bothered to read the Iranian Constitution. Actually, most of our politicians and journalists have never bothered to read our Constitution, either.

  • Drakken

    So the bearded ones are trying to go by the same playbook the Saudi’s invented in the 73 oil embargo. We didn’t learn our lesson then, and we are not going to learn it now. Ole Comrade Obumbler would eff up a wet dream, we are on our way to war, so Valerie Jarret you little traitorous troll, I hope you are happy now.
    On a side note, we should have invaded in 73 and took their oil to show these inbred rag heads what happens when you eff with us in the west and our economy, and then like now we are going to let these sub human savages get away with it. When fragile economies start crumbling as a result of unintended consequences, people will get intensely nationalistic and start that purge of anything muslim from their countries. So keep up the good work rag heads, sooner or later someone with a spine from the west is going to get a tad testy with you.

    • truthbetold

      If all this is true why isn’t Russia scared, in fact why are they softly aligned with Iran?
      Invade and takeover SA oil? Why not get out, like Ron Paul says, and stay on good terms with everybody so the oil will be sold to us at market prices? Instead of playing imperial footsie with the princes like the Bushies did, to America’s regret.
      The US couldn’t even pacify Iraq, much less capture and keep without insurgency SA oil. But with a draft perhaps we could take the whole Mideast, except the campuses would start shutting down and the ROTC buildings in jeopardy again.
      And the “effed with” “West” doesn’t much agree– the overwhelming home of the Lobby isn’t Europe, it’s right here in collapsing America. The West de-occupied of US bases would be much more neutral in Mideast affairs.

      • Moa

        > “The US couldn’t even pacify Iraq”

        What are you talking about? it’s like you missed all of 2008-2009 where the insurgency was effectiveky crushed. It was so much under control that the Iraqis thought they were safe in kicking the US out. Of course this was a colossal mistake – but the truth is, the US had effectively pacified Iraq so that it was controlled by central Government.

        Note also that the US also pacified Vietnam so that the Vietcong were destroyed and in 1970 nearly everywhere was safe to go. The US was successful enough with the Vietcong destroyed that it left. The invasion of South Vietnam was by the Chinese and Russian backed *North Vietnamese Army* (that is, a conventional invasion). Everyone imagines Vietnam like it was perpetually 1967 and rather stupidly ignores the period after Tet 1969 to 1975 (where the Vietcong were done for and never recovered). Same idiocy today where people imagine Iraq in 2009 as being in the same state as 2005 – this is simply not true.

        It’s almost like you turkeys want to imagine you cannot win. Well, you are entitled to your own opinion, but not you own facts. The US does remarkably well winning its wars – it is the peace that it convinces itself it has lost (and this latter trait is just idiocy at its nadir). So stop spreading the false history, you are not “truthbetold” at all.

        • stephencarter

          I know. It’s amazing how people now deny the total victory of the surge. Remember Iraqis holding up their purple index finger, beaming with joy and pride after voting! Then Saddam’s Iraqi trial unfolded with more transparency and dignity than most American trials. All of this has been squandered by the Left and Soetoro. Worse, the Iraqi people have been betrayed, like the Iranian people were 2 years ago. The Left cannot allow such a positive, truthful picture of the real post-surge Iraq to continue. So they lie.

      • Drakken

        Russia isn’t scared because they encourage the kurd, shitte and sunni rift and actively let them slaughter one another all the while selling them the hardware to do it. If we were smart and we are not, we would encourage the Kurds to be independent and be a nice wonderful pain in the azz in Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria like the Russians are doing now, does anyone know what is happening in northern Turkey? Why is that? Because they are a defacto independent country outside of shitte control from Bagdad.
        We do not need to invade, we could bomb Iran back to the stone age where they are more concerned about shelter, food and heat than waging jihad on the infidel.
        Yes we can take their oil if we wanted to, with little interference from the haji’s. Just take off the gloves of PC from our troops and they will getter done.

        • defcon 4

          Or nuke the oil fields so no one can have them. After all, money is the grease that keeps jihad going.

    • stephencarter

      Would that it were so! I would pay thousands to see this come about.

      • Drakken

        As history as my guide, I wish to God I am wrong, but unfortunately it will come about, we are in for a very rough ride soon.

        • defcon 4

          It’s either that or a new, worldwide islamic Dark Ages.

          • Drakken

            For all of our sake we had better come out victorious, or we are bloody fooked.

  • Melly

    Why on earth, liberals have so much difficulty understanding the truth of Islam??

    • YoshiNakamura

      Alas, even many conservatives do not understand it!

    • Notalibfool

      Telling the truth leads to accusations of Islamophobia. Remember, truth is the new hate speech.

    • IzzyKiddnya

      @Lana (above) [my mistake - I posted in the wrong response block]

      What economic system are you living in?

      Inflation ? High food costs ?? Famine??

      Here’s what the article said …”…Tehran will ratchet up its oil output, no matter what the consequences would be…”

      That means a GLUT of oil — LOWER prices! Cheaper fuel and lower costs of food production…

      Whatever are you talking about?

      Perhaps you should confine your self to quoting verses from the Good Book — if you want to be regarded as knowledgeable… (Just a mild suggestion)

  • Lanna

    A quart of wheat for a denarius, but do not touch the oil or the wine. High inflation! High cost of food, famines.

  • stephencarter

    When we saw that sanctions were working, were having some effect, the rational action would have been to increase them until Iran began making meaningful accommodations. President Soetoro is either irrational or he wants precisely this outcome. I believe it’s the latter.

    Soetoro has a dream. His one continuing, overarching goal has been to destroy the American economy and reduce American power such that the USA no longer has any more influence than any other first world state. His agenda has gone so well that he’s raising the stakes and shooting now for ensuring that the USA can never rise from the ashes. The only way to ensure this continues long after his departure is through internal civil strife — indoctrinating the ’99%’ to be permanently at war with the ‘rich’, inflaming black/Hispanic-on-white conflict, fostering a permanent discourse of hate against Christianity, capitalism, the military, heterosexuality, and national borders. With such permanent struggle, permanent conflict, the productive forces in America will never have the breathing space to rebuild the nation’s economy, and an America-as-superpower will never return to ‘haunt’ the world.

    All his policy choices make sense when considered in the context of this one clear plan.