Tuesday, May 25, 2004

FT.com / Nazarbayev considers oil pipeline to Gulf via Iran

FT.com / World / Asia-Pacific:

"Nazarbayev considers oil pipeline to Gulf via Iran
By Andrew Jack
Published: May 26 2004 5:00

Kazakhstan would like to construct a pipeline through Iran to the Gulf as the main outlet for its natural resources, the country's president said.

Nursultan Nazarbayev said in an interview with the FT he thought a southern route for his oil reserves was 'the most attractive' both for his country and for US companies that operated there.
He said the current political relationship between the US and Iran made such a project impossible, but he was hopeful ties would improve. 'It would be better than Baku-Ceyhan, better than China, better than Russia,' he said, referring to the country's existing infrastructure links. 'It would be the best exit for us.'
His comments came shortly after Kazakhstan agreed details of pipeline links eastwards into China to meet growing energy demands by the Chinese, and he stressed the historical challenges of a landlocked country that had been closely tied to the Soviet Union. Mr Nazarbayev said one of Kazakhstan's principal demands in the creation of a planned economic zone with Russia, Ukraine and Belarus was also related to natural resources: it sought a reduction in the tariffs charged by Russia for its oil pipelines and railway freight."

Ebadi Says Women's Rights True Test of Democracy

Ebadi Says Women's Rights True Test of Democracy:

"Shirin Ebadi, the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, urged the United States during a major speech here yesterday to encourage democracy, and thus women's rights, by supporting 'democracy seeking people and institutions' and not through the use of 'cluster bombs.'
Addressing 500 students, faculty and admirers at a Lehman College symposium yesterday, Ebadi spoke passionately to a crowd that frequently burst into applause and leapt to its feet, calling for equal rights for women as a fundamental precursor to world peace.
The college is part of the publically supported City University of New York."

Likud government had quietly promoted Chalabi

Consortiumnews.com: "One intelligence source told me that Israel?s Likud government had quietly promoted Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress with Washington?s influential neoconservatives. That would help explain why the neoconservatives, who share an ideological alliance with the conservative Likud, would embrace and defend Chalabi even as the CIA and the State Department denounced him as a con man."

Yahoo! News - Madonna Cancels Shows in Israel

Yahoo! News - Madonna Cancels Shows in Israel:

"Madonna says she has canceled three Israeli stops on her 'Re-Invention' tour because of violence in the region, including the killing of the leader of the militant group Hamas.

Madonna, who kicked off her worldwide tour in Los Angeles on Monday, told 'Access Hollywood' that her manager wouldn't let her travel to Israel because of the 'attack on the leader of Hamas.'
'It's not a good idea to go there and do concerts,' she told the syndicated entertainment TV show in an interview that aired Monday. "

IOL : Conservatives join Iran parliament

IOL : Conservatives join Iran parliament:

"The driving force of the pragmatic conservative group is Abadgeran, the Islamic Iran Developers Party, which swept the board of Tehran's seats for the 290-seat assembly and has built up a loose coalition of nearly 200 deputies, analysts say.

Abadgeran head Gholamali Haddadadel, a philosophy lecturer related by marriage to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is expected to be elected on Thursday as the first non-cleric speaker of parliament since the 1979 Islamic revolution."

Iran pushes OPEC to lower prices

Business News Article | Reuters.com: "Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Sunday Iran was looking to send a positive signal to consumers about high-flying oil prices.
'Iran supports an increase but is not specifying how much,' he told a news conference on the sidelines of a Tehran energy conference.
The 11-member cartel that controls half of the world's international oil trade will meet in Beirut on June 3. "