Friday, November 05, 2004

NPR : Mock War Game Shows Limited U.S. Options on Iran

NPR : Mock War Game Shows Limited U.S. Options on Iran: "Mock War Game Shows Limited U.S. Options on Iran

The War Game
Slideshow for the Atlantic Monthly's Iran Exercise (PDF)

Morning Edition, November 5, 2004 · One of the first major foreign policy challenges for a new Bush administration will be dealing with Iran. U.S. officials believe Iran is just a few years away from attaining a nuclear weapon and there's growing concern among some in Washington that diplomacy isn't enough to deal with the threat.

The Atlantic Monthly magazine recently arranged a mock war game to examine U.S. options if military force is used to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. As NPR's Michele Kelemen reports, the exercise showed how limited the options are.

Retired Air Force Col. Sam Gardiner ran the simulation. Armed with maps and charts in a slideshow, he laid out several options: one night of air strikes against Revolutionary Guard units to punish Iran if it meddles in Iraq; several days of air strikes aimed at Iran's nuclear program; or an all-out war to topple Tehran's clerical regime.

Military expert Michael Mazarr, playing the role of defense secretary, argued that just by starting to talk about military options, the White House closes off diplomatic options in dealing with Iran. Former Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon, playing the role of chief of staff for the president, agreed.

"It's inconceivable that we could come up with a public affairs plan that would explain this, put a bright polish on it, that would bring allies along," Bacon said. "I think the military options have to be part of a broader array of options that we bring to the president.""

The role of I.R. of Iran on Natural Gas Trade on

The role of I.R. of Iran on Natural Gas Trade on
the Region

The role of I.R. of Iran on Natural Gas Trade on
the Region
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am very pleased to have the opportunity of gathering together in this conference for discussing and exchanging view and ideas in this lecture, I intend to demonstrate the role of Iran, as a very important country, at the beginning of the third millennium for the development of Natural Gas Project in the region.

We are now entering a century, called by many energy experts, as the century of Natural Gas, an important and clean energy.

The special situation of Iran, especially in view of probable and proven reserves of natural gas, is in itself a cause to play an important role in this century and I have in mind to explain this in the following chapters:
• Comparison between Iran and the world natural gas reserves
• Natural Gas Domestic Policy
• Natural Gas International Policy
• Natural Gas Production Policy
Comparison between Iran and the world Natural Gas Reserves Iran, having more than 800 TCF proven reserves of natural gas of world, is the world's second largest country in gas reserves after the Russian Federate Republic. This fact has created a strong and powerful situation in view of a safe and secures supply of natural gas
in the region Iranian share of the proven reserves of natural gas Middle East 58% (fifty eight percent) and after Iran stands Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia.
Natural gas Domestic Policy
The general goals of the energy sector in the 25-year development plan of the Islamic Republic of Iran include many varieties. The goal of energy sector, in the first stage, considering the important of the role of energy as a main infrastructure factor of the country's economy, is to provide the required energy for continuing social economical pace of development, anticipated within the framework of the country's macro development plan in different time schedules.

The most important goal of the energy sector policy in the 25 year development plan, i.e. until the beginning of the year 2021 A.D (1400 solar calendar) is to replace petroleum products with natural gas, through developing gas distribution network of the country. The main reasons for this program are as follows:
A-The low marginal cost of natural gas as compared with other fuels
B-To reduce the domestic consumption of oil products, in other words, the recent changes in the world oil markets and the fall down reduction of oil price will cause Iran to replace domestic consumption of oil products with natural gas for the purpose of increasing oil exports.
C- The environmental effects and the reduction of CO2 emission.

Iran's primary energies are crude oil and condensates, natural gas, hydropower generators, coal and non- commercial energies. In 1998 the largest share of primary energies belonged to crude oil and condensate (57%) and after that, the natural gas had the biggest share. (40%)

In other words, with the constant consumption trend of crude oil and
condensate and the increasing in the trend of consumption of natural gas in Iran's energy basket. (Primary energies) will increase considerably. The largest share of natural gas consumption is related to power generation.
Power generator and industry sectors in Iran have allotted about 60% share of natural gas consumption to themselves domestic consumption of natural gas in Iran shall reach from 170 MMCM/d in 1998 to 334 MMCM/din the year 2006 Iran also badly needs the injection of natural gas into oil reserves for enhancement of oil reserves. It is anticipated that the amount of natural gas injection to oil reserves shall reach from 80 MMCM/d in 1998 to 202 MMCM/d in 2006. The country's total demand for natural gas, excluding the export, shall reach from 250 MMCM/d in 1998 to 530 MMCM/d.

It should be noted that the injected natural gas could be utilized again after a period of 20 to 25 years.
Natural Gas Export Policy
Considering Iran's large gas reserves, the efforts made towards exporting of natural gas seem reasonable. Our country, having 1% of the world population, owns 16% of the
world's natural gas reserves. The record of Iranian of natural gas exports returns back to the period before Iran's Islamic Revolution i.e. 1980 but after the revolution, great efforts have been made for entering into the field of natural gas international trade.

In international trade, Iran is considering two different policies:
A-Policies for Export of Natural Gas
It would be advisable to begin with the August 1996 contract between Iran and Turkey as the starting point for accomplishing the natural gas policies. It should be noted that Iran's geological situation in the center of the important gas consuming countries.

Turkey in West of Iran is one of the most important consuming markets of natural gas. Turkey may be considered as the gate for Iran's natural gas enters Europe in future. However, the fact of being a highly potential with rapid, demand growth at the beginning of the twenty first century in this market, caused the Republic of Turkmenistan to start activities 4 for entering to this market. We believe that if Turkmenistan wants to begin it's gas export to Turkey, the best route is Iran .The availability of market and the strong infrastructure facilities create very
exceptional conditions for transit of natural gas through Iran.
Iran signed a contract in May 1995 with a volume of 1 BCM/T for export of gas to Armenia, which will be executed in the year 2000.
Discussions have also been made for concluding a contract for selling gas to Azari gas in Azerbaijan Republic for export of gas to autonomous Republic of Nakhjevan
Other important markets of Iran in the East are Pakistan and India;
Iran has signed Memorandum of Understandings (MOU) with the above-mentioned countries. India is amongst the very important markets of natural gas in the world and its importance will increase as from the year 2000 onwards.

At present, National Iranian gas Company is studying the export of natural gas to this country through pipeline or LNG. According to studies made, in case of settlement of political disputes between Pakistan and India the onshore pipeline will be more economically advantageous. Presently, Iran is studying different LNG projects and
NIGC has already started the preparation to feasibility studies for
exporting gas to Far East and Europe.
In this regards Iran has signed MOU's with China and India.
National Iranian Gas Company has also made feasibility studies for
export of natural gas to Europe through the European consortium
called Iran Gas Europe (ELG)

B-Natural Gas Import Policy Iran has signed a contract for gas import from Turkmenistan in July 1995 and the import from Turkmenistan has started .The average volume of import in the year 1998 was 5 MMCM/d. The aim of executing this policy is the distribution of consuming areas of North of the country.

National Iranian Gas Company has been able to avoid a large part of unnecessary investment thought the execution of this policy, which would have been created, with domestic distribution of gas in this 5 region. This policy also reveals the strong relatio with the owners of gas reserves in the region, i.e. Turkmenistan that is a beginning for closer cooperation later on.

Natural Gas Production Policy
Iran needs more than 300 MMCM/d of natural gas for the execution of domestic and international projects. Considering the domestic and export natural gas, Iran intent to meet there demand by expanding it's up stream natural gas projects with help of freight investments.
As you know these are the series of buy back projects that Iran has already included some of them has gained good experience in these contracts.

The source of pay back of these buy back project are:
∙ Condensate sales
∙ Sail of oil products coming from the saving in local market.
∙ Extra production of oil due to gas injection in to oil reserves.
Considering the above mentions, we understand that Iran shall have a very great and important role in the regional trade of natural gas in the area at the beginning of 21 century. The availability of the abundant gas reserves in Iran will make the buyers confident and secure.

The economically suitable location of Iran is a good reason for regional markets to benefit from this situation. We sincerely hope that the new role of Iran in the international trade of natural gas at the beginning of the next century, will pave way to the expansion of peaceful relationship between countries in the region.
Thank you all very much

Iran clubs oil field deal with LNG sale to India

Navhind Times on the Web: Business: "Iran clubs oil field deal with LNG sale to India
UNI, Dubai, Oct 10: Iran has said it will approve sale of 20 per cent equity in its Yadavaran oil fields to India only if New Delhi buys LNG from it.

“Iranian government has linked the oilfield development to the purchase of LNG, a move that has surprised many industry experts,” Tehran Times quoted NIOC’s acting managing director, Mr Seyyed Mehdi Hosseini as saying.

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) is in talks with ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, for selling its 20 per cent stake in Iran’s Yadavaran oil fields.

The granting of 20 per cent equity interest to OVL would be made on the condition that an agreement is reached with a Petronet-led consortium for the purchase of 5 million tonne of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year, for a period of 20 years.

Informed sources say that talks are being carried out at the government level on the deal. Mr Hosseini said Shell, Total, Repsol, Statoil and Norsk Hydro have submitted bids for the development of Yadavaran.

However, these bids are of the buyback type contract and do not contain any commitment on the part of these international oil companies to purchase LNG.

In NIOC’s buyback contracts, the successful bidder undertakes to develop an oilfield as operator, who will hand over ownership of the block to NIOC when commercial production starts and is paid from proceeds from the sale of oil.

The Iranian Energy Minister, Mr Bijan Zanganeh, made the offer for the sale of 20 per cent stake in the oilfield to the Petroleum Minister, Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar when the two met on sidelines of the OPEC conference in Vienna last month. Yadavaran’s oil reserves have been estimated at 17 billion barrels more than 3 billion barrels of which can be exploited and the field is estimated to yield and average of 300,000-400,000 barrels crude per day.

Yadavaran is a new name for both Koushk and Hosseiniyeh oilfields whose oil reserves were initially estimated at 9 billion and 1.5 billion barrels, respectively. Later it was discovered that various formations of the two fields were connected and they were renamed Yadavaran."

Iran: U.S. Nuclear Fears Overblown

Iran: U.S. Nuclear Fears Overblown: "Iran: U.S. Nuclear Fears Overblown

By Javad Zarif, Javad Zarif is ambassador and the permanent representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations.
More than 18 months of intrusive inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency in Iran failed to produce a smoking gun. In fact, the report released in September by the IAEA confirmed the organization's original finding from November 2003 that "to date there is no evidence that the previously undeclared nuclear material and activities … were related to a nuclear weapons program."

But what good did that do Iran? While the IAEA was making "steady progress" in understanding the Iranian program and resolving the outstanding issues, the United States mobilized its substantial power and influence on the IAEA board of governors, which may very well push us all to an unwanted confrontation of uncontrollable magnitude that will benefit no country, group or cause, save for few extremists on all sides.

American officials apparently believe that Iran's declared peaceful nuclear program is just a cover for developing atomic weapons. But this is based on two erroneous assumptions, which have been repeated often enough to become conventional wisdom.

The first is that Iran has vast oil and gas resources and therefore does not need nuclear energy. Although it is true that Iran is rich in oil and gas, these resources are finite and, given the pace of Iran's economic development, they will be depleted within two to five decades. Further, it is much more economically advantageous for Iran to export these resources than to burn them; they are the major source of our hard currency.

Thus diversification — including the development of nuclear energy — is the only sound and responsible strategy for Iran.

Even the State Department was convinced of this in 1978 when it stated in a memo that the U.S. was encouraged by Iran's efforts to expand its non-oil energy base and was hopeful that the U.S.-Iran Nuclear Energy Agreement would be concluded soon and that U.S. companies would be able to play a role in Iran's nuclear energy projects.

The second assumption is that because Iran is surrounded by nuclear weapons in all directions — the U.S., Russia, Pakistan and Israel — any sound Iranian strategists must be seeking to develop a nuclear deterrent capability for Iran as well.

It is true that Iran has neighbors with abundant nuclear weapons, but this does not mean that Iran must follow suit. In fact, the predominant view among Iranian decision-makers is that possession or pursuit of nuclear weapons would only undermine Iranian security. Viable security for Iran can be attained only through inclusion and regional and global engagement.

Iran today is the strongest country in its immediate neighborhood. It does not need nuclear weapons to protect its regional interests. In fact, to augment Iranian influence in the region, it has been necessary for Iran to win the confidence of its neighbors, who have historically been concerned with size and power disparities.

More globally, Iran, with its current state of technological development and military capability, cannot reasonably rely on nuclear deterrence against its adversaries in the international arena or in the wider region of the Middle East.

There are also serious ideological restrictions against weapons of mass destruction, including a religious decree issued by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, prohibiting the development and use of nuclear weapons. Moreover, such an unrealistic option would be prohibitively expensive, draining the limited economic resources of the country.

In sum, a costly nuclear-weapon option would reduce Iran's regional influence and increase its global vulnerabilities without providing any credible deterrence.

At the same time, Iran has a right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, and it is determined to exercise its rights like many other countries.

To build international confidence, Iran agreed to the most comprehensive and intrusive IAEA inspection regime and started its implementation in December. It has also maintained a voluntary suspension of its rightful uranium enrichment activities since November 2003. Iran is also negotiating with France, Germany and Britain to reach long-term assurances on nuclear cooperation and transparency. These negotiations will be difficult and require political will and good faith.

Yet dialogue is the only approach that can allay the concerns of all. If history and Iranian political psychology are any guide, pressure, intimidation and attempts to deprive Iran of its rights can only backfire."

Khamenei insists that nuclear weapons are forbidden under Islam

Khamenei denies Iran seeking nuclear weapons, hits out at Bush: "Khamenei denies Iran seeking nuclear weapons, hits out at Bush
AFP: 11/5/2004
TEHRAN (AFP) - Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei insisted that nuclear weapons were forbidden under Islam, as he lashed out against "the gang" of newly re-elected US President George W. Bush.

Addressing himself directly to Bush, Khamenei said: "No sir, we are not seeking to have nuclear weapons.

"Our nuclear weapon is this country, and the youth of its people."

Khamenei was delivering a rare sermon at Friday prayers three days after Bush -- who put Iran in his "axis of evil" of dangerous states for allegedly seeking nuclear weapons -- was re-elected.

As for the arms themselves, Khamenei said that to "manufacture, possess or use them, that all poses a problem. I have expressed my religious convictions about this, and everyone knows it."

The foreign ministry has previously stated that Khamenei has issued a fatwa (religious decree) that nuclear weapons are proscribed by Islam.

However, Khamenei did not mention crucial talks in Paris, where representatives from Britain, France and Germany Friday tried to convince Iran to suspend all uranium enrichment activities in order to avert the threat of UN sanctions.

The United States accuses Iran of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons under cover of its civilian atomic energy program, a charge vehemently denied by Tehran.

Europe's three main powers are offering Iran nuclear technology, including access to nuclear fuel, increased trade and help with Tehran's regional security concerns if it halts enrichment.

Uranium enrichment is the process which makes fuel for civilian reactors but can also be used to manufacture the material for the explosive core of nuclear weapons.

A senior Iranian negotiator expressed optimism over the talks, while describing them as "tough".

"I am optimistic because the two parties are determined to reach an accord satisfactory to both," Hossen Mousavian told state television.

"We have some tough negotiations ahead of us," he said, adding that both sides are "serious about (reaching) a workable accord, which makes the work more complicated."

Mousavian spoke of new proposals from both sides which he said were "more concrete and achievable" than previous ones.

That "has made things more difficult for us," he said, while adding "we have reached the point where we should achieve results."

The International Atomic Energy Agency will meet on November 25 to decide whether to haul Tehran before the UN Security Council over its nuclear program.

"The United States cannot stand the idea that a country gains its own independence," Khamenei said.

He did not refer directly to Bush's re-election, but two days after commemorating the 25th anniversary of the storming of the former American embassy in Tehran during the Islamic revolution, Khamenei accused Washington of involvement in "atrocities" carried out aginst Palestinians.

If a trial were held to judge such "atrocities ... Sharon and the Zionists will not be the only accused. The Bush gang, his administration and American governments will be first in line," he said.

He also laid into "the Europeans (who) are on the side of the oppressors".

Khamenei responded to recent European accusations of a deteriorating human rights situation in Iran by saying that "European governments know nothing about human rights and do not respect them.""