Iran Blinks, Delays Vote On European Crude Export Halt Even As US Escalates Military Developments Against Country

Tyler Durden's picture

After it was the west backing down from further unnecessary escalation with Iran two weeks ago, when Israel and the US delayed indefinitely joint naval operations in the Arabian Gulf, it is now Iran's turn to blink. Following reports that Iran would pass a law halting crude exports to European countries, in advance of the full-blown embargo expected to take place some time by June, or as soon as European countries have found alternative supplies, we now learn that "Iran's parliament on Sunday postponed the debate over the bill." This is happening just as nuclear inspectors are arriving in the country "to probe allegations of a secret atomic weapons program." Yet does this mean that Iran has just exposed a major weakness that the West will immediately pounce on? It is still unclear - Reuters reports that "Iran's oil minister said on Sunday the Islamic state would soon stop exporting crude to "some" countries, the state news agency IRNA reported." Naturally the vague, open-endedness of this statement makes it quite clear that it was Iran's turn to de-escalate this time around. Or does this simply mean that Iran has been unable to conclude alternative oil trade arrangements with China, Russia and India just yet?

According to Reuters:  "Soon we will cut exporting oil to some countries," Rostam Qasemi was quoted by IRNA as saying."

Yet instead of taking this cue to attempt some additional deescalation in its own part, the US has decided to double down in further belaboring already tense relations.

On one hand, WaPo reported late on Friday that the Navy wants a commando "mothership" in the Middle East, something which Iran will be delighted to hear.

The Pentagon is rushing to send a large floating base for commando teams to the Middle East as tensions rise with Iran, al-Qaeda in Yemen and Somali pirates, among other threats.


In response to requests from U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, the Navy is converting an aging warship it had planned to decommission into a makeshift staging base for the commandos. Unofficially dubbed a “mothership,” the floating base could accommodate smaller high-speed boats and helicopters commonly used by Navy SEALs, procurement documents show.


Lt. Cmdr. Mike Kafka, a spokesman for the Navy’s Fleet Forces Command, declined to elaborate on the floating base’s purpose or to say where, exactly, it will be deployed in the Middle East. Other Navy officials acknowledged that they were moving with unusual haste to complete the conversion and send the mothership to the region by early summer.


Navy documents indicate that it could be headed to the Persian Gulf, where Iran has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial shipping route for much of the world’s oil supply. A market survey proposal from the Military Sealift Command, dated Dec. 22 and posted online, states that the floating base needed to be delivered to the Persian Gulf.


U.S. military officials declined to say what prompted them to give the Ponce a sudden new lease on life. But contract and bidding documents underscore the urgency of the project.


One no-bid contract for engineering work states that the military was waiving normal procurement rules because any delay presented a “national security risk.” Other contract bids are due Feb. 3. The Navy wants the conversion work to begin 10 days later on the Ponce, which is docked in Virginia Beach

Also on Friday, the WSJ reported that the Pentagon seeks a mightier bomb vs Iran, one whose name could have only been inspired by the Adult Entertainment Expo: the "Massive Ordnance Penetrator."

Pentagon war planners have concluded that their largest conventional bomb isn't yet capable of destroying Iran's most heavily fortified underground facilities, and are stepping up efforts to make it more powerful, according to U.S. officials briefed on the plan.


The 30,000-pound "bunker-buster" bomb, known as the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, was specifically designed to take out the hardened fortifications built by Iran and North Korea to cloak their nuclear programs.


But initial tests indicated that the bomb, as currently configured, wouldn't be capable of destroying some of Iran's facilities, either because of their depth or because Tehran has added new fortifications to protect them.


Doubts about the MOP's effectiveness prompted the Pentagon this month to secretly submit a request to Congress for funding to enhance the bomb's ability to penetrate deeper into rock, concrete and steel before exploding, the officials said.


The push to boost the power of the MOP is part of stepped-up contingency planning for a possible strike against Iran's nuclear program, say U.S. officials.

Alas, in light of these two additional escalating developments, we are rather confident that Iran's latest gambit to show a modicum of goodwill behind the scenes will soon be extinguished.

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1fortheroad's picture

"Massive Ordnance Penetrator." bitchez

Manthong's picture

No wonder those mullahs wear dresses.

Ahmeexnal's picture

iRan figured out what would happen. iRan shuts the oil spigot to ooooro-zone. Saudi Arabia picks up the tab.  "How is this possible??" the peak-oil f-tards scream?  Easy: Saudi Arabia buys discounted oil from iRan, then turns around and sells it to the ooooro-zone with a nice profit.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Peak oil f tards....

We have already established your logic is if A then not B.

If A......"the elite support peak oil theory"...which is total bullshit by the way, there is no news on peak oil in the MSM.

Then not B...."so since I don't agree with the elite, peak oil theory is not true."

Fatsexual, you write fallacies.  It will be best if you shut the fuck up.

Transformer's picture

Peak oil is like a self fulfilling prophecy.  As long as we believe, and the oil companies believe it, it will probably work out tht way.  On the other hand, the Russians don't believe it and they have an entirely different theory, called "Abiotic Oil", which simply means that oil doesn't come from dead dinosaurs and plant material, it is made deep down in the earth's mantle.

The lowest any biological material has ever been found is 16,000 feet.  The Russians drill as deep as 42,000 feet for their oil.  And their theory has made them the world's number one producer.  Can't argue with success.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

You are wrong.  Russians are using reindeer piss.  The EROEI is poor though, which is why Russia needs oil above $100pb.

And please feel free to let the world know you have solved peak oil.  You can post your research here:

caconhma's picture

Don't forget that ayatollahs are running Iran. These people are illiterate POS without any clue about running either domestic or international affairs.

·        After all, Iran has no friends. Neither Russia nor China are their friends. They are just Iran’s customers.

·        Remember that Iran was welcoming the American invasions into Iraq and Libya

·        Iranian economy is a jock

·        Iranian security apparatus is only capable of beating up their own dissidents but totally incapable of protecting their top scientists and military installations

·        As for Iranian military, their war with Iraq revealed their WW I military capabilities.

If Iran will play Qaddafi games blinking under pressure, it will be destroyed in no time. Only clear indication by Iran to fight back and inflict severe damage on major EU population centers as well as on Israel and Saudi will stop NATO and Israel.



CrashisOptimistic's picture

You don't have very much knowledge about this matter.  You came across some comment in a website and read an article by someone with no degree in geology or physics and you thought it was truth.

The Russians do not have "an entirely different theory".  A couple of Russians published an article speculating on abiotic oil.  The article and authors were dismissed by Russian geologists and global geologists, and it was dismissed by the Russian oil companies.  

They do not drill and produce oil using an abiotic model.  They drill and produce oil from conventional structures underground found with seismic studies.

The Bakken oil field last year produced a lot of oil.  There is great excitement about it.  There is also mathematics.  The amount of oil it produced was roughly equal to 1/2 the oil produced by the state of Oklahoma in 1927.  It was 1/5th the amount of oil produced by the state of Alaska in 1988.

Oklahoma's oil production is presently down 75% from its 1927 production.  That's 80+ years of technology improvement that did not stop the decline, and 80+ years for abiotic sources to refill those empty fields, and it has not happened.  

Nor will it. 


Transformer's picture

I love it.  Everything you've ever been taught is wrong, my friend.  Check out the origins of the dinosaur theory, before dissing what the Russians are doing.  Peak oil is real, and it is real because the whole industry, except for the Russians, think like you do.  Of course those fields are producing less, of course the new finds are smaller.  No argument.  The Russians have a different theory, and they don't mind being the world's number 1 producer.  they gave up long ago trying to convince the West.

Don't you think if somebody is in first place, someone should be interested in how they got there?  The BP oil spill in the Gulf, our Gulf, is a prime example.  They drilled deep, down to Abiotic levels and discovered a huge pool of oil, but at temperatures and pressures that they did not know how to handle.  The Russians offered to come and fix it for us, but nope, that aint allowed.  Figure it out.


Many Russian geologists and petroleum researchers credit the rise of Russia over the past 50 years as the largest producer of oil and second largest producer of natural gas in the world to the successful application of the abiogenic theory of oil and gas formation. The Russians claim to have successfully drilled over 300 ultra deep (around 40,000feet) oil and gas wells through granite and basalt based on this theory. These claims have been questioned by Western geologists and petroleum engineers.


The most recent attempt at gaining credence for the abiogenic idea was only a few months ago. A research team at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, led by Vladimir Kutherov, demonstrated that animal and plant fossils are not necessary for producing oil and natural gas. The team simulated the thermal and pressure processes that occur in the inner layers of the earth to generate hydrocarbons, the chief component of oil and natural gas. The team also noted that oil and gas has been found 7 miles below ground in Texas and fossil oil and gas could not, via, gravity have seeped down to such depths.


It aint a few Russians, it was their whole science department who came up with the theory, not just a couple misfits.  The Russians actually come up with new science every now and then, contrary to what our history tells us.

Haole's picture

This is just one of the travesties of manipulated "knowledge" being inflicted on the world through so-called mainstream education and science.

Props to you for trying to spread a little truth.  Just try and get the average petroleum geologist to proclaim that Macondo wasn't venting at thousands of psi over ambient water pressure because the rotten lizards and palm trees were extra ripe... ;) 


Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Once again, please share your sources with people who know.

Transformer's picture

Hey 8 Ball, this aint The Oil Drum.  This is Zero Hedge, where bullshit doesn't walk, or talk, or even slither along.  Quote your authorites all you wish.  We. . .  are asking you. . . . to think for yourself.  It's kinda the prime directive here. 

"Hmmm, that team over there, have just surpassed the Saudis, when everybody knew that the Saudis had, by far, the most oil on the planet.  I wonder how they did it?"

That is the proper attitude.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Its not like Russia is producing more than they did in '89.  And I am just pointing out that there is no creditable evidence for abiotic oil anywhere, and if you think you have some share it with the pros.  It's like when someone brings bullshit financial story to this site and they get called out.  If you talk about abiotic oil on the oil drum you will get laughed off.

And since you using names your mom used mine last night a few times.

Transformer's picture

You mean a bullshit financial story like Iraq, Libya, and Iran didn't sell oil for Euros, they just sell it in dollars and then convert it down at the bank or the currency exchange place on the mall.  Ha

And as far as Abiotic oil goes.  Hmmm, the world's number one producer says they used this theory to become #1.  That's not credible or even a little bit interesting?  And Russian Geologists are not credible?  why?  Because they're Russian, and everyone knows all the good science comes from the West?  If the dinosaur theory was true, then where did that deep deep oil that BP botched up in the Gulf Of Mexico come from?

You see, here is all this evidence staring you in the face.  There is a ton more of it on the net.  Now that still doesn't prove anything, (300 wells to below 40,000' is what proves something) but you'd think a person such as yourself who calls himself Lennon Hendrix would maybe just scratch his head and wonder a little bit.  But no, if the authorities that are in vogue don't agree, then you can't even think about it.

So it comes down to either you are a troll or a sheeple or pretty stupid.  This is why we are where we are today.  You got to wake up.   And waking up means questioning things, especially when there's a really good reason to question.  Don't buy what the authorities tell you.  They are usually wrong.  When a big authority tells you something, there's usually a socio-political-financial reason for it, like. . . .for example. . . . Global Warming.  Just like Peak Oil, it's a theory that will change civilization forever.  And both of them mean that the common people are spose to go without, reduce, use less, have a lower standard of living.  When somebody tells you that, you should question it, just a little, and maybe a whole lot.

You do not need an authority to tell you how the world works.  In fact, you should be suspicious when they do. 

Jack Napier's picture

Thx for those links. I'm more concerned about peak silver. Nobody's going to be doing nuclear fusion anytime soon, I don't think. Bullish on diapers and TP for when all the kiddiez can't buy their max-iPads when silver runs out. That makes me bullish on fiat currency too, due to the TP demand.

Haole's picture

Using theoildrum as a source is funny.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

using rense as a source is funnier.

Vic Vinegar's picture

Can't green you enough for that one.  It's a fine line between being awake and being a lunatic.  Rense is a lunatic.

Transformer's picture

Oh I get it, one of my links was to Rense, whatever that is.  It's a Richard Heihberg essay.  He's a majore proponent of Peak oil. Wrote a very popular book

Jack Napier's picture

People usually give me shit for using ZH as a source. Go figure.

Disenchanted's picture

Rense may be a lunatic, but I found this pic at the top of his site today to be rather amusing...and accurate:


Not to mention the links posted at his site daily from sources around the world can be rather informative at times. Much more informative than anything I can get from turning on the idiot box here in the good ol US of A.


Does Rense and his website often gore one of your particular oxen, and that's why you declare him a lunatic with no explanation?

Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez's picture

I got a cab ride from a petroleum engineer college student a few months back.  He seemed like a very intelligent middle eastern type but he had never heard of "abiotic oil".  Isn't our educational system great!?  Geez!

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Yup.  But some dude on a blog that listened to rense knows what all geologists do not.  Unicorn piss can power cars!

tired1's picture

For me, the fact that helium and other noble gases are recovered from natural gas is indicative of the abiotic process.

Moreover, these days, pretty much anything that in the past I casually dismissed as kook or conspiracy theory I am re evaluating. I have come to realize that much of my 'knowlege' or the world is a least suspect.

Divine Wind's picture

Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding

We have a winner!

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Iran doesn't like the House of Saud.  They wouldn't sell them oil at a discount.

quintago's picture

Don't worry, inside one month's time, Iran will announce that it is halting all nuclear enrichment until around the time the presidential election has taken place. They are not the irrational actors they are portrayed to be. They know exactly what they are doing, and the more aggression the US shows, the more it solidifies the people behind the ruling mullahs. Unfortunately this is EXACTLY what we don't want, and what the Israelis want - an isolated Iran.

China needs Iran to for the resurrection of the Silk Road, so while China didn't bat much of an eye when disturbances and uprisings took place elsewhere in the ME, Iran is a different story for them. They don't need the rest, as long as they ensure they have Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey. Turkey's ok, AfPak will be clear of US influence in a few years, and Israel will just need to gamble a bit to see how far it can push the envelope. The Russians are waiting in their Syrian naval base for a disturbance in Iran.

falak pema's picture

You must have smoked Afghan opium. An Ayatollah shill is more a representative of Shaitan in the eyes of a Saudi luddite, wahabbite freak of sunnite rabid streak, who runs naked to the Kabbah and does his Roza, when he hears the name of a shiite deviationist proposing to him haram oil at discount. You want him to die on Viagra's unholy thrills for having defied Allah by bowing to an Ayatollah, similar in name and religious shame as Orthodox schismatic clown in the eyes of latinist Papist zealot; ready to kill the bug of heretic disease in reformist and orthodox christian lands over four centuries; like Arnaud Amaury before Bezier's walls, shouting "kill em all", or 4th Crusaders spreading God's word in COnstantinople for the benefit of Venice's OLigarchs....History repeats, and a 800 hundred year span is a grain of sand...when it comes to extolling eternal God. 

Its like pretending today that Exxon organises Venezualan oil sales at discount to USA...imagine that! It would give GWB nightmares and Hugo Chavez another cancerous remission. Not on...its heresy to pax americana, imperial construct; like shiite collusion is to wahabbite ideology.

An erudite illuminary is alleged to have said : If you allow people to lie all the time, they finish by becoming naked to all in their illusionary concoction. If only the Oligarchs could remember that...instead of inventing lies, damn lies...

Uncle Remus's picture

I'll buy that for a petrodollar.

Debeachesand Jerseyshores's picture

Wouldn't be the first time two foes in the ME did some back door trading.

When the Shad ruled Iran,his military was mostly equipped with American hardware.With the advent of the Iraq/Iran War, the mullahs military was fast depleting their American supported parts and looking around to buy replacement parts.

Well, since Israel had plenty of American parts especially for the F4 Phantom jet fighter,Iran contacted Israel by very back channels and were receiving those parts for a hefty price.

And that's how that event became known as the Iran/Contra Scandal.

Ahmeexnal's picture

You are correct. Backdoor market operations account for more trade than legit ones.

Ah, the venerable F4-E with it's M61 Vulcan.  They don't make them like they used to.

Modern aircraft are crappy as a $2 waffle maker. 

BTW, if anyone has to get on board an A380, they should check their full will and testament is correctly filed:

One of those flying WalMarts is bound to drop over a major urban area anytime.


knukles's picture

Hey... Airbus said that the cracks were "normal"
Probably within design and maufacturing specs.


And the planes are just how old?

Oh regional Indian's picture

C'mon Man-T, this is chess, not billiards. There are permutations and combinations of rehtoric+sabre rattling that will take us to the ides of March again. 

20-25 March, the shift into Aries, the RAM. That is when positions harden enough for people to butt heads. Sure most here are aware of Iraq War launch, Bosina long before that, Libya.... on and on, back in history. Mars, the red planet like to see some blood spilt.

Till then, war games. Nice how they can play us all like marionettes though. I'm agog too, Fleet including aged, 8 reactor carrying Enterprise... powering towards an already huge presence, secret troop build-ups in Yemeni and Omani islands as reported by Debka, USraels on again off again largest ever joint exercise.....

Talk about levers.



Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Don't glorify this game.  Chess is beyond these idiots.  They are dogs playing poker, and they are all bluffing.  Why?  Because what they bet, the fiat they use to trade, is not worth anything.  He who wins wins nothing.  This is there game:  it is pointless.

The game is to confuse the masses; to mix up the status quo a little, all the while implementing mezmorizing states into the peoples brains.  Fear!  Fear!!!!  Repent!  Repent!!!  Obey!  Obey!!!!  And while this goes on the oilgarchy, the Dinosaur Kings, they drink and wait to ull the rip cord. 

'Cause it's just another day in the life of a goddamn boss!

Oh regional Indian's picture

But in practice it is chess. Very strategic. The US started raping Iraq in 1991, 12 years of DU softening along the 33rd parallal (yes, the No fly Zone was the 33rd parallel north, go figure), months of slow logistic build up on the Road to Baghdad, Outright PR fabrication a la Wag the Dog with the Kuwaiti Nursery Bayonet stabbing Iraqis.... no mines, no nothing, The famed Republican Guard of Iraq.... abject's happening like that again, but here it has been encirclement, pincer..... Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, now Syria...Nigeria totally destabilized,slowly enough that 95% of the 99% never can hold the story Muslim state worth anything left to Back Iran up.... Only a waffley China and a seemingly resolute SSSR. And An India being played for a fool by being forced to do the Oil for Gold thing with Iran. If that was not some wily move to move both PM market and Oil. see what happened to Gold since that announcement...

It's chess all right. Best to see it for what it is. Not fools, those running the show. Only psychopathically clever.


tiger7905's picture

There is also the 100,000 troops being moved just offshore to Iran...



Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

India is NOT trading gold for oil, and there are not 100,000 troops moving to the ME.  Neither of these stories have any sources.  These are like the rumors that DSK was going to jump in on Gaddafi's gold dinar and Saddam was going to trade oil for euros.  None of that is true.

Transformer's picture

It's those damn lying arabs again.  Imagine the gall, for Hussein to trick us into a war by pretending to sell oil for Euros when he wasn't really doing it.  Qadaffi did the same lying trick plus pretending to set up that gold backed currency in Africa.  That's probably what made Cheney so mad at Hussein.  Cheney did not like liers and Obama doesn't either.

That's enough of playing practical jokes, you lying Arabs!!!

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Let's make this plain and simple.

Saddam wants he sells oil for dollars and swaps dollars for euros.

Gaddafi wants gold....he sells oil for dollars and trades dollars for gold.

Why would they risk their regemes and their lives when they could get what they want without jumping through hoops?  They wouldn't.

Ahmeexnal's picture

You do not understand the importance of scale.

Muad'Dib Gaddafi wanted gold, and you think JPMorgan was going to sell him all the gold he wanted, thus crashing the global banking ponzi?

Let me guess.  You hold no gold.'re one of Al Gore's fanboys who wear a "peak oil" t-shirt.

So you must be hoarding buckets of premium unleaded for when oil becomes more valuable than gold so you can peddle your oil to those valley girl Hummer owners.

Transformer's picture

It just amazes me, that every time this subject comes up, some idiot chimes in and says "Iraq, Libya, and Iran do not (did not) sell oil for Euros"  What are they trying to prove, how stupid they are?  There must be some real 8 balls that read ZH.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

They didn't need to!  All they needed to do was sell oil for dollars and swap dollars for euros!  Holy shit, you guys, you are on a financial blog talking about FX swaps and you are telling me the leaders of these countries were hunted down because they threatened to bypass the use of FX SWAPS!  Holy shit, listen to yourselves!

I feel like writing this over and over again so you can not post such foolish comments.

Why in hell would K-Dawg risk his whole empire when he could sell his oil and then trade the dollars for goldo nthe OPEN MARKET?  Think about it?  There is nothing to gain! 

Why would DSK even consider going behind the back of the Banking Cabal to institute oil for gold?  Why?  Why would.....never mind....just forget it.....

Oil comes from unicorn piss and Saddam was executed because he couldn't figure out how to sell dollars for euros like millions of soccer moms in America do.

Jack Napier's picture

What you fail to understand, or at least make mention of, is that by selling their oil for dollars they are enabling the US empire's petro-dollar. The point is not just to get gold or Euros, the point is to stop using the US dollar, period. As the world reserve currency, and since most US dollars are held outside the US, a lot of people are pissed off about inflationary policies. ZIRP 2 iNFiNiTY means everybody in the world is looking to get away from the USD. The elite only needed the US at first for currency domination back when it was an industrial powerhouse, and now with a new global currency taking form they don't need the US anymore, and will let it become a 2nd world nation like all the 3rd world nations have already become thanks to globalization.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Gaddafi had gold.  So you are saying he risked the gold he had by trying to trade oil for more gold, when he knew that if he tried to start a gold backed currency the West would fuck him up?  That doesn't really sound like him.  He sort of licked licking boots if it meant he could be the ruler of his country.

Once again, your whole Gore schtick is old.  The MSM does not support peak oil.  If anything your flawed logic of "If A then not B" should mean you support peak oil, because the establishment does NOT support peak oil.

Have you ever heard FOX talk about peak oil?  NBC?  No and no.

Why don't you go and discuss peak oil with a group that will laugh you off the blogosphere.  Good luck!!!

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Yes, I understand, the game is long in the tooth.  But the Bonesmen are not clever.  They are schooled smart, sure, but not clever.  Why?  Because the game has no merit.  It is a giant Fiat Ponzi, and when SHTF, they will run like pigs from a gun.  The oilgarchy are a bunch of pansies and if we stood up to them they would fold, which is why this world is so damn pathetic.

They are playing checkers, ORI.