Iran Cuts Crude Exports To Six European Countries

Tyler Durden's picture


Update: Brent over $119; WTI over $102

PressTV has just issued a breaking news alert:

  • In response to the latest sanctions imposed by the EU against Iran's energy and banking sectors, the Islamic Republic has cut oil exports to six European countries
  • Iran on Wednesday cut oil exports to six European countries including Netherlands, Spain Italy, France, Greece and Portugal.

Still positive that China does not want Iran's crude? Oh, and congrats on just buying yourself record high gasoline prices Europe.

And making sure that Iran's message of defiance (thank you hyperinflation and no other alternatives) is heard loud and clear, Iran also announced "bright" developments in its nuclear program:

  • Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will unveil the country’s latest nuclear achievements for peaceful purposes.

  • Deputy Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Baqeri said the first domestically-produced nuclear rods will be placed at the Tehran Research Reactor on Wednesday.

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Quinvarius's picture

Who runs Bartertown!?

Bobbyrib's picture

You can if you start building it now.

bobola's picture

Am riding my bike to work today.

Car has the day off.

Who's with me..??

Ruffcut's picture

Too cold and i'm too fucking lazy. Go ride and i'll watch from my warm vehicle.

wanklord's picture

WWIII is just around the corner...get ready for the upcoming false flag attacks (either in continental United States or the Strait of Hormuz) that will justify military action against the Islamic Republic of out all of your investments now, because as soon as the first bullet is fired in the Persian Gulf, they will become worthless financial instruments...the writing is on the wall.

February 14, 2012 2:21 PM

US, Europe look at fast but risky penalty on Iran

WASHINGTON — The United States and Europe are considering unprecedented punishment against Iran that could immediately cripple the country's financial lifeline. But it's an extreme option in the banking world that would come with its own costs. The Obama administration wants Iran evicted from SWIFT, an independent financial clearinghouse that is crucial to the country's overseas oil sales. That would leapfrog the current slow-pressure campaign of sanctions aimed at persuading Iran to drop what the U.S. and its allies contend is a drive toward developing and building nuclear weapons. It also perhaps would buy time for the U.S. to persuade Israel not to launch a pre-emptive military strike on Iran this spring. The last-resort financial effort suggests the U.S. and Europe are grasping for ways to show immediate results because economic sanctions have so far failed to force Iran back to nuclear talks But such a penalty could send oil prices soaring when many of the world's economies are still frail. It also could hurt ordinary Iranians and undercut the reputation of SWIFT, a banking hub used by virtually every nation and corporation around the world. The organization's full name is the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications. Meanwhile, violence is increasing. Explosions in Bangkok on Tuesday — Israel's defense minister labeled them an "attempted terrorist attack" — came the day after Israel accused Iran of trying to kill its diplomats in India and Georgia. Those attacks followed the recent killings of Iranian scientists. In the financial world, the United States can't order SWIFT to kick Iran out. But it has leverage in that it can punish the Brussels-based organization's board of directors. Talks are focused now on having Europe make the first move. Short of total expulsion, Washington and representatives of several European nations are in talks over ways to restrict Iran's use of the banking consortium to collect oil profits. European action on SWIFT could come quickly. Representatives from SWIFT were scheduled to meet with European Union officials this week, a U.S. official familiar with the talks said. The official said the meeting was expected to result in the EU ordering SWIFT to expel at least some of its sanctioned banks, though it was unclear whether the order would extend to Iran's Central Bank. The Obama administration is divided over whether the possible gain is worth the risk in trying to threaten SWIFT into kicking out a member country, in part because of concern that it would set back the global financial recovery. Iran remains a global financial player despite years of banking sanctions, and blocking it from using the respected transfer system would be a black mark like no other. More than 40 Iranian banks and institutions use SWIFT to process financial transactions, and losing access to that flow of international funds could badly damage the Islamic republic's economy. It would also probably hurt average Iranians more than the welter of existing banking sanctions already in place since prices for household goods would rise while the value of Iranian currency would drop. Lawyers for SWIFT are holding meetings in Washington. People familiar with the talks say a compromise is possible in which SWIFT would voluntarily bar or restrict Iranian transfers. But if SWIFT fails to act on its own, the U.S. expects Europe to require it to terminate services for Iranian banks, another Obama administration official said. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. David Cohen, the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, delivered that message to European Union officials in Brussels earlier this month, said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly and thus spoke only on the condition of anonymity. Mark Dubowitz, a sanctions expert advising the White House on Iran, said the Obama administration is having detailed discussions on the merits and consequences of forcing SWIFT to block Iranian transactions. Some in the administration also prefer to give time for new sanctions on Iran's Central Bank, officially enforced starting just this month, to take hold before layering on a round of even more draconian penalties. SWIFT was involved in a separate controversy when it was revealed in 2006 that it had skirted the EU's strict privacy laws after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by transferring millions of pieces of personal information from its U.S. offices to American authorities as part of the US Terrorist Finance Tracking Program. "It is an essential cog in the wheel, if not the wheel itself, in international financial transactions and trade," said David Aufhauser, former general counsel at the Treasury Department who worked with SWIFT to set up that information transfer. SWIFT handles cross-border payments for more than 10,000 financial institutions and corporations in 210 countries. It lets users exchange financial information securely and reliably, thereby lowering costs and reducing risk. It operates on trust and neutrality — SWIFT accepts nearly all comers and does not judge the merits of the transactions passing through its secure message system. Its managers generally brush off investigators and enforcement agencies, telling them to take up suspected wrongdoing directly with nations or corporations. Established in 1973, the essential but little-known hub is overseen by major central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. Lawyers familiar with SWIFT's operations said it could bar processing actions with any Iranian party or third parties representing Iran, though that would open the consortium to complaints of favoritism or political influence. It could permit the processing but quarantine Iranian transactions, or require warnings to those doing business with Iran. Penalties on Iran short of expulsion could allow SWIFT to preserve a greater appearance of neutrality but make business partners think twice, lawyers said. Proponents of blocking Iran from SWIFT say the financial network's own bylaws require that its services not be used to facilitate illegal activities and allow it to prohibit users that are subject to sanctions. While the U.S. and Europe debate options, some American lawmakers are trying to increase pressure on SWIFT. The Senate Banking Committee passed a measure earlier this month directing the White House to press SWIFT to block Iranian entities. A tougher House bill would compel the administration to sanction SWIFT unless it stopped providing services to Iran. The pending legislation has caught the attention of officials at SWIFT. The financial network's general counsel and other advisers requested a meeting with congressional lawmakers and staff next week, Senate aides said. Officials close to the White House say the Obama administration is comfortable with the less restrictive language in the Senate Banking Committee measure, but has concerns that more-binding legislation would leave the U.S. less flexibility in dealing with Iran. SWIFT did not respond to requests for comment. In a brief statement posted on its website, the consortium said it is committed to fighting misuse of the financial system to finance terrorism and has cooperated with enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Europe. Without addressing the specifics of a full expulsion or more limited block on Iranian transactions, SWIFT's statement urged caution. "SWIFT remains committed to maintaining its role as a neutral global financial communications network" while complying with sanctions laws, the statement said. Associated Press writer Slobodan Lekic in Brussels contributed to this report. © 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

LongSoupLine's picture



Driving car...eating ramen noodles for dinner to balance out costs.

matrix2012's picture


Just make sure that your ramen is not imported from Japan! 


High level of radioactive cesium found in Okinawa noodles

NAHA -- High levels of radioactive cesium have been detected in NOODLES produced in OKINAWA, apparently because they were made with water filtered by ashes from Fukushima-produced wood.

The noodles, called "Okinawa Soba," had a level of radioactivity of 258 becquerels of cesium per kilogram. The restaurant that produced them had kneaded them with water filtered by the ashes of Fukushima Prefecture-produced wood.

The Forestry Agency on Feb. 10 notified prefectures across Japan not to use ashes made from wood or charcoal in cooking if the materials were lumbered or produced in Fukushima Prefecture, Tokyo and 15 other prefectures following the outbreak of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March last year, even if the wood or charcoal bore levels of cesium lower than the government-set standard -- 40 becquerels per kilogram for cooking wood and 280 becquerels per kilogram for charcoal.

According to the agency, the cesium contamination of Okinawan noodles surfaced on Feb. 7 in testing conducted by the Okinawa Prefectural Government. An ensuing survey found 468 becquerels of cesium in cooking wood that was distributed through the same route as the one for wood delivered to the restaurant.

The central government set a standard on Nov. 2 last year stating that the radioactivity of cesium concentrated by burning wood or charcoal should not exceed 8,000 becquerels per kilogram -- a level allowed for landfill at disposal sites. However, methods for examining the concentration were not established until Nov. 18, while the cooking wood in question was shipped on Nov. 7.

"We had not assumed that ashes would be used in food processing (when we drew up the standard)," said a Forestry Agency official.

Ashes are used in kneading noodles and sometimes in removing the bitter taste, or "aku" from devil's tongue and wild vegetables.

(Mainichi Japan) February 13, 2012



kito's picture

Better yet, be the blind patriot!! Boycott iranian products....oh wait, what do they export to us????

Ahmeexnal's picture

Time to start the "Freedom Falafel" mania.

Newsboy's picture

I always ride my bike to work.

He_Who Carried The Sun's picture

Iran? Where is this, sounds like the loo?

PY-129-20's picture

Ahem - Just let me say: LOL.  I just went to ZH and read this article. Then I also visited and I was presented with this nice image:

And a story about Israel getting closer to war with Iran.

Lastly, I want to salute my fellow unknown German goldbug friend that passed away several weeks ago. He had buried his gold coins (as news media reported 100.000 Eur worth (that'll be a bit more tomorrow) under his kitchen floor and a worker found them and reported them to his company. And they instantly informed the heirs.


MachoMan's picture

holy shit!  The people that found the gold reported it to the heirs?!?????  Nothing like good neighbors...

mick_richfield's picture

Wenn mann so etwas im Spiegel sehen, hat man ja ein Problem.

Comay Mierda's picture

Not yet, war will start in summer closer to the election. I'm betting it will start with an international false flag nuclear attack to rally the sheeple behind their leaders

smb12321's picture

Comay - How many times have you called (hoped?) for war?  It's getting old.  .  Wasn't it in ZH that I read "W" would "Definitely" start WW3 and never leave office?  Or that "they" would institute the New World Order by _____ (fill in moving target) 

Remomds me of the econuts promising a slew of massive hurricanes after Katriana.  Naturally, it's been the calmest period on record.  When we try to make specific prophecies we get taken every time.



Comay Mierda's picture

you're right. it is getting old. all the missiles/armor/ships/infantry/etc that are being shipped over to the middle east to surround Iran are figments of my imagination. Oh, almost forgot, I'm definitely crazy for thinking that all of the major wars fought since world war II were started with a false flag attack. Hitler definitely did not burn the Reichstag and blame it on the polish, robert macnamara was lying when he said the gulf of tonkin never happened, oh and cant forget 9/11, when we learned that steel melts at 1200 degrees & not 2700 degrees and there was absolutely no involvement of thermite that day and all the rescue workers were hallucinating when they said BOMBS were going off in the buildings. thank you for setting me straight smb12321

Ceteris paribus's picture

First two weeks in March thats when war starts .

Oleander's picture

I am taking the leap and predicting Feb. 29

Rahula's picture

Right the lumin-not-t are pagan through and through.


ZippyBananaPants's picture

All is well, Apple is working on an iPod powered three wheeler.

Dugald's picture

And call it the Morgan Aero.........

GeneMarchbanks's picture

Iran playing chess again.

maxmad's picture

They must not be very good!  They just got checkmated!

MachoMan's picture
Chewbacca: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrgh! Threepio: He made a fair move. Screaming about it can't help you. Han Solo: Let him have it. It's not wise to upset a Wookiee. Threepio: But sir, nobody worries about upsetting a droid. Han Solo: That's 'cause droids don't pull people's arms out of their sockets when they lose. Wookiees are known to do that. Chewbacca: Grrf. Threepio: I see your point, sir. I suggest a new strategy, Artoo: Let the Wookiee win. or, alternatively, this scene from raiders of the lost ark
EscapeKey's picture

Which six nations?

As if it'll make any difference. The remaining European will just increase their consumption, and move the cargo as appropriate.

mick_richfield's picture

Netherlands, Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Portugal.

GeneMarchbanks's picture

€-crats have one last chance to re-think the allignment of their allegiance and then it's on to the East.

StychoKiller's picture

Pretty sure Russia will be more than happy to take up the European oil slack and sell them some (for, let's say, a 20% premium...)

Problem Is's picture

The PIG-NFS...

Most of which probably can't pay anyway....

Notice the absence of Germany... Rich daddy Oberherr...

CONners's picture

Which six nations?  The six Eurpoean nations listed in the article.  The author uses no comma between "Spain Italy" because they are often concatenated as Spitaly.

duo's picture

This is a plus for our refiners and those with empty ships.  We can sell refined gasoline to Europe (more than we are now) using Canadian crude.  Refining margins have to be much better on European sales.

Race Car Driver's picture

Yeah... No.

Refinery capacity is shrinking due to closures and gas prices are already climbing.

zerozulu's picture

Just stop supply to Greece will do the trick. World is at the tipping point. Needs a nudge.

nmewn's picture

Yet another example of something needing a monetary solution.

Just hit print ;-)

The Reich's picture

Greece: Oil for bonds

johnQpublic's picture

anyone moves and i'll shoot this nigga....

<blazing saddles reference...europe holding gun to its own head>

Gavrikon's picture

That's "Hold it! Next man makes a move, the nigger gets it!"


Gavrikon's picture

Any time, sir.

That image of Cleavon Little holding that gun on himself is one of Mel Brooks' funniest scenes.

hunglow's picture

[Cowboy is sending Eightball to investigate an area for enemies]
Private Cowboy: Eightball, let's dance.
Private Eightball: Put a nigger behind the trigger!