Iran Makes First Nuclear Fuel Rods, Fires Mid-Range SAM In Retaliation For Full Blown US Financial Boycott

Tyler Durden's picture

The political press has been abuzz over the much anticipated signing of the NDAA by Barack Obama on Saturday: this move was not surprising because Obama had already made it clear he would go ahead and enact the law, even though he added some 'stern' language that is supposed to legitimize what some say is a precursor to the establishment of martial law in the US. To wit: "The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it. In particular, I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists." And yet he signed it (full text of Obama's statement on the NDAA, sent while on vacation in Hawaii, can be found here). Perhaps the reason for that unpopular move were some of the more nuanced contents of the Bill, among which is the decision to fully boycott not only Iran, but any bank, including central bank, and other financial institution found to deal with Iran. Which incidentally means most of Russia and China, and probably half of Europe, as all petrodollars generated by the country's petroleum export industry first have to make their way via the international financial community back into the country. The history buffs out there will realize that this form of couched antagonism is nothing short of the US approach to Japan during World War II, which was essentially provoked into attacking Pearl Harbor - read the details of the October 7, 1940 McCollum Memo here, and especially bullet point 10. And unfortunately, it appears that within 24 hours or so, Iran may have already taken the bait. As Reuters and BBC report, Iran has both test-fired a medium-range SAM during the ongoing wargames exercise previously discussed here, as well as made a formal announcement it has made and tested domestically made nuclear fuel rods: precisely the event that the Israel or US-borne Stuxnet was designed to prevent. So as the tennis match of escalation keeps on growing the ball is now once again in the US' court.

Here are some details on the wholesale Iranian financial boycott via Reuters.

U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law on Saturday a defense funding bill that imposes sanctions on financial institutions dealing with Iran's central bank, while allowing for exemptions to avoid upsetting energy markets. The sanctions target both private and government-controlled banks - including central banks - and would take hold after a two- to six-month warning period, depending on the transactions, a senior Obama administration official said.


Under the law, the president can move to exempt institutions in a country that has significantly reduced its dealings with Iran and in situations where a waiver is in the U.S. national security interest or otherwise necessary for energy market stability. He would need to notify Congress and waivers would be temporary, but could be extended.


Sanctioned institutions would be frozen out of U.S. financial markets.


"Our intent is to implement this law in a timed and phased approach so that we avoid repercussions to the oil market and ensure that this damages Iran and not the rest of the world," the senior U.S. official told Reuters.


Iran's central bank is the main conduit for Tehran's oil revenues.


Obama signed the bill during his vacation in Hawaii, just hours after Tehran said it had delayed planned long-range missile tests in the Gulf and signaled it was ready for fresh talks on its disputed nuclear program.


Senior U.S. officials said Washington was consulting with its foreign partners to ensure the new sanctions can work without harming global energy markets. They stressed the U.S. strategy of both isolating and remaining open to engagement with Iran was unchanged.

Ah yes, the precious energy markets. We can't have some unprecedented volatility there, not now when it is now officially an election year. What however we can have, is control over the supply of one of the world's biggest oil exporters. Kind of what happened in Iraq a few years back to stunning success...

So what was Iran's response?

Iran has successfully produced and tested fuel rods for use in its nuclear power plants, state television reported on Sunday, in a snub to international demands that it halt sensitive nuclear work.


The rods, which contain natural uranium, were made in Iran and have been inserted into the core of Tehran's research nuclear reactor, the television reported.


Nuclear fuel rods contain small pellets of fuel, usually low-enriched uranium, patterned to give out heat produced by nuclear reaction without melting down.


"This great achievement will perplex the West, because the Western countries had counted on a possible failure of Iran to produce nuclear fuel plates," the Tehran Times newspaper said.


The development was announced at a time of growing tension between Western powers and Iran after the U.N. nuclear agency reported in November that Tehran appeared to have worked on designing a nuclear weapon. Secret research to that end may be continuing, it said.


The United States and its European allies have increased the sanctions pressure on Iran, one of the world's largest oil producers, to push Tehran to halt the enrichment.


U.S. President Barack Obama signed more sanctions against Iran into law on Saturday, shortly after Iran signalled it was ready for new talks with the West on its nuclear programme and said it had delayed long-range missile tests in the Gulf.

But wait, there's more. From the BBC:

Iran has successfully test-fired a medium-range surface-to-air missile during military exercises in the Gulf, the official Irna news agency reports.


Iranian naval commander, Mahmoud Mousavi, was quoted as saying the missile was equipped with the "latest technology" and "intelligent systems".


The test comes a day after he denied earlier state media reports that Iran had test-fired long-range missiles.


He said on Saturday missile launches would take place "in the coming days".


Iran's 10 days of naval exercises began last week and are taking place in international waters to the east of the strategic Strait of Hormuz.


They come at a time of increased tensions between the West and Iran over its nuclear ambitions.


Tehran reacted angrily last week to reports that Western nations were planning to impose further sanctions targeting Iran's oil and financial sectors.

So little by little the US will escalate pressure on Iran to commit increasingly more glaring acts of outright 'insanity', until finally it does the one thing that according to the US media, which will likely be needed to wash-rinse-spin cycle the newsflow, will push the  American people, who are just not going to take such 'vile' proocations any more, over the edge. At least according to Santorum's Meet the Press interview from this morning which made precisely that point all too clear.

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GeneMarchbanks's picture

3... 2... 1... Happy New Year!

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

What is it good for? 

Don't look at the man behind the curtain!

Turd Ferguson's picture

Jimi: I think it's funny that amidst all of the 2012 revelry, you are here with me reading doom and gloom predictions on ZH.

This is a truly disastrous scenario. Some say war is about managing unintended consequences. The (un)intended consequences of what will be transpiring soon will have life-altering impacts for almost everyone.

GeneMarchbanks's picture

"Our intent is to implement this law in a timed and phased approach so that we avoid repercussions to the oil market and ensure that this damages Iran and not the rest of the world," the senior U.S. official told Reuters.

I'm like 40/60 alcohol to urine from last night but will someone confirm that the quotation above is completely batshit insane and otherwise an impossibility?

Wakanda's picture

Why sober up?

Plan B:  keep drinking - we are knee deep in batshit insane

trav7777's picture

the FRN is a weapon...debtmoney always has been

So an act of financial war against Iran...great.  More freedom coming!!

Oh regional Indian's picture

SAM, whose range is only's quite something to watch a SAM seller. I've seen them at Defenes Expos, death merchants in Suits and ties talking calmly of Kill Ratios. 

Trav, hope you stay true to your self in 2012. If you truly are the asshole in your real life that you get to play here on ZH, congratulations. 

For the greater good, do tell, are you? Do you tel everyone at work to constantly STFU, Idiot, retard etc.?

Inquiring minds...


Meanwhile, this Iran scenario is too obvious. What is the Left Hand up to? 



Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

The LH is likely wondering what happened to its nose (see below).  I think this ruling class is idiotic.  They are using the same script their grandfathers used, but back then they had industry at its back.  Now the US is a wasteland of idot liberals and dumb republicans.  The 25% of Americans that have an inkling of what is happening, they are too spoiled to act.  It was over when they Occupy Movement decided it would be best to house homeless people for the winter instead of taking action and burning down the Fed.

It's all over, save yourselves, buy silver, canned food, and get ready to hunt squirrels.  There are two new moons in February (the 21st/22nd).  That would mean back to back nights of stealth bombing.

Oh regional Indian's picture

The LH reference had me confused for a minute there, LH! But I see it now.

Good advice. Definitely a seperating the wheat from the chaff year all around.


knukles's picture

From Chaos, Order.

All goes well, according to plan.

SAT 800's picture

"Work makes Free". Thank God for our Fuhrer !

TruthInSunshine's picture

The U.S. is going to smash a naval ship full of peanut butter into Iran's chocolate, and then announce to the world that Iran has aggressively rammed a barge full of chocolate into a merchant peanut butter ship, as a pretext for war.

That's how this shit always goes down.

macholatte's picture

The left hand is in the pocket and stroking the genitals of the sheeple.

trav7777's picture

I have to tone it down at work, obviously.  lol

xcehn's picture

Exactly.  Especially since tomorrow is a holiday.  Don't rush sobriety.

Mugatu's picture

If you stare at xcehn's "active" graphic too long you will become hypnotized.

I personally think ZH'ers should not use an active graphic unless it involves tits or asses,

fuu's picture

No, it is completely fucking insane.

SWRichmond's picture

The statement is of course a complete misdirection.  Give the sheeple something positive to believe, that the "authorities" somehow actually know what they're doing.

Sanctioned institutions would be frozen out of U.S. financial markets.

Pfft.  What's the big deal?  I'm in the process of getting the hell out of them myself.  Why would Iran want assets anywhere they could be stolen by western central bankers?

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

So the US cut off its nose?  With Japan, China, and Russia now trading w/o dollars, it is possible that the US just went all in on dueces. 

fnord88's picture

7 2 offsuit and full retard baby...yeah...."burning down the house"....

trav7777's picture

hey we might get hail mary on the river and fill that straight...and everyone else will fold

Jack Burton's picture

I do think we raised the bet on dueces, China, Russia and Japan taken together are no insignificant. Should they continue to deal with Iran as anyother trading partner, then what does the US do? Freeze those three out of US markets? Stop trade with them? Freeze their assets?

You can tell by the foolish nature of my last three questions just what a foolish position the US has put itself in with this latest sanctions bill.

In that case we must ask how and why such a foolish sanctions bill made it into law. Well, who would be pushing hardest for this bill and the sanctions that push Iran towards a move that might trigger a US attack?

Israel? Israel's congressional supporters? We do know that about 90% + of congress are sworn defenders of Israel's policy decessions. What ever Israel demands of the US congress, odds are quite good they will get some large part of what they demand. My guess is Congress caved in to Israeli demands vis their US lobby groups and has crafted a sanctions bill that puts Israeli policy goals first and the US interests last.

I welcome anyone with a contrary opinon to debunk my theory of why this sanctions bill has become the law of the land.

s2man's picture

+1 for "I'm in the process of getting the hell out of them myself".  Me too :-D

Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

+100  My thoughts exactly.  One big WHO CARES is at hand here.  The banksters are becoming more irrelevant with each passing bailout.  The public is leaving the casino in spades. China and Japan are leaving the dollar. I'm certain Iran will take anything but dollars for oil.  Talk about a stupid move.  The US government, big finance and the big oil Saudi Arabian toadie (aka US Army/Navy) military complex is starting its death throes.  Expect authoritarian repression for dissent.  Is Gitmo our gulag?  Welcome to the USSA!

YHC-FTSE's picture



Confirm it is completely batshit insane. Not quite sure how it is going to work, except it's bound to please the Chay-sus rapture second coming crowds. I don't want to die painfully from slow starvation/radiation when WWWIII kicks off, so I'm going to rent a house near a primary target and try to leave a nice shadow on the pavement. 


Somebody really ought to spell out that sanctions are not "Soft" political tools. Sanctions on Iraq killed a half million children under 5yrs old (UNICEF 1999 report), and who knows how many others even before the US invasion in 2003. I doubt the Iranians are going to allow that to happen to their kids, nor the Russians who have their carrier force covering Syria, nor the Chinese, nor the Europeans who all need the black stuff. I get the feeling that the rest of the world has been playing the role of Neville Chamberlain for too long, and one lone nutjob country called the USA is playing the role of Hitler on steroids. Something is about to change, hopefully to a peaceful resolution if Dr.Paul gets elected, but I have my doubts about that happening with the GOP about to rig the polls in Iowa.

Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

Don't be so paranoid.  Iran has its nuclear deterant in place.  China and Russia are squarely behind them.  Obama and the US State department are just thumping their chest.  The USA is becoming more and more irrelevant in world affairs.

YHC-FTSE's picture

Thanks, but that is precisely what I'm worried about. Too many nuclear powers converging to defend or fight over that area. The USA does not usually end with merely thumping chests, and the one thing sociopaths fear most is becoming irrelevant. But let's hope you're right.

Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

I'm more worried about how to get these assholes out of our government.  IMO, that is when violence is more likely to occur because they will not give up without a fight.  Who killed more Russians, Stalin or Hitler?  Who killed more Chinese, Mao or the Imperial Japanese Army?

GMadScientist's picture

What kills more than all those combined? Starvation and drought.

xela2200's picture

Starvation is how Mao killed his own people. That is central planning for You especially when You add a sprinkle of bad luck. Largest starvation known in human history. 36 - 45 million people dead in 3 years.

macholatte's picture

The USA is becoming more and more irrelevant in world affairs.

The USA is not going to do anything without first getting permission from the UN. In addition to that, the western financial system is apparently quite fragile. Maybe all the chest pumping from Iran is all that's necessary to push the West over the cliff into the currency abyss. On the other hand, a nice war has always worked well to re-boot a failing financial system and get the sheeple to be happy when they find a few potatoes in the bottom of a garbage can. Was it Obama who said that "Americans need to learn to do with less" or something like that?

"The truth is most Americans don't want much. Folks don't want the whole pie. Most Americans feel blessed to thrive a little bit....but that's out of reach for them. The truth is, in order to get things like universal heathcare and a revamped education system then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more.

- Michelle Obama April 8, 2008

Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

The USA is not going to do anything without first getting permission from the UN.

...and that is exactly why there will not be a war.  China and Russia will never support it. When (since '79 -- which was arguably justified) has Iran ever done anything to the USA other than obligatory weekend bar-b-que flag burnings after temple prayers?  It's pathetic how easily the American public's opinions can be manipulated by yellow journalism.

BigJim's picture

...The truth is, in order to get things like universal heathcare and a revamped education system then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more.

- Michelle Obama April 8, 2008

Wow. Classic, tribal, 'zero-sum' politics at its finest. These fucking idiots really don't get the idea of wealth creation, do they? I suppose it's because they and all their friends have all been wealth-extracting for so long they've forgotten where the pie comes from.

fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

Sanctions on Iraq killed a half million children under 5yrs old (UNICEF 1999 report), and who knows how many others even before the US invasion in 2003.  

Saddam had to spend millions on fancy cars and houses during this time? He had to have more gold for his wife?

Saddam choose to let the children of Iraq to die. You know this. Had Saddam put resources to the benefit of his people, resources and trade routes were available during the time of the sanctions. Nice try blaming eveyone except those actually responsible.

JR's picture

That is not true. It was not Saddam who chose "to let the children of Iraq die," it was Americans and Israelis such as yourself who won't own up to the reprehensible deeds of their countrymen such as Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright who stated clearly that the deaths of the children was worth the price.

The Iraqi people had “historically been one of the of the most highly educated, industrious, and entrepreneurial people in the Middle East…and a majority of Iraqis lived most of their adult lives under Saddam Hussein.”

According to Wikipedia, under Hussein and revenue from Iraq’s oil resources:

Within just a few years, Iraq was providing social services that were unprecedented among Middle Eastern countries. Saddam established and controlled the "National Campaign for the Eradication of Illiteracy" and the campaign for "Compulsory Free Education in Iraq," and largely under his auspices, the government established universal free schooling up to the highest education levels; hundreds of thousands learned to read in the years following the initiation of the program. The government also supported families of soldiers, granted free hospitalization to everyone, and gave subsidies to farmers. Iraq created one of the most modernized public-health systems in the Middle East, earning Saddam an award from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

With the help of increasing oil revenues, Saddam diversified the largely oil-based Iraqi economy. Saddam implemented a national infrastructure campaign that made great progress in building roads, promoting mining, and developing other industries. The campaign helped Iraq's energy industries. Electricity was brought to nearly every city in Iraq, and many outlying areas.

Cathartes Aura's picture

sounds remarkably similar to Libya, hmm?


trav7777's picture

bbbut...bbbbut...RAPE ROOMS and MOBILE BIOLOGICAL WARFARE LABS.  And yellowcake and aluminum tubes.

The same people Saddam kept his boot on were the ones blowing shit up and successfully ethnic cleansing Iraq.

And we let it happen.  FREEDOM, bitchez.  Mr. Sunni you have the FREEDOM to gtfo of this neighborhood and Mr. Shiite, you too have the freedom to GTFO or get beheaded.

And all non-muslims have the freedom to leave the country forever or get slaughtered.  God bless america

YHC-FTSE's picture

"Nice try blaming eveyone except those actually responsible."

Ditto. So help me, it seems like I do this every week now. This is a cut and paste of my answer to a similar post only last week:



I can't believe anyone actually still believes the bullshit spouted during the demonisation of Iraq. Okay, I'll bite. 


The figure of 500,000 Iraqi children killed stated to Albright in the 60 Minutes interview, which Albright never denied, was from a preliminary 1995 UN FAO report that 567,000 Iraqi children under 5 yrs old had died as a direct result of the sanctions. That figure was confirmed by a definitive UNICEF report in 1999 suggesting that the total "EXCESS" deaths of children under 5 yrs old as a direct result of the sanctions was approx. 500,000. 


The claim that sanctions are not to blame for Iraq's suffering, but that Saddam Hussein bears the sole responsibility, came shortly after the 1999 UNICEF report, as you would expect. These claims were ALL discredited, but still resurfaced in the MSM after 2001, and gained mass saturation before the eve of the US invasion in 2003. The fact is, the Oil for Food Program money was administered by the UN, disbursed directly from a US bank account to foreign suppliers so that misappropriation was impossible. Allegations of food and goods being stolen by Saddam was repeatedly denied by the UN officials administering the program inside Iraq. 


It's not your fault. Lies upon lies were widely published by the msm in the USA, as well as spouted by the administration at the time. You might want to check this link out for the full story:


StychoKiller's picture

The fact is, the Oil for Food Program money was administered by the UN, disbursed directly from a US bank account to foreign suppliers so that misappropriation was impossible.

Yet the French were STILL able to put their grimy paws into the cookie jar...

trav7777's picture

yeah, the monies under oil for food that were stolen were stolen BY the UN.

YHC-FTSE's picture

Trying to make a simple point that sanctions are not "Soft" political tools. Systemic corruption in politics and banking does not somehow negate that point. 

Yellow Tang's picture

@YHC-FTSE - Dr Paul, if he gets elected, will be the president of a nation at war, or one recovering from multiple nuclear strikes.  The US will be at war with Iran, and probably Russia and China a long time before the elections.  So the avenue of peaceful resolution is barricadedThe NDAA and all other anti-civil liberty bills brought in this far are to deal with the huge anti-war protests and then the economic ruin the war will bring. Looks like there are only 2 outcomes:


1) The world snubs the sanctions, deals with Iran and its oil anyhow.  US invades Iran on some pretense to "fix" that problem.  China/Russia defend.  WWIII.


2) The world tows the lines (except China probably who will be allowed to ignore the sanctions).  Iran is crippled financially, attacks the US to force China and Russia into a war.  WWIII.


Those crazy fucking Mayans.

YHC-FTSE's picture

Yes. Hence confirming the batshit insane comment made originally by GeneMarchbanks. As for the hypothetical inheritance of a broken nation by Dr.Paul, I think it depends on the timeframe, and I will hazard a guess that we just might be able to get him elected before the point of no return for global thermonuclear war. Maybe. Hopefully. 

I don't think there will be a few multiple strikes. It would be strategically stupid to lob a few to allow a bigger retalitory strike. If a nuclear war kicks off, it will be all-out or nothing. That was the point of "Mutually Assured Destruction".

Socratic Dog's picture

Good thinking.  We will manage the unintended consequences of our action.  Only one problem...the unintended consequences are, by definition, not predictable by those who embark on the action.

One unintended consequence might be that Iran says, well, OK, we don't take $US for our oil if that's what you want.  We take gold.  And only gold.  And the rest of the middle east follows suit.

That would be a little embarrassing.


xela2200's picture

Take Gold for oil? That sounds familiar.

"The OPEC cartel issued a joint communique stating that, from then on, they would price a barrel of oil against gold."


Funny how the Arabs didn't like getting screwed by Nixon. I wish the US people could have done the same. IT would have prevented the FED from screwing us all for the last 40 years.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Hey Turd!

I'm really liking your podcasts!

Yeah, another year, and a bunch more crazy news about politicians using the Hegelian Dialectic to create opposition but in a given paradigm.  The good/bad relationship is merely a construct of the mind.  FOr example, if a wolfpack hunts a moose, is that bad?  One would say no, for the wolves must eat.  If a child gets lost in the woods, and is eaten alive by a wolf, that is bad, though.  Or is it? 

It is just life.  Shit happens.  But when the above happens, it happens with purpose; as you said, it is intended.  The intention is to divert attention from the shitshow that is the economy, and put a target on a country far, far away. 

The sorry thing is that the pattern was exposed long ago, by works of fiction and other arts.  Now it is shown for what it is by Zero Hedge, and other sites.  Still, people drive in circles, to band practice, people get married, they go to movies, how can we not?  We are mere human.

Yet when there is a turning point, such as sanctioning any entity that deals with Iran (Greece is no fucked, by the way), then boom goes the cannon.  We are starting the year off with a bang.  Hopefully it won't be nuclear.

trav7777's picture

What you cite is False Dilemma.  Watch ZH and it appears nearly constantly.

the economy isn't a shitshow for the peeps at the top; never been better for 'em.  You really have to get out and meet some really rich people.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Yeah, that's what I need to do, hang out with rich people.  Let me put that on my resolutions.