Thu Jun 28, 2012, 08:18 AM
maddezmom (130,804 posts)
Saudi readies oil line to counter Iran Hormuz threat
(Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has reopened an old oil pipeline built by Iraq to bypass Gulf shipping lanes, giving Riyadh scope to export more of its crude from Red Sea terminals should Iran try to block the Strait of Hormuz, industry sources say.
The Iraqi Pipeline in Saudi Arabia (IPSA), laid across the kingdom in the 1980s after oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf by both sides during the Iran-Iraq war, has not carried Iraqi crude since Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990.
Saudi Arabia confiscated the pipeline in 2001 to compensate for debts owed by Baghdad and has used it to transport gas to power plants in the west of the country in the last few years.
Iran in January threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for U.S. and European sanctions that target its oil revenues in a bid to stop Iran's nuclear program.
Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/28/us-saudi-oil-hormuz-idUSBRE85R0KT20120628
8 replies, 1371 views
Saudi readies oil line to counter Iran Hormuz threat (Original post)
Response to NickB79 (Reply #2)
Mon Jul 2, 2012, 10:12 PM
happyslug (10,748 posts)
7. Why get Hezbollah, the Iraqi Government would gladly do it for Iran
One commentator when asked who won the Iraqi war, said Iran. Iran's proxy is the head of Iraq (as another joke went, "The Great Satan" and the "Axis of Evil" agreed on who should rule Iraq).
Barsa is the center of Shiite support in Iraq, while they are Arabs, they have greater sympathy to their co-religious in Iran more then they fellow Arabs in Saudi Arabia.
According to that Map this pipeline bypasses the Shiite area, but almost all of the oil in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq are in areas where the vast majority of people are Shiites NOT Sunni Moslem. i.e. more sympathetic to Iran more then the House of Saud. I suspect the pipeline follows closer to the population areas of Iraq then the map suggests, but even if the pipeline goes into the desert away from people, it is still in areas where it is easy for a man on a camel to get to with a rifle (And that is all he would need to knock out the pipeline).
Something is brewing in the Middle East, Israel, I suspect. is on the side line by cheering on Saudi Arabia. This look like a Iran-House of Saud fight, with the House of Saud wanting war with Iran, for Iran is supporting the protesters in the Persian Gulf against their present rulers.
The leaderships of those Arab dictatorships on the Persian Gulf (they may be ruled by "Emirs" and "Kings" they are nothing more then dictatorships). Iran may have a flawed democracy, but it is democratic to a degree UNHEARD of in the rest of the Persian Gulf. In Iran they is massive support for their nuclear program, even by the people who OPPOSE the present leadership.
The House of Saud has hated the Islamic Republic of Iran for the simple reason it is a Republic not a Dictatorship. People's vote do count in Iran. other factors may kick in to over rule popular rule, but the people still have a voice.
This limited voice is missing in the rest of the Persian Gulf (with the exceptions of Iraq, where it is also kept in check). Thus the House of Saud wants to suppress any dissent and HATES any country that supports such dissent, even if the support is by showing a bad example of a Democracy (As is the case with Iraq and Iran).
The complaint about Iran Nuclear policy is just an excuse. Even if Iran did develop a Nuclear device, how will it delivery it? The missiles Iran does have can hit the SHIITE majority areas of Arabia but not the Sunni and not the Capital. They is no real targets for an Iranian Nuclear weapon except maybe the US Fleet, but the US Fleet will NOT send in any ships into the Gulf unless they are reasonably safe from an attack from Conventional weapons, thus Nuclear weapons does NOT even make sense in that situation. i.e if Iran could attack the US Fleet with missiles, the US Fleet will stay in the Arabian Sea. If Iran could NOT hit the US Fleet with any missiles, then and only then will the US Fleet send in its ship into the Persian Gulf to attack Iran. In that case, Iran having a Nuclear Weapon would be meaningless, no way to delivery it to the target. The Nuclear weapon would be useless.
Thus I believe the Iranians, they are NOT developing a Nuclear device, for such a weapon would be useless to them. Thus why the big deal about Nuclear weapons? The answer is simple, it is an excuse not the reason. I suspect the reason is Saudi Arabia.
Now, I mentioned this before on DU, Hereditary dictatorships last about three generations. The First is by the founder, in the case of Saudi Arabia King Saud I who died in 1952. The Second generation tend to stay together for they are all siblings and grew up together. Killing each other is NOT high on their agenda, for they remember the good times they had growing up together with their father. This is true even in the case of Saudi Arabia where King Saud I have many wives. They grew up together, they interacted together etc. Most Hereditary dictatorships survive the switch from the First to the Second generation with some difficulties but little, if any bloodshed. The problems occur in the third generation, children who grew up in separate households from their cousins. This is when most Hereditary dictatorships fail, in the third generation.
The House of Saud Second generation is aging rapidly. King Saud I has many sons, and not all of them know to the west. Given King Saud died in 1952, the youngest can NOT be younger then 60, most are in their 70s and 80s. The second generation is about to die out and the third generation is ready to take over. So far the Third generation prefers to keep the second generation in charge, for the simple reason everyone is jockeying for position. Alliances within the extended family are being formed and destroyed all the time.
On top of this you have the Arab Spring, which is a revolt against the dictators of the Middle East. The people of the Persia Gulf are also seeing how the House of Saud is aging and waiting for it to explode.
I remember reading in the mid 1980s that it looked like a rough decade for Europe, for a similar generation gap was occurring in Russia (a comparison was made with 1914, another period when one generation of European leaders were being replaced by the next generation, remember what happened in 1914).
Stalin had died in 1953, while he had a daughter and a son, neither were in a position to take power, thus his successors where the people he promoted into position of power during his Show Trials of the late 1930s and WWII. These people would stay in power till the 1980s, when they started to die off do to old age. The infighting within the Kremlin was severe, combined with a drop in Oil production lead to the collapse of the Soviet Union by the end of the decade. Gorbachev and Yeltsin were of the Soviet Union's "Third Generation" and we saw what happened to the Soviet Union. Putin, at least four generation away from WWII, is now in charge, but the late 1980s and the 1990s were interesting and had the Soviet Union not Collapsed but lingered on, the fears of the 1980s might have come true.
Saudi Arabia's generation are NOT bureaucrats like in the Soviet Union, but actual blood relatives, thus the second generation managed to stay in power a lot longer then the second generation of Soviet Leadership (Please note, given what Stalin did in the 1930s, that is the start of his generation, not the Russian Revolution of 1917, in the show trials most of the leaders of the Revolution were killed, and were replaced by Stalin's loyal followers, thus the generation test for the Soviet Union is from the 1930s and 1950s NOT 1917).
I bring this up, for I suspect some in fighting within the ruling House of Saud is over how to handle the Arab Spring and Iran. The House of Saud view them as interrelated. Knock off Iran, the Arab Spring will be easier to suppress. Others are trying to use the Arab Spring to strengthen their grab for power within Saudi Arabia. Who is doing what is unclear. Who do we want to support, and who do we NOT want to come out on top?
In my opinion, Iran is a problem for the House of Saud do to the massive support for Iran among the Shiites who live where the oil is. The is aided by the reduction in the Standard of Living of most Residents of Saudi Arabia do to the third and fourth generation of the House of Saud wanting to live like their grandparents did (i.e. more and more money is going to minor members of the House of Saud, thus the House of Saud has to but back money to the rest of the people of Arabia).
Iran and the House of Saud is thus at swords point with each other. Both see the other as the cause of their problems. The House of Saud, the demands of Saudi Arabian Shiites (and other non House of Saud) population. Iran, seeing the House of Saud allied with the US and thus ready, willing and able to support any US attack on Iran.
Thus the support for dissent in the Persian Gulf from Iran and the Support to the opposition in Iran from the House of Saud.
Given the need for Iran to import refined oil products (Iran is a net exporter of oil, exporting a large amount of Crude oil, but importing most, but not all, of the refined oil products Iran needs) the sanctions will hurt Iran. Iran has to do something to gets what it needs (refined oil products), showing what it can do militarily, may convince someone to drop the sanctions. On the other hand the maneuvers does gets the Iran Military some training in what to expect Iran is attacked. Thus the maneuvers are a "win-win" situation for Iran.
Something is going on in the Middle East, hopefully it is all brinkmanship, i.e. pushing to a point, then stopping before the other side does opt for a military solution to the dispute. I suspect the House of Saud wants Iran to stop supporting Shiites in the Persian Gulf. Iran sees those Shiites as potential allies against an American Attack on Iran. To get support, you must give support, thus Iran wants to aid those Shiites so if the US does attack Iran, the Shiites will tie up Persian Gulf forces.
Thus the fight between the House of Saud and Iran, more about who support whom in the Persian Gulf then anything to do with Nuclear weapons. The House of Saud wants peace while its third generation takes over, but the House of Saud also wants to retain total power, thus Iran's support for the Shiites in the Persian Gulf is unacceptable.
The "Iranian" problem is looking more and more like two sets of internal disputes, Arabian and Iranian, with the Arabian being the more closed of the two and the one more likely to turn bloody internally. Lets see what happens.
Response to leveymg (Reply #1)
Mon Jul 2, 2012, 08:43 PM
may3rd (593 posts)
4. Iran threatens oil blockade
Hey, our oil doesn't flow from any of those taps .
Let em light em up.
They'll only cut their own peoples throats . Unless they are Assads about the people , they should also be carefull about the oil spills to say the least
Response to maddezmom (Original post)
Fri Jun 29, 2012, 06:04 AM
Nihil (11,234 posts)
3. My, my ... Saudi Arabia *was* busy that year ...
> Saudi Arabia confiscated the pipeline in 2001 to compensate for debts owed by Baghdad
"Confiscated" eh ... no wonder that Bush's first priority was to try to attack Iraq rather than
the country that supplied 15/19 of the apparent miscreants that September ...