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IRAN: Despite sanctions, business as usual

Iransanctions_2 A South Korean firm announced Sunday that it had completed construction of a $2.1-billion natural-gas processing plant in Iran, the latest sign that years of Western efforts to isolate Iran economically were not not having a huge effect.

South Korea's GS Engineering & Construction Co., the country's No. 2 builder, said Sunday it had finished the plant in Assaluyeh, in southern Iran, according to South Korea's official Yonhap news agency.

The company began construction of the plant in 2003. It will be able to produce 19 million tons of natural gas a year.

The announcement comes a day after Iran announced it had signed a $3.2-billion deal with China for exploitation of the gigantic South Pars natural-gas field in the Persian Gulf.

China's vote of confidence in the Iranian energy market came, coincidentally,  just shortly after Chinese leader Wen Jiabao voiced worry about the solvency of the United States.

The latest news shows how hunger for natural gas and business deals are undermining the longstanding U.S. policy of shunning business with Iran as a way of putting pressure on the government to abandon its nuclear policy and curb its regional ambitions.

The U.S. maintains an extensive embargo against trade with Iran. Advocates such as Rachel L. Loeffler say the West can tighten the noose on governments it doesn't like by tightening financial and trade restrictions.

But Iranians are clever about finding ways around such regulations, though they do add to the price of consumer and industrial goods. In the long run, critics say that sanctions mostly hurt ordinary people in a country like Iran, where government revenues come primarily from exports of oil and gas rather than tax revenues generated by trade.

That was what many concluded about Iraq, where U.S. and United Nations sanctions during the 1990s decimated the middle class while allowing strongman Saddam Hussein to tighten his hold on power.

-- Borzou Daragahi

Photo: Iranians use a Bank Mellat ATM in downtown Tehran. Iran's Bank Mellat unveiled plans last month to sell an 80% stake to private investors despite being under U.S. sanctions. Mellat Chairman Ali Divandari told reporters that talks were underway with a number of European and Persian Gulf banks. Credit: Behrouz Mehri / AFP / Getty Images

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Comments () | Archives (4)

British imperialist forces of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now BP) and Prinme Minister Winston Churchill that convinced the CIA, President Eisenhower, and his secretary of state to support a coup in Iran in 1953 against the democratically elected Mossadegh supposedly as an attempt to "preemptively" strike against a possible communist takeover. Communism was later used as an excuse to overthrow many latin and south american governments including Guatemala causing a thirty year civil war killing hundreds of thousands. We helped put a military dictator in power in Iran, which in turn set up the revolution for Islamist fundamentalists in 1979. Britain and American funneled billions of dollars out of Iran with oil and weapons sales between 1953 and 1979. America sold weapons to both sides during the Iran-Iraq War. America in turn invaded Iraq twice afterwords generating more sales in weapons becoming responsible for fifty percent of the world's international arms sales. Billions of dollars of arms were sold to Saudi Arabia while American and British corporations and the Sauds make a killing off oil. WE ARE THE PROBLEM! THERE WAS AN AGE IN HISTORY WHEN WE LIVED IN PEACE AND THERE WAS AN AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT INSTEAD WE ARE JUST CREATING A HORRIBLE WORLD FOR OUR YOUTH. UNTIL A NATION'S NATURAL RESOURCES ARE USED TO BENEFIT THE NEEDS OF THEIR PEOPLE INSTEAD OF BEING MILKED LIKE COWS BY FOREIGN INVESTORS THE YOUTH WILL NEVER INHERIT A WORLD BETTER THAN THE STATE AT WHICH A DYING GENERATION HAS LEFT IT! THIS IS NOT ISSUE OF COMMUNISM, OR ANY TYPE OF RELIGIOUS ISSUE, IT IS RIGHT FROM WRONG! AND YET, WE WONDER WHY THE REST OF THE WORLD HATES US.

US sanctions against Iran are economical terrorism! Stop all forms of terrorism and start with yourself!

How can U.S. claim that they are against the government not the people of Iran when they are well aware of who are getting hurt by imposing these sanctions

Iranians did fine with rations of food and fuel over 8 year of war not so long a go, sanction wont work, look at Cuba without any natural resources and 50 years later on, still walking on her own tune. Accept their independence and then just leave them alone!


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