Kamis, 28 Februari 2013

Iran to Execute 4 Bankers on Fraud Charges ...>> ..Judiciary spokesman Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei told reporters that four people had been officially sentenced to death on charges of corruption and “disrupting the country's economic system.” The guilty party was responsible for mishandling $2.6 billion of funds – using forged documents in order to receive credit from banks, permitting them to purchase state-owned companies....>> ...Iran Discovers World's Largest Natural Gas Field...>>...The deposit which this record breaking gas field was discovered is already known to contain crude oil, and a 5000-meter (16,400- foot) well will be drilled “soon” to collect further information, said National Iranian Oil Co. Director for Exploration Mahmoud Mohaddes. South Pars is the world's largest gas reserve, estimated to hold over 1,800 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Iran holds the world's second-largest gas reserves, with 29.6 trillion cubic meters, according to BP Statistical Review of World Energy in June 2011, while is home to the largest proven gas reserves in Europe and Eurasia. The biggest reserves in the world of the fuel still belongs to Russia...>>>



Iran to Execute 4 Bankers on Fraud Charges

Posted by - Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Iran's judiciary system recently worked through the biggest banking fraud case in the nation's history.

According to The New York Times, the outcome of the case was made official on Monday. Results were dramatic to say the least.

Judiciary spokesman Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei told reporters that four people had been officially sentenced to death on charges of corruption and “disrupting the country's economic system.”

The guilty party was responsible for mishandling $2.6 billion of funds – using forged documents in order to receive credit from banks, permitting them to purchase state-owned companies.

From PressTV:
According to the indictment, the owners of Aria Investment Development Company, which is at the center of the controversy, had bribed bank managers to get loans and letters of credit. The company has more than 35 offshoots which are active in diverse business activities.
...
The four are Mahafarid Amir-Khosravi…[the prime suspect], Behdad Behzadi, his legal advisor, Iraj Shoja, his financial solicitor and Saeed Kiani Rezazadeh, head of the Ahvaz branch of Saderat Bank,” he [Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei] said.

Additionally, the president of the Bank Melli branch in Kish was condemned to life in prison. The former deputy minister Khodamorad Ahmadi has been ordered to spend a decade in prison as well, according to Iran's attorney general, Mohseni-Ejei.

Several others involved in this infamous scandal have also been slapped with heavy fines and many have also been prohibited from holding public office.

Economist Nouriel Roubini added his two cents on the subject, reporting to Bloomberg:
“Bankers are greedy; they’ve been greedy for the last hundreds of years...t’s not a question if they are more immoral today then they were a thousand years ago, you have to make sure they behave in ways in which you minimize those risks.”
This message surely hits a little too close to home for central bankers across the globe who have been engaged with fraud and corruption in the past or present.

Constituents and political leaders spend a big chunk of time debating over how to deal with our crumbling economy. Ending system abuse from insiders and the Fed alike would undoubtedly have a positive ripple effect, but how is that goal going to be achieved? Thus far, not a single chief central banker has been arrested in light of the financial crisis.

This is completely asinine.

They keep making more money, while we struggle to thrive in the middle class. The brutal truth is that banks prosper when people are on welfare. They're invested in keeping you down and could care less about your American Dream.

Perhaps Iran is on to something by enforcing real consequences when insiders mess with the country's entire economic system. The death sentence decision is obviously harsh (Iran's justice system is pretty harsh in general). Alas, what's decided cannot be undone. They said they are trying to set an example.

Elite criminals shouldn't be treated differently than any other criminal; they should be prosecuted, not protected.

Iran Looks to China and Russia for Military Support

Posted by Wealth Wire - Friday, June 15th, 2012

Beset by rising rhetoric about a possible Israeli attack against its nuclear facilities, Iran is seeking full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as an additional layer of international diplomatic "life insurance."  On 12 November 2011 Iranian Supreme National Security Council's Secretary Assistant Ali Bageri said that Iran is seeking full membership in the SCO, upgrading its current observer status, telling journalists in Moscow, "We have already submitted a relevant application."

Now, Iran has gotten an endorsement from the SCO about the unacceptability of force - sort of.

The leaders of SCO members China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan said in a joint statement signed at the end of a two-day summit on 7 June that "any attempts to solve the Iranian problem with force are unacceptable and could lead to unpredictable circumstances."

Pretty impressive accomplishment, given that Iran currently only has "observer" status at the SCO.

The SCO, founded in Shanghai in 2001, currently consists of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan while Iran, India, Mongolia and Pakistan have observer status. Decisions on SCO membership and observer status are made with the consensus of all member countries.

Iran first submitted an official application for SCO observer status on 25 February 2005. In March 2008 Iran then applied for upgrading its status to formally joining the organization.

Three years ago Moscow was much cooler to Tehran's application. Russian Foreign Ministry Department for Information and Mass Media Deputy Director Andrei Krivtsov commented, "We do not accept any new members of SCO, as no country is seeking to extend the organization for the sake of extension itself. Any talk about an early admittance of Iran to SCO has no grounds."

Iran now has a powerful ally in Russia, which earlier on 6 November 2011 hosted an SCO meeting in Saint Petersburg. The Russian government pushed for both Iran and India being allowed to join SCO. Then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said, "Russia would welcome the positive review of applications to join our organization in one form or another from any interested nation." NATO member Turkey also has "dialogue partner" status and has also requested full membership.

The ultimate purpose of the SCO remains a contentious issue between Russia and China however, as while Russia apparently hopes to build the SCO into a counterbalance against NATO, China views the SCO as primarily an economic union, where Beijing's booming economy clearly gives it an edge over Russia in dealing with the SCO's "junior members."

Iran sees full SCO membership as a most valuable asset in its efforts to prevent encirclement by NATO and other U.S.-led entities, a position that Moscow can well understand.  In July 2011 Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi during an interview with the Russian media described Iran as the "most significant neighbour" of Russia for standing in the way of the U.S.-led Western encirclement strategy.

Even without SCO membership however, Iran has brought the Russian Federation on board as opposing a military strike on Iran, as on 8 November 2011 Russian Federation Foreign Ministry  Lavrov commented,  "there is no military solution to the Iranian nuclear problem as there is no military solution to any other problem in the modern world."

China is currently Iran's largest oil export mark, and has steadfastly rejected sanctions. China continues to invest in an Iran steadily drained of Western investment and Iran is the fourth-largest recipient of Chinese non-bond investment, which a military strike would put at risk. Iranian SCO membership would place the Sino-Iranian relationship in a position to undermine U.S. attempts to isolate Iran.

Iran has another card up its sleeve for seeking military partners, the Collective Security Treaty Organization. The CSTO was established after the collapse of the USSR in December 1991 by a number of former Soviet republics. When Iran began seeking SCO membership it received a warmer welcome from CSTO, as on 18 May 2007 CSTO General Secretary Nikolai Bordyuzha said, "CSTO is an open organization. If Iran applies in accordance with our charter, we will consider the application."

Iranian CSTO membership would strengthen its military alliances, as Article 4 of CSTO's charter states, "In case an act of aggression is committed against any of the Member States all the others Member States will provide it with necessary assistance, including military one, as well as provide support with the means at their disposal in exercise of the right to collective defense in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter."


Bolstering Iranian hopes, on 13 April 2011 Bordyuzha, while not mentioning Iran specifically, said that the CSTO is considering expanding the grouping.

Iran's interest in joining the SCO and CSTO is lacking a crucial element - time. Neither Moscow nor Beijing are known for making snap decisions, with the result that Tehran may soon find itself overtaken by events. That said, having Russia and China in your corner arguing against military action is no small consideration, either in Tel Aviv or Washington.

So, where does the West go from here?

Did the SCO indicate that it would engage in conflict for Iran?

No.

But  Iran's interest in CSTO and SCO are hardly a minor policy wonk exercise, as between Russia, Kazakhstan (both non-OPEC producers) and Iran, the trio account for nearly 20 percent of the world's oil output, which could be offlined to the global community should it embark on "reckless adventureism," to use a piquant Soviet term.

The phrase, "any attempts to solve the Iranian problem with force are unacceptable and could lead to unpredictable circumstances" was signed off by SCO members China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan should therefore factor into the considerations of those beating the drums for a military strike against Iran. Hardly insignificant, as the SCO statement was signed by all members.

Something for both Washington and Tel Aviv hawks to consider.
*Post courtesy of John C.K. Daly of Oilprice.com.

Iran Discovers World's Largest Natural Gas Field

Posted by Mike Tirone - Monday, April 30th, 2012
This weekend Iran discovered “one of the biggest natural gas fields in the Middle East,” said one industry official.

The reserves at this field are comparable to those of the South Pars field, reported MehrNews.com, a semi-official news agency. 

Details of this discovery are limited, as the Iranian government has been the main source of information, but what has been reported is that this natural gas fields have been discovered in southwestern Khuzestan province and the comparisons to the South Pars field, which Iran and Qatar share, are the only substantial specs available.

The deposit which this record breaking gas field was discovered is already known to contain crude oil, and a 5000-meter (16,400- foot) well will be drilled “soon” to collect further information, said National Iranian Oil Co. Director for Exploration Mahmoud Mohaddes.

South Pars is the world's largest gas reserve, estimated to hold over 1,800 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Iran holds the world's second-largest gas reserves, with 29.6 trillion cubic meters, according to BP Statistical Review of World Energy in June 2011, while is home to the largest proven gas reserves in Europe and Eurasia. The biggest reserves in the world of the fuel still belongs to Russia.

With the rest of the world feeling that this energy fat cat just got a little fatter, take note that Iran still lacks significant amounts of necessary refining capabilities to meet the demand. The nation is drowning in their own energy-rich waters due to the inability to refine it, so much so that according to the Middle East's 2011 Oil and Gas Directory, the nation imports as much as 40% of its gasoline.

Lastly, it's crucial to see how quickly the energy landscape is changing due to such a important discovery. On Sunday, one of Pakistan's leading news resources, reported that the Pakistani Ministry of Gas and Natural Resources issued the notification of construction and commissioning tender for a gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan.

From Pakistan's the Nation,
The project, according to the bid documents, is for a pipeline to transport high-end natural gas from an off-take point near the port city of Gwadar to a gas integration point near Nawabshah. Iran has offered $500 million to build the project, which is a sizeable portion of the estimated cost of $1.5 billion to $1.8 billion. This is a project which the USA opposes strongly, due its objections to Iran's nuclear programme. It has persuaded India to pull out, even giving it a civilian nuclear deal as a sweetener, and looks on Pakistan to follow suit. Pakistan cannot afford to ignore its national interests, because the energy shortage it faces has meant that industry has not been operating, and people have been thrown out of work. It has been resisting and will continue to resist external pressure, and ensure the completion of the project, which according to interstate gas systems is scheduled for completion in December 2016.

This pipeline plan is not limited to just gas either, Iran and Pakistan have agreed to extend the pipeline to crude oil. Negotiations have been set on the supply of 70,000- 80,000 barrels per day from Iran to Pakistan.

Although Iran is still not keeping up with demand with the energy-rich land it has stumbled upon, it still looks as though they have a neighbor in need that will happily lend a hand in taking some of its oversupply. A more stable Pakistan and thicker pocketed Iran does not rest easily on the mind of those fearful of nuclear advancements in the Middle East.


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