by Pepe Escobar, AsiaTimes
A key amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act signed by United States President Barack Obama on the last day of 2011 – when no one was paying attention – imposes sanctions on any countries or companies that buy Iranian oil and pay for it through Iran’s central bank. Starting this summer, anybody who does it is prevented from doing business with the US.
This amendment – for all practical purposes a declaration of economic war – was brought to you by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), on direct orders of the Israeli government under Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu.
Torrents of spin have tried to rationalize it as the Obama administration’s plan B as opposed to letting the Israeli dogs of war conduct an unilateral attack on Iran over its supposed nuclear weapons program.
Yet the original Israeli strategy was in fact even more hysterical – as in effectively preventing any country or company from paying for imported Iranian oil, with the possible exceptions of China and India. On top of it, American Israel-firsters were trying to convince anyone this would not result in relentless oil price hikes.
Once again displaying a matchless capacity to shoot themselves in their Ferragamo-clad feet, governments in the European Union (EU) are debating whether or not to buy oil from Iran anymore. The existential doubt is should we start now or wait for a few months. Inevitably, like death and taxes, the result has been – what else – oil prices soaring. Brent crude is now hovering around $114, and the only way is up.