Dollars, Euros and the Upcoming Iranian Oil Bourse by William R. Clark exposes the relation between oil and the US dollar. In October of 2004 he said, “In essence, Iran is about to commit a far greater “offense” than Saddam Hussein’s conversion to the euro for Iraq’s oil exports in the fall of 2000.” – a fatal political move, but one that improved Iraq’s earnings thanks to the rise in the value of the euro against the dollar.
To date, one of the more difficult technical obstacles concerning a euro-based oil transaction trading system is the lack of a euro-denominated oil pricing standard, or oil “marker” as it is referred to in the industry. The three current oil markers are U.S. dollar denominated, which include the West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI), Norway Brent crude, and the UAE Dubai crude. However, since the spring of 2003, Iran has required payments in the euro currency for its European and Asian/ACU exports – although the oil pricing for trades are still denominated in the dollar. Beginning in March, 2006, the Tehran government will begin competing with New York’s NYMEX and London’s IPE for international oil trades using a euro-based international oil-trading mechanism, launching the petroeuro.
“This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous…Having said that, all options are on the table.” – President George W. Bush, February 2005.
A Financial Times article dated June 5, 2003 – shortly after the war officially ended – announced that Iraqi oil sales had returned to the international markets – once again denominated in US dollars, not euros. Not surprisingly, this detail was never mentioned in the five US major media conglomerates.
Beware the Ides of March…
The most recent news reports indicate the Iranian oil bourse will start trading on March 20, 2006, coinciding with the Iranian New Year.
In “Doomsday for the Greenback,” Mike Whitney explains, “At present, the greenback serves as the world’s reserve currency, the main medium of exchange. This allows the US to pile up enormous debt while avoiding the pitfalls of skyrocketing interest rates or hyper-inflation. The $2 billion of borrowed wealth that props up the faltering empire every day comes primarily from the exporting powerhouses Japan and China.”
Coincidentally on March 23, 2006 the Federal Reserve System plans to stop reporting on the M3 in contrast to continuing detailed reporting on the other three indicators of the United States money supply:
- M0: The total of all coins and banknotes in circulation. (i.e. currency)
- M1: M0 + the amount in demand accounts (also called “checking account” or “current account”)
- M2: M1 + other various savings account types, money market accounts, and certificate of deposit accounts (CDs) of under $100,000.
- M3: M2 + all other CDs, deposits of euro dollars and repurchase agreements.
William Clark notes that Âboth Russia and China significantly increased their central bank holdings of the euro, which appears to be a coordinated move to facilitate the anticipated ascendance of the euro as a second world reserve currency.Â
Venezuela, the only member of OPEC from the western hemisphere, and the world’’s 5th largest oil exporter, has already dumped the dollar for the euro and has given the world’s biggest oil company, ExxonMobil, until the end of this year to enter a joint venture with the state.
While the arguments for attacking Iran will hinge around their alleged attempts to attain nuclear weaponry, Bill and Kathleen Christison, former CIA analysts explain why, “…every peace activist on the globe ought to be in the streets and elsewhere lobbying in support of something very simple: do not attack Iran, even if this means allowing Iran to develop its own nuclear weapons.”
In Let’s Stop a US/Israeli War on Iran they say, “It is simply not worth a war… From 1945 until we invaded Iraq in 2003, we never once took military action to prevent other nations from developing nuclear weapons,” including Israel, Pakistan and India. “…unless the U.S. and Israel (and other nations as well) all agree to work seriously toward eliminating their own nuclear weapons, any Iranian government will consider that it has as much right as the rest of us to such weapons,” and much like Israel did until their weaponry development program was exposed, Iran will also deny that they are trying to attain nuclear weapons.
The Christisons say that Muslims around the world and many other people believe that, “Iran, with a population of close to 70 million, has at least as much right as Israel, with a population less than one-tenth as large, to have nuclear weapons.”