Iran is delaying again while they continue to enrich uranium. The details of their reply have not been released, but I would wager they contain equivocation, a bit of taquiya, some political statements, and some statements to the effect that they are still open for negotiation. The statement is not their real answer, their move against a Romanian Oil Rig is the answer. More on this at Counter Terrorism Blog.
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Romanian oil rig off the coast of Iran came under fire from an Iranian warship and was later occupied by Iranian troops, a company spokesman said. The Iranians first fired into the air and then fired at the Orizont rig, said GSP spokesman Radu Petrescu. Half an hour later, troops from the ship boarded and occupied the rig and the company lost contact with the 26 crew members shortly afterward.
They are edging the oil card onto the table with this play; making a veiled threat to disrupt oil supplies as they tried to in the 80’s by interdiction of oil tankers passing through the Strait of Hormuz. This is a much more effective threat now than it was in the 80’s simply because of the leap in miltary technology that they have made over the last two decades.
Now they have highly effective anti-ship missles capable of taking out an aircraft carrier, improved mines, improved naval capabilities, and shore batteries. Then they had gunboats, and we were able to easily stop them.
The Iranian threat is still veiled in this case, not overt, it is likely that they will use a case in Iranian courts to explain their motives:
The Romanian company in Iranian courts earlier this year over a dispute involving another oil rig, Fortuna, the financial weekly Saptamana Financiara has reported. It was unclear whether the incident was related to legal issues.
The threat is veiled but real, China, France, Russia, and India are paying attention. Their thriving economies are highly dependent on oil from this region, and thisÂ might cause them to try toÂ take the sting out of any UN sanctions, or block them entirely.Â
More information and speculation on this can be found at Newsmax.
The source provided NewsMax parts of a more than 30-page contingency plan, which bears the stamp of the Strategic Studies Center of the Iranian Navy, NDAJA. The document appears to have been drafted in September or October of 2005.
The NDAJA document was just one part of a larger strike plan to be coordinated by a single operational headquarters that would integrate Revolutionary Guards missile units, strike aircraft, surface and underwater naval vessels, Chinese-supplied C-801 and C-802 anti-shipping missiles, mines, coastal artillery, as well as chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.
The overall plans are being coordinated by the intelligence office of the Ministry of Defense, known as HFADA.
The other potential is they could use Hezb’Allah sympathizers in southern Iraq and and like-minded Shia to interupt the oil flow from Basra.
Baghdad- Gunmen shot dead a high ranking officer entrusted with safeguarding Iraq’s petroleum installations in the key Iraqi oil port of Basra, security sources said Tuesday. The sources told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that unidentified gunmen opened fire on Colonel Fadel Abbas, a chief officer in charge of petroleum installations’ security, in northern Basra late Monday.