Iran's Endgame Is Long Overdue

(San Francisco Chronicle) Joel Brinkley - European leaders are now debating whether to impose an oil embargo on Iran. The EU imports 450,000 barrels of Iranian oil each day, about 20% of Iran's output. At a meeting of EU foreign ministers this month, several states, including Britain, France and Germany, advocated an oil embargo, but others balked. Greece, for example, complained that while the state's economy is in crisis, it can't go prospecting to replace Iran's oil. But now Saudi Arabia - Iran's hated enemy - is ramping up production, specifically to replace Europe's Iranian oil. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said he won a commitment from the Saudi ambassador in Washington to increase production. And in fact, every day now, Saudi Arabia is pumping 600,000 barrels above normal production - the highest output in decades. What's more, Libya is increasing output now that the fighting there is over, and the International Energy Agency reported that during the third quarter of this year, Iraq produced 540,000 more barrels per day than it had a year earlier. In other words, the world is awash in oil - even as weak economies are reducing demand worldwide. Europe can impose a total oil embargo on Iran and easily replace that oil from other producers.

2011-12-19 00:00:00

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