[Marxism] Congress goes on vacation without acting on H.Con.Res.362 (naval blockade of Iran)

Marvin Gandall marvgandall at videotron.ca
Tue Jul 1 05:29:55 MDT 2008

Fred writes:

>I don't know how long they are supposed to be out, but the resolution had
> been expected to pass the House with ease last week. I think it is
> reasonable to conclude that the recess without acting signals some loss of
> momentum for the bipartisan war resolution, which hac about 250 House and
> Senate sponsors the last time I saw a count and was initiated by House
> Democrats.
> What will happen when Congress gets back to "work" remains to be seen,
> naturally.
It's expected to pass after the break, but the Iranians for now don't seem 
too excited about it. According to the the government's English-language 
satellite channel:

Iran ready for US 'War Resolution'
Press TV
July 1 2008

Iran is fully prepared to meet its domestic gasoline needs in the event of 
tougher US-imposed sanctions or a blockade on gasoline imports.

"We are currently facing no problem in importing the gasoline we require and 
will be able to produce gasoline in the quickest time," said Iran's Oil 
Minister, Gholam-Hossein Nozari, in reference to bills in the US Congress.

Supported by the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), House 
Resolution 362 (and the Senate version, Resolution 580), known as the 'Iran 
War Resolution' can be considered a means of imposing harsher sanctions on 
oil-rich Iran.

The resolution demands that the US president "initiate an international 
effort to immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political and 
diplomatic pressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment 
activities..." The resolution instructs the US president to, among other 
things, prohibit the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; 
impose stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, 
planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran.

This resolution, which was introduced at an AIPAC annual policy conference, 
has gained 208 co-sponsors in the House and 29 in the Senate. It will likely 
be put to a vote after July 4.

"There is enough gasoline on the international market. The United States can 
not pressure Iran's gasoline imports," Nozari stated. The Americans 
themselves are a net gas importer and consumer and have no extra gasoline 
for sale, he pointed out.

"As long as oil-rich Iran can find customers among consuming nations for its 
crude, it will be able to import its gasoline requirements," Mohammad-Ali 
Khatibi, Iran's governor to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting 
Countries (OPEC), told the Persian daily Sarmayeh in an interview published 
on Tuesday.

Khatibi, however, ruled out the possibility of Washington implementing such 
a decision 'as the oil market is experiencing such a tense period.'

Akbar Torkan, a deputy oil minister, believes that the Oil Ministry could 
tackle such a potential blockade by cutting the gasoline quota under the 
current rationing program.

"We can cut the quota and only consume our domestic gasoline production of 
45 million liters per day," Torkan added.

Since Iran has a limited gasoline refining capacity, it implemented a 
rationing program in June 2007 to limit fuel consumption and ease the burden 
on state coffers.

Under the current program, government subsidies allow fuel to be sold at 
1,000 rials (about 11 US cents) a liter. The quota is 120 liters a month for 
private vehicles. Since March, drivers have been able to purchase additional 
gasoline for 4,000 rials per liter.

Iran's gasoline consumption stands at 65 million liters per day; the country 
needs to import an estimated 20 million liters of gasoline a day.

"We must always be prepared to deal with sanctions. The Oil Ministry has 
considered all 'possible scenarios' and drawn up plans for the worst 
situation," Torkan concluded.


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