IRAN & NUCLEAR WEAPONS2008 :
U.S. crude oil prices neared a record above $140 a barrel !!!2006 :
U.S. crude oil prices neared a record above $70 a barrel on Monday, April 17 as Iran's pursuit of its nuclear program heightened fears the United States might take military action against the oil-producing nation. London's Brent crude on Monday rose 89 cents to $71.46 after touching a new record high of $71.62. Fear of possible disruption of supplies from Iran, the world's fourth-largest oil exporter, has helped drive the price of U.S. crude more than 20 percent higher since mid-February. Another concern is the shut-in of more than 500,000 barrels per day in OPEC producer Nigeria following militant unrest.
The city of Bandar Abbas sits at the gateway to the Persian Gulf, astride the Straits of Hormuz where 40% of the world's oil supply travels through that Strait. The Strait is 21 miles wide at its narrowest point, and practically speaking even narrower than that: there's a one-mile-wide channel in each direction, separated by a two-mile "median." If anything happens to block that channel, the global community would be thrown into economic chaos. In the "tanker wars" of 1984-1987, Iran and Iraq had exhausted their forms of military artillery and started going after oil tankers. Iraq attacked those ships bearing Iranian oil exports, and Iran responded with Silkworm anti-ship missiles and mining the Straits.
Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said on Monday Iran would continue to pursue its nuclear program following its announcement last week it had enriched uranium for use in power stations. "The Islamic Republic of Iran does not intend to stop," he told reporters in Kuwait during a visit to the Gulf state. On April 11, 2006, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran had successfully enriched uranium. This came about when Ahmadinejad announced the news in a televised address from the northeastern city of Mashhad, saying "I am officially announcing that Iran joined the group of those countries which have nuclear technology." On April 13, 2006, After Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said (on Wednesday, April 12, 2006) the Security Council must consider "strong steps" to induce Tehran to change course in its nuclear ambition; Iran's hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed that Iran won't back away from uranium enrichment and said the world must treat Iran as a nuclear power. On April 14, 2006, The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS ) published a series of analyzed satellite images of Iran's nuclear facilities at Natanz and Esfahan. Featured in these images is a new tunnel entrance near the Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) at Esfahan and continued construction at the Natanz uranium enrichment site.Iranians say there is currently no evidence that Iran is using its nuclear power capabilities to produce nuclear weapons, and the known facilities do not have the capability to produce weapons grade material. Any other use outside peaceful energy production would be a violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which Iran ratified in 1970.
The West suspects the nation is trying to build an atomic bomb and talk of a U.S. attack has topped the international news agenda since a report in The New Yorker magazine this month said Washington was considering using tactical nuclear weapons to knock out Iran's subterranean nuclear sites. A nuclear strike against Iran would no doubt signal a prelude to War World III. Iran has strong economic partnerships with China and Russia. In 1995, Iran signed a contract with Russia to resume work on the partially complete Bushehr plant, installing into the existing Bushehr I building a 915MWe VVER-1000 pressurized water reactor. In 1996, the U.S. tried, without success, to block China from selling to Tehran a conversion plant. China also provided Iran with gas needed in for the enriched uranium process.
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stated publically that Israel should be wiped off the global map and has been a vocal supporter of Iran's nuclear program. In 1975, The U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, had signed National Security Decision Memorandum 292, titled "U.S.-Iran Nuclear Cooperation," which laid out the details of the sale of nuclear energy equipment to Iran.
President Gerald R. Ford even signed a directive in 1976 offering Tehran the chance to buy and operate a U.S.-built reprocessing facility for extracting plutonium from nuclear reactor fuel. The deal was for a complete "nuclear fuel cycle", with all the dangerous consequences that would entail including the possibility of this plutonium being used sooner or later to make weapons. President Ford's team endorsed Iranian plans to build a massive nuclear energy industry, but also worked hard to complete a multibillion-dollar deal that would have given Tehran control of large quantities of plutonium and enriched uranium -- the two pathways to a nuclear bomb.
The thought of a Iran nuclear weapon sends chills through out the world as the Iran leadership is filled with religious zealots and fanatics who would use a nuclear weapon against Israel, in which Israel would respond with the launching of it's nuclear arsenal against Iran. Once this nuclear exchange takes place, it will engulf the globe and trigger World War III.Source : www.jaysnet.com