Ahmadinejad calls oil price hikes �manipulated�
By Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Associate Editor

Jun 26, 2008, 00:16

How is that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, a country we�re about to attack for building a nuclear power reactor, is commenting more cogently on our soaring oil prices than our own president, George Bush, who continues to perceive enemies everywhere, but sees no solutions to our oil price crisis in the immediate future?

In a televised speech Tuesday, the Iranian president, who was called �either brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated� by President Lee Bollinger of Columbia University, said, with the precision of a graduate school instructor that he also is, that oil was abundant in the world�s crude market and that the current high oil prices were, �fake.� Ahmadinejad attributed the daily increases in the price of crude oil as �unwarranted� since the market �has more than enough oil.�

These comments were made at a meeting of the OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) Fund for International Development, not exactly a group lacking oil savvy. It took place in the central Iranian city of Isfahan. Like a good economist, he added. �The dollar is being manipulated weaker, too.�

Specifically he said, �At a time when the growth of consumption is lower than the growth of production and the market is full of oil, prices are rising, and this trend is completely fake and imposed.� He ironically attributed the oil price manipulation to �visible and invisible hands.� (See my The �Invisible Hand� is picking your pocket for clarification on that last term.)

Ahmadinejad underlined the fact that �The price of oil is skyrocketing in order to secure economic and political gains.� Could that possibly be? Yes. �Speculation is the reason behind the increasingly high prices of crude, not a lack of supply,� the �provocative� president added.

After all he should know. Iran is the world�s fourth-largest oil exporter. And probably the main reason we would like to get our bunker-busters around it, via us or our willing friend Israel. By the way, Israel just bought a whole bunch of them from us to blast through the Iranian nuclear facility.

Ahmadinejad, obviously no fool, pointed out that Iran has �repeatedly blamed geopolitical factors and the weak US dollar for the out of control oil prices.� Once again, he was on the money.

He added that �the dollar has already lost 15 percent of its value over the past 12 months against the euro, to $1.54 per euro. Since oil is priced in dollars [petrodollars], producers have had to increase prices in part to offset losses when converting that money into local currency.� So our sinking currency is at the root of the problem, which has to do with our excessive debt, the constant bailouts to subprime debt-ridden banks, to making war, and giving tax cuts to the rich, among a few of the reasons.

�As you know,� Ahmadinejad said, �the decrease in the dollar�s value and the increase in energy prices are two sides of the same coin which are being introduced as factors behind the recent instability.�

Oil prices have climbed to $140 per barrel of late. Yet they leveled, the Iranian President pointed out, as Saudi Arabia, the world�s top oil exporter, announced it will increase output to its highest rate in decades. This as consumption has slipped as well, and there are signs that a slowing US economy could lower prices. Could it be that some hedge funds and oil brokers are hoarding oil futures?

Switch from dollars to a basket of currencies

Once again, Ahmadinejad suggested that oil should not be sold in US dollars, but sold instead in a basket of currencies. Of course, only one other OPEC member has suggested that, Venezuela, the oil-rich South American country that sells a good deal of its oil to the US.

Ahmadinejad reiterated that one of the world�s largest problems is the continuing decline of the value of the dollar. One wonders what �Invisible Hand� is engineering that fiasco.

To ward of that trend, Iran�s leader suggested �A combination of the world�s valid currencies should become a basis for oil transactions or [OPEC] member countries should determine a new currency for oil transactions."

He described the dollar (as Bush once described our Constitution) as �a worthless piece of paper.� He even suggested that �'some big powers' have pushed the dollar even lower for a reason.� He said it was no accident that the dollar continues to decline. Could it be that our own government, with the help of the Federal Reserve and Wall Street�s top echelon, are leading us to economic collapse, so that the truly rich and ugly can buy up the market at a song, the way they did in the 1930s?

In fact, Ahmadinejad suggested, �For years they [some big powers] imposed inflation and their own economic problems to other nations by injecting the dollar without any support to the global economy.� This means that we keep borrowing from China, Japan, and dozens of other countries with stable currencies and, as the dollar declines, so does their investment in us, creating potentially disastrous results for their economies. Not nice business at all.

But then we are not living in a period of �nice,� �responsible,� �the common good,� �economic and fiscal responsibility,� et cetera. We�re living in the New World Order with an agenda of endless war to accomplish world hegemony any which way the neocons can. And thus, in speaking out, is Ahmadinejad, the so-called �either brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated� president of Iran actually trying to wake up the American people to what is really happening?

Think about it, especially the next time you drive up to the gas pump and the price for a gallon of regular has climbed to $5. You might not think Ahmadinejad is quite the wild man he�s made out to be. Nor is the Texas oilman president quite as befuddled as he seems to be, especially as the wealth of America keeps rolling into the hands of a precious and superrich few, mostly his friends.

But don�t think too long. After all, the US fleet is sitting, waiting to attack Iran, along with our good friends the Israelis pumped to blast away with their brand new US-made bunker busters. The question is are the American people the victims as well?

Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer living in New York. Reach him at

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