Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Pressure is Intense

The latest barrage of words out of Iran shows that the pressure on Iran is intense. The implication has been made that if the 5+1 does not back off on the stick portion of their carrot and stick approach, the Iranians will kick out the IAEA inspectors. Risky business! The UN head of the IAEA has said he will resign if Iran is attacked. If the inspectors are kicked out, the job of the IAEA head will not be the key consideration in regard to what happens next. The world will face the choice of allowing an attack on Iran or allowing rouge nations the right to build nuclear missiles.

The words of the US are being echoed. The US has told North Korea, Syria, India and Iran that time is running out on the chance to join the world in a pact for the peaceful use of nuclear power. Iran spokesmen say that time is running out to negotiate a nuclear deal. North Korea, Syria and India are all right on the edge of success. The linkages between these nations and Iran are not clear. Will the movement of anyone of the four result in a domino effect or will they all move at the same time? Will the next president have to deal with this situation?

Bush certainly wants to get these and other issues settled. The longer the international stalemate drags on, the more pressure there is on the congress to vote on drilling. The perfect timing would be to have a vote to drill and then an international settlement in time to pass the 123 Agreements. Does either US political party want to hold a convention while the price of gasoline is over $4? The congress continues to try to place the blame on OPEC, Big Oil and speculators. Only 6% of the American people believe congress is going a good job. Surely the congress will vote to open up drilling in the USA soon?

Yesterday, the house voted to patch the AMT, again. The bill also included oil company tax increases that would be partially passed through to the price of gas. The bill will be bounced around before the tax increases are removed. It sure does not seem that congress is ready to do what needs to be done, but the pressure is intense.