Did Iran want to pay in Yen?

This is in reference to a blog by Craig Murray, the ex UK ambassador to Uzbekistan. During his time there he exposed the human rights violations of the Karimov administration. He is now a Scottish Nationalist.

He makes some good points but always seems to me something of a contradiction in terms; I’m unsure if he thinks Uzbekistan would actually have a Scottish ambassadorial representative, or whether he thinks he was just waiting his time for something better or indeed he considers England has notable interests in Uzbekistan. But under Scottish Independence I doubt whether Scotland would have any representative at all!

As an aside the EU by having its own representatives and allowing ‘reciprocal benefits’ permits smaller countries to have representation in countries abroad, yet still Uzbekistan has yet to be covered. And I cannot decide whether Craig Murray considered his ambassadorial post a stepping stone to higher things or simply unimportant, because clearly in the event of independence, there will be no Scottish representation there.

I may think he is somewhat conflicted, but one cannot deny that he makes a very cogent point on the current Iran crisis – as well as other things –  and more especially in view of Mike Pompreo’s (ex CIA Director) admission , that the CIA both lies and fakes:

This brief review of current issues reveal that not only do western governments lie and fake, they have really given up on trying to pretend that they do not. The abuse of power is naked and the propaganda is revealed by the lightest effort to brush away the veneer of democracy.
I find it hard to believe that I live in times where Assange suffers as he does for telling the truth, where a dedicated anti-racist like Corbyn is subjected to daily false accusations of racism and to US and security service backed efforts to thwart his democratic prospects, where the most laughable false flag is paraded to move us towards war with Iran, and where there is no semblance of a genuinely independent media. But, starkly, that is where we are. This is not unrelated to the massive and fast growing inequality of wealth; the erosion of freedom is the necessary precondition that allows the ultra-wealthy to loot the rest of us. It remains my hope there will eventually come a public reaction against the political classes as strong as the situation demands.

Since reading the piece I’ve discovered that Japan imports a lot of Iranian oil and the Japanese PM was actually visiting Iran for the first time in more than half a century – at the time of the so called ‘mine’ explosions on a Japanese oil tanker. (I’m not sure the BBC ever told us that..) Did anyone realise that these talks were in all likelihood about how Japan paid for this oil? Which seems entirely reasonable – but of course that payment would normally be in US dollars, now subject to Trump’s US sanctions – so actually now no longer theoretically, and probably practically, possible. Iran I’m sure would be happy to pay in Yen – but I very much doubt that Trump would be happy for that to come to pass…

We are really partly back to a PP obsession – money…

My – entirely unremarkable, I suggest – theory is that the US wanted to discourage the Japanese from paying for the Iranian oil at all – as the area was (thanks to the CIA) unstable.

Fortunately for the CIA – or not? nobody was killed this time….

Indeed, even Peter Oborne, not known for his left wing sympathies, considers Corbyn’s scepticsm towards Trump’s Iranian war mongering entirely proper.

And as for the CIA on Corbyn himself, we are pretty sure that the Russians like to destablise European democratic processes – let us hope that the CIA doesn’t get a taste for it as well.


  1. Andrew Dickie -

    Iran has been aiming to escape from the shackles of the petrodollar for at least a decade (as, of course, was Gaddafi, and look what happened to him!).

    Meanwhile, we have Secretary of State Pompeo clearly signalling that he intends to turn Chris Mullins’s fiction in “A Very British Coup” into historical fact, should Corbyn reach No. 10, though Pompeo’s preference is to stop Corbyn getting there.

    Democracy? Nah. Shamocracy, led by the world’s largest rogue State, the USA (See William Blum “The Rogue State” – written when Clinton was still President, so not covering the horrors that followed him)

  2. A. Pessimist -

    Peter, can you explain what Andrew calls “the shackles of the petrodollar”? It seems that they loom large in US influence over us all but reading stuff on the internet isn’t enlightening me much. Presumably US leverage is high if previous profits from oil sales have been invested in US controlled assets. I believe this is part of Venezuela’s vulnerability, and explains the continuing US hold over the Arab oil producers, especially now that it is no longer dependent upon their oil. However, I don’t understand why any country shouldn’t agree to buy oil from a willing seller using its own currency, other than that this will annoy the Americans. Surely it must have been obvious before now how the US “rigs the market” to suit itself, so why did all the oil producers go along with this situation?

    1. Peter May -

      I remember that even N Sea Oil is priced in dollars when sold to UK customers so the pressure must firstly be exerted on the oil companies and Saudi Arabia looms large in that. Oil companies free to operate there and the Saudi regime is safe as long as the US has oil and the oil is priced in US dollars. As oil was so very important to the world post war I suppose it cemented the US desire to push sterling completely aside and be the world reserve currency. Now oil is getting less important that is beginning to be threatened. Also with lots of dollars in world circulation I suggest that military expenditure all round the world is much easier – even though this expenditure accounts (according to Michal Hudson) for much of the US trade deficit.

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