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Ear to the Ground

How China Has Benefited From America’s Hostility to Iran

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Posted on Nov 23, 2011
Lars Christopher Nøttaasen (CC-BY)

Truthdig contributor and former “60 Minutes” producer Barry Lando argues that China has cleverly exploited poor relations between Tehran and Washington, to the point that the Middle Kingdom now imports more oil and gas from Iran than the U.S. does from Saudi Arabia.

While the United States considers Iran the biggest threat to the region, China has been cutting deals for everything from oil fields to Tehran’s subway system.

Barry Lando:

And as all this has been going on, the Chinese have been prospering.  Chinese/Iranian trade has mushroomed from $3.3 billion in 2001 to $30 billion in 2010, and is expected to hit $50 billion by 2015.  The prize, though is the gas and petroleum.

No wonder, then, that the Chinese are as solicitous of Tehran’s interests as the folks in Washington are of the Saudis.

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By heterochromatic, November 29, 2011 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

Laffy~~~~ Iranians , ordinary or not, are not be left in the cold. There’s pretty of
natural gas for heating needs.  There is less gasoline for motor transport than
iran would like although the government says that they have built refineries to
meet their needs…but the shortfall is mostly due to excessive demand that
comes with having those government gas subsidies that left the pump price
@~30 cents/liter.  the subsidies is being phased out.

Ikinda think that economic arm twisting is preferable to ....“Give them advance
warning then nuke their uranium refinement facilities if need be…”

but I understand that you’re saying that because you wish to spare the ordinary
citizens of Iran from the consequence of the Iranian governments actions.

I have a hard time accepting the nuking as a good idea or as less harmful then

And BTW, it ain’t for Israel’s benefit that the campaign against the Iranian
weapons program is so widely desired. 
What iran WILL do with their nukes is use them to insulate themselves from
retaliation and step up their subversion of the Arab states in the Gulf.

That’s gonna lead to the Saudis buying nukes…..

Not good.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, November 29, 2011 at 9:23 am Link to this comment

htc: It ain’t the amount of oil that the Chinese are buying that rankles…it’s the amount of money that they’re paying into iran.

And so ... ?

America and Europe imposed sanctions against Iran because of its nuclear bomb initiatives. It has tried to get American oil companies to not help Iran develop refineries that it needs badly - so badly that 30% of its refined petroleum fuels (home, gas and diesel) are imported.

So America is asking for the Iranian people to go without fuel for heating or transportation because it does not like the fact that their government is building a nuclear bomb?

That does not seem right. It is not the Iranian people who are building the bomb, but the Iranian government. So, go after the government.

Give them advance warning then nuke their uranium refinement facilities if need be; but forget the sanctions because that policy simply invites nations (like China) to exploit them by building the refineries. China has invested $21B in Iran.

Do we think that Iran is going to drop a bomb on NYC? Fat chance.

Or is it Tel Aviv, which is what the State Department is perhaps worried about? If that is the case, why is the US furthering the interests of Israel? Which is intransigent about signing and agreement with the Palestinians, who surely deserve their own nation.

Is Israel America’s fifty-first state? (Some people would answer with an affirmative Yes! to that question.)

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By heterochromatic, November 29, 2011 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

Laffy—-It ain’t the amount of oil that the Chinese are buying that rankles…it’s the
amount of money that they’re paying into iran.

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Lafayette's avatar

By Lafayette, November 29, 2011 at 7:41 am Link to this comment


... the Middle Kingdom now imports more oil and gas from Iran than the U.S. does from Saudi Arabia.

Excuse my muddled-brain but why should anyone care that China buys more oil from Iran than we do from Saudi Arabia?

Let’s not get terribly bent out of shape because China is not only becoming but acting like a world-power. Besides, why should we care?

The British were amongst the first in modern times to project their power beyond their own mainland. And what did they get for it? The US after WW2 has done much the same and what real benefit did we derive from it?

Germany is not considered a world-power and it has larger absolute exports than the US. The values are (for 2010):
Germany - $1.337T
US - $1.270T    

So the Chinese are off on the same mission to obtain industrial resources. China’s problems lie in the fact that it has - believe it or not - a very high unemployment problem and considerable dissatisfaction in the rural communities that have seen the economic growth pass them by.

China is on a bike trying to peddle faster than the tsunami of domestic tension rushing in behind it. It’s risk of internal disruption is much higher than many think.


Let them act like a world-power ... it will do wonders for diminishing our DoD budget and we can spend the money more wisely elsewhere. Like rebuilding a decent national infrastructure that is in an advanced state of dilapidation*.

Which will, of course, put Americans back to work and that is nothing-but-goodness.

* The number of unfilled potholes in the capital of the US is simply amazing and makes us look like a Banana Republic.

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By heterochromatic, November 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

fal—US trade with China is more than 10 times that
amount and China’s trade with the EU also is more than
10 times the amount of China’s trade with Iran.

forced to choose, China will kiss Iran off and walk.

China’s profits come from the West.

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By falderol, November 25, 2011 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@heterochromatic Uh, trade passed $30bn in 2010 and
will hit $50bn in 2015. You’re an utter moron if you
just read that article and think that China is going to
pull away from investing in Iran.

Iran is a critically important geopolitical strategic
point. The Chinese are not going to give that up. Try
again stooge.

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By heterochromatic, November 25, 2011 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

Aarky, as well the number of fcked-up fools saying any bit of idiot lunacy that
pops into their pointed little head, doesn’t do anything but disgrace the nation,
Aaky….do the honorable thing.

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By ssg13565, November 25, 2011 at 8:29 am Link to this comment

Is this rise in trade between Iran and China what causes Obama to assure us that the sanctions are working?

A while ago, someone came up with the good advise, “The President ought not say things that he knows are untrue.”

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By Aarky, November 24, 2011 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This article is probably giving David Cohen at Treasury a serious case of heart burn. He is one of the many Zionists that have been allowed to infiltrate the Government on behalf of the Israelis. One of their more stupid attempts is telling the Pakis not to build a pipeline from Iran for natural gas. It should be a national disgrace at how the Israelis dictate US foreign policy.

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By heterochromatic, November 24, 2011 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

China has exploited the situation but has by now reaped most of what it could and
is backing away from the iranian theocracy as it becomes more and more isolated
and unstable.

Iran last month had to announce that the previously announced Chinese financing
for developing additional oil and gas fields in Iran had been withdrawn.

China has expected the instability in iran and has moved on to developing many
other sources.

Right now, the Chinese are getting oil from Venezuela on much more
advantageous terms than from iran.

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By Rodney, November 24, 2011 at 8:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m sure Russia is benefiting a lot also. It’s
because we let Israel and American Jews control our
national interests. Even when it is not in America’s
interest as a nation. Maybe if he can get himself
reelected Obama will have a more reasonable approach
towards Iran. I we get a Republican we probably will
be in our third middle east war in 11 years. And with
China and Russia on their side we may not come out of
this one with the small amount of casualties as the
last two wars.

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Oceanna's avatar

By Oceanna, November 23, 2011 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment

Excellent assessment.  It’s reassuring, that contrary to appearances, the US most
certainly has major limitations on the global chessboard in its diehard quests for
imperialism.  And that there is a balance of powers and forces in the world
keeping it in check.

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