The Obama effect
President Obama talks, and the world listens. Unfortunately, it also acts. The mullahs of Iran have suddenly found their regime no longer a pariah. The Jerusalem Post reports on German firm Bayerngas (Bavarian Gas) justifying a potential new energy investment in Iran by pointing out the Obama administration's push for détente:
A management representative of National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC), Hassan Montazer, told the Iranian news organization Moj News Agency last Wednesday that Bayerngas plans to purchase Iranian gas.The Teheran-based Iran Oil Gas Network Web site confirmed that a "joint-venture agreement" had been signed between Bayerngas and NIGC.According to the Moj News Agency report, Bayerngas will provide Iran with compressed natural gas equipment and build gas refineries.Dirk Barz, the press spokesman for the Munich-based Bayerngas, denied to the Post on Friday that a "deal" between Bayerngas and Iran took place.Barz said, however, that Bayerngas had opened an office in Teheran with one employee to "concentrate on the natural gas" sector and "construction of the gas station network" in Iran. ....Asked whether the trade agreement undercuts British and American efforts to clamp down on Iranian energy business activity to force the Iranian regime to halt its drive to build nuclear arms, Barz said the trade relationship between Bayerngas and Iran "should be a continuation of the new policy of detente" emanating from the Obama administration.US President Barack Obama has expressed a willingness to engage Iran diplomatically on suspending its nuclear enrichment program."If it comes to a rapprochement between Iran and the US -- which is to be desired -- then one could enter into a business deal" with Iran, said Barz, adding that it is a "false interpretation" that Bayerngas is making Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust respectable by opening an office in Teheran.
Meanwhile, President Obama takes notes during a 50 minute anti-American harrangue by Daniel Ortega at the Summit of Americas and politely declines to object. The Venezuelan embassy crows over the odd handshake between Chavez and Obama: "Both presidents hook hands in a historic greeting...."
Hat tip: Ed Lasky