Stunning: New York Times selling access to Iranian oil official

The New York Times is sponsoring a conference in London where, for a mere four thousand dollars (at current exchange rates) each, oil company executives can meet with “H.E. [“His Excellency” – gotta be respectful] Seyed Mehdi Hosseini, chairman of the Oil Contract Restructuring Committee at the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum,” who “will be attending in person."

I would have thought this news couldn’t be true, that the Times couldn’t sink this low, but it comes from a source that is trustworthy: Ira Stoll, who also writes for the New York Sun, and who maintains the watchdog site, which has an actual copy of the invitation being sent to oil companies and others who could cash in on the mullahs’ need to strengthen their economy.

Smartertimes writes:

The New York Times Company is planning to make money by selling in-person access to a key official in Iran's oil ministry.

A Times staff member, Brenda Erdmann Hagerty, sent an email Friday soliciting sponsorships and selling tickets to the conference, which is set for October 6 and 7 at London (snip)

Admission to the conference and to a "Petroleum Executive of the Year" dinner honoring ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson costs $4,091 including tax at current exchange rates, though the Times is offering some promotional codes beginning with "INYT," for International New York Times. The conference venue is the InterContinental Park Lane London, which conference organizers tout as "the epitome of modern elegance."

On a per-day basis, the $4,091 price for the two-day London event is even pricier than the $6,995 that the Times has been charging for a 13-day tour of Iran guided by a Times journalist. The conference promotional material suggests that something of high value is on offer: an inside track on investing in Iran's state-controlled oil and gas resources, which had been off-limits to Western companies because of sanctions related to Iran's nuclear weapons program. "Iran opening to foreign investors, how much and how soon?" the conference invitation email from Ms. Hagerty says. "Book your place today to ensure that you get first-hand insight from the key influencers within the Iranian petroleum industry."

Here is the invitation:

The Gold Rush is on to do business with the mullahs, and the New York Times wants its piece of the pie. After decades of languishing oil production due to sanctions, oil companies understand that there’s a lot of money to be made helping the mullahs expand production and raising more money to “wipe Israel form the map” and attack the Great Satan (us). Hezb’allah and Hamas could use some more missiles, and then there are all those tempting targets like Jewish community centers around the world, like the one in Buenos Aires that was bombed in 1992 and 1994, with Islamic Jihad taking credit. Iran has not rejected any of this, and in fact has reaffirmed itsgoals of destroying Israel, the West, and worldwide Jewry.

Hat tip: Instapundit