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The Petrodollar-Saudi Arabia axis is why Washington hates Iran

Source of the image.

for Gary Richard
The Mises Institute

Kish, since you are wondering, is an Iranian island in the Persian Gulf famous for its tourist and commercial attractions. It is becoming a serious rival to other nearby resorts in Doha and Dubai.

Along with pristine beaches and sprawling shopping malls, Kish is—or rather should be—known more widely for another feature and institution that Iranian mullahs established there in 2003; i.e. the Kish Bourse (ie Kish Stock Exchange). بورس کیش if you prefer Farsi.

Think of it as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange of Iran, a country full of natural resources, a relatively well-educated and sophisticated population (the literacy rate is 97 percent among young adults, which, if you have given the deplorable state of secondary education in the United States, it means that young Iranians are certainly smarter than your average American young adult), and an economy burdened by the mismanagement of its own Islamic theocracy and the crippling and long-lasting sanctions of the American secular theocracy.

This US secular theocracy has considered it a dogmatic rite of passage in the state and corporate media (their temples) that the economic, cultural and political war against Iran must, at the very least, be excused as necessary for a variety of spurious reasons . Who really has enough free time to research and then suggest otherwise? After all, Iran is plagued by terrorist Islamic fundamentalists who have vowed, like its former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to “wipe Israel off the face of the earth.”

That hero of American war and empire and regime change and nation building, George W. Bush, declared Iran to be one of the hinges of the “axis of evil”; so, since George W. Bush is so much better than Donald J. Trump, well, all Iranians must be malevolent thugs. Iran deserved the US helping Saddam Hussein in the 1980s, the US supplying Hussein with chemical weapons (mostly made in Germany and the UK), and then releasing those chemical weapons.

Never mind that Ahmadinejad never said that. Look away from the facts that one of the few times Trump got the support of the cathedral of the deep state and the corporate media cabal was when he tore up the Iran nuclear deal and when he assassinated Gen. Iranian Qasem Soleimani. The orange man is good when he is killing brown peoples in distant lands; so concludes the powers that be for too long.

Why, then, has Iran incurred such ire from the US military-industrial complex? The regime’s Sturm und Drang regarding Iran, and therefore any state that even hints that it will conduct oil trade without the dollar, cf. Russia: This is the petrodollar system.

Let’s put this in historical context: When Richard Nixon took the dollar off its peg to gold in 1971, chaos followed. It wasn’t just the Yom Kippur War (1973) and the subsequent OPEC embargo that caused oil prices to soar in the United States. The dollar, as the new global reserve currency, floating and purely fiat, had lost its appeal compared to other sovereign currencies and precious metals.

In order to prevent runaway hyperinflation, Nixon empowered the then Secretary of the Treasury, William Simon, to go hat in hand to the Saudi monarchy with a proposal. According to Andrea Wong in a 2016 Bloomberg article (!), Simon landed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to get King Faisal to agree to “finance America’s growing deficit with his new overdraft. [oil] wealth”.

In other words, the Americans promised to buy oil from Saudi Arabia, and in return the Saudis agreed to denominate global purchases only in dollars. Washington would also go on to provide aid and military equipment to the Kingdom, which made the Raytheon, McDonnell Douglas, and Rand Corporation types happy. The evil of this tattoo came in the form of assurances that the Saudis would “return billions of their petrodollar income to the Treasury and the Treasury.” [the inordinate, warfare-welfare] spending” of every American regime since then.

This, unbelievably, makes it worse. King Faisal agreed to the deal (which would surely turn his desert oil kleptocracy into a major regional power and global player) on one condition: the rest of the world could not know the extent of the deal. Which is to say that Faisal knew that in the rest of the Islamic world, by subsidizing the imperial spending of drunken US sailors, this would not play out in Cairo, Damascus and Kuala Lumpur.

Thus, Simon allowed the Saudis to “bypass the normal competitive bidding process to buy Treasuries by creating ‘add-ons.'” Those sales, which were excluded from the official auction totals, hid all traces of the presence from Saudi Arabia to the US government debt market.”

In just four years after the deal, Saudi Arabia held roughly one-fifth of all overseas treasures. In addition, this figure is claimed to represent the minimum of the Saudi share of the US debt. The Saudi regime launders and recycles its petrodollars through hedge funds and secret deals with perhaps hundreds of quasi-private institutions, all done with the approval and oversight of the US regime.

Different parties. different men Different pronunciations. Different promises. But, the one thing they have in common: they all bow to the Saudis, one of them, literally!

The truth is that both American foreign policy and, to a large extent, American domestic policy are both wrapped up in the petrodollar arrangement. For the past fifty years, the national government has tried to do what a president not pictured above, Lyndon Baines Johnson, wanted to do in Vietnam; that is, applying the New Deal to Southeast Asia.

Subsequent regimes have doubled down on the madness: they aspire to maintain American economic and imperial hegemony over the rest of the world while engaging in domestic spending to infinity and beyond. Thus, the petrodollar system is the grandest of all monetary and money laundering schemes. The US Fed and Treasury create fiat out of thin air, the Saudis give it the appearance of a favorable valuation, and then the Saudis hide their ill-gotten gains by buying Treasuries and cleaning their dollars through seemingly legitimate concerns.

As economist William Clark pointed out in 2005, the nations that even seem to disagree with this sinister deal are the ones that incur the most wrath from the State Department, the Pentagon, NATO, the presidential administrations and all other aligned interests. In September 2000, Saddam Hussein announced that his Baathist government would no longer participate in the “Oil for Food” program and that, in addition, oil deals would be denominated in euros.

From that moment on, the writing (about Babylon this time) was on the walls of the state in D.C. A few months after US forces invaded Iraq in June 2003, Iraqi oil sales were converted back to petrodollars, which, due to the strength of the euro against the dollar at the time, cost the Iraqis a net 13% of their oil revenue and invalidated previously approved contracts with other nations .

Kish is a far greater offense to Washington than anything Saddam Hussein was able to achieve. There, Iranian oil is bought and sold in euros, yuan, and (get ready) rubles. Iranians have their own oil “marker” or means of certifying the purity and quality of the oil. It turns out that while the Biden administration and a large “liberal” Europe have expressed their collective outrage by spending other citizens’ money to support an oligarchy in Ukraine and at the same time cut off those evil Russians and Russians with penalties; Business is brisk in Kish and Tehran. Volumes have increased in both export and import.

In just a four-month period, they rose 4 percent and 32 percent, respectively. The Iranian consumer is holding on despite these onerous sanctions. Meanwhile, China has increased its purchase of Iranian oil. Currently, 13 percent of China’s oil comes from Iran.

All of this means that, like the Federal Reserve system, the petrodollar cabal must reign at or near the top of the operating institutions that the vast majority of Americans have “somewhat, somewhat” heard of ” and yet they have no idea the extent to which these things suppress American prosperity and future prospects. Most have no idea why or how the Saudis are able to finance everything from genocidal proxy wars against Iran to professional golf tours.

Must be all that oil money. Factual, but not exactly true.

End the petrodollar.

Read the full article at The Mises Institute.

See also:

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The Petrodollar-Saudi Arabia axis is why Washington hates Iran

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What happens when a holy and just God gets angry? Lessons from history and the prophet Jeremiah

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Posted on November 10, 2022

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