Funny as always…and true 😀
There were some raised eyebrows recently when customs figures revealed that South Africa was still importing oil (417,000 during February) from Iran in spite of sanctions against that country.
Reuters reported that Engen South Africa claimed that the company had halted oil imports from Iran. When exactly this happened, is unclear. They did not want to comment. Petronas indicated that their Engen unit stopped imports in March of last year. Engen, while not contradicting the statement, also did not confirm it. The messages are mixed.
I have to say this: the numbers don’t tally up. Either somebody is telling half-truths or somebody (and I suspect it could be more than a single somebody) is not owning up! Let’s calculate:
Sasol said they imported only 12,000 barrels per day, right? A barrel weighs 139kg, or 0.139 tonnes. February had 29 days and I assume that their ‘per day’ includes weekends, high days and holidays. So the sum would be:
Number of barrels x tonnes x days = total monthly import.
12,000 x 0.139 x 29 = 48,372 tonnes.
That is a whole lot of oil, and it sure as heck got delivered somewhere!
I believe there is a lack of political will to support the US and EU sanctions against Iran. South Africa is notoriously bad at taking a stand. They usually end up dancing around issues. Think of Zimbabwe, Lybia etc. There really is no political pressure from our government on Engen, Shell, Sasol and whoeverelse. Things might change during May this year when Energy Minister Dipuo Peters is set to finally respond to the US in terms of implementing sanctions against Iran. There is a good chance she won’t. As I explained in my previous blog , South Africa and Iran are bedfellows in at least two joint ventures and have been supplying arms to Teheran in spite of the embargo on weapons – an embargo South Africa had agreed to.
In the mean time, this blogger is waiting for the March customs figures to be released. Hopefully the amount of oil imported by South Africa from Iran, will be a round zero.
Filed under: BP, Chevron, Dipuo Peters, Engen, Iran, MTN, oil, Oil Price, political, politics, Reuters, Sanctions against Iran, Sasol, Shell, South Africa, USA, weapons | Tagged: Africa, BP, Dipuo Peters, Iran, Oil, Petronas, politics, sanctions, Sasol, Shell, South Africa, United States, violation of sanctions | 2 Comments »
It was repulsive enough to find out that (yet again) South Africa is acting as a corridor for weapons to a country who really should not have any. Back then it was Zimbabwe. Now it is Iran. And goodness knows what went on in between Then and Now.
I truly hope that this was a once-off, but in my heart I know it is not. The entire operation is much too slick, and completely unlike the time the Chinese and South African governments conspired to smuggle heavy artillery into Zimbabwe in support of its genocidal Mugabe regime.
On this occasion US weapons were purchased by a Canadian Company, who exported the equipment to South Africa. Selling military grade weapons with South Africa as the end user on the certificate, is completely legal. It is once the weapons hit South African soil that – suddenly – everything starts resembling a marsh: smelly and murky, with several large alligators lurking below the surface.
Here, front-companies re-register the weapons. It seems that the partner of South African Deputy President Motlanthe, had some
involvement in terms of paying bribes. I am still trying to figure out WHO the companies are and to whom bribes were paid. The re-registered weapons are shipped to Iran on Russian Cargo Carriers.
It is not the first time of late that family members / spouses of the highest-of-high Brass in South Africa are caught with a smoking gun in the hand. One has to wonder at the coincidence…
I find it highly disturbing that the coverage of the blatant South African violation of sanctions against Iran is receiving so very little attention from the media and that – for some reason – they are not trying to unearth exactly who all the role players are. Guns kill. I have to wonder how many innocents will be killed by Iran with the guns South Africa supplied to them, before the world sits up and really takes notice.
The South African government’s reaction is that they will investigate. This is lip service. In my opinion, South Africa earned their stripes as Merchants of Death.
The UN has been exerting pressure on South Africa for a while now to stop importing oil from Iran. Late March 2012, it seemed as though the South African government finally paid heed.
To quote Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim at a news conference:
“To my knowledge, no Iranian oil is flowing into our country. If there is any, it is very little.”
Less than an hour ago, Reuters reported that South Africa imported $364 million in oil from Iran during February. Engen and Sasol are the two biggest buyers of crude originating in Iran.
Frankly, I did not expect the flow of oil from Iran to South Africa to miraculously disappear. These two countries are bedfellows in several joint ventures, such as the $900 million Polymer JV (Arya Sasol Polymer Company) with Pars Petrochemicals.
The government of South Africa cannot be trusted. They don’t respect their own signature on UN resolutions they voted in favour of. They don’t respect the rule of law (i.e. Pres. Zuma never stood trial for arms deal corruption charges). They don’t respect the population to whom they have a duty of care (i.e. look at the shocking state of health care and education in the country). They only respect their own pockets and serve their own greed.
I wish to see an arms embargo placed on South Africa until the trade of weapons with Iran is investigated and the culprits are tried.
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Filed under: ANC, arms, arms trade, Canada, Engen, Iran, military equipment, oil, political, politics, Reuters, Russia, Sasol, South Africa, UN, UN sanctions, Uncategorized, USA, war, weapons | Tagged: Africa, arms, Iran, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Middle East, military equipment, Oil, sanctions, Sasol, South Africa, South African government, UN, violation of sanctions, war, weapons, Zimbabwe | 3 Comments »