from LobeLog: News and Views Relevant to U.S.-Iran relations for October 8th, 2010:
The Wall Street Journal: Dow Jones Newswire reporter Benoit Faucon writes that oil companies Total SA and Royal Dutch Shell contacted Iranian authorities last week to reassure Tehran that their long-term business interests in Iran will remain. The messages to Iranian authorities appear to have been intended to assuage concerns over the Obama administrationâ€™s announcement that the two companies had no further investment plans in the Islamic Republic. European nations have historically had a different take on sanctions. â€œGiven the size and global importance of Iranian hydrocarbon resources, Shell finds it hard to see a future in which production of these resources would not, at some point, play an important role in the global energy supply and demand balance,â€ Shell said in its 2009 annual report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, according to Faucon.
The Washington Times: Ben Birnbaum reports that Bahrainâ€™s ambassador to the U.S., Houda Nonoo, told the paper she â€œfears her countryâ€ would be a target for a nuclear-armed Iran, given its proximity to Iran and past Iranian claims on its territory. Bahrain is also home to the U.S. Navyâ€™s 5th Fleet. While Nonoo only expressed concern about Bahrainâ€™s security, Birnbaum interviews hawks from both the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Israel-based Institute for Policy and Strategy Studies, and Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who expressed their positions that the U.S. has not gone far enough to remove the Iranian nuclear threat.
The Guardian: Iranian-born Israeli Meir Javedanfar does a round up of views on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejadâ€™s upcoming trip to Lebanon. He cites the Israeli and U.S. governments, as well as a bloc in Lebanonâ€™s parliment, who describe the trip as possibly â€œprovocativeâ€. He says the trip could confirm some Israeli fears â€œthat the Iranian regime has truly arrived on its doorstep.â€ But ultimately, he writes, the trip is about Iranian domestic concerns with Israel and the US â€œfurther down his list of prioritiesâ€: â€The Iranian president is visiting Lebanon mainly because of his growing unpopularity at home.â€ He says another goal of the trip is to help solidify a somewhat weak anti-Israeli sentiment within Iran; the opposition has been explicit that they are more concerned with their own fates than those of the Palestinians. Javendanfar concludes that the trip may cause â€more trouble and headache for Hezbollah, both at home, and in the Arab world.â€