Iran’s Dirty Little Secret

December 12th, 2008 | Sources: Boston Globe

Right now in Iran, a powerful, tube-like drilling tool is being used to expose new sources of oil, the nation’s economic lifeblood.

The device was developed in America, which seems a bit counterproductive since the US government is pretty sure Iran funnels oil profits to terrorists.

But there’s something else about that driller. It’s powered by a radioactive chemical that could fuel a dirty-bomb big enough to spread radiation across several city blocks, according to experts interviewed by the Boston Globe.

The tool was developed by Schlumberger, a multinational oil services company with development labs in Texas and Connecticut, a CEO in Houston and a corporate registration in the Caribbean.

The actual location is the Netherlands Antilles, that well-known hub of international finance.

US embargoes prevent US companies from transferring just about everything to Iran, but legal loopholes allow multinationals to bypass the sanctions. It’s that simple. In fact no one believes Schlumberger violated any laws.

And the practice isn’t isolated, according to Victor Comras, an international trade specialist. Comras told the Globe that “a number of companies subject to US law have devised structures that allow them to circumvent US regulations.”

As a result, “it is getting harder and harder to make sanctions effective,” Michael Lynch told the Globe. The oil market analyst added, “it has gotten to the point where keeping the technology away from [Iran and other countries under sanctions] is almost impossible.”


 

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