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Slow Terrorism With an Oil Glut

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Iranian officials have been complaining about lower-than-expected income since March because renewed Iraqi production has weakened international oil prices.

Iran has a foreign debt of some $20 billion. It needs $4 billion yearly for hard-currency debt service. In 1996 it had about $18 billion in oil revenues, 80 percent of total export earnings. With lower oil prices, 1997 revenues are substantially less. Iranians have seen nothing but declining living standards and 35 percent inflation.

This suggests a way the US could deprive Iran of the oil billions it uses to export terror and build nuclear-armed ballistic missiles that would target Middle East allies like Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.

By using the US's half-billion-barrel Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to help glut the oil market, oil prices could be driven way down. The reserve could be used to leverage Iraqi glut production.

Washington could continue pushing the glut until Tehran verifiably terminates its missile and nuclear weapons programs and ends the export of terror.

Egypt believes that these goals can be achieved by cheap oil bringing the Islamic regime down.

Cairo is ready to sacrifice substantial oil income to end the terror-exporting Iranian regime.

Oil experts say that each dollar drop in the price of a barrel of crude oil represents a loss to Iran of $1 billion a year. With a $9 drop, Iran would lose some $9 billion per year, about half of its oil earnings.

Under current United Nations resolutions, Iraq is allowed to sell $1 billion worth of oil every 90 days in an "oil for food" deal that lets it buy medicine and provisions for the suffering caused by post-Gulf war sanctions.

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