Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Iran's economy could withstand U.S. military strike

RIA Novosti:
Any military strike by the United States against facilities that are part of Iran's controversial nuclear program would damage but not paralyze the Iranian economy, a Russian expert said Tuesday.

Radzhab Safarov, the director of the Center of Modern Iranian Studies in Moscow, said that if the U.S. launched strikes against more than 60 nuclear facilities in Iran, than about 12,000-15,000 workers would be killed and the economy would suffer large-scale damage.

"However, the Iranian economy would not be paralyzed and it would not result in a political crisis in the country," Safarov said. "On the contrary, Iranians would maximally consolidate around their political leaders, Iran would withdraw from all possible legal structures and start full-scale development of its nuclear program." READ MORE

He said Iran would take counter measures in response, including suspension of oil exports.

"Iran's economy has a six months minimum stock [of oil] and western economies could face great difficulties if not a single barrel of Iranian oil sold within this period," Safarov said.

He said there were only two ways for Iran to take revenge on the United States - to initiate a global economic crisis or to inflict damage on Israel, America's main ally in the region.

Safarov said a serious global confrontation around Iran's nuclear program was highly possible and "there were no indications that the crisis would be settled easily."

"The only way to settle the crisis situation is to conclude an agreement with Iran, but this would be difficult as the gap in political controversies is too wide," he said.

Concerns about Iran's nuclear program have been growing since the country announced its intention to resume nuclear research in January and its hard-line president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, made a number of controversial remarks, including a call to wipe Israel "off the face of the map."

A number of countries have expressed alarm over Iran's controversial nuclear programs and have pushed for the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on the country, which they suspect of using civilian-energy programs to disguise military projects.