From the UK Telegraph:
Iran’s oil exports are plummeting at 10pc a year on lack of investment and could be exhausted within a decade, depriving the world economy of its second-biggest source of crude supplies.
“They need to invest $2.5bn (Â£1.28bn) a year just to stand still and they’re not doing it because it’s politically easier to spend the money on social welfare and the army than to wait four to six years for a return on investment,” he said.
“They’ve been running down the industry like this for 20 years.”
Prof Stern said Teheran faces impending disaster since it relies on oil revenues for 70pc of its budget.
“They cannot afford to carry out their threats to shut off oil supplies,” he said. “There is no oil weapon, it’s just a bluff.”
Could Iran’s pursuit of nuclear technology be exactly what it seems, then? A desperate attempt to get ahead of a power crisis?
The report said Iran “could need nuclear power as badly as it claims,” speculating that economic motives may be mixed up with the drive for nuclear weapons.
Mixed motives indeed.
This report worries me more than any of the speculation, hyperbole, or rhetoric I’ve read about Iran and its pursuit of nuclear technology, because an alternative source of energy, useful as it might be locally, won’t replace the revenue stream upon which Iran depends.
If Iran has put nothing into the industry upon which they rely for 70% of its budget, they clearly have something else in mind for revenue. If it’s not oil… then what?