More sanctions against Russia approved by US

US President Obama has decided to increase sanctions against Russia by targeting large banks that support large energy and defense firms. Instead of targeting individuals connected with Russian support of operations in Ukraine and Putin’s inner circle, this new move is far more sweeping. According to White House statements, it will not cut off entire…

Iran Condemns Afghan Opium Trade

Iran’s Anti-Narcotics Headquarters for International Relations has issued a statement condemning the traffic of heroin through Iranian territory. Deputy General Mahmoud Bayat took advantage of a meeting with Sweden’s Foreign Ministry to underline Iranian discontent with the increasingly voluminous quantity of heroin trafficked both into Iranian drug markets and through Iran destined for markets in…

The Great Gas Game, Part II

Turkmenistan is not the only source of LNG in Central Asia. Iran has long hoped to marshal its LNG resources but its central problem is the hesitancy of its neighbors to enter into a partnership to develop pipeline infrastructure. This is partially due to the harsh economic sanctions placed upon the Iranian economy on account…

The Great Gas Game, Part I

The global shale gas boom has barely begun. It is already old news in North America, but emerging markets in Asia have found that demand consistently outstrips supply, due not only to scarcity, but also to underdevelopment of existing resources. One of the largest sources of undeveloped energy and mineral wealth lies in the Caspian…