Iran’s impending petrol crisis is an on-again, off-again thang. From AME Info:
Iran could allocate more funds for subsidised petrol imports to avoid rationing, which was due to commence on 23 September, according to Reuters. Parliament had cut the budget for petrol imports for the year to March 2007, but the government plans to submit a bill seeking $4bn-$4.5bn to pay for extra imports.
Meanwhile, U.S. policy seeks to drive a wedge between Syria and Iran:
WASHINGTON, July 22 — As Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice heads to Israel on Sunday, Bush administration officials say they recognize Syria is central to any plans to resolve the crisis in the Middle East, and they are seeking ways to peel Syria away from its alliance of convenience with Iran.
In interviews, senior administration officials said they had no plans right now to resume direct talks with the Syrian government. President Bush recalled his ambassador to Syria, Margaret Scobey, after the assassination of Rafik Hariri, a former Lebanese prime minister, in February 2005. Since then, America’s contacts with Damascus have been few, and the administration has imposed an array of sanctions on Syria’s government and banks, and frozen the assets of Syrian officials implicated in Mr. Hariri’s killing.
But officials said this week that they were at the beginning stages of a plan to encourage Saudi Arabia and Egypt to make the case to the Syrians that they must turn against Hezbollah. With the crisis at such a pivotal stage, officials who are involved in the delicate negotiations to end it agreed to speak about their expectations only if they were not quoted by name.
“We think that the Syrians will listen to their Arab neighbors on this rather than us,’’ a senior official said, “so it’s all a question of how well that can be orchestrated.’’
See full NY Times piece here.