With its officials wearing deliciously deadpan countenances, Iran is again signalling its power over global markets in an effort to bring the West to its negotiation table, without the necessity of losing a day of uranium enrichment:

Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, Iran’s Opec Governor, has said that the ideal price for oil is $50 to $60 a barrel but issues such as the situation in Iraq, expensive technology and global inflation are pushing prices higher, reported TradeArabia citing the ISNA news agency. Oil consuming nations have said that, despite a recent slight easing, prices remain too high. Ardebili reiterated the view that current prices are satisfactory for producers.

(Via AME Info)  By neglecting to mention the situation in Iran, Ardebili of course merely emphasizes its presence as a component of oil price-making.  Meanwhile, the U.S. unfortunately stands frozen in the headlights of complex interactions between Iran and the rest of the world:

The way to persuade Iran to stop enriching uranium, the Bush administration says, is to threaten it with economic sanctions.

But the U.S. drive to marshal international support for sanctions faces growing opposition from key global powers. Perhaps the biggest obstacle is Russia — a key member of the U.N. Security Council and the main supplier of Tehran’s nuclear technology.

“The key to any diplomatic solution … is that you have to get the Security Council to be obviously willing to impose penalties on Iran, and you can’t do that without the Russians, because they have veto power and they are the ones that supply Iran’s nuclear program,” said George Perkovich, an expert on Iran and nuclear proliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington. “It’s the main obstacle.”

Full article here.