Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Friday, September 16, 2005
While Iran is busy offering its nuclear expertise to its neighbors, in contravention of America's vain attempts to reign in their ambitions, there's a wee little scandal brewing involving our favorite oil company, Halliburton. The Post's blog reports:

Halliburton's Man in Iran

As the United States and Iran clash over the nuclear issue at the United Nations summit, the Islamic republic is pursuing a corruption investigation against a former top official on its nuclear negotiating team for his ties to Halliburton, the oil services giant once run by Vice President Cheney.

Cyrus Nasseri, senior Iranian representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is refusing to return home from Vienna because of his alleged involvement in an oil corruption case, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

The complex story of Halliburton in the "Axis of Evil," which I reported in February, just keeps getting more interesting.

Nasseri, according to reports in the British and Iranian online media, wore two hats. Besides advocating Iran’s right to pursue a peaceful nuclear program, he also served as a board member of a company called Oriental Kish. In January, the firm won a big contract to develop a huge Iranian natural gas field. Oriental Kish, in turn, subcontracted parts of the project to Halliburton Products and Services, a subsidiary registered in the Cayman Islands with offices in Dubai.

Of course, this should be front-page news at the Post -- a company with ongoing ties to a sitting vice president, who has been accused in the past of flirting perilously with our enemies in Tehran as president of Halliburton (including when the company defied U.S. law and continued to do oil business with Iran throughout the 1990s) continuing to try and profit from a nuclear program that the U.S. is officially trying to halt. Halliburton is already tied to accounting scandals, no-bid contracts and kickbacks in its contracts in Iraq and now the Gulf of Mexico, mismanagement and possible fraud in Iraq, trading with enemies of the United States including Libya, Iran and Saddam-era Iraq, and more.

As for Cheney, his office recently placed repeated calls to the Mississippi electrical utility, demanding that they reroute crews from restoring power to homes and hospitals, so that they could restore power to an oil pipeline running up the Eastern Seaboard, according to NBC News and the Hattiesburg American newspaper.

You've got to wonder what this administration is thinking, flaunting its oil ties at a time when oil prices seem absolutely out of control (including out of their control), and while the majority Americans view the oil and gas industry with such suspicion.

As for Halliburton's man in Iran, let's hope the investigation forces the Wash Post to put the story on the front page, rather than just in the blog...

Tags: Bush, Politics, , Iraq, News, Dick Cheney,,
posted by JReid @ 11:37 AM  
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