Ahmadinejad slams US for Iraq 'oil theft'
Wed, 15 Oct 2008 19:16:09 GMT
Iran's president has hinted that the White House is to blame for the billions of dollars that have gone missing in Iraqi oil revenues.
"Several months ago, we heard that an enormous amount of over 100-million barrels of Iraqi crude have gone unaccounted for since the US-led invasion of the country," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday.
The New York Times quoted a draft government report as saying in 2007 that "between 100,000 and 300,000 barrels a day of Iraq's declared oil production over the past four years is unaccounted for and could have been siphoned off through corruption or smuggling."
Considering the four-year period, a total of 100-million barrels of unaccounted crude oil is a conservative estimate.
President Ahmadinejad also questioned the real motives behind the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq in 2003.
According to the Iranian president, Washington has adopted a policy of exploiting the resources of other nations to extricate Americans from the various problems caused by US politicians.
Following the US-led invasion of Iraq, Washington secured UN approval to take financial control of Iraqi government affairs; US President George W. Bush vowed to spend Iraq's money wisely.
However, a series of reports have revealed that the United States has mishandled billions of dollars in Iraqi oil funds.
"There was a pervasive leakage in assets of Iraq, and to some extent, those assets were squandered," said Frank Willis, a former senior US official in Iraq, in February 2005.
Former US Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan expounded on the issue in September 2007 to confirm that oil was the prime motive behind the Iraq invasion.
"I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows; the Iraq war is largely about oil," Greenspan said.
While White House echelons claim that Iraq's oil wealth has had no place in their 'War on Terror' campaign, Republican presidential candidate John McCain admitted in a May statement that 'American reliance on foreign oil was the prime motive for invading Iraq'.
"I will have an energy policy that we will be talking about, which will eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East that will - that will then prevent us - that will prevent us from having ever to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East," said the 72-year-old Arizona senator.