excerpt from a recent oped by Gal Luft and Anne Korin:
What do you call a world leader who faces a strategic threat stemming from his country’s energy dependence and introduces a crash program for energy independence that taps into his country’s domestic resources?
With 43 percent of Iran’s gasoline imported, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad knows that a comprehensive gasoline embargo could cause social unrest that could undermine his regime. In response, he recently announced a three-part crash program for energy independence.
One tenet of the plan is massive expansion of the country’s refining capacity. While no refinery has been built in the United States in decades, Iran’s refinery infrastructure is undergoing one of the world’s fastest expansions, including the construction of two large new refineries.
A second pillar is to secure imports of refined products from Venezuela, one of Iran’s staunchest allies against the West.
The third, and most innovative, part of the plan is to convert Iran’s vehicles to run on natural gas rather than gasoline within five years. Iran has the world’s second-largest natural-gas reserve after Russia – 16 percent of the world’s total – which guarantees an uninterrupted supply of cheap transportation fuel for decades. The cost of conversion of both the cars and refueling stations is heavily subsidized by the government.
To read the full IAGS report on Iran’s strategy to subvert sanctions, click here.