Bush went begging again in the Middle East and came back red faced and empty handed. Neither the Saudi King or the Iranian Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari were moved by the plight of the American president when he asked OPEC to step up production.

The OPEC members are currently utilizing their full capacity and are supplying the market … With oil at US$126, it is not wise for those with oil not to supply it.” Nozari then added, “I believe it is not that oil is becoming more expensive, but the dollar is becoming cheaper.”

It would have been unthinkable five or six years ago that a visiting US president would receive such an open rebuff in the Middle East. Last weekend’s exchanges revealed the extent of decline in the US’s dominance of the Middle East through the present Bush administration. No doubt, oil lies at the very center of the decline of the American dominion. The cascading rise in oil prices has led to a massive transfer of resources to the energy exporting countries. Iran is one principal beneficiary.

Goldman Sachs is predicting that oil will reach $140 per barrel by July and Iran is using its bountiful wealth to exert influence on regional oil policies. Iran doesn’t need nuclear weapons to do the US in if that is really its aim, it just needs to keep the spigot on idle to bring down our oil dependent nation.