Iranian Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari was quoted as saying Saturday that because "the dollar is no longer a reliable currency," his country would no longer accept it in oil sales, RIA Novosti reported.
I can't substantiate the article. I've been trying for an hour. I found it because I was trying to follow up on a story that the Pope had called for a world-wide automobile buying boycott. That story was widely reported -- by nobody reliable, and I decided it was probably completely made up.
The piece about Iran is small, 145 words including the dateline. I've found the information repeated on lesser news sources, but they, no doubt, simply read the same article and repeated the information. I trust UPI enough to think it's probably true -- I don't trust them enough to call it true. And I have no idea what it means.
It could just be noise, or it could be a war gong, right? In any event, it doesn't sound good. If true, it certainly means tension is continuing to build between US and Iran -- that the dollar is being put up for question probably means someone is trying to egg on the powers that be here -- their version of sanctions, I suppose -- or maybe their way of raising our prices without the political ramifications of raising oil prices, if we need to pay more by money exchanges in the billions of dollars; but that is completely speculation. The alternative to that reading is that Iranian ministers truly believe the dollar is going to collapse in the very near future -- which seems more unlikely.
Rules of reporting: Whenever you come across something reported only once it is suspect. Whenever you come across something repeated verbatim or wild-fire fashion it's suspect. Whenever you come across something specifically not reported, it's also suspect. Just as in anything else, the less you know the less grounded a situation is.
Communication is scary and lack of communication is scary. The currency of connection. Unreliable at best -- better to look someone in the eye over breakfast -- give them a hug.
What does seem clear is that War doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
The woman I stood behind in the post office line yesterday -- two of her kids were in Iraq, one had recently returned. Her daughter-in-law, standing next to hear with a heavy leather Marine Corps bomber jacket, had finished her time in the service. Another daughter was looking at a deployment in 2008.
The following is from an article that ran in the Times 20 years ago: