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Energy Blast – Jan 11, 2012

According to Reuters, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called Iran’s decision to enrich uranium near the city of Qom ‘especially troubling’ and urged Tehran to return to serious talks with Western powers regarding its atomic ambitions.  Russia is, according to this report, also worried about the news, and hopes that Tehran will listen to its calls for further cooperation with the IAEA.  A former special assistant to President Obama has apparently told Bloomberg that the President would be willing to use military force to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon if all other avenues fail.  U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is apparently looking for Chinese cooperation on the Iranian issue.  It has been reported that Europe and Japan are progressing towards plans for sanctions on oil imports from the Gulf state.  Despite long-standing friendly ties to Islamabad, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have rejected Pakistan’s request to supply oil on long-term credit, as the state battles circular debt.  Romania’s competition watchdog has imposed $257 million of fines on oil companies, including the country’s largest firm Petrom, for breaking anti-trust rules.  Polish internal security agency ABW has apparently detained seven people, including state officials, suspected of bribery related to the granting of shale gas exploration licenses.