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Energy Blast – Nov 8, 2011

Moscow and Tehran have warned the West against a military attack on Iran as speculation builds about a potential Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear sites.  The idea of a strike has gained momentum due to belief that a new U.N. watchdog report is likely to shed more light on a suspected military dimension to Iran’s nuclear program.  Russia has criticized the United Nations for the timing of the report, which is released today.   A Russian nuclear physicist could have played a major role in helping Iran in its alleged endeavors to develop nuclear weapons, says the Washington Post.  Brent crude prices rose yesterday to a more than seven-week high on elevated concerns about Iran’s nuclear program and Greece-related worries.  The ongoing dispute over gas import prices between Russia and its European customers has escalated with the news that Polish gas monopoly PGNiG has filed an arbitration procedure in Stockholm against Gazprom to cut import prices under a long-term supply deal.  ‘The Gazprom pipeline through the Ukok Plateau could become the largest, most expensive and most environmentally damaging white elephant in history‘ says this Moscow Times op-ed.  Today Angela Merkel and Dmitry Medvedev will inaugurate the 1,224-kilometer Nord Stream pipeline, which will pump Russian natural gas to Western Europe.  Could an SCO energy club be on the cards?