- According to State Department sources, the United States
has laid down an ultimatum to Iran. However, this ultimatum has nothing
to do with Iran's nuclear program. Former U.S. ambassador to Turkmenistan
Steven R. Mann, who is also the State Department's Special Negotiator for
Eurasian Conflicts and Senior Adviser on Caspian Basin Energy Diplomacy,
recently warned Iran against building a pipeline to India.
- Mann, who was involved
in successful negotiations on the building of the CentGas pipeline from
Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan and the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
pipeline, travels around central and south Asia helping to negotiate
favorable pipeline and drilling deals for U.S. oil and natural gas companies.
However, when it comes to U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mann strongly
denies that they are being fought for oil and gas. That contention is usually
met with stifled laughter from attendees at seminars and meetings in Washington