Sunday, July 13, 2008

Iranian Strike

I don't have a firm opinion on what action should be taken with regards to Iran's nuclear program. Here are just two thoughts:

1. If Israel decides to strike it will be after the U.S. elections and before the inauguration. I know Bolton said this, but I was saying it before Bolton (no one listens to me, of course ;). Israel cannot strike before the U.S. election lest they exert undue influence on its outcome. The next administration will not be as supportive of a strike and if it is conducted under this administration the next Whitehouse (particularly if Democratic) will be able to claim that the attack was not carried out under its watch and that it wants to see a new direction in the Middle East. After January 20th plausible deniability goes away.

2. I don't really know what effects high oil prices have on the decision. Iran will probably not attack Israel if attacked (too high a risk of escalation), but they might go after tankers in the Straight of Hormuz (cool semi-related oil map). Investors might be inclined to push oil higher (hey, it's risen 80% year over year already) or they might have priced it in. I am guessing the latter, but I am totally armchair.

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