This very public Iranian fear mongering, being played out as a populist form of press release tennis, has been played out over and over, ad infinitum. So much so, that I start to ignore anything “Iran”. It’s a question so politically charged, so Washington lobbyist rich, that I’m skeptical of a manipulated popular press sorting out much truth – even with the best intentions. So for fun, I started to imagine “The Scenario” and wonder who really benefits from this political tennis match. I was surprised by my conclusion.
The current match plays out against an Arab Spring, and “coincidentally” comes to a crescendo with a release from the IAEA. (Here’s the full report.)
Center court started to get interesting in late September when Mahmoud Abbas puts forward a bid for Palestine to be given full membership to the UN. Abbas serving first, into the sun. (The BBC)
Then in early October we learn about a plot by Iran to kill the Saudi Ambassador in Washington. That was a strange one. Hillary Clinton lobs a few deep center court. (CNN)
The following chart is $USO, which I use as a proxy and follows the action closely.
On Halloween the Palestinians win a vote for a UNESCO seat (no costumes in view). The crowd stands as Abbas rushes the net, and we see worldwide scenes of celebration. The US loses it’s cool and throws some choice words at the line judge then proceeds to cut funding for UNESCO; read Jimmy Connors pissed off.
It’s now early November and rumblings / rumors that Israel is going to attack Iran and news about internal power struggles between the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Ahmadinejad drifts out. It’s starting to rain on center court. Strange, did something particularly bad happen, off court? (The Economist)
At first I thought Israel was trying to distract attention from the overwhelmingly positive sentiment that Mohamad Abbas was receiving, but the press kept writing, and Israel kept raising the bar. If you watch the price of oil against the backdrop of Israeli threats and Iranian posturing, you’ll see an interesting correlation. Oil prices have found a floor and are rising, even as world growth is falling. World economies would benefit from cheaper oil, this tennis match isn’t helping Europe, the US, or China. Venezuela, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Russia all benefit as the rhetoric heats up. It’s like the ticket prices to get into Roland Garros have gone up 20% and Iran is taking the profits.
As the first set comes to a close with the release of the IAEA report and Sarkozy calling Netanyahu a liar; only world economies are suffering. I’d like to know where this is going because at this stage, the west doesn’t seem to be winning.
There’s an interesting post on ZH as well ‘Crude Disconnects…‘