Iran is Now a Full-Blown Crisis, Stage Set for $200 Oil

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Just when it looked like we could take a breather from the Strait of Hormuz, all attention is back on Iran.

There are three reasons for this – all happening within the last week:

  1. First was Tehran's successful launch of a satellite, viewed by all in the region as being for military intelligence.
  2. Second, in his toughest talk to date, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei voiced defiance to Western sanctions and pledged open retaliation if they are instituted.
  3. Finally, last Thursday, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta expressed concern that, if matters continue, Israel could attempt an air-strike takeout of Iranian nuclear facilities within a month. Iran has been frantically moving essential components of its nuclear program underground to withstand such an attack.

All of this is, once again, leading to a rise in crude oil prices.

What's more, the EU decision to stop importing Iranian crude starting July 1 will cripple any chance Tehran has to combat escalating economic and political turmoil at home.

Yet Khamenei's defiant tone during his Friday prayer meeting speech indicates that Iran's religious leadership will not wait for the system to unravel.

And that is what makes this both a full-blown and an intensifying crisis.

Brinksmanship in the Straits of Hormuz

So what's being done?

Washington has little – leverage, save its ability to temper an immediate escalation by Israel (leverage the U.S. can still apply, at least for the moment). It also has some indirect influence on what the E.U. does.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia also is a wild card. It will not tolerate a nuclear Iran.

And yes, there are ample indications that American and Israeli intelligence have concluded Iran will achieve the ability to develop nuclear weapons in the next 18 to 24 months.

Some elements of that process will be available earlier, but remember: A weapon is of little value unless it can be controlled and delivered. The logistical and infrastructure considerations need to be in place first.

Yet with such an inevitable conclusion staring them in the face, the West has decided to embark on a risky path…

The target here is not the nuclear project at all (over which there is less and less outside control). Instead, it has become about creating massive domestic instability to bring down a regime.

Now, this is not about ending the theocracy. With or without Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president or Ali Khamenei as supreme leader, Iran will remain a Shiite-dominated country. Religion decisively controls politics, and the clergy oversees the society.

The West is seeking a more moderate application of what will remain the Iranian cultural reality.

However, as the brinksmanship intensifies, so will the price of crude oil. Tehran, in this dangerous game of international chicken, really only has one card to play – the Strait of Hormuz.

There has been much misinformation circulated about the strait. Here are the facts.

On any given day, 18% to 20% of the world's crude oil passes through it.

According to the Energy Information Administration, the Strait's narrowest point is 21 miles wide; however, the width of the shipping lane in either direction is just two miles, cushioned by another two-mile buffer zone.

Of greater significance, though, is the fact that most of the world's current excess capacity is Saudi. (This is the oil that can be brought to market quickly to offset unusual demand spikes or cuts in supply elsewhere.) And, unfortunately, Saudi volume must find its way through the same little strait.

If we're unable to access the Saudi excess, that loss guarantees the global market will be out of balance. That will intensify the price upsurge – an upsurge that is already happening.

Now for the question I'm being asked several times a day in media interviews…

Just how bad can it get?

$200 Oil and $6 at the Pump

If Iran closes the Strait of Hormuz, crude oil prices will pop by between $30 and $40 a barrel… within hours.

Despite the excess storage capacity in both the U.S. and European markets and the contracts already at sea, oil traders set prices on a futures curve.

In a normal market the price is set at the expected cost of the next available barrel. During times of crisis, on the other hand, that price is determined by the cost of the most expensive next available barrel.

Should the strait remain closed for 72 hours, oil trading will push up the barrel price to $180 in New York, and closer to $200 in Europe.

Now let me put this in perspective for you…

A $1 rise in the price of crude translates into a 3.6-cent rise in the cost at the pump. Within the first week of the strait closure, therefore, pressures in the retail gasoline market will push the price to an average of $6 a gallon.

After one week!

There's no doubt that this will paralyze economic recovery on both sides of the Atlantic. (Delivery costs on everything will go up, and diesel prices will rise quicker than gasoline.) This is apparently what Khamenei has threatened.

All energy options will be on the table, from alternative energy to tapping Canadian oil sands (and approving pipelines to transport it south), moving from gasoline to compressed natural gas for vehicle fuel, and a range of other possibilities.

Of course, none of these options can move quickly enough to stave off collapse.

Now, there is no guarantee any of this is going to happen. But the uncertainty is moving oil up today. And the uncertainty will remain in the market as we come closer to July 1.

That gives us some space to develop the investor's reaction to events.

What the Iranian Crisis Means for Investors

Nothing happens until the beginning of July on the European oil embargo, but the markets are hardly going to wait that long.

I am off to London for meetings on the crisis at the end of this month, followed by the annual session of the royal chartered Windsor Energy Group at the castle of the same name, and then on to Scotland for a presentation at the U.K. Energy Policy Center. This crisis will be the center of attention at all these get-togethers, and I will be taking readers of Oil and Energy Investor along with me.

So how, as investors, do we respond to this?

I think it requires a rebalancing your portfolio, as well as revising your exposure to both corporate dividends and the commodity value of oil and gas.

As we move forward, I will be outlining some aspects of that strategy here. If you're looking to benefit from specific stock recommendations, please join my Energy Advantage subscribers.

To learn more about Energy Advantage click here.

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Join the conversation. Click here to jump to comments…

About the Author

Dr. Kent Moors is an internationally recognized expert in oil and natural gas policy, risk assessment, and emerging market economic development. He serves as an advisor to many U.S. governors and foreign governments. Kent details his latest global travels in his free Oil & Energy Investor e-letter. He makes specific investment recommendations in his newsletter, the Energy Advantage. For more active investors, he issues shorter-term trades in his Energy Inner Circle

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  1. Robert Stone | February 8, 2012

    This is all based on Iran developing a nuclear weapon system which it is not doing and does not have the ability to do. The US and Israel are pushing Iran into a corner to force them to act so they have excuse to attack them.
    The nuclear issue is only an excuse for change of leadership just as it did in Libya and Iraq. It is a global government power grab to destroy any state not yet under its control.

    • Bill Trautman | February 8, 2012

      Mr. Stone,
      Just because you hope your scenario is reality, does not make it true. This is not some international strategy for world domination — the reality is that development of the Bomb is very close to being a fact. Your theory of international intrigue and the USA/Israeli secret plan is pure nonsense.

    • Ronald Sarson | February 8, 2012

      Mr Stone: Strange that you know more than the world's intelligence services. You must really be well connected.

      • Andrew Hawley | February 12, 2012

        Ronald: Are you serious? You actually believe what the US Intelligence is telling you about Iran . . or what the media tells you about Iran. You need to wake up. They all lied to us about WMDs in Iraq. What did we get for it? Thousands of dead American solders and a million dead innocent Iraqi civilians.

        • Jian Bugel | February 14, 2012

          Andrew,
          YOU are believing the USA left controlled media.. you and your liberal Hollywood types and people who can't think for themselves. Lets all trust Iran to do the right thing with its resources.. after all, they've proven themselves to be trustworthy in the past, right? Was Iraq was a wonderful, safe place to live before the war – especially for women? You wouldn't think the way you do about Iran or Iraq when if you lived there, or any other country which is controlled by a similar regime. Open your eyes Andrew! World leaders are self centered, only interested in power and personal gain – they care nothing about their people. (your pres. Obama is no exception). When a country hits the bottom of the bucket, leadership-wise; regime change if often the best alternative. Iraq is certainly better off without Saddam. Democracy may not be the best solution, but a leader who kills millions of his own people, needs to be replaced.

    • Pat | February 8, 2012

      How do you know they are not doing it? Because they said so? I love how you know for certain you do not even assume it is, "I KNOW". You don't know nothing, you're education is probably less than a Bachelors.

      I assume Israel, US, Canada, UK all know what they are doing and have much more information on the matter than you do. The fact is Iran's past actions have caused this on themselves. They should not have the right to develop Nuclear energy OR weapons.

      If you do not like this, tough fucking luck. Erratic and unstable governments should NEVER be allowed to explore the realms of nuclear energy. There is a reason for this, they are insane. They manipulate the Koran for their own twisted desires. I know many Iranians whom have migrated to Canada and are disgusted with the way their country is run, it is frigging pathetic.

      Now I am only a student but this shit scares me, these people are fucking mad men. Go cry somewhere else because Iran will be wiped off the face of the earth before they ever get nuclear energy.

      • CURTIS COLLINS | February 8, 2012

        this guy should be censored with his pathetic language.

      • Andrew Hawley | February 12, 2012

        Pat: It scares you because you've given in to the brainwashing done by the US Federal government and the media. They want you to be scared so they can start another senseless war and make billions of dollars for themselves and their friends.

        • Jian Bugel | February 14, 2012

          Andrew: you are speaking foolishly. Go live in one of these counties. You will not side so easily with madmen who are in power. Yes, the US Fed govt is not perfect, and yes, the USA media is "brainwashing" as you say, from both sides.. they are profit making organizations, in business not for your best interest, and yes, war is senseless, but the solution is not to side with murdering religious dictators in far flung countries which you know nothing about. ALL countries act in self interest.

          • Mat Cendana | February 19, 2012

            Sounds a lot like a typical unthinking US government/military complex mouthpiece with his "axis of evil" and "murdering dictators" ranting.

            The US is pushing Iran towards war not because of this purported nuclear weapon thing but because big businesses and politicians think a war will somehow help to save the sinking economy. They know it's only a matter of time before the US is crushed by the financial crisis – in desperation, a war with Iran could buy some time from the inevitable happening… they hope.

            Unfortunately, it won't. Iran isn't a walk in the park like Iraq. Far from helping boost the general economy and the working population (although the defence industry companies will win big), the expenditure will break the camel's back this time. I wonder how the already-suffering general public can cope when oil goes beyond $150. What is there for the US to celebrate even if the current theocratic rule in Iran is ended?

      • Tim | February 18, 2012

        Thanks Pat, for your information on those who live in Iran. The problem is is that the people you know are in the minority from Iran. They are a rich culture, etc., but they only have so much say because their knowledge of their own people gets drowned out by the majority who don't understand what is going and it is no fault of their own. That is all they know and have lived with all of their lives. It is a tough situation for everyone involved and we need complete backing from all parties before anything of serious nature happens. We are currently going about this the proper way and need to continue to do so.

      • Gregory | February 27, 2012

        Actually, I would like to see Iran and the " Camel Jockeys" wiped off the face of the earth!
        It amuses me. Pick 6, no, six pack ! If you can't speak english you don't belong here! What makes Pat think he's the " brightest crayon in the box ? "

    • Glen2Gs | February 8, 2012

      A few days ago I was cleaning out old Emails and ran across a statement from Former UN Ambassador John Bolton that "Iran is just WEEKS away from developing a Nuclear Weapon"…. the email was FROM 2008.

      The Bankster/Oligarch/NeoCons have been beating the WAR DRUMS for YEARS…and they may finally get their wish…GOD SAVE US

    • Sol | February 8, 2012

      You are very correct Mr. Stone however many do not wish to wake up to this reality because it exposes them to a real fear they do not want to admit, we have all been living a lie. To start with the U.S. could very easily cure itself of it's dependency on oil. The U.S. is the Saudi Arabia of natural gas and it is a viable alternative to oil and always has been. Case in point, I frequently visit the Dominican Republic and many of the vehicles there use natural gas. I'm not talking about new developed autos, I'm talking about old Nissans, Toyotas, etc. Beat up old cars that run like a kitten. I've seen it with my own eyes and was amazed. Tank fitted inside the trunk. I asked one guy how difficult was it to refit and he said it was fairly simple. Don't you have cars blowing up, is it dangerous- no more than gasoline my friend! Our problem is that we accept to many lies that we are told about everything. Why because we are a bunch of trained monkeys ready to jump every time that use fear to manipulate us. Fear of someone is going to hurt us when we are the perpetrators around the world. Instead of bringing true democracy to the world and showing the right way to maintain peace and harmony our leaders stir up hatred and trouble. People too much listen to sound bites of half truths and lies. What happened in Iraq? Weapons of mass destruction, where are they? So, are we not to be held accountable for the misguided destruction we caused and more importantly, does the average American even understand what we did? Invaded a sovereign country under false pretenses . To say that our intel was wrong is false because indication were given that Iraq did not have these weapons so our question is, who is really leading us and what is there agenda and does it have our best interest at heart. for all who say this is just another conspiracy theorist rambling I say it doesn't take a rocket scientist to connect the dots or even follow the money. The question is, do you have the courage to do so? Most Americans live in fear, fear that they will lose their precious valuables- homes, cars and a lifestyle indulged in over excursiveness built on the backs of the rest of the world. Well, it's coming to an end because no longer can we live by being a country that produces nothing. The sad thing is, the masses do not understand this and our politicians are doing nothing more than cheap parlor tricks to keep us off balance as they do not run the country any way. It is the corporations and the banksters that get their way and yes, the so called elite. When we become a people of what's better for the world instead of just what's best for me, things will change for the better. Faced with a monetary system that says- it's not a matter of if I will fail but when- we will have a chance to scrap the old and retake our freedom back to build a new and better society not just for us but for all.

      • Ronald Sarson | February 11, 2012

        Sol, I doubt you are really an American. It reads more like a radical muslim, looking for the destruction of America. The same rambling condemnations of our country could have been written by al queda. I understand that many people learn this anti-American crap in our universities from the ultra liberal, America-bashing professors, but it is mostly garbage.

      • BlackLotuz | February 11, 2012

        Sol, thank you for such a clear and cognitive explanation. You are so right! Until we begin to show the world that true democracy is peace and basic necessities for all, I too feel we are on a serious destructive path. And it doesn't look good. We cannot continue to infringe on the will and resources of others without paying a cost. And I'm not so sure that Iran getting a weapon is a bad thing I'm sorry to say, because it will mean that the US, EU and Israel(stop killing the Palestinian people and infringing upon their right to live) will have to find a balanced way of playing in the sandbox.

      • W.G.Staley | February 12, 2012

        Yes where all of the weapons of mass distruction in Iraq. Yes we have become a country of followers. It is a shame that we the people have no more say in our govt's doing. That is from our little local elected officials, police, state officials all the way up to the top echelion.
        You are so correct in your assumtion that we are afraid of loosing what little the elite allow us to have. Great insight that you have…

    • alex cuschieri | February 10, 2012

      I suspect there is some truth in what you say Mr Stone. We have seen it befiore and the so called intelligence was simply a fabrication. Isreal has already set the scene by murdering Iranian scientists. Any attack will plunge tghe world into an even bigger economic turmoil.

  2. Richard Carter | February 8, 2012

    Kent… Something has been puzzling me concerning what's going on with natural gas. The price is at historic lows and yet companies are drilling like there's no tomorrow.
    This seems counter intuitive vis a vis supply and demand. What do you see concerning future pricing of natural gas? I have a considerable investment in a company Texas Energy Holdings Investments, that has properties generating royalties etc that are dependent on gas prices and of course have seen returns plummet in the past 3 years.
    Would appreciate your comments.
    Richard Carter

  3. Max | February 8, 2012

    Robert,
    If you think Iran is the good guy in this issue, by all means… leave the U.S. and move there to support them. American bashing thumbsucker. Sometimes, being the good guy means doing not nice things.
    Learn to be a man.

    Max…

    • Mike | February 8, 2012

      That's all fine and good, then……anybody who disagrees with mainstream opinion apparently deserves to be drummed out of the country, right? Your "argument," such as it is, conveniently ignores the fact that there is already a dangerous nuclear armed country in the Middle East, namely Israel. Neither the West generally, nor the US in particular, have any right to demand that Iran not develop any nuclear weapons until the same is also demanded of Israel. Anything else is rank hypocrisy.

    • DD | February 8, 2012

      Don’t make me laugh – The US are not the good guys! The US lies through its teeth and has ulterior motives and the world knows it! And just because an American citizen disagrees with what the Gvt is doing does not mean that person wants to leave the country – STOP with the false sense of patriotism and self glory, it's oh so tiresome! The truth is the US is so much in debt, it can’t think straight. The US has zero intention of paying its debts too and the US thinks the only way out is to start more wars. QEIII is also on the back burner and that’s a FACT.
      Iran is NOT a threat and is not looking to fight anyone!! The US has NO right to tell a country whether it can have nukes or not. If Ahmadinejad is such a nut job – where does that leave the likes of the Bush Admin, Blair and cronies?

      • Lloydo | February 11, 2012

        DD-Maybe you are not old enough to remember or study history. WW1-Democrat president. WW11-Democrat president. Korean War-Denocrat President. VietNam War-Democrat President. I could continue, but you should get the picture.

      • Jian Bugel | February 14, 2012

        Iran is not a treat???? wow how naive can you get?

    • LJ | February 10, 2012

      I think we should all be working together, I am not a bible basher by all means, but at the end of the bible it states the world will be coming to an end, I believe it will eventually happen, all the floods all the fires, all the earth quakes. The new taxes they continue to bring in the government is doing this we are doing this. The tax on the mining companies where is it going, I would like to get a politician to tell us something that is nt being taxed. Even toilet paper is tax, the money should be going to provide the companies with experts to cut our pollution not lining their pockets. Lets think about everything that going on world war is comming because we all are so different in religion, wake up work together and improve what we have, look after it. I have been trading a little while now, and the person that said America was unfounded with killing Israelies well, I do not believe any one has the right to kill another person unless the kill others, every one feels threatened, my heart and everyone in Australis feels for America we donate so much money and time in helping others, but you know what we can go it on our own, we have everything here to do it. We are not racist, byest or any of the above we love every one and everything, so by god wake up and relise that they just want what everyone els has and that is freedom, it has been taken away from them, just like our governments do to us except worse. Love everyone and accept who they are we might live a little longer . LOL :)

      • DD | February 11, 2012

        and everyone in Australis feels for America

        Well more fool you Austraila. The US does not feel for Australia in the same way and that is fact! All the US cares about is having power and control over others and that includes Australia.

  4. Cindy Stantz | February 8, 2012

    Are Saudi Arabia and Iran and Iraq the only places the US acquires oil? I admit it would be a true hardship for Europe. What happened to the Alaskan Pipe Line and the off-shore drilling done on US coasts. The US is not doing eough to develop alternate energy sources.

  5. DD | February 8, 2012

    RobertStone – I 100% AGREE with you! It is the US/UK and Israel that is behind any animosity towards Iran who are NOT a threat to anyone. Even if Iran were to develop nukes who are these three countries to tell them or any other country what they can or cannot have? I have always said that if the US/UK (and Israel) goes into Iran under the same LIES as Iraq, it will be disastrous for the west and fate will see to that all on its own.

    I also think it is quite odd that about 12 years ago (and before 911) when the NK’s were bragging about having a missile that could reach the west coast of the US, yet despite the missile failing miserably, the US did NOTHING about it and I can tell you three good reasons why:
    1 – There is no oil in e NK
    2 – NK does not care about Israel
    3 – With over one million strong military compared to the US’s approximate 300K + military, so are stronger.

    It seems the US is a failing country and has been failing for about 30 + years. Some say the US financial problems will dwarf that of Europe when this country can no longer kick the can down the road, so this is another reason the US is looking for war, so to try to level the playing field – they will fail! In addition, look at how they have been trying to destabilize China in an indirect way over the last couple + years too.

  6. Jim M | February 8, 2012

    so who else gets their oil through the straight. (China maybe?) And what are they doing about the situation !!! Shouldn't they be concerned as much or more about the oil or lack thereof ? Robert's statements make for some interesting dialog.

  7. Jack Dean | February 8, 2012

    The problem is not Isreal (as they are always blamed for everything that goes wrong in the middle east) or the United states or for that matter the entire civilized nations of the World. It is Iran. I say again Iran. Isreal is a civilized Nation who is constantly being provoked. Isreal is cinsists of a multi-national population including Arabs. So why so much hatred towards your cousins as they are your cousins.
    If Iran has nothing to hide, then why do they persist in not allowing a full Nuclear inspection team to freely make a thorough investigation of any place under suspicion. HMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. I wonder why if in fact there is nothing to hide? For Iran to have any Nuclear facilities is signing a death warrant to the world and in fact a very clear case of creating WWW III

    • BlackLotuz | February 11, 2012

      How can You say Israel is a civilized nation when it has participated in the most barbaric practices of bulldozing homes, killing innocent people to claim a land all in the name of God. If that is what a civilized nation does I'm scared. But I guess in reality what we are all living under is a form of barbarism with a bit of law thrown in here and there.

      • Jian Bugel | February 14, 2012

        Israel is a civilized nation. Muslims live in peace in the middle of Jerusalem. Of course you are scared, because you are ignorant of the facts. Is there a free Israeli community living and free to worship in a huge Jewish Temple in the capital of Iran (or any other Muslim country) like there is a huge masque in Jerusalem? Think about it – and stop believing the left wing media who says Israel is the bad guy and Iran just wants nukes to maintain peace – that is pure foolishness. Maybe you should instead listen to the threats of the political leadership in Iran if you want to know who is the real threat to peace in the region.

  8. Karayannis | February 8, 2012

    I will appreciate receiving your Newsletter. Is there any subscription fee?

  9. Paul Warren | February 8, 2012

    Iran will control the Middle East and all of its oil if it does get the bomb in which case you can be sure of $150 plus price of oil and the devistation of the US and Western World economy. This does not even take into consideration the danger to the entire world of fundamentalist crazies developing the bomb in order to arrive at their heavenly reward in a quicker fashion and wiping out the "infidels" at the same time. Perhaps the best option is to prevent Iran from developing a bomb until there is a change to moderate leadership. Come to think of it, a moderate leadership would probably not even waste the money on nuclear bombs.

  10. shakespeare | February 8, 2012

    The east-west balance of power is not at stake here in so far as the US and her ally Israel is concerned. There is nothing anyone can do to overturn it as it's been in effect since 265 BC. It's a God-thing. Only he can say when its time to metamorph to a new power– ie OWG. We will all know when it happens, but Russia will be key.

    • Mark | February 10, 2012

      shakespeare:in all due respect, you are trying to give us all a futurist/dispensationalist approach to current geopolitical issues, which really is a one sided arguement from a religious basis. There are those that believe your scenario, based on prophetic statements in the Bible, have already taken place in the first century, and therefore render any of your statement null.

  11. Joe | February 8, 2012

    Iran is now guaranteed to be in the news for months to come if not years. Iranians have been left with no option but to develop nukes, which they easily can since they already have enrichment technology and an industrial base. Iranians now would think in these lines: "if we are already under toughest sanctions possible for something we have not already done, why not go ahead and do it, since we are already suffering and paying the price for it". Once Iran gets the nuke, they can slowly come out of their sanctions since no body would want an angry and enemy nuclear Iran pointed its fingers at it. That is the only logical path it will go. Saudis will have no option but to accept the fact since Saudis do not have any scientific capability and will have to do with US support and influence over them. Israel and US will accept the nuclear Iran, as Japan and US have accepted a nuclear N.Korea. As for oil prices, they will go uphill from here since Iran has alot of leverage over entire oil fields, there from their proxies to their missiles. Only a deal with Iranians can bring the oil price down, until then, expect the oil price to cross 150 dollars this summer without any war, 200 dollars if Iranians test a nuclear device and above 250 dollars if a war happens. These are realities.

  12. Bri-Bri | February 8, 2012

    I don't enjoy DC's

  13. John | February 8, 2012

    Petrodollar is the reason , America is reaching to its end

  14. Don Kennedy | February 8, 2012

    Inside the international political bureaucracy of the United States is a Fifth Column of Zionists who will stop a nothing to involve the U.S. in continual wars in the Middle East. America needs to cut the embilical cord that these Zionists have built up since WWii. Israel is not worth a bucket of warm tobacco juice. This Zionist Fifth Column doesn't give a hoot about the majority of Americans. Their only interest is in taking control of the so-callled 'Promised Land'. When the Messiah was crucified He even tore the curtain that separated 'Most Holy Place' from the rest of the Holy Place in the Temple in Jerusalem. That act signified the end of the 'Covenant' with the Israelites through Abraham. There is no more 'Promised Land' and we suckers are being lied to by the Zionists. What they really want is control of Middle East and its oil riches and they could care less about America and its Constitution and the AMerican Republic!!!!!!!!!!!!…

    • Lisa | February 8, 2012

      Mr. Kennedy,

      You have ill-gotten information about theology. Your belief is called replacement theology and is an error. When God made His covenant with Israel it was a promise forever and God does not break His promises. May I suggest that you become more biblically literate and ask for guidance from some biblical scholars. in scripture, God says of Israel. "I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you". "I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone" basically for all who try to coerce her to comply with what they want. For the anti-semitic global sentiment toward Israel, God will bring those to judgment like Obama and the other European leaders trying to screw with achieving this peace agreement. Once achieved, you can count down 7 years of tribulation until the battle of Armageddon when Christ returns. Oh, and in the middle of the 7 years, the new world leader (dictator, anti-christ) will break that peace covenant. You can take that to the bank and remember what I wrote in reply to your statement.

  15. john ashton | February 8, 2012

    Mr Moors; Quote – 'First was Tehran's successful launch of a satellite, viewed by all in the region as being for military intelligence.'

    This was a micro-satellite and unless the Iranians can somehow retrieve the Betacam tape from it it will not furnish much intelligence. This is not a US or Russian effort…. If you are going to base fulminatory observations on such under-researched material you must expect a large drop in your credibility index.

  16. The Unhived Mind | February 8, 2012

    I've been telling people for a very long time that oil will be instantly $250 when a decent event happens with Iran. I've then told people that they may be looking at prices quickly up to $650 when full blown war erupts. Can you honestly see Libya supplies coping? Of course not. Buy 2-3 years of storable foods now and water along with anything else you need. Expect power cuts so solar panels and other methods of energy will be of use. Don't rely on electric and remember your gas will be off because the boilers run off electric pumps etc. Get some Calor bottles in and portable heaters off the grid.

  17. Lakshmi Narasimhan Madhavan | February 8, 2012

    Hmmmmm……. There must be something with the succesive US government, post WWII, with few exceptions. When will they learn not to make war unecessarily/occuppy another country. It is like every now and then something strange rages through their empty upstairs.

  18. RobH | February 8, 2012

    Personally I fear this is a massive beat-up, war mongering stance. This sounds incredibly similar to the Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq that were never found. In the end the US or Baby Bush finally admitted that it invaded Iraq for its oil.
    There is a good article on Iran's nuclear program on Wiki.
    Iran has never tested a nuclear weapon.
    Iran's first nuclear power plant was only opened late 2011 with help from Russia indicating that they are no where near advanced as the US or Israel want us to believe.
    The controversy over Iran's nuclear programs centers in particular on Iran's failure to declare sensitive enrichment and reprocessing activities to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
    Enrichment can be used to produce uranium for reactor fuel or (at higher enrichment levels) for weapons.
    Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful, and has enriched uranium to less than 5%, consistent with fuel for a civilian nuclear power plant.
    Iran also claims that it was forced to resort to secrecy after US pressure caused several of its nuclear contracts with foreign governments to fall through.
    After the IAEA Board of Governors reported Iran's noncompliance with its safeguards agreement to the UN Security Council, the Council demanded that Iran suspend its nuclear enrichment activities while Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has argued that the sanctions are "illegal," imposed by "arrogant powers," and that Iran has decided to pursue the monitoring of its self-described peaceful nuclear program through "its appropriate legal path," the International Atomic Energy Agency.
    The IAEA reported no evidence of links to a nuclear weapons program.
    There is no direct evidence that Iran has nuclear weapons or the ability to delivery them.

    Iran has started to trade oil for gold which threatens the $US hegemony which may be behind the US stance. That the $US is the accepted reserve currency for international oil trades is one of the last things that gives the $US value. The world demand for oil has grown exponentially along with the US fiat currency supply. With crippling debt based on unsustainable or unachievable growth the $US is on the verge of collapse; it is possible we are at a massive turning point in history which the US will do anything to delay or avoid.

  19. Bob | February 8, 2012

    As usual the US State Department is demonstrating its usual total lack of understanding of countries it deals with, is demonstrating its total lack of knowledge of history and its complete ineptitude and short-sightedness which it thinks can only be resolved by bombing some poor innocent kid somewhere in the world.

    Bunch of bloody fools. Business as usual. Bomb something and someone.

  20. Fred Hall | February 8, 2012

    I have read all the twisted messages that you twisted people wrote……UGH!

  21. Jonnie Snake | February 9, 2012

    Stop squeeling like slaughtered rats. Just go and buy some OIL stocks and milk the LOOT, my brothers . .

  22. Evka | February 9, 2012

    Unfortunately I have to agree with the previous comment….wake-up World before it's too late!

  23. Frederick Roth | February 9, 2012

    Well thought, but it is clear that Iran will get 'the bomb' ready, no way to avoid this – unless Israel stops them short – the rest of the world will not act. Therefore it is an ethical/political must to bring Iran to negotiate – not with the UN, no, directly multilaterally involving the U.S.A., Europe, Russia and China all together with proposals from the West to Iran which they can accept without losing face. One has to get Iran out of its isolation and boycotts to stabilize this region, which in itself between their religious schisms is already a problem at first hand. The Iranian threats towards Israel and the West in general has to be taken at a second degree and put aside if we, the West, want stability. Iran will not strike first – they do not intend a national suicide. Regards from Switzerland, Frederick

  24. Thomas | February 10, 2012

    To understand the Middle East mentality, never view through obscured western lens. Understand what is at stake here. For that check out the Koran & the Hadiths. Then review this case. Iran Will develop nuclear weapons & use it. period. Check the Bible. the answers are there.

    • Matt | February 14, 2012

      You are correct that the bible has a lot of answers, but unfortunately just to all the wrong questions.

      No they won't use it. The leaders of Iran are evil, but they aren't insane.

      For all the breathless garbage that is spouted about Iran, none of their leaders, not one, wants to die in a nuclear holocaust.

      Now as for Pakistan; That might be a different story …

  25. Zaja | February 11, 2012

    Wow, opinions are all over the board. Iran will develop a nuke and use it. Iran will block the Straite. Israel will take out Iranian nuke facilities. Oil prices will go to $150 then $200 and up. Gas prices will sky rocket. The US is going down the financial tubes and needs a war. Stock up on two years of food. Kinda makes you want to buy a cabin in the woods and dump all cell phones and computers. The fact is, nobody knows what is going to happen, but from the sound of things, nothing is good. The US needs to develop the Keystone Pipeline now and accelerate natural gas conversion on vehicles and all demand sources. We also need to keep our nose out of everybody's business, and speak softly, but carry a big stick.

  26. Carlos Irving | February 11, 2012

    Fully agree with R. Stone´s comments, but I wonder how Americans have become so blindsighted by their governments and tolerant of all this stupidity, it is hard to believe that a country fully in debt and with no real solution in the future to ever pay back all the debt which amounts now to more than 100% of GDP keeps embarking in doubious adventures in which none of its citizens will gain a penny, on the contrary, Americans risk ending up like the Germans after WWII, a devaluated dollar that will cease to be the hard currency and the end of whatever is left of the world power it used to have. The US citizens need to wake up and act before they fall from bed one day and discover that teir leaders not only lied to them in Irak, but keep lying to them and the world to justify acts of war like the recent campaign against Iran. The sad thing is that there is nobody with power and leadership capable to stop this nonesense same as it happened with the weapons of mass destrution in Irak, it is a shame that the US keeps telling us all these BS, if anybody believes all these crap, is because two things -he/she is a toddler or is a real thumbsucker!

  27. Patricia | February 11, 2012

    Hey Jack Dean……why hasn't Fort Knox been audited to see if the gold is still there? If Iran would not allow an "inspection" because it implies guilt, doesn't it mean the same thing with Fort Knox?

  28. Darren | February 11, 2012

    What r you smoking??
    Iran's mission in life is to wipe Israel off the map!
    We need to take them out before they take us out!!!
    It's obvious if you open your eyes!

    D

    • DD | February 13, 2012

      Iran DID NOT say they wanted to wipe Israel of the map. That is US/Israeli lies as per usual.

      Google: "putting words in ahmadinejad's mouth" to see.

      Iran are NOT a threat, never has been and probably never will be!

  29. Darren | February 11, 2012

    Read "The Everlasting Hatred. The Roots of Jihad" by Hal Lindsey for all the proof you need!

  30. Muhammad NaIya | February 11, 2012

    Even though OIL is a very important factor in the US's interest in the Middle east, it is the rather overwhelming influence of Israel that makes the waves. Sure, it is not east to replace oil in the automobile simply because of the physical characteristics of oil but what really is the benefit of attacking Iran on pure assunptions? Is it that the interests of Israel are more important than peace in the region?
    Just consider the current presure on Syria by the US and her allies but at the same time are deaf and blind of the repression in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Where then are the priciples of freedom and democracy the US shouts about every now and then? Is it because the Kingdoms are freindly to the USs' interest vis-a-vis Israel? Iran was not part of the 9 nor indeed a freind of al-Qaeda, so why all this hatred and repression, afterall Israel has far more nuclear weapons than any other nation after the US.

  31. Dave Webb | February 11, 2012

    Iran has motivation to pull this stunt. They need to direct their young people into war instead of politics. Young people question everything. Religion, leadership, etc.
    Money . . . they are being starved out. There is no where to go from a corner.
    What needs to be done is to down shift the entire situation. What advantage can we give them to do so? There is an old army barracks saying called MYOB. Mind Your Own Business. It is the only way a large group of people in a small barracks can get along.
    The same thing works for people in a small world.
    Why in the world would a country sitting on one of the biggest oil supplies need nuclear energy? Nuclear Energy is inefficient, the by products take many years to dispose of, and it is not even economical. The conclusion is obvious. Nuclear weapons to dispose of their enemies, which apparently they have made many of in wars past.( Including Israel, Europe, Great Britain, and the United States.)
    So, these countries opposing the introduction of Nuclear Warfare in this area are supposed to just sit on their hands and let it happen? How about a little common sense here.
    Instead of everyone getting into a nuclear war or conventional war, perhaps it would be more profitable for everyone including Iran to figure out what each other really wants and try to come to an agreement everyone can live with. That is the difficult problem. We come from different cultures. It is not easy to tolerate each other's viewpoints. I am not of their religious beliefs. Neither do I want to make them into my idea of what reality is concerning religion. MYOB.
    What happens if both sides weaken themselves? Well, one problem might be solved by another. A strong outside nation might come in and take over the entire region. Before you point fingers, I am not referring to the US. I am referring to someone like the USSR or China. Couldn't happen? Might want to read up on your military history. I think if that opportunity came up, it is a foothold no one wants in the region to happen.

  32. Phil | February 12, 2012

    There have been some comments that generally say that Iran is as entitled to have nuclear weapons as any other country including Israel. Actually, in reality, no country should have nuclear weapons but that ship has sailed. The difference as I (and many others) see it is that Israel is an island in a sea of Islam, most of them radicalized with the intent on the destruction of Israel. The only deterrent is that Israel has nuclear weapons and the delivery systems to protect themselves. They are not the aggressors. Iran on the other hand is a radical Islamic state dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the domination of the middle east (and the world?). They are known supporters of terrorist organizations and would not hesitate to supply them with the weapons to attack their mutual enemies – any non – fundamentalist Islamic country (Israel, USA?). I don't want to even think about Iran with a nuclear weapon and long range bombers to deliver them. A person could probably make a case that if any country has nuclear weapons then all countries should have nuclear weapons – sounds fair and good in some non-existent, idealistic world. The reality is more complicated. History has placed the U. S. in the unenviable position of trying to limit nuclear proliferation to the benefit of the rest of the world – if not us then who? Iran should not make the mistake of underestimating Israel's intent to stop the development of a nuclear weapon that would ultimately be used against them.

  33. Jim M | February 12, 2012

    I think we need to clean our own closet before we go elsware. our own congress cant get along and make the rite dicision that benifits the people of this country. If we were to start at home and teach our familiys basic matters maybe the country would follow including congress. I cant not belive these people cant decide whats rite for our country and put aside there political belifes. This world would be better off if we took care of our own first and then all the others. Example: give $ to the companys that (i think started this econmic setback) Who realy knows! Please excuse my spelling. I am uneployed and very mad about the help we arent getting. Thanks for you time

  34. F. Pronk | February 19, 2012

    History teaches us that when rational thinking prevails, peace can be maintained. When dogma prevails, particularly religious dogma, trouble, big trouble, lies ahead. I am afraid that the Iranian leadership is captive to religious dogma.

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