By Lyudmila Morozova
The November IAEA report, which claims Iran had worked on creating nuclear weapons until 2003, stirred up a lot of fuss.
According to The Daily Mail newspaper, Israel may now strike the Iranian nuclear facilities by late 2011 or in early 2012. Some say that Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking support from his key ministers to launch an operation against Iran.
Economic experts have begun to count possible losses, meaning oil prices not civilian lives.
Analysts say that if the Iran-Israel conflict is unleashed, oil will sky rocket to 200 dollars a barrel by March 2012 or even to 290 dollars, according to some forecasts.
Today Brent crude was traded at 115 dollars per barrel amid talks about an alleged Iranian nuclear program, even though the country is not among oil production leaders, says Russian expert Denis Borisov. Iran produces about 4 bln barrels a day and exports 2 bln barrels which amounts to 2% of the world oil balance. However, Iran has another advantage, the expert adds:
“Iran controls the Strait of Harmus – a strategically important waterway between the Gulf of Oman in the southeast and the Persian Gulf. Oil companies extract around 15-20 mln barrels a day in this area and if this amount doesn’t reach the market it would trigger a shortage which would lead to an increase in oil prices. It is still unclear what would happen next, and we don’t know whether the US or Israel would interfere. We can recall the tanker wars which took place during the Iran-Iraq conflict but did not develop into major conflicts. Now it’s clear that military action can lead tom a rise in oil prices and affect the markets accordingly.”
We should also take account of the current economic situation. Neither the US nor European economies can now afford to pay over 150 dollars for a barrel.
The global community has one more thing to worry about. A source in the British government has stated that if Iran makes an atomic bomb its example may be followed by Turkey and Saudi Arabia which would create a powerful nuclear lobby in the Middle East. This might mean a new confrontation with an unpredictable scenario.