Iran Offers To Escort Gaza Ships
Remember those 3 nuclear-armed subs we wrote about, that Israel had positioned off the coast of Iran, a development which promptly got lost in news about the whole flotilla incident? Well, they may be getting some more press time soon. Jerusalem Post reports that in the latest escalation step, Iran has offered to provide military protection in the form of warship escorts for Gaza activist ships. Needless to say, this introduces another huge variable into the game theoretical stability equation: not a single party has "cooperated" yet, even as more and more parties decide to defect. We are increasingly concerned that this will not have a favorable outcome, as all it takes is one stray button or trigger getting pushed for events to get beyond the point of no return.
Iran would be willing to send its Revolutionary Guard members to accompany further aid ships to Gaza, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday in an interview cited by Reuters.
"The naval wing of the Revolutionary Guard is ready to assist the peace flotilla to Gaza with all its effort and capabilities," Khamenei's Revolutionary Guard spokesman Ali Shirazi stated.
"If the Supreme Leader issues an order for this then the Revolutionary Guard naval forces will do their best to secure the ships," Shirazi said. "It is Iran's duty to defend the innocent people of Gaza."
Hopefully yesterday's peaceful ship boarding will cool tempers at least marginally, although Bloomberg now reports that "two Israeli ministers said they
opposed an international inquiry into the deadly naval raid on a
Gaza Strip-bound aid flotilla as the United Nations discussed
options for such a commission."
“There shouldn’t be an international inquiry,” Finance
Minister Yuval Steinitz said today. “If an inquiry is required
it should be handled by parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defense
Committee.” Minister of Science and Technology Daniel
Hershkowitz agreed and said he wouldn’t trust a probe that
Oddly enough even with the massive escalation in geopolitical tensions in the Persian Gulf, crude has been on a downward trajectory: Is the supply and demand curve so skewed that nothing but China's liquidity situation is a factor in determining oil price any more? Should such Iran-Israel escalations have occurred in the summer of 2008, oil would likely be at $250. Then again, even with estimated supply and demand curves completely irrelevant in this most critical of commodities, Bernanke, you will recall, sees no liquidity bubbles anywhere. And when was the last time the Supreme Chairman was wrong?
Update for our Russian-speaking readers: in the just released unedited version of the radio transmission between the Israeli Navy and the Gaza Flotila, someone in perfectly accentless Russian chimes in: "zaebal uzhe skotina" at 4:21 into the recording, presumably in retaliation for some earlier pleasantries caught on the tape. This just gets better and better.