Guest Post: Iran Positioned to Threaten Oil Lanes

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Daniel J. Graeber of,

In mid-December, the U.S. military will have only one aircraft carrier positioned in the Persian Gulf region for the first time in two years. At the same time, the Iranian navy said it was kicking off a 10-day exercise in the region. Oil prices spiked when Iran early this year threatened to close oil-shipping lanes in the region. If talks scheduled for December between Tehran and the IAEA turn sour, there exists for Iran the potential to exploit the security vacuum in the region and use its defensive position for geopolitical gain.

The U.S. Navy announced that, for about two months, there will be only one aircraft carrier based in the Middle East region because of unexpected repair work needed on USS Nimitz.  A Navy commander said it was the "right thing to do" to leave the military one carrier short in the region, a first since December 2010. At the same time, the Iranian navy announced plans to conduct a 10-day drill to display what Tehran said was a way for the Islamic republic to "display its might and deterrence power."

In January, oil prices were moving fast beyond the $100 per barrel mark in part because of tensions with Iran, which had threatened to shut down the Strait of Hormuz in response to increased sanctions pressure. The U.S. Energy Department describes the strait as the "world's most important oil checkpoint." Last year, about 17 million barrels oil per day traveled through the area, which represented about 35 percent of the world's maritime oil shipments. Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have pipelines in place to compensate for any closure, though each of those has their limitations.

Traders in January said tensions in the region would certainly lead to an increase in oil prices. While much of Iran's oil heads to Asian economies, the oil market is global, meaning U.S. economic power is linked critically to U.S. defensive power in the Middle East. U.S. Energy Department analysts said any economic uncertainty in the oil markets would have a ripple effect on the global economy.

Iran and delegates from the International Atomic Energy Agency are set to resume negotiations Dec. 13. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano has said there's "lots" of activity at the Parchin military complex near Tehran. Western diplomats have said they suspect Iran has taken steps to shield what could be illicit nuclear activity at the site. Tehran has said it was opposed to weapons of mass destruction, though Western diplomats have already said they expect few breakthroughs during next month's talks.

Iran could take advantage of the U.S. Navy's brief drawdown in the region to rattle its sabers in the gulf should the IAEA issue a damning nuclear assessment following December talks. With Iran's economy in decline, however, any decision to shut down the Strait of Hormuz could work against, not for, Tehran's favor. Nevertheless, the mere threat of a closure in January was in part responsible for a one-day 4.25 price increase for oil. Iran's naval drills are scheduled to get under way about a week after the IAEA talks.  Without a major U.S. defensive bulwark, the Iranians may have the deck stacked in their favor.

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Looney's picture

Off Topic (sorry, boyZ and girlZ)…


This whole “Fiscal Cliff” can be fixed in a jiffy. Really!


The problem with the Cliff is not the debt, or taxes, or cuts to defense or entitlements. The problem is in the NAME!


So, here’s my solution – just rename the damn thing from the scary-sounding “Fiscal Cliff” to something else like “Pink Banana”, “Ultra-Super-Uber-iSavings”, “Gaga-Bieber-Kardashian-Hope’n-Change”, or “Xiang-Ding-Dong-Free”…


Any other gewd names?   ;-)



zilverreiger's picture

The Fiscal Shalom Cliff, see; immediately sounds nicer.

General Decline's picture

Forget all this crazy oil stuff. I heard that Ahmadinejad likes to kick puppies. What are we waiting for? Bomb them ASAP!

Supernova Born's picture

Obama is thinking who needs to blame the Iranians for an oil spike which "caused" the already inevitable recession? The extremist, partisan Republicans are right here to take the blame for forcing the US off the "fiscal cliff".

No war in the ME before the midterms.

Tell Honey Bunny to chill.

Pinto Currency's picture


The US is facing some extremely difficult challenges with a lightweight President at the helm.  Hopefully some non-neocon adults are working matters behind the scenes.

It seems that de-escalation may be beneficial as long as it is not used to entice Iran into doing something stupid. 

Iran well knows that it can cause extreme problems for the US by jacking-up oil prices and, to date, the US has played right into their hands.  When you've got a collapsing fiat money system run by maniacal central bankers the last thing you need is an oil price spike caused by a geopolitical crisis. 

Central bankers and the banking syndicates love these crises as it gives them cover for their own acts of destabilization (equating to treason) - hopefully someone on the inside not beholden to the criminal banking syndicates has figured this out and is toning things down.



Bananamerican's picture


I want my Persian Armageddon NOW!

whatever happened to...."4 aircraft carriers...Next full moon...right after the election" and all THAT shit! Remember??

ptolemy_newit's picture

when the carrier's provide more distance they prepare for war!


Michaelwiseguy's picture

January 1, 2013 = Shut the fuck up already with the brainwashing on this shit MSM.

Michaelwiseguy's picture

I hope Iran already has nukes.

zilverreiger's picture

So better stop harasssing Iran by entering its airspace.

kliguy38's picture

Yeh sure. A swarm of Iranian PT jon boats are headed towards the US fleet now. Fortunately the congress has just introduced a 1 Trillion dollar Fleet enhancement to combat the threat.'s picture

Just look out for that Filipino Monkey. He's caused trouble before.



After a repeat of the conversation the Iranian personnel is heard asking the coalition warship to switch to channel 11 with the American voice replying that they were shifting to channel 11. The Iranians are heard shifting to channel 11 and continuing their conversation with the warship personnel. The clip ends, showing no confrontation or threatening language used by either side.

Having compared the two clips and the voices heard on the radio, a number of news correspondents reported that the threatening voice heard in the American clip is very much unlike that of the Iranian naval personnel shown in the Iranian clip and that it was likely that the threatening voice heard on the US clip may, in fact, be that of a prankster given the nickname 'Filipino Monkey'.[10][11]

magpie's picture

I have always wondered if it was the same person

magpie's picture

Why was i voted down ? Anyway, it gives me the opportunity to plausibly deny and disown any future revolution, counter-revolution, military coup, armed uprising and demonstration and secessionistic activities inside and outside the European Union in its present borders. Signed, The Magpie.

Zero Govt's picture

so Americas $1 Trillion fleet should be able to eradicate Somali pirates pretty quickly too

Good Luck with that US Navy

Viet Kong & Taliban Utd  2 - 0  US Military

Sudden Debt's picture

You should also mention that the US Navy, after investing billion upon billions upon billions of dollars which are simply printed out of thin air


sink a 500$ barge which is to be believed to have been used by Somali pirates.

sidenote: The US navy did compensate for the loss of the boat an repaid them 5 million dollars for the barge...


otto skorzeny's picture

what's harder to hit with a sunburn missile? a big fat carrier or a swarm of little fast-boats. i am thinking the next war will expose carriers as the dinosaurs they are like WWII did with battleships.

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

The Iranian attack on a carrier group will "expose carriers for what they are": trip wires.

After Iran trips the wire, Iran will be bombed into rubble and then the rubble piles will be bombed.

Half_A_Billion_Hollow_Points's picture

maybe, but the US naval superiority will be ridiculed all over the world as soon as the first carrier is Pearl Harbored.

TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

That is a small price to pay for a World War.


FDR allowed Pearl Harbor to be attacked so that he and his masters could make money off of WWII.

The current president will be just as willing to help.

max2205's picture

It's the stealth carriers they have to worry about. Cloak off,

A Humble Man's picture

Do you have a pic of a stealth carrier?  With or without the cloak.

frugartarian's picture

trolling for iranians, using embargos as bait

Caviar Emptor's picture

We don't need to invade Iran, we can just bawl them over with the ole American charm! Broadcast a few epsiodes of dancing with the stars and a couple of fotball games, send them some buckets of fried chicken and they'll let us have everything we need!

Zero Govt's picture

Anyone in America got a beef with the people of Iran?

Thought Not.

The deranged sickos behind Govt play power games, representing nobody in society but their tiny diseased minds.

Lock them down and lock them up...

Stop Paying Tax ...don't fund these f'n sociopaths

Randall Cabot's picture

But Alex Jones says Iran threatened to wipe israel off the map and he's not an israeli agent or anything :

BlueCollaredOne's picture

It is my opinion that that Israeli agent meme is bullshit. Alex is simply blinded by his faith.

That is my major qualm that I have with like minded thinking individuals in regards to government, economy, freedom, etc. A vast proportion are jesus (I had to tell my tablet not to capitalize the name) freaks.

The first thing I ever stole was a Carl Sagan book from a bed and breakfast that I stayed at as a child. After reading cosmos, I find the bible to be akin to Shel Silverstein. Full of many good lessons, but not meant to be taken literal.

Down votes may now commence.

blunderdog's picture

The most effective agents are always the ones who don't know they're agents.  Jesus was just another false-flag Israeli provocateur sent back from the future like in The Terminator.

Pinto Currency's picture


Iran says they want to wipe Zionism off the map.

Neo-fascist neocons no like.

blunderdog's picture

Iran is a "country."  A country doesn't "say" anything.

I've heard that reported a lot in the press, though, so I guess we should conclude that sufficient *repetition* makes something true.  What people believe is far more important politically than anything that's real or true.

goldfish1's picture

Alex is simply blinded by his faith.

Sure, that must be it.

akak's picture

Is it possible to NOT be blinded by faith, faith being the holding of beliefs in the absence of (or even contrary to) physical or demonstrable evidence?  I have personally always considered "faith" to be synonymous with "insanity".

BlueCollaredOne's picture


Those are not human beliefs. Please contact Paul Krugman, he is our planets authority when it comes to aliens

Randall Cabot's picture

Banned from Prisonplanet forums after 7 years for saying infowars is being infiltrated



Posted by James ?????? on November 26, 2012



 "banned because the name ”Molly Maroney” wasn’t suppose to be known, it was a fluke that she replied to a person inquiring about a question to infowars. And she replied, after she replied. The person looked her up and bam. Came out as an intern of Stratfor, an Israeli data mining front. It was created in 1996 in AUSTIN, same time Jones came on the air. I’ve been a Jones support for MANY years, you can google my screen name NASTYNORTHNYC and prisonplanet forums. I have no reason to cause trouble, it was a simple question of why Stratfor and Infowars popup in the same sentence"

Supernova Born's picture

Iran aside for one second, and as to your "Stop paying tax" suggestion. What do taxes collected actually have to do with what government spends each and every day? 16 trillion straight out of their rectal reserve.

They print that FRN TP by the ton, no taxpayer needed.

They are going to go 14th Amendment bounty-time on you insurrectionists if you cause enough trouble for them to notice.

"The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."

Cracks me up they could even pay a juicy, unquestionable pension (on top of the bounty) for bringing "law-breakers" to "justice".

Bawneee Fwank's picture

Those dastardly Iranians!  They be terrorists, they be. /sarc

buzzsaw99's picture

We have only one, one lone juicy aircraft carrier which is a sitting duck. should any hostile forces decide to attack now would be the perfect opportunity. Repeat, the usa and coalition forces are nearly defenseless and we hope that by broadcasting this message to unfriendly regions that no-one would try any funny business. Longitude --- --- Latitude --- ---. These surface vessels are most vulnerable when assaulted by type XFT weapons which we hope no-one will use...

BeaverFever's picture

The American sheeple will be bloodthirsty for war once Israel - oops I mean Iran torpedoes that fat sucker...

Supernova Born's picture

inadvertent double post caused by thinking about the woman in the Liquid Plumber ad.

yogibear's picture

Right around that time of year for someone to spike the oil prices again.

Oil traders are looking for some bonus money. Iran would like higher oil prices as well.