Presenting An Iran Attack Probability Timetable And A Complete Geopolitical Outlook For The Middle East

Tyler Durden's picture

The folks at Religare Capital Markets have put together one of the better cheat sheets on a region that most of the big banks largely ignore: the Middle East, where day after day we get new and more troubling headlines of escalation, usually involving Iran and Israel. And since at the end of the day, in a resource-strapped world, the bottom line is always about energy, and oil, what happens in the MENA region is arguably far more important at the end of the day than who prints how much electronic paper/linen. But most important is probably the following analysis charting the probability of an attack of Iran by either Israel or the US. We were quite surprised to find that in Religare's opinion the probability of an Israeli-sourced attack on Iran hits a high of 50% sometime in early February, with the US contributing about 20% with a peak in May and just before the presidential elections. This is how they explain it: "The probability of an attack on Iran is now higher than ever. The only solution to the current crisis, diplomacy, is off the table due to politics and the focus is now shifting to regime change. We see the probability dropping mid-year, although US elections could increase the probability of a US attack significantly (unless Ron Paul steams ahead), as will Iran’s likely decision to move their centrifuges to reinforced facilities in Qom if not handled correctly (likely mid-year). We reiterate our view that the fallout may not be as bad as expected from an Israeli strike, horrendous from a US one." And if they are right, what happens to oil will likely be the biggest catalyst of events in 2012 - a topic PIMCO has already had some extended observations on.

Other big picture geopolitical observations on MENA:

The regional Cold War


The deployment of the Peninsula Shield Force to quash the uprising in Bahrain was the first act of a rapidly developing regional Cold War and was the first market of what was to be an increasingly independent and assertive foreign and security policy from the GCC and Iran. We do not see this as an ideological conflict, although old prejudices die hard, but rather a political one between countries that have gone from being heavily indebted to rapid growth in just over a decade and are now looking to project their control in their region. Local populations have also been a significant factor in this and we have seen increased budgets and reinforcement of traditional social contracts to provide the groundwork for foreign policy, as well as a focus on muting any internal security threats. Finally, the fall of OPEC and rise of the GCC as the owners of spare capacity has been an important one for the oil market, the results of which we are likely to see come through later this year when the oil price comes under pressure.


Israel’s increasingly fragile military hegemony and new arms race


Israel’s position as the regional military hegemon will come under increasing pressure in the coming years as tens of billions of dollars of weapons enter the region to challenge the ascendancy of Iran. Should Iran reach nuclear capability, most GCC states will also build their nuclear arsenals even while pursuing independent foreign policies that actively speak out against actions they disapprove of.


Rise of neo-Islamism and adjustment of jihadism


The Islamist groups that were demoted to social functions under a number of thee deposed regimes have now come to the fore in democratic elections and the rise of a more pluralistic neo-Islamism once they find their feet could have significant implications globally. Jihadist groups have become increasingly decentralized and used for political ends, with African jihadist groups a particular concern with many regions fertile for recruitment


Oil through the roof


Nobody really believed that we were approaching the point of maximum oil production in 2008, but they do now. The shifting structure of the oil market and increased interference means that prices are now predicted to be above $110 for the foreseeable future, representing a huge wealth transfer into this region. This is not sustainable, but should last 3-4 years at least.

Full report:


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GeneMarchbanks's picture

Coverage of this topic is getting to absurd levels.

slewie the pi-rat's picture

...ready to fight back?...

...Fire! BiCheZ!...

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Time to make a pool:

I have MARCH 4th

Get it?  March forth.....

The winner gets a bsaket full of worthless fiat, eh?

slewie the pi-rat's picture

1, 2, 3, 4,..

you down 4-$5?   L0L!!!

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Slewie, I think you need another bong rip

To me junker, it's a joke, ok?  He doesn't need another bong rip, he has had about five this morning....

Anyway, now that the angry poopsicle is putting in a barrel of oil, I think I will have to put in a few silver coins.  Anyone else?

wanklord's picture

Stupid Animals,

As soon as war is on, you will certainly say good-bye to all of your ridiculous investments. In fact, you untalented brutes clearly fit in one of Leo Strauss’ (*) categories of society, The Vulgar Many:

“The Vulgar Many, are lovers of wealth and pleasure. They are selfish, slothful, and indolent. They can be inspired to rise above their brutish existence only by fear of impending death or catastrophe.”

(*) German philosopher, 1899-1973

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Tell the animals, "Then you die."

Manthong's picture


Nlce to know they have us covered..

"Exclusive: West readies oil plan in case of Iran crisis

CPL's picture

LOL!!  Anycase...did anyone notice if they rebuilt the storage facilites along with the required refineries in NOLA?


Neither did I.

JW n FL's picture

The United States has asked Israel to check the possibility of pumping oil from Iraq to the oil refineries in Haifa. The request came in a telegram last week from a senior Pentagon official to a top Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem.

The Prime Minister's Office, which views the pipeline to Haifa as a "bonus" the U.S. could give to Israel in return for its unequivocal support for the American-led campaign in Iraq, had asked the Americans for the official telegram.

Atlas Shrugged's picture

I find it funny that some BS research agency can assign some arbitary probabilty to some event occuring and expect to be taken seriously. Even funnier are the people that do.

15% chance in June, 5% in August, up to 20% in September, down to 10% in November, and back up to 50% in January.

Are these betting odds? What bollocks!

Then they go on to show how smart they are by forcasting how the attack probability changes throughout 2012.

Who comes up with this shit?

Cathartes Aura's picture

who comes up with this shit?

those who see  everything as a spread.

HungrySeagull's picture

No that will be a waste. Once war starts the Nations will need this oil for the Military.'s picture

The many are the producers of the wealth which the many have a right to enjoy. Selfishness (also known as the desire that oneself and one's family doesn't starve to death and maybe gets ahead someday) is the motivation for production. The slothful and indolent inhabit government and use their power to obtain the wealth of the productive many. Government employs fear of impending death or catastrophe as a backup for its monopoly of force which it uses to extract payment.

philipat's picture


@Lord of the Wankers

I I heard that his brother was Levi Strauss, who became part of the American dream? I can't vouch for the reliability of the source for that.

1. Don't shout (Caps). It's rude.

2. Fuck off, no sorry that should be go forth and Wank elsewhere will you.

Teamtc321's picture

Wank Lord;

Who exactly are you speaking of, "Stupid Animals?"

I recall a post where you framed U.S. debt on the lazy baby boomer's. Not to put word's in your mouth but something along those thought's where your intent if I recall correctly. Do you just hate all human's or is there a certain brand or color you are flying?


StychoKiller's picture

Do you often talk to Robots?

lasvegaspersona's picture

Lord Winkie does not reply and cares not what others say or write or think. It is the widdo winkus amunkus.

oh hell you are right, WL IS probably just artificial stupidity. I wonder how and why he wound up here though.

slewie the pi-rat's picture

i'm off on bike4errands+fun

it lQQked like the junkster started w/ Y/C, below, but it is the weekend, so they may be swarming  

i bought literally a tiny bit of silver a coupla weeks ago;  but, everything's paid!


Yen Cross's picture

 As Fletch said.  " It's all ball bearings these days"!   I junk no one.

Problem Is's picture

$5 Bernanke Bucks on 4-4...

Wait... Who has the pool???

Uber Vandal's picture

If anyone has been watching the Shape Of Things To Come Reports by Clif and an affiliated site, that March 4 date is awfully close to March 9.


xela2200's picture

And 12/12/12 also looks odd. Possibly the end of the world as we know it. At least that is what my over sized and pattern seeking monkey brain of mine is telling me. /sarc

Time for feces flinging.

Problem Is's picture


I should have taken 9-11-12...

Doña K's picture

I don't know why anyone bothers with Iran. Oil will be depleted soon and they will be left with sand and worthless dollars. Guaranteed to become extinct. Best thing for Iran is to start loading up on goats and tents.

All kidding asside, the Iranian people deserve better but they have been hijacked by the extremists using religion as the weapon of intimiditation and submission.

Religions and insurance companies, capitalize on human fear. I am not sure if anyone said this before, but I am saying it now.

The US is intimidating Americans using fear of the "boogie man" terrorism and the like. You got to have enemies real or perceived to sell guns, ammo, war and maintain profits for the military industrial complex.

How do you fight that? Sorry I have no answer. But history tells us that when people have lost their wealth, their dignity and when taxes and fees exceed 50% there is always a revolution.

You are almost there. The real unemploynment rate is 20%+, wifes and daughters are being fondled and photographed at the airports, the elderly are now considered a drag in the government expeditures, your wealth is being diluted by trillions of dollars digitally created and your supreme leader is talking about hope which is a fools opium. 

Act accordingly

Sudden Debt's picture

I have 1 may!

And i put in the pool:
1 nobel peace price
A gallon of oil that's worths 500$
And the liberty bell (i'll tell you where to pick it up, so bring a truck)

AldousHuxley's picture

nothing like war to prop up "patriotism" and support for current leadership....just in time for elections.

remember Bush's popularity and 911?


Obama wants Iran to attack first to get an excuse to spend tax dollars in another massive war. Unlike Iraq (France's oil bitch and Russia's colony), Iran is seen as the last colony by USSR and China so expect really heavy tolls....including nuke threats.


This time they have global media (RT, PressTV, CCTV), manufacturing capacity, resource rich African and middle eastern countries tired of US dollar colonialism ready to switch sides, heavy debt of allied powers, unemployment, etc. Not a good time to go to war for America IMO. Even "cutting edge" US drone was hacked by chinese STEM grad.

Everybodys All American's picture

Wanted to point out that the drone did not have cutting edge tech on the communications as a matter of fact and that is why it was likely hacked. Nuke threats don't mean shit btw. I'd be more afraid if the Chinese stopped buying treasuries. Oh wait they are doing that.

fnord88's picture

From what I have read it didn't even need to be hacked. Apparently if it loses communications it is programmed to find a safe place to land, so all you really need to do is Jam it.

duo's picture

"Remember the Maine"

"Remember Pearl Harbor"

"Remember the Gulf of Tonkin"

"Remember 9/11"

"Remember ????????"

Whatever ???????????? is, it's gonna be bad.

Randall Cabot's picture

And especially remember the jewish attack on the USS Liberty!!!

CaptainObvious's picture

Dude, you forgot "Remember the Alamo".

CrazyCooter's picture

Aw, now you done it ... I gonna' have to post some Alamo history put to music for those in ZH inclined to appreciate such things ...

Those two tracks are off the album, The Eagle and the Snake. If you like your guitar/music blended with history, you might see some other work by the musician (Brian Burns).

For all you ZHers spoiling for a fight, I suggest ...

... and for you military types ... remember the cavalry?

... and for those who served ...

... thank you ... and welcome home.



TBT or not TBT's picture

He also forgot "remember the 300"

disabledvet's picture

strange way to start one: cut the Marine Corps in half? just a thought of course...

DanDaley's picture

There is never a perfect time to go to war.  As for debt, remember that the NAZIs in 1939 were in debt up to their eyeballs and had little choice but to go to war.  Sound familiar?

philipat's picture



The only problem with this grand scheme, with which I agree, is the price of gas and it's impact on the economy ahead of and on the election. Expect lots of "Surprise" increases in oil inventory over the next few months and PD's assisting to push the increase in oil prices back down until the war starts. Then it no longer matters because we can all get wrapped up in the flag and support our brave boys overseas.


Nobody For President's picture

OK LH, I've got June 18th - takes time to get all the pieces in place...

Bananamerican's picture

April 16th-Boston marathon day.....


get it ?

sushi's picture

The posturing is getting absurd but all of these fools have fingers on triggers.

As for coverage ZH is the only source (apart from Asia Times) providing decent coverage.

disabledvet's picture

yep. and we like sushi here too.

sun tzu's picture

I'm waiting for the false flag terrorist attack on American soil that will be blamed on Iran. This will accomplish two objectives for the evil bastards in power:

1. excuse to start a war with Iran

2. further the police state with more fascist checkpoints

non_anon's picture

waiting for the crescendo from the fat bitch in this comic opera

HungrySeagull's picture

Him or Her?


Undergoing a stress test at the moment dont you know?

rajat_bhatia's picture

As usual they ignore the Black Swan event of Aliens attacking Iran. If they can bailout the ECB, they can do anything.

bugs_'s picture

My name is Beldar.....I am from France.

John_Coltrane's picture

...'must consume mass quantities of food!"

macholatte's picture

I heard that Soros just bought Barry another Peace Prize. Now that's planning ahead.