Iran

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Will Mideast Allies Drag Us Into War?





Turkey’s shoot-down of a Russian jet and the Saudi execution of a revered Shiite cleric, who threatened no one in prison, should cause the United States to undertake a cost-benefit analysis of the alliances and war guarantees we have outstanding, many of them dating back half a century. Do all, do any, still serve U.S. vital national interests?

 
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Nomi Prins' Financial Road Map For 2016: "The Potential For Chaotic Fluctuations Is Greater Than Ever"





We are currently in a transitional phase of geo-political-monetary power struggles, capital flow decisions, and fundamental economic choices. This remains a period of artisanal (central bank fabricated) money, high volatility, low growth, excessive wealth inequality, extreme speculation, and policies that preserve the appearance of big bank liquidity and concentration at the expense of long-term stability. The potential for chaotic fluctuations in any element of the capital markets is greater than ever. The butterfly effect - the flutter of a wing in one part of the planet altering the course of seemingly unrelated events in another part - is on center stage.

 
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Saudi Arabia Or Iran? It's Time For Obama To Choose





"The United States should do everything possible to avoid choosing sides in an intensifying proxy war between the dominant Shiite and Sunni powers in the Middle East. Though history tells us we should tilt toward Saudi Arabia, our old ally, if we look toward the future, Iran is the more logical partner. The reasons are simple: Iran’s security interests are closer to ours than Saudi Arabia’s are."

 
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Saudi Aramco Bus Burns Down After "Terrorist Assault" In Qatif Region





Moments ago, according to Alriyadh.com, a bus belonging to Saudi Aramco was torched in a "terrorist assault" by “four armed rioters” in the country's unrest-filled Qatif region.

 
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Iran Unveils Second Underground "Missile City" In Further Humiliation For Obama





"We lack enough space in our stockpiles to house our missiles. Hundreds of long tunnels are full of missiles ready to fly to protect your integrity, independence and freedom. Those who threaten Iran with their military option on the table would better take a look at Iran’s ‘options under the table,’ namely the missile arsenals. Iran’s known military power is only the tip of the iceberg."

 
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Oil Tumbles After Saudis Slash Prices To Europe





"The Saudis are preparing for Iran’s return," said Mohamed Sadegh Memarian, who recently retired as the head of petroleum market analysis at Iran’s oil ministry, as they sharply cut the prices they charge for crude oil in Europe (to the biggest discount since Feb 2009). The move that will likely undercut Iran happens as sectarian tensions escalate between the rival Middle Eastern nations.

 
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As Mideast Tensions Soared, Traders Bet On Another Plunge In Oil Prices: Here's Why





That wasn't supposed to happen. In the not so distant past, a dramatic escalation in tensions between OPEC nations (in this case Iran and Saudi Arabia) would have led to a spike in crude oil prices. However, as futures opened Sunday night, the brief rally in oil prices was met with selling pressure and instead of buying calls, traders loaded up on $30 puts. The oil market's different this time - here's why...

 
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Stocks Resume Rout After Massive Chinese Intervention Fails To Lift Shanghai, Calm Traders





After yesterday's historic -6.9% rout in the Shanghai Composite, which saw the first new marketwide circuit breaker trading halt applied to Chinese stocks (on its first day of operation), many were wondering if the Chinese government would intervene in both the once again imploding stock market, as well as China's plunging and rapidly devaluing currency. And, after the SHCOMP opened down -3%, the government did not disappoint and promptly intervened in both the Yuan as well as the stock market, however with very mixed results which global stocks took a sign that the "national team" is no longer focused solely on stocks, and have resumed selling for a second consecutive day. 

 
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This Just Became The Most Important Map In Geopolitics





Because the sectarian divide is set to become the key geopolitical issue in the weeks and months ahead, we thought it an opportune time to present the following map from Goldman which does a nice job of delineating the Sunni-Shiite split in the Mid-East.

 
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Iraq Says Mosque Bombings Were False Flag ISIS Attacks





When a pair of Sunni mosques were bombed in Iraq on Sunday, the assumption was that the attacks were carried out by angry Shiites protesting the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. Iraqi officials on the other hand, blame ISIS. If Islamic State is behind the attacks, the question becomes this: were they instructed to carry out the bombings by a handler or a benefactor with a hidden agenda?

 
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Pretend To The Bitter End





There’s really one supreme element of this story that you must keep in view at all times: a society (i.e. an economy + a polity = a political economy) based on debt that will never be paid back is certain to crack up. Its institutions will stop functioning. Its business activities will seize up. Its leaders will be demoralized. Its denizens will act up and act out. Its wealth will evaporate. Given where we are in human history - the moment of techno-industrial over-reach - this crackup will not be easy to recover from. Things have gone too far in too many ways. The coming crackup will re-set the terms of civilized life to levels largely pre-techno-industrial. How far backward remains to be seen.

 
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2006 Redux? Israel Shells Lebanon After Hezbollah Bombs Israeli Convoy





“The Israelis are hiding like rats along the border. The retaliation to Samir’s assassination will inevitably come. Hezbollah would not tolerate the blood of our jihadist fighters and brothers to be shed anywhere in this world.”

 
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Byron Wien's Reveals Top 10 Predictions: Expects Stocks To Decline After Predicting 15% Rise In 2015





"The United States equity market has a down year. Stocks suffer from weak earnings, margin pressure (higher wages and no pricing power) and a price- earnings ratio contraction. Investors keeping large cash balances because of global instability is another reason for the disappointing performance."

 
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