What is today's most underreported news of the day, and the reason Brent is breaking out, is that according to WaPo, IAEA is about to report that Iran is on the verge of becoming a nuclear state: needless to say this is just the green light all of its enemies need to launch a pre-emptive strike (not to mention, GDP-boosting). Below is some must read commentary from Emad Mostaque of Religare Capital Markets on what this IAEA finding will mean for the region, for the world and for what really matters: capital markets.
The IAEA report on Iranian weaponization is due to come out earlier than expected on Nov 9th. We maintain our belief that this report is likely to state that Iran close to becoming a full nuclear power and we look at the near term implications in this note.
- Nothing new: The report is unlikely to contain much new information, but rather to “connect-the-dots” in line with increasing US/Israeli influence over the IAEA. It is very difficult to prove weaponization absent a mushroom cloud.
- Breaking out: We believe that Iran does not intend to create nuclear weapons but are looking to reach “breakout” potential to act as a deterrent. We believe this is 6-12 months away, shifting the balance of power significantly. Iran will continue with its program regardless of international sanctions or pressure.
- Oil support, sanctions and attacks: Oil should get more support and take the Brent-WTI spread back toward $20 given the broken nature of that market. The first move may be to sanction the Central Bank of Iran, cutting oil exports and dividend repatriation (negative for MTN and the like). Russia and China will push back on this toward the end of the month, increasing the probability of an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities late November/December, which we upgraded to 40% a month ago.