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A handout picture released by the official website of Iran's presidency office shows Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits Natanz uranium enrichment facilities some 300 kms, south of the capital Tehran on April 8, 2008. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad annonced on Tuesday that Iran is starting work to install 6,000 new uranium-enriching centrifuges at its nuclear plant in Natanz. AFP PHOTO/HO/IRAN'S PRESIDENCY OFFICE WEBSITE --RESTRICTED EDITORIAL USE-- (Photo credit should read HO/AFP/Getty Images)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
checks out uranium centrifuges.
However anyone feels about the sanctions imposed on Iran because of its nuclear program, one thing is clear: They are having an impact. From that perspective, they are a foreign-policy win for Barack Obama and more trouble for the Republicans whose rhetoric on Iran is heavy on chest-thumping and light on details.

Sanctions haven't spurred an increases in world oil prices. Nor an increase in U.S. gasoline prices. And that has meant another victory for Obama barely more than three months ahead of an election in which, just a few months ago, Republicans figured higher prices would be a handy cudgel with which to whack the administration.

Gasoline prices peaked nationwide this year at $3.94 a gallon, fell steadily until July 1 when they hit $3.33, and have in the past month climbed back to today's $3.53. Last year at this time, gasoline averaged $3.70 a gallon. The highest ever, not adjusted for inflation, was in July 2008, when the gallon price nationwide hit $4.11. There are wide regional variations. While gasoline prices may continue to rise slowly for a week or two it's unlikely they will return to their April peak in more than a few local markets. After Labor Day, they will head down sharply, and undermine any utility they might have as a Republican talking point.

It could have turned out differently. Just the threat of extra sanctions on Iran helped send prices of crude soaring the first three months of the year. But extra output from Saudi Arabia and a slowing global economy have eased any upward pressure on prices.

Part of what's happening is due to a global economic slowdown that has lowered demand for oil. That cuts both ways. When the price goes up, it tends to stop consumer spending on other items. That weakens the economy and slows down hiring. When the price goes down because of lowered demand, consumers spend more on other things, and that spurs businesses to order more goods, which leads to more hiring. The balance point is an ever-moving target.

The pressure on Iran has been ratcheted up as a means to stop the nuclear development that Tehran's leaders say is solely for civilian uses but that many other nations, especially the United States and Israel, claim is a prelude to building nuclear weapons. Under the sanctions that began July 1, no buying, shipping, financing or insuring of Iranian crude is allowed.

Those prohibitions, write Anthony DiPaola and Isaac Arnsdorf, are now costing Iran $133 million in revenue a day. That's $48 billion a year, 10 percent of the Iranian economy. Crude oil exports have fallen by 1.2 million barrels a day. That's a drop of about one-third of Iran's daily production in June.

Whether this will have the desired political effect—force Iran to give up elements of its nuclear development program—is yet to be seen. But the economic impact is clearly not small. And that could help spur the Iranian domestic resistance that was crushed three years ago back into action the way economic issues initially sparked the "Arab spring." While previous sanctions did not push Tehran to do what the imposers desired, the latest round are the toughest yet.

This puts Romney in a bind. His oratory about the necessity of stopping Iran from getting the capability of building a nuclear weapon sounds tougher on the surface than Obama's. But nothing he has said suggests that he would actually go further than the current occupant of the White House. Obama has also said it is imperative to stop Iran from getting nuclear capability. The difference is that the president, in public at least, does not support a near-term military strike on Iran. For all the talk by the bomb-bomb-bomb neoconservative foreign-policy advisers on his campaign team, Mitt Romney's public statements on the matter are not clear on the matter of a near-term strike.

Bottom line: Neither the price of gasoline nor casual jingoism seems likely to give Romney much traction in the next few months beyond the cohort of Americans already predisposed to vote for him.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 02:09 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Score 2 for a flat economy, too. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 02:13:13 PM PDT

  •  However anyone feels... (17+ / 0-)

    Well, here's how I feel: the sanctions are collective punishment that hurt poor Iranian citizens, strengthen hardliners, and grease the skids toward war.

    Spare us such "victories."

    •  +2 for david mizner nt (9+ / 0-)

      “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

      by 420 forever on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 02:22:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't disagree. Sanctions sometimes work... (9+ / 0-)

      ...Those against South Africa, for instance. But in that case the South Africa resistance supported the sanctions. The problem with Iran is that sanctions—at least these draconian ones—are likely to nudge Iranians who despise their government into supporting it. It's long been clear that most Iranians (including my Iranian-American friends who want Ahmadinejad ousted and then keel-hauled in the Persian Gulf) think there is no reason Iran should not have the full range of the commercial nuclear process, including uranium enrichment. Then, too, there are those who believe there is no reason Iran should not have the Bomb, and they aren't all hard-liners.

      Personally, I'd like to see everybody give up their Bombs. But the U.S. game of saying it's okay for India, Pakistan and Israel to have the Bomb but not Iran is transparently unprincipled, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty being used as both a hammer and a cloak.

      For now we're stuck with two guys whose differences on how to deal with Iran's nuclear program are not great, only that Obama has thought about its and its aftermath a lot more than the 5 minutes Romney has given to what he's been told by John Bolton (and the rest of the foreign policy advisory team).

      If I were an Iranian leader right now, I'd just say: "Look, we already have the Bomb." Since we are constantly told nobody will attack them thinking they have that kind of weapon for response, Tehran could stick to the same policy as Tel Aviv: nuclear ambiguity.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 02:57:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The effect of (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TimmyB, JesseCW

        sanctions on Apartheid is debatable -- their impact is sometimes overstated -- but in any case, there's no real comparison between the "national security" sanctions on Iran and the human rights-based sanctions on SA, which targeted white supremacy and which, as you say, had the support of the regime's chief opponents.

      •  Why is it unprincipled to say (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cocinero, 207wickedgood, thomask

        that Iran should be denied nuclear weapons. The Iranian leadership continuously make statements about destroying Israel.  They are virulently anti-semetic and fanatical twelver Shiites.  So what is Israel to conclude? That it should just allow Iran to attain nuclear weapons and hope for the best?  I'm really not following your argument here.

        •  There is both a spirit and the letter of the... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vcmvo2, ksuwildkat, dclawyer06

          ...treaty. By its behavior regarding the Indian, Pakistani and Israeli nuclear arsenals, the U.S., through multiple administrations, has shown that its stance regarding non-proliferation is a sham based more on self-interestedness than principle.

          Persuading Iran to go farther than anyone else in examining its nuclear facilities seems seems perfectly reasonable to me given Iran's past attempts to conceal efforts that were clearly directed toward Bomb-making.

          But striking Iran's nuclear facilities, a la the Begin Doctrine, means thousands of casualties, perhaps thousands of fatalities. And heavy-duty blowback. That would be a strike not against the imminent building of a Bomb but Iran's getting the capability to build one. Under international law dating back to Grotius, that's preventive war, in other words, war of aggression. If that is to be allowed against Iran, why can not some other nation engage in it against whomever?

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 04:08:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know about Grotius, but it occurs to me (0+ / 0-)

            that sometimes preventive war is justified and sometimes it is not.  It depends on the circumstances.  Nobody is talking about invading Iran here--it's a missile and/or air attack to destroy and degrade their nuclear capability.  I'm not looking forward to this eventuality--but the Iranian leadership is completely nuts.  

            •  We do not disagree about the Iranian leadership... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RonV, Sybil Liberty, vcmvo2, a2nite

              ...but we are in complete disagreement about preventive war.

              Pre-emptive war is something permitted under international law. That's when a nation attacks another to stave off an imminent attack of clear preparations for one. Stopping that is self-defense. And that's always allowed.

              Preventive war is attacking someone who, someday, if he gets it together, may possibly attack you. That's never permissible.

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 04:31:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Doesn't this entire Iranian fixation on Israel (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                207wickedgood

                strike you as totally bizzare.  Iran does not border Israel, so there is no land argument between them. It is some 800 miles away with other countries in between. Yet Iran publicly threatens to destroy Israel because of religion--the Muslim concept thay no non-muslim country can exist in a formerly Muslim land.  And they hate Israel because it is Jewish--they say it over and over, publicly.  Why cut them any slack?

            •  Wont work (0+ / 0-)

              Iran is not Iraq.  It is not Syria.  It is an order of magnitude larger and its leaders learned from what happened to its neighbors.

              Iranian nuclear facilities are spread out and many are in areas with large urban populations.  Any attempt to strike them would result in devastating huge civilian populations and unless you hit every one at the same time you might not get "the" one.  

              The Iranian leadership is not nuts.  "Im a Whack Job" is but he is not really in charge.  The real leaders are quiet pragmatic and know that they are walking a tightrope.  They have no intention of falling off.

              It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

              by ksuwildkat on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 07:57:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  If it is licit for Iran to possess nuclear weapons (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ksuwildkat

          Then that should be because it is inherently their right by virtue of being a nation-state and not a privilege contingent upon good behavior (with the U.S. as the arbiter of what constitutes "good behavior").

          •  As a signatory to the NPT, it is not licit... (0+ / 0-)

            ...for Iran to possess nuclear weapons. It would, if it wished to remain true to the treaty, have to give six-month notice that it was no longer bound by the treaty before building or otherwise acquiring such a weapon.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 08:11:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Is there an enforcement mechanism (0+ / 0-)

              Or is it really just a gentleman's agreement?

              •  Nations that violate it are subject to sanctions.. (0+ / 0-)

                ...So far, no nation that signed has actually built a Bomb. South Africa acceded to the NPT in 1993 after dismantling its small arsenal of nukes. North Korea withdrew from the NPT in 2003. Libya was a signatory but tried to build nuclear weapons anyway. It gave this up in 2003 and is now fully compliant after inspections.

                Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                by Meteor Blades on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 08:27:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The US is a signatory, and has repeatedly violated (0+ / 0-)

                  it by assisting non-signatories develop their nuclear industries.  We are, in fact, in flagrant violation right now in providing India with tens of millions of dollars a year in assistance.

                  The only real "punishment" mentioned in the treaty itself is that signatories promise not to assist non-signatories and non-compliant nations develop their nuclear programs.

                  All Cretans are sockpuppets. -- Epimenides the Cretan

                  by JesseCW on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 11:14:52 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Of course, bringing one of the helpers... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...especially one of the big helpers to the UN by the IAEA ain't going to happen. I've made clear earlier in this subthread what I think about the U.S. role:

                    By its behavior regarding the Indian, Pakistani and Israeli nuclear arsenals, the U.S., through multiple administrations, has shown that its stance regarding non-proliferation is a sham based more on self-interestedness than principle.

                    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                    by Meteor Blades on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 12:36:29 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The NPT does not include any provisions for the (0+ / 0-)

                      sort of economic sanctions the UN has authorized.  The only "stick" in the treaty is withdrawing access to the carrot.

                      The current course is what you're devoted to maintaining at all costs.

                      You can pretend otherwise...but read your own sig line.

                      Malnurished kids are "worth it" when you believe you've got some higher goal, I suppose, Madam Albright.

                      All Cretans are sockpuppets. -- Epimenides the Cretan

                      by JesseCW on Sat Aug 04, 2012 at 11:22:17 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  Obama's Warmongering with Iran is Fucking Great! (3+ / 0-)

          Shorter diary---Obama's warmongering over Iran's nonexistant nuke bomb program dilutes the effect Romney's warmongering will have voters.  Yippeee!!!!
          Plus, the shitty and getting shittier economy is keeping the demand and prices for oil low.  Yippeee x 2!!!!.

          Here's an idea, why don't we leave the Iranians alone?  There is no evidence they are trying to make an atomic bomb.  Let me repeat this simple fact----There is NO Evidence Iran is attempting to build an atomic bomb.

          Furthermore, Iran's leadership has made no statements about destroying Israel  That claim, same as the claim Iran is trying to build an atomic bomb, is complete bullshit.

          I get that Obama might have some political pressure from the right to be a warmonger, but I don't think we should be touting the fact that Obama is so spineless that he can't buck the anti-Iran tide, same as he can't go against Wall Street, the oil companies, the health insurance companies, or any of the other 1%ers who own this country and make the lives of the 99% pure misery.

          Warmongering is warmongering, and I don't approve of it simply because the warmongering comes from "Team Blue."  No good will come of this warmongering.  None at all.          
             

          •  The diary is not about an attack on Iran's... (0+ / 0-)

            ...nuclear facilities, which, since I wrote my first post on this subject at Daily Kos nine years ago, I oppose absolutely.

            The diary is about the economic impact on Iran, the domestic impact in the United States, and the impact it may have on the two political campaigns that have just three months to go.

            It is mistaken to say that there is no evidence that Iran is trying to build or seeks to build a nuclear weapon. It is accurate to say there is no proof. Two very different things. The authors of the reports of the IAEA and of the two U.S. National Intelligence Estimates regarding Iran's nuclear activities certainly do not claim there is no evidence.

            Here's what the highly respected (and anything but a warmonger) reporter James Risen had to say about this in March:

            Much of what analysts sift through are shards of information that are ambiguous or incomplete, sometimes not up to date, and that typically offer more insight about what the Iranians are not doing than evidence of what they are up to.

            As a result, officials caution that they cannot offer certainty. “I’d say that I have about 75 percent confidence in the assessment that they haven’t restarted the program,” said one former senior intelligence official.

            Another former intelligence official said: “Iran is the hardest intelligence target there is. It is harder by far than North Korea.

            “In large part, that’s because their system is so confusing,” he said, which “has the effect of making it difficult to determine who speaks authoritatively on what.”

            And, he added, “We’re not on the ground, and not having our people on the ground to catch nuance is a problem.”

            Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful civilian purposes, but American intelligence agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency have picked up evidence in recent years that some Iranian research activities that may be weapons-related have continued since 2003, officials said. That information has not been significant enough for the spy agencies to alter their view that the weapons program has not been restarted.

            That's a much more nuanced view that there-is-no-evidence.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 08:20:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Where is YOUR evidence? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JesseCW

              If you claim there is evidence, why don't you provide one piconcerece showing a nuke bomb program exists?

              Concerning Obama's warmongering, and its effects here and in Iran, the point you miss is that it is immoral.  Thus, I find a diary touting Obama's warmongering as a win here and in Iran to be disgusting.  Sorry if I don't see the upside to threatening war with Iran.

              •  The diary does not tout warmongering... (0+ / 0-)

                ...I make it clear from the beginning:

                However anyone feels about the sanctions imposed on Iran because of its nuclear program, one thing is clear: They are having an impact. From that perspective, they are a foreign-policy win

                Not from a moral perspective. That's a different matter. A couple of pieces of evidence:

                Iranian Production of 19.75 Percent Enriched Uranium: Beyond Its Realistic Needs. Proof? No, just evidence.

                • Google "Parchin" and you can read several stories about what some purport to be a test site for testing explosives for nuclear detonations. Don't stop after reading Justin Raimondo's piece on the subject. Is this proof? No. It's just evidence.

                And both of these bits of evidence may turn out be nothing, completely legitimate. Or they may not.

                As noted, I oppose an attack on Iran. Period. But it will take a lot more than the assurances of a mass murderer and the authors of an NIE who are 75% sure that Iran is not building a Bomb.

                Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                by Meteor Blades on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 09:38:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  20% Enriched Uranium is Not Evidence of an Atomic (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JesseCW

                  Bomb.  It is useless for that purpose.  It needs to be enriched to over 90%.  Concerning explosives research, I will research this later.  However, the US has said there is no evidence.Iram is currently.working on an atomic bomb,

                  Concerning you touting Obama's warmongering, your claim that you are against war gets you nothing.  It is like claiming to be against the death penalty while writing how effective it is.

                  •  Three points: (0+ / 0-)

                    • I am not saying Iran is building a Bomb. I am saying that your claim that there is no evidence it is attempting to build a Bomb is inaccurate. There is some. There is also evidence indicating that it is not.

                    • The U.S. does not say there is no evidence. The NIEs state that based on the evidence, the view is that it probably is not. The authors of the reports believe the evidence leans toward their conclusion Iran is developing a Bomb. One of them gives that a ranking of 75% certainty. That is far from saying there is no evidence.

                    • Your view that 20% enriched uranium is useless for a Bomb is in error. Enriching to this level is a step along the way, a necessary step toward making the highly enriched uranium needed. Does the fact that Iran is making large amounts of 19.75% enriched uranium mean it is making or planning to make a Bomb clear evidence that it is doing either? No. But it is suspicious. From the previouslylinked assessment:

                    Iran ostensibly maintains that its production of 19.75 percent LEU is for peaceful purposes, justifying its increased enrichment with plans to expand its civil nuclear program.  However, Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said in an August 2011 interview published by IRNA that  Iran had “already exceeded the required amount” for the TRR (Tehran Research Reactor). Despite Iran having already produced many years worth of 19.75 percent LEU for the TRR, Abbasi-Davani added that Iran will nonetheless continue to produce 19.75 percent LEU. Abbasi-Davani said that Iran planned to build “four to five research reactors of 10 to 20 megawatts” within the next few years.

                    However, the likelihood that Iran could execute this plan is extremely low. Reactor construction is complicated by Iran’s need to procure sensitive goods from abroad.  Given existing sanctions, these goods would be extremely difficult to obtain. Additionally, Iran has no tested capability to build such research reactors, and completing the first will likely take many years.  By any realistic analysis, Iran is making far more 19.75 percent uranium than it needs.

                    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                    by Meteor Blades on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 12:14:30 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Correx: (0+ / 0-)

                      The authors of the reports believe the evidence leans toward their conclusion Iran is NOT developing a Bomb.

                      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                      by Meteor Blades on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 12:38:43 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Everyone Says Iran NOT Building Bomb (0+ / 0-)

                        There is no evidence Iran has an atomic bomb program.  If there were evidence showing that Iran has an atomic bomb program, then we would certainly would have learned what that evidence is.  

                        Enriching up to 20% isn't evidence of a bomb program.  The paper you cite to states the following very clearly on page 2:

                        Thus, the key question remains: If Iran decides to make nuclear weapons, how will Iran acquire enough weapon-grade uranium to make nuclear weapons?
                        Again, there isn't any evidence that Iran has decided to try to make a bomb.  The paper you cite to is based upon Iran making the hypothetical decision to build a bomb.  Thus, nothing in that paper is evidence Iran has an ongoing bomb program.

                        Unlike you, the authors of the NIE report have weighed what evidence they have and concluded that Iran does NOT have a nuke bomb program.  Somehow, I think the U.S. spy agencies, if they had any evidence whatsoever Iran had an ongoing atomic weapons program, their assesment would have turned out very very different.

                        Some unnamed person claiming the chances are 75-25% against isn't evidence either.  

            •  You go to the polls supporting the war-monger (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TimmyB

              you have, not the war-monger you wish you had.

              All Cretans are sockpuppets. -- Epimenides the Cretan

              by JesseCW on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 11:15:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  And what if they do "get the bomb"? (0+ / 0-)

          What can they do with one?  Nothing.  Even 2 or 5 = nothing.  

          A nuclear bomb is a one way ticket to oblivion now.  India and Pakistan have nukes as much to protect themselves against China as to enforce MAD on each other.  But if either were to use nukes unprovoked and in any situation short of regime survival, the swift and brutal international reaction would be devastating.  

          Yes, Israel would suffer if Iran decided to use a nuclear device but that suffering would be a rounding error on the retribution visited on Iran.

          Lets just say that the Iranians built a device.  They still have to weaponize it - ie figure out how to strap it on a missile.  That is not an easy task.  Next they have to weaponize a missile with enough range and accuracy to reach Israel with 100% accuracy.  Remember, the line between Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria is pretty small when you are 1400KM+ away.  

          Ok so they weaponize a missile that can reach the target with an error ellipse under 1KM (i.e. it will hit somewhere within 1KM of where they want it to.  By comparison the North Koreans - who are ahead of the Iranians - can only achieve a 10KM error ellipse).  To get to the target they will have to fire over Iraq, Jordan, Syria and/or Saudi Arabia.  None of these countries are friendly to Iran and all would have reason to believe that the missile was headed their way.  Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria and Israel all have the capability to shoot down ballistic missiles.  If they get even close they could do enough damage to send the missile off course or cause it not to detonate.

          Even if they overcome ALL of those barriers, the instant they fire the missile we - the US - will know EXACTLY where it came from and where it is headed.  Before it even has the opportunity to detonate, Israel will respond.  The moment it does detonate, we will respond.  There will be no more Iran.  The leaders of Iran are fully aware of this.

          Iran is building nukes because it can.  Because it is an ancient and proud society that believes it should be part of the big boy country club.  Let them build just like South Africa did.  It will do them no good.

          It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

          by ksuwildkat on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 07:52:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How should the US respond? (0+ / 0-)

            Should there be an explicit promise of a retaliatory nuclear strike against a country such as Iran if it uses a hypothetical nuclear weapon?  I'd like to see someone map out what the response should be and how devastating the effects would be, so one can examine the relative cost of acting earlier in a preventative manner to waiting and reacting to something that may or may not occur.

            Should the same policy of "let them build one" apply to North Korea?

        •  You understand that most Shia are Twelvers, right? (0+ / 0-)

          By a huge margin.

          Israel is being run by racist anti-Muslim bigots who believe that it's ok to roast children alive with white phosphorus as a distraction during election season.  Much of its leadership has called for bombing Iran.

          So, what is Iran to conclude?  That they should just trust the US to rein the nuclear armed madmen in?

          All Cretans are sockpuppets. -- Epimenides the Cretan

          by JesseCW on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 11:11:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Every great evil done in the last couple of (0+ / 0-)

        centuries has been done by people who adamantly insisted it was a "lesser evil".

        All Cretans are sockpuppets. -- Epimenides the Cretan

        by JesseCW on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 11:07:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  i wonder if one reason this hasn't boosted oil (5+ / 0-)

    prices globally is that iran's oil is still being sold to india, china and other countries.

  •  Well, the home - front political news is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler, JesseCW

    good. The ongoing war on Iran? Dunno. For starts, just like the Chalabi fail, we'll never install Pahlavi Junior on the throne there, and they will, someday, obtain nuclear power so we will eventually lose that little economic colonialism goal, and we have now somewhat totally undermined the nuclear proliferation treaty - it is laughable and I cannot imagine any government today signing it, since there would be no benefit.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 02:21:08 PM PDT

  •  From my conversations with Iranians who (6+ / 0-)

    come to Antalya for their holidays, and a lot do, the US is being blamed - not the Iranian Government - by people in Iran for any hardships caused by the sanctions.

    Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

    by InAntalya on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 02:24:20 PM PDT

  •  Making things worse for Romney (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, a2nite, Gooserock, vcmvo2

    is that it doesn't seem to matter to either the Thinktank, the Establishment, or the Teahadi wing of the Movement Conservative Right if the sanctions are working or not. They want Iran on fire. Period. The only debate seems to be over who does it. The U.S., the Israelis, or both. Reality on the ground, or in the region, be damned. Watching conservative conferences on C-SPAN is as freaky as listening to Sean Hannity's radio show listeners calling in.

    If you overhear a talk radio listening yahoo you might as well be talking to a Heritage Foundation visiting scholar at a conference the 'We Must Get Iran' crazy is so fixed into their system and devoid of sound thinking about what is in the best interests of the country and the world.

    I think it's one of the few things bigger than the idea of Obama Derangement Syndome and 'Not Giving the Black President They Didn't Vote For any Credit' in general.

    They have a Movement-wide collective revenge fantasy about killing 'evil' Iranians (as if you are guilty by virtue of being born and living there) to save the world that rivals any 80's action-adventure film plotline hardwired into them.
    If Mr. Never Be Specific Mitt Romney ever has to get specific, or bust, his specifics are going to have to outdue decades of the worst of Sly Stallone and Chuck Norris to satisfy the mob and the more specific he got the less likely he'd be able to sell himself as a credible President to non-crazies right before a national election.

     

    I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 02:36:55 PM PDT

  •  The alternative unthinkable. (5+ / 0-)

    "Four more years!" (Obama Unencumbered - The Sequel)

    by jwinIL14 on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 02:39:59 PM PDT

  •  I read an article back in June that said that (3+ / 0-)

    Saudi Arabia is purposely flooding the market with oil so the price won't go up. Miraculously, I was able to remember enough key words to find the article again when searching: Saudi Arabia vs high oil prices: It’s not all about the money.

    While searching for that article, I found another one:

    The surprise involves Saudi Arabia, which is now asserting power in the region. It's doing it in two ways. First, it is taking sides in the Syrian conflict. Saudi Arabia wants a stake in the outcome. To get that stake, it is reportedly bankrolling the Free Syrian Army, an armed opposition group operating within Syria.

    Second, it appears that Saudi Arabia is preparing for direct conflict with Iran. It has an aggressive economic program already under way. Its goal is to force Iran to market its oil at a loss. The Saudis would accomplish this by saturating international markets with an oversupply of oil, which would sink market prices well below Iran's $117-per-barrel production costs.

    Geopolitical Risk to the Oil Trade

    For me, Mitt reminds me of Jeff Bridges in Starman. He's like an alien that hasn't read the entire manual. You know, he's going, "Nice to be in a place where the trees are the right size. -- Robin Williams on Letterman 26 Apr 2012

    by hungrycoyote on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 02:46:38 PM PDT

    •  Saudi King (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hungrycoyote

      King Abdullah HATES Al-Asad.  They have a long running feud that has come close to being a shooting war on multiple occasions.  #2 on his list of enemies is Iran.  

      The Saudis have a fixed cost of about $20-30 a barrel.  I was in Riyadh when oil hit $140 and I wrote an estimate that the government was pulling in $700 million A DAY above their projections.  Not $700 million a day total, $700 million a day above their projections.  

      The King would prefer oil to sell in the $80-120 range.  Too low and there is not enough money.  Too high and demand goes down.  Way too high and alternative energy research happens.  That is the LAST thing he wants!  He would love to have the price of oil sit just above the cost of production for the Iranians.  Just enough to make them pump but not enough to make them rich.  

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 08:11:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Anything that helps keep another raging (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    Republican loon Conservative from the reins of power which come with the job of US President is a 'good one', so far as I am concerned.

    * * *
    I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization
    -- SCOTUS Justice O.W. Holmes Jr.
    * * *
    "A Better World is Possible"
    -- #Occupy

    by Angie in WA State on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 02:54:04 PM PDT

  •  We only invade countries that don't have nukes. (4+ / 0-)

    This is what’s making the no-nuke thing problematic.

  •  IIRC that's a picture of Mr A at Natanz (0+ / 0-)

    which was trashed by a computer virus without firing a shot in anger...

    Not blaming Bush for the mess we're in, is like not blaming a train engineer for a fatal train wreck because he's no longer driving the train.

    by JML9999 on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 06:39:39 PM PDT

  •  never under estimate the stupidity of evil RW (0+ / 0-)

    voters.

    Americans love war & killing. Thats what were
    good at.

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 06:47:16 PM PDT

  •  Maybe not yet. (0+ / 0-)
    oil prices have not risen as analysts feared
    But, by way of anecdote the price at my corner gas station shot up 20 cents today, from $3.99 to $4.19. Overnight. That's two stations, on opposite corners of a busy, suburban state highway intersection. That's 5%. In one day.

    Something is going on and it looks nothing like a price reduction to me. It looks more like "markets be damned, We (what Molly Ivans called the Awl Bidness) are going to hang high gas prices around the President's neck again, in time for the election." Or maybe something, innocent, perhaps.

    The stain of Bain is wrecking Romney's name. h/t to Lerner & Lowe

    by LeftOfYou on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 06:49:50 PM PDT

  •  as long as Euro prescribes austerity and flirts (0+ / 0-)

    with the collapse of the entire Euro zone, oil will be cheap as a sluggish economy means less demand for oil

  •  Yeah, I'm in the crowd that thinks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    420 forever

    Cuba and Iraq are cautionary tales on the effectiveness of sanctions.

  •  The "free market" dictates ga s prices, fuck theRs (0+ / 0-)

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 07:32:42 PM PDT

  •  What if (0+ / 0-)

    Israel goes ahead and bombs Iran in September or October.  What effect will that have on the U.S. elections?  We know Israel's hardliners desperately want a Romney presidency.

    I honestly have no idea.  I'm wondering if anybody else does.

  •  This isn't about Irans nuclear program. (0+ / 0-)

    It's about replacing the Government in Iran with one that will sign sweetheart deals with Western oil firms, and which will by US bonds and arms.

    And you know that.

    All Cretans are sockpuppets. -- Epimenides the Cretan

    by JesseCW on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 11:02:45 PM PDT

  •  If you would like to read over 50 documents... (0+ / 0-)

    ...regarding Iran's "nuclear ambitions", then go here.

    These documents span from August 1967 to the currently most recent document of May 2012.

    The first document INFCIRC/97 (dated 31 August 1967) may be of special interest...

    Article II Section 5 on Page 4 gives the prices that the US will sell to Iran its enriched Uranium 235. This is not 5% enriched uranium for nuclear power plant use, nor is it 20% enriched for medical research reactor's, it's: 90% enriched at $10.808 per gram, or 92% enriched at $11.061 per gram, or 93% enriched at $11.188 per gram, or 94% enriched at $11.315 per gram. It's up to Iran to pick which level of weapons grade uranium it wants the US to supply. Plus, the US is throwing in plutonium in the neutron source at $43.00 per gram.

    If you read all these documents, you'll find that the only country that has ever tried to sell weapons grade levels of enriched Uranium to Iran, is USA.

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