US-led military strikes against Iran are inevitable this year if Tehran does not give ground at multilateral talks next month over its nuclear programme, according to diplomatic sources in Moscow.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, has asked Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov to warn Iran the negotiations represent a “last chance” to avoid military action, the Kommersant newspaper reported.
“Hillary Clinton asked her Russian colleague to pass that thought on to the Iranian authorities, with whom Washington does not maintain its own relations,” a high-ranking foreign ministry source told the paper.
The source said there was a high likelihood of an attack “before the end of the year”, adding: “The Israelis are, in essence, blackmailing [US president Barack] Obama. They are Read more…
Strap on that safety belt for one wild summer of frantic trading in the energy complex, according to economist, prolific author and wealth strategist, Stephen Leeb. He says gas prices in the US could reach $6 per gallon by the summer driving season.
And if there’s any economic event that could surely torpedo an already near-flat-lined US economy into a death spiral, it will come from a massive price hike in that most critical commodity to any economy—oil. According to the charts, oil has again breached the Read more…
The most recent threats of nuclear war come from the Russian foreign minister. Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov is threatening a “very big war” with “suffering across the world” if the west encourages anti-government uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa.
Russian threats of nuclear attack started out in Georgia back in 2008. These threats expanded to the trans-Caspian gas pipeline. Then they moved onto the expansion of NATO. Then onto Iran and Syria. Now these threats have expanded onto the entire Middle East and North Africa. Does anybody see a problem here?
Back in August of 2008 we got a first taste of Russia’s nuclear threats:
Moscow has issued an extraordinary warning to the West that military assistance to Georgia for use against South Ossetia or Abkhazia would be viewed as a “declaration of war” by Russia.
Later Russia issues an implied nuclear threat if Georgia joins NATO. Obvously, attack on Georgia would then be an attack on Read more…
Water supplies will begin running out in critical regions where they support cities, industries and food production — including in India, China and the Middle East — by 2030 due to over-extraction of groundwater, a scientist has warned.
“The world has experienced a boom in groundwater use, more than doubling the rate of extraction between 1960 and 2000 — with usage continuing to soar up to the present,” says Craig Simmons, director of the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT).
A recent satellite study has revealed falling groundwater tables in the US, India, China, Middle East and North Africa, where expanding agriculture and cities have increased water demand.
“Groundwater currently makes up about Read more…
The price of oil is still one of the most important factors shaping the economy. It can determine not just how much you’ll pay for a gallon of gasoline but also how fast the American and the eurozone economies will recover. It even has a say in who will be the next American president. This is why many people and companies try to predict the price of oil and better understand the events that influence its volatility.
Two people that tried to give it a shot are Gregory Copley and Yossef Bodansky, who are editors at GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs. They published a list of 8 strategic factors that will likely to influence the price of oil in 2012. This is a very interesting list, although it comes from a business-as-usual perspective, which doesn’t look much beyond the price volatility implications of geo-political events. Adding the green energy market point of view might provide an even more comprehensive picture of the upcoming year, so here’s our take on 2012: Read more…
Submitted by John C.K. Daly of OilPrice.com
Since 24 December the Iranian Navy has been holding its ten-day Velayat 90 naval exercises, covering an area in the Arabian Sea stretching from east of the Strait of Hormuz entrance to the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden. The day the maneuvers opened Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari told a press conference that the exercises were intended to show “Iran’s military prowess and defense capabilities in international waters, convey a message of peace and friendship to regional countries, and test the newest military equipment.” The exercise is Iran’s first naval training drill since May 2010, when the country held Read more…
Speaking to reporters aboard his plane bound for Israel as part of a Middle East tour, Panetta said it was crucial for Israel to shore up its relations with Egypt and other countries in the region that had proved valuable partners in the past.
“There’s not much question in my mind that they maintain that (military) edge. But the question you have to ask is it enough to maintain a military edge, if you’re isolating yourself in the diplomatic arena?” Panetta said.
“At this dramatic time in the Middle East, when there have been so many changes, it’s not a good situation for Israel to become increasingly isolated. And that’s what’s happening,” he said.
Panetta, who was due to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Monday before heading to Read more…
Peru’s Nazca Lines, the mysterious geoglyphs etched into the desert centuries ago by indigenous groups, are world famous – and now thousands of similar patterns have been found in the Middle East.
Satellite and aerial photography has revealed mysterious stone ‘wheels’ that are more numerous and older than the Nazca Lines in countries such as Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
The structures are thought to date back 2,000 years, but why they were built is baffling archaeologists and historians.
Israel was forced to evacuate its ambassador and most of its diplomatic staff from Cairo this weekend after hundreds of Egyptian protesters tore down a security wall protecting the Nile-side embassy, ransacked its files and burned an Israeli flag. It came less than a week after Turkey, Israel’s other major ally in the Muslim world, announced it was expelling the Israeli ambassador and downgrading its relationship to the lowest possible level after a deadly skirmish involving a Turkish aid vessel that was attempting to Read more…
Iranian missile (Photo: Reuters)
Recent revolutions in the Arab world and the deteriorating ties with Turkey are raising the likelihood of a regional war in the Middle East, IDF Home Front Command Chief, Major General Eyal Eisenberg warned Monday.
“It looks like the Arab Spring, but it can also be a radical Islamic winter,” he said in a speech at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.
“This leads us to the conclusion that through a long-term process, the likelihood of an all-out war is increasingly growing,” the IDF general said.
“Iran has not abandoned its nuclear program. The opposite it true; it continues full steam ahead,” he said. “In Egypt, the army is collapsing under the burden of regular security operations, and this is reflected in the loss of control in the Sinai and the turning of the border with Israel into a terror border, with the possibility that Sinai will fall under the control of an Islamic entity.”