T Nation

Bank Warning on Iran Strike

Major investment bank issues warning on strike against Iran
January 15, 2007
Bank sees February or March timeline if Israel strikes

Warning that investors might be “in for a shock,” a major investment bank has told the financial community that a preemptive strike by Israel with American backing could hit Iran’s nuclear program, RAW STORY has learned.

The banking division of ING Group released a memo on Jan. 9 entitled “Attacking Iran: The market impact of a surprise Israeli strike on its nuclear facilities.”

ING is a global financial services company of Dutch origin that includes banking, insurance, and other divisions. The report was authored by Charles Robinson, the Chief Economist for Emerging Europe, Middle East, and Africa. He also authored an update in ING’s daily update Prophet that further underscored the bank’s perception of the risks of an attack.

ING’s Robertson admitted that an attack on Iran was “high impact, if low probability,” but explained some of the reasons why a strike might go forward. The Jan. 9 dispatch, describes Israel as “not prepared to accept the same doctrine of ‘mutually assured destruction’ that kept the peace during the Cold War. Israel is adamant that this is not an option for such a geographically small country…So if Israel is convinced Iran is aiming to develop a nuclear weapon, it must presumably act at some point.”

Sketching out the time line for an attack, Robertson says that “we can be fairly sure that if Israel is going to act, it will be keen to do so while Bush and Cheney are in the White House.”

Robertson suggests a February-March 2007 timeline for several reasons. First, there is a comparable time line with Israel’s strike on Iraq’s nuclear program in 1981, including Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s political troubles within Israel. Second, late February will see Iran’s deadline to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 1737, and Israel could use a failure of Iran and the UN to follow through as justification for a strike. Finally, greater US military presence in the region at that time could be seen by Israel as the protection from retaliation that it needs.

In his Jan. 15 update, Robertson points to a political reason that could make the assault more likely - personnel changes in the Bush administration may have sidelined opponents of attacking Iran.

Preisdent Bush recently removed General John Abizaid as commander of US forces in the Middle East and John Negroponte as Director of National Intelligence, both of whom have said attacking Iran is not a priority or the right move at this time. The deployment of Patriot missile batteries, highlighted in President Bush’s recent White House speech on America’s Iraq policy, also pointed to a need to defend against Iranian missiles.

The ING memo was first sent to RAW STORY by an anonymous tip and confirmed Monday by staff on the bank’s emerging markets office, who passed along the Jan. 15 update. The full PDF documents can be downloaded at this link for the Jan. 9 report, and this link for the Jan. 15 update. A screenshot of the first page is provided below.
http://www.rawstory.com/news/2007/Major_investment_bank_issues_warning_on_0115.html

Ron Paul said it best:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6d8MIENVtKw

This may be the real deal guys. They just moved the hand of the “Doomsday Clock” forward this morning. Citing Iran and North Korea:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601102&sid=aTa7clkaxKCU&refer=uk

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-01/17/content_5615540.htm

Iran shoots down U.S. spy drone amid growing military pressure
www.chinaview.cn 2007-01-17 08:41:25

Special report: Iran Nuclear Crisis

by Liang Youchang

TEHRAN, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Iranian troops have shot down a U.S. pilotless spy plane recently, an Iranian lawmaker announced on Tuesday as the Islamic Republic was facing increasing military pressure from its arch rival -- the United States.

The aircraft was brought down when it was trying to cross the borders "during the last few days," Seyed Nezam Mola Hoveizeh, a member of the parliament, was quoted by the local Fars News Agency as saying.

The lawmaker gave no exact date of the shooting-down or any other details about the incident, but he said that "the United States sent such spy drones to the region every now and then."

SECOND U.S. AIRCRAFT CARRIER

The announcement came amid reports that the United States is increasingly flexing its muscles to counter Iran's growing regional assertiveness and put more pressure on Tehran over its controversial nuclear programs.

It was reported Tuesday that a second U.S. aircraft carrier, the USS John C. Stennis, will arrive in the Middle East in about one month, the first time since the U.S.-led Iraq war in 2003 that the United States will have two carrier battle groups in the region.

The USS John C. Stennis, a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered carrier that has a capacity for 5,000 sailors, is scheduled to sail Tuesday from its home port of Bremerton, Washington, said Commander Kevin Aandahl of the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain.

In about one month, the USS John C. Stennis, including an air wing of more than 80 tactical aircraft, will join Fifth Fleet forces that includes aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.

"This demonstrates our resolve to do what we can to bring security and stability to the region ... (and) dissuade others from acting counter to our national interest," Aandahl said.

U.S. President George W. Bush announced earlier this month that the United States was taking other steps to beef up security of Iraq and protect U.S. interests in the Middle East, such as sending an additional aircraft carrier to the Gulf and deploying Patriot air defense systems to the region.

HARSH REMARKS AGAINST IRAN

The latest move comes just one day after new U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates made harsh remarks against Iran, indicating that Iran's perception of U.S. vulnerability in the region was part of the reason the Pentagon sent the aircraft carrier and the Patriot missiles.

"The Iranians are acting in a very negative way in many respects," Gates told reporters on Monday after a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in Brussels.

"The Iranians clearly believe that we are tied down in Iraq, that they have the initiative, that they are in a position to press us in many ways," Gates said.

Gates also said that the deployment of Patriot air defense systems and the second aircraft carrier in the Gulf region indicated the Bush administration's "reaffirmation" of the importance of the region, adding that stability in the region is in "long-term, strategic, vital interests" of the United States.

The United States accuses Iran of using its influence to meddle in the region, especially in Lebanon and Shiite-majority Iraq, besides seeking a nuclear weapon, which has been rejected by Iran.

In an interview with Fox News earlier the month, Vice President Dick Cheney said that Iran was "fishing in troubled waters" in Iraq, adding "we think it's very important that they keep their folks at home."

Meanwhile, U.S. forces are still holding five Iranians arrested in northern Iraq last week, who the United States says have been connected to an Iranian Revolutionary Guard faction that arms insurgents but Tehran says are merely consular staff.

In a show of defiance, an Iranian government spokesman said on Monday that the country was pushing ahead with its plan to install at least 3,000 centrifuges for nuclear fuel production. 

I’ve said it a million times, often on this site…

  1. Every major “point of interest” in Iran has already been sited and programmed into the guidance system of a Tomahawk and/or air-to-ground cruise or guided missile. The Iranians know that as well as we do. So we “allow” them to “Sabre Raddle”.

  2. Israel does not get “permission” from us to strike when she is threatened. Remember that they attacked and destroyed Saddam’s nuclear processing facilities in the 80’s when his ambitions were becoming clear.

  3. Sitting beneath the Negev Desert is the “non-existent” Isreali nuclear arsenal of tactical and strategic Warheads.

The Plutonium is already processed…

Mufasa