Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Story of the Day- Iran

U.S. forces maneuver near Iran -- show of force or a new front?

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The market will undoubtedly follow closely how U.S. navy maneuvers off the coast of Iran. As sources say, this is the largest demonstration of force in the Persian Gulf since the 2003 invasion of Iraq including 10,000 U.S. personnel, two aircraft carriers and warplanes carrying simulated attack maneuvers.

Tensions between Iran and the West continue to grow. The apprehension of 15 British Naval personnel by Iran escalated the already tense situation over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.

Of course, U.S. Navy Cmdr. Kevin Aandahl said the maneuvers were not in response to the capture of the British sailors and were not intended as a threat to Iran (excuse me for not buying that). While Aandahl said the U.S. warships would stay out of Iranian territorial waters, I can't help but wonder -- until when? Is this just the first phase? Didn't the U.S. just announce involuntary call-up of marines?

Interestingly, a French naval strike group with an aircraft carrier of its own was operating simultaneously just outside the Gulf. We are told this is not part of the U.S. maneuvers. So while the French and the Americans are showing off their respective forces, where are the Brits in all that?

As for the markets, there is no doubt this developing situation would be followed closely. Oil prices will react to any possible increased tensions as only yesterday crude reached a 2007 high. This morning, however, it's important to note, crude prices were lower, but this could change any minute. Stocks could also react violently if this escalates any further. Better stay tuned in today to your news sources.


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