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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nouriel Roubini : sooner rather than later, force will have be used to stop Iran

Nouriel Roubini : Iran, with its back to the wall as sanctions bite harder (especially the recent SWIFT and central bank restrictions, and Europe’s decision to stop importing Iranian oil), could react by increasing tensions in the Gulf. Eventually, it could easily sink a few ships to block the Strait of Hormuz, or unleash its proxies in the region, which include pro-Iranian Shia forces in Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. Recent attacks on Israeli embassies around the world appear to signal Iran’s reaction to the covert war being waged against it, and to the tightened sanctions, which are aggravating the effects of the regime’s economic mismanagement. Likewise, the recent escalation in cross-border fighting between Israel and Gaza-based Palestinian militants could be a sign of things to come. The next few weeks could bring a reduction in tensions, as the US, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, and Russia go through another round of attempts to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons or the capacity to produce them. But if this attempt fails, as is likely, one cannot rule out that, by summer, Israel and the US agree that, sooner rather than later, force will have be used to stop Iran. - in project-syndicate
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