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Iran Launches Week-Long Straits Of Hormuz Naval Drill On Friday, Next To US Aircraft Carrier

Iran Launches Week-Long Straits Of Hormuz Naval Drill On Friday, Next To US Aircraft Carrier thumbnail

With the market still hopeful of some deus ex resolution to the Fiscal Cliff will take place in the last few trading sessions of the year (one where the market itself will not have to be the catalyst for such a resolution, because once the selling starts in earnest, who knows if and when it stops, hence the loading up on prodigious amounts of puts), here is Iran out of left field, adding yet another known unknown to the inequality, announcing that it will begin six days of naval drills in the Straits of Hormuz on Friday. In other words a one year flashback deja vu, as Iran held a similar 10-day drill last December, when everyone was expecting an imminent escalation out of the endless Israel-Iran foreplay and was analyzing which were the new moon days allowing Israel unobstructed access to the greatest distraction of all – Iran’s nuclear facility being moved under a mountain: a catalyst which Israel repeatedly said is the only reason to attack a weaponizing, nuclear Iran, and which took place some time in 2012. Now that the official window of opportunity is closed, will Israel tone back on the aggressive rhetoric? Hardly: after all that is precisely why the Syrian “outlet valve” has been put in play over the past 6 months.

From Reuters:

Iran will begin six days of naval drills in the Strait of Hormuz at the end of this week, an Iranian naval commander said on Tuesday, an exercise meant to showcase its military capabilities in what is a vital oil and gas shipping route.


The “Velayat 91” drills will be held from Friday to Wednesday across an area of about 1 million square kilometres in the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Oman and northern parts of the Indian Ocean, said Habibollah Sayyari, according to Iranian media.


Iranian officials have often said that Iran could block the strait – through which 40 percent of the world’s sea-borne oil exports pass – if it came under military attack over its disputed nuclear programme.


Sayyari was quoted as saying the new drill would test the navy’s missile systems, combat ships, submarines and patrol and reconnaissance methods.


“In this exercise we will use the navy’s newest weapons and tactics,” Sayyari said. “Certainly we will observe the marine borders of neighbouring states and will carry out our exercises according to international laws and regulations.”


A heavy Western naval presence in the Gulf is meant to deter any attempt to block the waterway.

And making sure there is no chance of escalation, the aircraft carrier Stennis, CVN-74, as shown in the US naval update map courtesy of Stratfor will be right there, quietly watching every move of the Iranian navy, often times smack in the middle of the drills.

And just to get the blood really going, Iran media has reported that there has been another Stuxnet-based attempt to cripple Iranian infrastructure. As a reminder, Stuxnet is the computer “virus” which crippled the Iranian nuclear power plant and set back the project by months. Via AP:

An Iranian semi-official news agency says there has been another cyberattack by the sophisticated computer worm Stuxnet, this time on the industries in the country’s south.


Tuesday’s report by ISNA quotes provincial civil defense chief Ali Akbar Akhavan as saying the virus targeted a power plant and some other industries in Hormozgan province in recent months. Akhavan says Iranian computer experts were able to “successfully stop” the worm.


Iran has repeatedly claimed defusing cyber worms and malware, including Stuxnet and Flame viruses that targeted the vital oil sector, which provides 80 percent of the country’s foreign revenue.


Tehran has said both worms are part of a secret U.S.-Israeli program that seeks to destabilize Iran’s nuclear program. The West suspects Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program, a charge Tehran denies.

Has the time come for perfectly inexplicable bid-hitting attacks (thanks BIS) to start targeting the Brent complex just as geopolitical tensions threaten to push it far higher once more?  The good news is that at least silver may be allowed to crawl out above $30 now that central banks are certain to not pump about $2 trillion in 2013. Oh wait…


4 Comments on "Iran Launches Week-Long Straits Of Hormuz Naval Drill On Friday, Next To US Aircraft Carrier"

  1. BillT on Wed, 26th Dec 2012 1:00 pm 

    Can the Empire afford an all out world war? Only if it uses nukes. Think about that.

    China is not buying the Us debt anymore and may start selling if there is any problem with Iran’s shipments to China.

    The Empire is broke, it’s economy on the verge of collapse, it’s people on the edge of revolt, and it’s food supply being threatened by ongoing drought. It’s NATO allies are also war weary and broke.

    China is buying anything of value around the world, getting rid of it’s Charmin dollars. Will a world war save the Empire, or be the finishing shot? We shall see. I think that 2013 is going to be a lot more exciting than 2012.

  2. Arthur on Wed, 26th Dec 2012 8:23 pm 

    If the US would use nukes, they would indirectly commit suicide by mobilizing the entire world against them. Not going to happen. Let’s see how US politics handles The Cliff. And if Hagel gets appointed, which would be a major positive sign.

    Not sure if 2013 is going to be an eventfull year, I gamble it is going to be a ‘mediocre year’, no collapse, muddling on, even a small ‘recovery’ of sorts. Europe is stabilizing, Greece got six extra points from the credit raters. US oil production will increase, NG even more. No big increases in carbon fuel prices and the world will remain on a consumption plateau. US housing prices are increasing again. There will be a record increase in installation of renewables all around the world. I tend to believe there will be no war in the Gulf.

    These are all guesses, as I am not Nostradamus.

  3. GregT on Wed, 26th Dec 2012 9:37 pm 

    The Prime Minister of Canada did a rare live interview that has been aired country wide for the last 5 days.

    He called the US debt crisis a “run away train” and indicated that the European crisis “still has not been resolved and is dragging down the economies of nations throughout the word.”

    He has urged all Canadians to get out of debt now, and to plan for increased interest rates from the central bank. He even indicated that now would be a good time to downsize homes in order to lessen mortgage debt. The housing market in Canada is already starting to destabilize.

    2013 most certainly looks like it will be an eventful year.

  4. BillT on Thu, 27th Dec 2012 3:10 am 

    Arthur, the Us already has used nuclear weapons in Iraq and other places. Not the big ones, but they ARE prepared to use them if necessary. The US is not afraid of retaliation as the world also knows that the Us has the power to destroy any country it wants to in an hour’s time. The nations may be upset, but that is all. Russia is not going to use nukes against the US unless it personally is threatened. Ditto China, etc. Only a small country may be foolish as to try.

    “The Cliff” is meaningless entertainment for the sheeple. It distracts them from the real world. It will juggle a few things and then be forgotten. It is more or less an excuse to start the dismantling of the social safety net of Social Security and the Meds. Nothing more. And that has to be done anyway. Ditto for the social safety nets in Europe.

    As for 2013, there are too many things going on for it to be “mediocre”. It is just going to get worse and worse until the whole system collapses and we either are at war with everyone or the Four Horsemen are keeping the living busy burying the dead.

    I’m not Nostradamus either. I just observe current events around the world for hours every day. It’s a fascinating study, and somewhat addictive. Beats anything on the ‘boob tube’ or at the theaters.

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