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Saudi Arabia has increased its oil output to a record 10 million bpd, which would bring the oil kingdom some $300 billion per year. While the output can increase only modestly, oil prices would skyrocket in the event of an armed conflict with Iran, and the Saudis might pocket half a trillion dollars this year.

And the West, which protects the Saudis against Iran, will tolerate that racket.

Oil drilling in Saudi Arabia

The attack on Iran scheduled for April?The March 2 elections in Iran will provide the best political opportunity for an attack. The elections will be rigged as usual, and the oppressed political group will appeal for international help. The US might quickly recognize a new government made up of opposition members, as it did in Libya and will probably do in Syria, and send military ‘aid’ at their request. The politicians thus supported will repay that support by allowing NATO to dismantle the Iranian nuclear program. Officially, the West will reciprocate by lifting the EU ban on Iranian oil imports; such a ban is useless against the ayatollahs in the short term, but can be expected to work as a PR measure for Iranian opposition leaders.

Such a scenario is the only plausible way to deal with the Qom underground facility and the unknown locations of Iran’s nuclear stockpiles. It would also be a significant boost to Obama’s foreign policy credentials before the upcoming elections: carrying out regime change in Iran would vindicate the policy he tested in Libya. The problem with this scenario is that foreign policy achievements mean little to US voters, who are mostly concerned with domestic problems, while foreign policy failures might cost a president dearly; therefore, Obama is hesitant to strike.

And so joint Israeli-American maneuvers are scheduled for April. The exercises would provide an air defense shield for Israel in the event of a strike.

Contrary to the White House’s expectations, the Egyptian junta does not wish to bear the burden of state affairs and will pass the reins to the parliament, which is now dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists. This move would automatically place the strongest Arab army in the world in the hands of Muslim radicals. At best, they would freeze the peace agreement with Israel and open the Sinai to smugglers and terrorists.

More importantly, the MB will have to deal with a country in chaos, and with strong liberal forces who will oppose religious dictates in parliament. The Brotherhood, therefore, will have to crack down on secular opposition and rely on religious activists to maintain order in Egypt, which is now being overrun by criminal gangs.

Because the Muslim Brotherhood views religion as more important that political freedoms, it will hold its grip on power by any means necessary, and is not going to let it go in the next elections. Egypt is drifting down the Khomeinist road.

Egyptian army falls to Muslim Brotherhood

January 2012
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