Israeli officials, fearing the consequences of a nuclear Iran, have made clear that a preemptive strike on the nation is on the table and could indeed be imminent.
President Obama said his administration would denounce any militaristic action taken by the Israeli government, and has urged the country’s top officials to remain patient while it considers enforcing fiercer sanctions on Iran.
However Israeli officials feel that the sanctions have not been effective and that their window to attack Iran is quickly closing, as the country is working to move much of its nuclear facilities underground.
Israel contends that a nuclear Iran is something it simply will not tolerate.
The fear arises from the consistent anti-Israel rhetoric spewed by the Iran’s top officials.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad states in many of his public addresses that he does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and he believes the country should be wiped off the earth.
What worries American officials, as well as officials in the EU, are the disastrous economic consequences that could arise as a result of a premature Israeli attack on Iran.
For one, Iran has warned increased pressure by the international community demanding a halt to the country’s nuclear ambitions could lead to the closing of the Strait of Hormuz, which exports daily between 1/5 to 1/3 of the worlds total oil supply.
If this were to happen the effects it would have on the global economy would be short-lived but nontheless cataclysmic.
Analysts suspect the price of oil per barrel would go from around $100 to well above $200.
While this would be disadvantageous for America, raising the price of gas domestically, it could prove to be even worse for the struggling European Union.
Oil priced that high could result in a Greek default, which in turn could cause the EU to disintegrate entirely, bringing about the end of both it and the Euro.
A second response, Iran could launch paramilitary and missile attacks on western Gulf oil production, processing and transportation facilities in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates.
Such a response, like the closing of the Strait of Hormuz, would cause a steep incline in the global price of oil.
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