Is the US about to attack Iran?

Rolling Stone 

A number of on-line media have started getting over-excited about an imminent US attack on Iran. The story is not new to the Web. It has in fact been circulating for a number of months on both sides of the political spectrum, from the far right to the moderate left. It was deemed credible enough to be scrutinised by the Guardian back in September, which claimed amongst other things the following:

Neo-conservatives, particularly at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute, are urging Mr Bush to open a new front against Iran. So too is the vice-president, Dick Cheney. The state department and the Pentagon are opposed, as are Democratic congressmen and the overwhelming majority of Republicans. The sources said Mr Bush had not yet made a decision. The Bush administration insists the military build-up is not offensive but aimed at containing Iran and forcing it to make diplomatic concessions.

But today Indymedia.org has given us the actual date of the attack, basing its statement on reports in the Russian press:

The US military attack on Iran is now on track for 4 AM on April 6, writes the well-known Russian journalist Andrei Uglanov in the Moscow weekly “Argumenty Nedeli”. Uglanov cites Russian military experts close to the Russian General Staff for his account.

What made me initially doubt this might be the case was that the blogsphere seemed to have gone rather quiet on this matter, despite earlier moments of excitement when similar reports had appeared earlier in 2006. People like Jon Stolts on StopIranWar.com‘s blog has not been posting for almost 3 weeks, for example, perhaps too busy appearing on TV shows.

Then I came across this on The Daily Scare, reporting an article from This Can’t be Happening, and I became a little more concerned:

[…] there are new reports circulating now that an attack by US air and naval forces could come in early April, and this time, the oil traders are taking them seriously. On Tuesday, oil futures shot up $5/barrel to hit $68/barrel—quite a jump, and the highest price for oil since last September.

.

Reports say that traders were responding to rumors—unsubstantiated—that Iran had fired on an American ship in the Gulf, and no doubt also to the ongoing tensions over Iran’s capture and detention of 15 British sailors, whom it claims had illegally entered Iranian territorial waters.

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Phil Flynn, a trader with Alaron Trading in Chicago, was quoted as saying that the oil market has been “on pins and needles” because of the tensions in the Persian Gulf between the US and Iran.

This is when I start wondering whether the markets know something we don’t know…

Update 30/03/07: Apparently, the German BUND has dropped considerably over the last few hours, so this means the markets still doesn’t believe a word of these rumours… Meanwhile, Debka cites US financial sources in Bahrain reporting on American investors in Bahrain advised to pack up business operations and leave

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