Friedman: Iran war may prompt $300 oil

American political analyst George Friedman says an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities would be ‘cataclysmic to the global economy’.

The chances of a US or Israeli attack on Iran are remote because the risks to the world economy far outweigh potential benefits of such action, Friedman told Barron’s on Sunday.

The US and Israel, both possessors of nuclear warheads, accuse Iran of pursuing a clandestine nuclear program. They have threatened to take military action against Iran if it does not halt uranium enrichment.

The United States and Israel have likely engaged in ‘psychological warfare’ rather than war preparations, commented Friedman, who also heads the US private intelligence corporation Stratfor.

He warned that a war against Iran would likely result in Tehran retaliating with attacks on oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic passage for oil transfer from the Persian Gulf states.

Crude oil prices may subsequently rise to ‘more than $300 a barrel’, which will be ‘cataclysmic to the global economy and stock markets’ even over a short period, Friedman added.

This follows a UN nuclear watchdog declaration that Iranian enrichment does not exceed 3 percent, which is consistent with electricity generation.

Tehran is a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and argues that its enrichment activities are aimed at electricity generation and further peaceful applications of nuclear technology.

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