OIL @ 250 or the only option today?

November 22, 2013

United States

United States (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

Dear Reader,

Greetings and Good day,

“The experience of “beauty” often involves an interpretation of some entity as being in balance and harmony with nature, which may lead to feelings of attraction and emotional well-being. Because this can be a subjective experience, it is often said that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Wikipedia

It is a source of comfort that the negotiations related to the Iranian nuclear file, will set a comprehensive agreement as a new objective.

The interim deal concept is wrong and it was generating much instability, whatever its nature could be.

This instability was likely leading to a unilateral Israeli decision, that would have as side effects a direct confrontation between Iran, Iraq and KSA, sending Oil prices to 250 $.

In fact the interim deal brokered by Russia, would disrupt the US strategy in the ME applied for decades, sending Oil prices to skyrocket and disrupting supplies as per Iranian/Gulf Monarchies clashes.

I am happy though that we saved the USA twice, the first time by trading the attack on Syria with the CW dismantlement keeping in place the objectives of building on Geneva 1, with a transitional government in Syria without Assad. And the second time by trading the interim deal with a strategic comprehensive agreement to be discussed, yet as per the vision already enunciated on the pages of this same blog.

In my view, considering the shrinking population and working force in Russia, and adding the OIL and Gas exports contribution to the GNP, we can easily understand how an interim agreement will be in the best interest of Russia mainly, more than any commercial deal thought by western corporations.

Above all the US administration should also consider that an interim deal would have thrown Gulf Monarchies and Israel alike, in the hands of China which is a great power, suffering a major economic setback from high Oil prices.

The interim deal could blow the US policy of an Asian/Pacific pivot before it takes the required contour, by opening a massive Chinese network in the Mediterranean. The US would have lost its queen in the first openings of the Chess pacific pivot.

From above we can easily realize that while Russia and China will benefit from the interim deal, in different manners, the US would need to deploy costly assets to adjust for a Status- Quo ante, a Dietro – front futile and unnecessary in all cases.

So here comes the Global/US interest in pursuing a comprehensive agreement with Iran, within 3 months, and failure to do this will portray the US in a plan B consisting of further tightening of harsh sanctions.

The only option today is to amplify the diplomatic reach for 3 months until end of February, in a strong desire to achieve a comprehensive agreement.

The beauty of life .

Life is a characteristic that distinguishes objects that have signaling and self-sustaining processes from those that do not, either because such functions have ceased (death), or else because they lack such functions and are classified as inanimate. “ Wikipedia

Thank You,

.

 

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How Bad a Deal ?

November 8, 2013

This wall painting depicts a scene from a 17th...

This wall painting depicts a scene from a 17th century classical Iranian music ensemble. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Reader,

Greetings and Good Day,

“Something that is bad is unpleasant, harmful, or undesirable... Analysts fear the situation is even worse than the leadership admits”.  From the Reverso Dictionary, on Bad Deal  

There is a growing consensus that the FED monetary policies, by now, should start giving a boost to the real economy, and not nurture anymore the upcoming bubble in the Stock Exchange. If it is true that what was done so far, was the only unconventional option at hand of a public actor, although privately owned, it is also true that a wise maneuver of tapering in a predictable and gradual way as soon as January ( 5 billion) , will reveal to be a very effective step to enhance the entire US economic architecture.

Architecture! A beautiful word used often nowadays to inform that the sanctions applied on Iran by the world powers are thought within a logic and a built structure. The amazing and fascinating thing is to understand how the architects will develop the plan where “ Iran, as a first step, will stop its nuclear program advancing any further and start rolling parts of it back; and in return the US will enact very limited, temporary and reversible sanctions relief”.

Any devised plan/deal as analysts understand, that will be announced today in Geneva, will be bad, yet they need to figure out and presage how bad it will be.

It is understood that any nuclear deal between the (US plus other powers) and Iran today, will be very bad, mainly because it will respond to the forces in place between the two opposed camps. Both the US and Iran accuse fatigue, dizziness, power shamble after decades of enmity in the New fragmented Middle East and they both look to limit damage and loss as a mutual convenience.

Hence apparently there will be a grand fanfare for a deal that isn’t.

The plan technically will resemble a PR campaign following the CW Syrian example, where much of the results will be an intrigue to decipher.

Either Iran will block its activity to a certain date in exchange for some sanctions relief albeit reversible, or the Syrian regime will benefit from a temporary moratorium in exchange for a CW secretly conducted destruction, in both cases main issues will not be resolved.

The Iranian role in the world today and its projection of soft power will require an illuminated vision by a strong leadership, as much as the Syrian population will need an international conference to make up a transitional cabinet, that will start the route for a reformed system of governance, based on homegrown principles and pillars of acceptance and governance sharing.

Assad will try to maintain his power base, but butchers of their own populations will not have any place in any future of respectable nations.

Apparently the weakness of main players is an asset for peace lovers, as this will impede any large conflagration from developing in the ME, however this same weakness is a major liability for entire populations, as it will maintain the entire architecture of instability floating in an area, which is in dire need of good deals to be negotiated and implemented.

What can be the view after the deal, vis a’ vis several issues related to the Geopolitics of the ME? At first it is rational to realize that a very bad deal still to be announced by the US and Iran will be the first deal, secondly that the Russian role is manipulating the US weakness to a major extent, thirdly that the upcoming stage where stability/instability will be brought by a variegated group of weak international players is by itself the base to compare it with an urban monster.

The thought of all players is to deliver an edifice, shaking as it is, yet a meaningful fact that architects of non confrontation, (by itself a non policy   leading nowhere),  are at work.

How true political solutions will develop in the ME, is about the mystery that the depth of badness will reveal to be in the upcoming deal.

Vision on demand!

“1vi·sion: mode of seeing or conceiving (2):  unusual discernment or foresight <a person of vision>” Merriam Webster Dictionary

Thank you,


Zip in Splendor

October 29, 2013

English: The logo of the Atomic Enery Organiza...

English: The logo of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Readers,

Greetings and Good Day,

“I was zipping past wonders, zooming through splendor. But I hadn’t a clue if I was actually getting anywhere”, Frank Bruni

Following the latest economic data it is a common assumption by observers to expect the tapering of the FED to start next year. In the US, the Jobs revealed that construction is better than before, yet the durable goods were not up to desires. In Europe although Spanish recession seems to have ended, the Italian case is becoming a major hurdle for the Euro area revamp. It goes without saying that an economic revival might spur demand and generate an incentive to Italian exports and job creation; however this scenario will most likely take some more trimesters. Whenever the US and Europe lack in the locomotive role, usually it was the Asian tigers that assumed the lead, but we know that China will reveal soon unprecedented reforms, and Japan will need a drastic social/birth reform to exit its lost decades.

From above it is impossible only for Germany, Taiwan, South Korea and few other nations ( Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa) to lead the world demand and manufacturing , therefore the FED decision needs to focus on the main requirement and perception of the markets.

The world needs a leader with vision and in the total absence of illuminated leadership; all indicators are deteriorating the sentiment of the markets. The FED needs to taper immediately in a gradual and predictable path, starting with 5 billion dollars to be announced tomorrow.

The problem is that while the US administration is vehemently supporting the launch of the new care system revealed to be chaotic, it is sensibly showing ditto interest to better distribute the richness, concentrated in 95 % of the wellness in the hands of 1 % of the population.

Will the FED act independently from its owners the financial masters of the Universe?

This brings us to help the US understand what can be its objectives in a divisive Syrian environment. Eventually the US should pursue the territorial integrity of Syria managed by a transitional government that will ensure true representation and a better guidance for the Syrian population. Obviously as a first step, eliminating Chemical or other weapons from the theater is a very effective approach; although partial and very much incomplete. Ideally Geneva 2 could be a conference that will build on Geneva 1 where already the idea of a transitional cabinet was adopted, but it seems that chances for the gathering to take place are diminishing drastically. Be this for the simultaneous Iranian track of nuclear negotiation rising regional suspicions or because of the initial bad positioning of several powers.

While Ukraine and Turkey will highly benefit from a deal for cooperation in Gas, it is thought that the actual Russian agitation leaning towards an agreement of sort between the US and Iran, is further complicating the perspective, which is in dire need of simplicity.

So while the KSA is announcing a shift in relations with the US instead of increasing its purchase of US bonds, and Israel’s counter proposal consists of allowing the Iranian regime to acquire enriched Uranium from a foreign country to be used for its peaceful research, analysts were bogged in the dark, as they could not have details of the Iranian power point presentation with the 5 plus one.

Considering that the US cost of a military campaign to destroy or retard significantly, the Iranian nuclear program is prohibitive, and considering that any Israeli unilateral step will not be as effective as it should, all eyes are on the time needed for Iran to break out. But hold on! Will Iran break out with the actual cost and benefit formula or it will maintain the status-quo allowing it to have an immense say in several countries stretching from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Pakistan?

Although 2014 is the year of elections par excellence in Latin America, Lebanon, Syria, the US mid term and in other nations, my expectations are that a lull of nothing will appear on the radars.

To sum up, fighting will continue in Syria in a tit for tat; however no important changes will take place and the political conference will need to wait. Assad will opt to renew his mandate without having the option of holding elections.

The Iranian Supreme leader will exit his seclusion with a result of his meditation where the status-quo is the best he can afford, spinning without break out, while suffering under sanctions. He will never understand how he can assure the Israeli people, or how he will initiate a new sauce in the Iranian economy to be linked to the world trade.

The US will play for time until a fix in the economy will be brought in, by a leader with a clear vision and sufficient political power, who will manage a negotiation with the financial masters of the universe to set better terms in running world affairs.

The Russian leadership will watch the show of international relations running, trying from time to time to upgrade its role to principal actor, while most important issues at home (social reforms, economy, future role of Russia in world affairs, etc,) are still unresolved.

Israel will drill and drill and drill, but intimately it knows that without a peaceful and painful outcome with the Arabs and a sincere effort to denuclearize the ME, the Canaanites will need to survive the existential identity and protract their security from their shadows.

China will necessitate at least 40 or 50 years to generate a political alternative to the Communist party; meanwhile it will try to balance its cities and countryside, with a peculiar sight on resources, and simultaneously seek to increase its sea lanes while arming itself with the best available weapons and technologies.

Finally and unless we help the military regime in Egypt to start the path of openness and look ahead for the next liberal decade, the undesired consequences of today will create a tantrum of deltas in the Nile that will endanger the entire African scheme.

“I was getting anywhere, without any clue. Then I zoomed through past wonders, to realize that I need to zip in splendor”.

Thank you,

 


Geneva 2

September 30, 2013

Russia-487

Russia-487 (Photo credit: didkovskaya)

Dear Reader,

Greetings and Good Day,

Today is the end of September and looking back to the first days of this month, we can easily say, that the sequence of events linked to the ME was definitely rapid.

In an effort to help on the Syrian crisis to be defused, and in order to identify an acceptable route map for a new Syria to kick start; an enormous contribute is necessary, to transform the conflict, in an opportunity of peace keeping, and nation building.

I tend to believe that a good preparation for Geneva 2 will reveal important for world powers, to avoid failure or a scenario of repeated conferences or hostilities leading nowhere.

Looking into the history of some past conflicts we can to some extent, deduce some teachings, which can lead us to say, that perhaps we are approaching an important stage in the conflict resolution in Syria.

Observers are likely to explore the Geneva 2 conference to understand its contour before the meetings debut.

Some experts might create scenarios and simulate negotiations that will trace itineraries which will possibly be implemented.

In truth many questions to be posed will require a historic background in international conferences, a profound understanding of the Syrian nation/ state and the complexity of international, regional and local interests involved.

The fluid Syrian panorama includes important aspects for many players such as Iran, Russia, Hezbollah, ISIL, FSA, USA, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, KSA etc…

In my understanding the conference to start, will need at least, a definition of its components, an agenda even if subject to changes and finally a date or a calendar of dates.

The participants in the conference will presumably be: the UN, the Arab League, the Red Cross, Refugees Agencies, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, the EU, Russia, Germany, France, UK, US, China and of course a delegation of the Assad regime willing to safeguard what remains of the Syrian State and a delegation of the Syrian revolution preferably at least five members including women, having all equal say and headed by the designated pm dentist from Deir el Zor).

The agenda will include a variety of topics obviously, from security to politics, yet what all analysts expect is an immediate cessation of hostilities coupled to immediate release of all prisoners.

Once the cease fire is in place and work to destroy the CW program and stockpile will be in progress and ongoing, parallel talks will move forward to define the transitional phase and what can be expected of it.

It is understood that Assad will remain in office, only until the presidential mandate expiry, and that the CW destruction will be put on a solid and irreversible track by then.

I forecast the conference to be called by mid December, and the cessation of hostilities and prisoners release to be declared and achieved by the end of the year.

The major political issues, will be dealt with, once, confidence building and good-will measures will be implemented. And this can take off from January 2014.

It is expected that the outcome of Geneva 2 will be an agreed transitional cabinet, which will include representatives of the different components, of the opposition and of the institutions of the Syrian state.

The transitional cabinet will replace the president at the expiry of the mandate to fill the gap.

It goes without saying that the most inner Assad clan, cannot be included in any future formula, hence talks will focus on the transition; and on how to represent the collective Syrian population, in a system that will ensure a modern state and universal rights in a homegrown equation that will guarantee peace and prosperity.

In the coming months, international powers have all interest to persuade Assad, not to stall the CW disarmament process and to desist from the mortal pursue of a new mandate.

This time frame until April or May will be useful to set a path of negotiation with Iran meanwhile, and to prepare the stage for a possible Geneva 2 failure.

The price of failure will be very high to bear; in fact this can easily lead to a reprisal of confrontation in June, where F 35 jets will make their opening in a theater of conflict, in case CW stalling tactics are evident by Assad.

Whenever Assad will ease on CW program but will try to keep his positions on the rest, it is plausible to determine that  flare ups of belligerent acts will be witnessed in new round of hostilities.

The importance of Geneva 2 is equal to the Madrid conference, where multilateral talks started and led to a framework useful for Arab countries to approve the declaration of Beirut.

Geneva 2 is a multilateral forum that will mark the future of Syria and will draw parallels with the Iranian file, and the positive role this nation can play as a regional power.

The state of Israel will inevitably consider all this, and realize how delicate and intricate will be for the US to conduct a diplomatic and consequential path on both the Syrian and Iranian tracks.

From above I am convinced that the coming winter months, will see a very acute phase of negotiations, although it is necessary to be cautious in raising expectations.

Thank you,

 


A Sophisticated Eclipse

September 27, 2013

Syria

Syria (Photo credit: Yishac – Isaac Alvarez i Brugada)

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Reader,

 

Greetings and Good Day,

 

As observers are expecting the UN Security Council, to finalize the draft resolution with strong wording on Syria by today, analysts are working hard to determine the future evolution of the Iranian nuclear file.

 

It is very comforting to have the Syrian crisis and the Iranian pending file proceeding towards a desired diplomatic breakthrough.

 

It remains to be seen how effectively events will unfold and we all look for a positive reflection on the Syrian refugees and Iranian population.

 

In Syria Mr. Assad should learn from the Sudanese President, who defied the international community for long, and now he managed to divide his country in two Sudan,and to witness present popular uprisings threatening the essence of the state. Sudan’s Al Bashir didn’t accomplish any significant reform and he only focused on oil profits.

 

And although Sudan and Syria have a different social composition, yet acting presidents are behaving in a similar way.

 

What President Assad needs to do is to consign the CW, repent & go to exile and for the sake of Syrian well being and of the entire humanity to facilitate the dawn of a new republic in Syria, or else he will higher the risks of his unknown fate.

 

Unknown fate! Let’s not forget that the strong resolution will mention that individuals responsible for the chemical attack in Syria will be prosecuted.

 

Often a sophisticated eclipse is much more remembered than a lot of shining rays.

 

Lebanon which is hosting a significant portion of refugees is in process to form a new government, where options are reduced to a cabinet for all or a cabinet of last resort.

 

Major aspirations are in place to have a government for all after the recent opening of Hezbollah expressed in the last speech of the general secretary Mr. Nasrallah.

 

It happens also that Lebanon has an extended mandate of its own parliament, which fact is playing against those citing the parliament representation, as only parameter for the new government formation.

 

In truth with the election of the Lebanese president approaching, the new cabinet “for all” can become holding the entire constitutional bottoms of power, hence in its formation there should be inclusion also of civil society components not resting in the extended parliament.

 

From above I see the upcoming formula as a cabinet of 30 ministers, where there will be 4 groups, 10 ministers for Hezbollah allies (8 March), 10 ministers for the prime minister and allies (14 March), 4 ministers for the president of the republic and the PSP, and 6 ministers for independents belonging to the social stream outside the parliament (intellectuals, bankers, captains of industry, business people, women in career, etc).

 

What is required today before tomorrow is that the PM designate will refresh his efforts in this direction by consulting again with the Lebanese mosaic.

 

It is also required that the Lebanese president during his visit to KSA next week will elaborate on this formula that will ultimately represent the extra mile effort to form the cabinet.

 

I am confident by now that within the next meeting of the 5 plus one and Iran in Geneva in October, the Lebanese will have formed the long awaited cabinet.

 

“Where objectivity, independence, clarity, integrity and valor persist, inevitably growth and prosperity will proceed”.

 

Thank You,

 

 

 


The Invisible Hand

September 25, 2013

Quds Force Operations in 8 divisions

Quds Force Operations in 8 divisions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Dear Reader,

 

Greetings and Good Day,

 

Following the opening of the UN general assembly, some topics emerge strongly on the international scene.

 

The Syrian crisis, the Iranian nuclear file, the monitoring of information and the global economy are perhaps the most visible.

 

As for the Syrian crisis, it is clear by now what are the expectations of the Syrian population, in the heroic struggle, to establish a new national accord and a reformed state.

 

The international conference of Geneva is the viable forum, for talks and agreements, to take place with the aim of coexistence, justice, liberties, modernity and security.

 

Factions and brokers will undoubtedly negotiate as soon as January, a framework of transition, to a peaceful nation with guarantees of geopolitical interests for many players.

 

Although my understanding is, that the Assad clan will be out of the formula,

 

I can’t imagine an effective solution in Syria, without the contribution of the Iranians.

 

We know that an invisible hand was orchestrating the meetings of President Hassan Rouhani at the UN, reflecting the whispers of the inner circle in Tehran.

 

Observers could detect mixed signals coming out of Tehran in the immediate phase leading to the meetings at The UN.

 

There were articles, tweets and greets from one side coupled to missiles displays, parliament drafts and inauguration of plants from another.

 

The imminent interest of Tehran seems to be, to relief sanctions and avoid clashes with the US, while those of the US are focused to verify the nuclear Iranian research to be peaceful and create in tandem a sort of converging vision with Iran in the MENA region.

 

The meeting tomorrow between Iran and the 5 plus 1 group of nations is a step in the right direction, to explore diplomacy; however it is insufficient to generate concrete results.

 

What I see as required, is to build on the actual positive climate, where the US will propose to Iran, to set a first annual high level bilateral direct meeting, in the end of October in Beirut, where comprehensive talks will tackle a multitude of issues.

 

The US delegation can be led by the Secretary of State and include the CIA director.

 

Obviously the tracks to be discussed are multiple and intelligence is pivotal to indicate a practical path.

 

 

 

This brings us to the necessity of keeping a free flow of information in place while simultaneously exerting smooth monitoring on data.

 

It is important to understand that without information gathering we couldn’t learn about Natanz, Bushehr, Fordow, Arak, or even about the name of the daughter of the NK leader or the liberal views of the daughter of the Quds force.

 

Definitely information is linked to security and its appropriate handling by trained experts with knowledge of privacy and respect of specifics, is very important and will help on international prosperity and security.

 

My hope is that the Israeli establishment will seize the UN moment to talk about peace with the surrounding environment and to stress the national necessity to tutor its own security without rhetoric.

 

Military readiness and contingencies are always integral part of any political breakthrough.

 

Pending issues in politics led us to data, and inevitably this will bring us ultimately to productivity and markets.

 

 

 

Global growth is an immense challenge and achievements in this field are enormous.

 

Be this in China, Japan, Bangladesh, Turkey, India, South Africa, Australia Brazil or/and in many other nations.

 

Without doubt, markets are connected and a rapid link ensures velocity and tenure of transmission of levels for value and for services.

 

Offer will be always generated to play into demand and consumers will necessarily be in the fulcrum of the economic daily life.

 

Food, drinks, arms, durable goods, waste and environment will always be on our screens.

 

International relations are manageable often through the fruit of monetary policies and economic performance.

 

 

 

Education, immigration, business and social services will never cease to be the pillar of humanity.

 

 

 

Thank you        

 

 

 

 


At Large

September 23, 2013

OpenStreetMap Logo

OpenStreetMap Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Dear Reader,

 

Greetings and Good Day,

 

Following the results of the German elections, a cabinet sponsored by a grand coalition can be envisaged, where the winning party will form the cabinet together to Social Democrats and the Greens.

 

Two of Europe’s biggest industries will be having a similar government (Italy and Germany) working on compromise to define a better policy for progress.

 

In Italy the cabinet will need to put through a policy to target the public debt and unemployment, or else a new election will be looming.

 

While in Germany the compromise will be, to achieve a smart energy policy coupled to an infrastructure investment, and a minimum wage adjustment that will not negatively influence exports.

 

Compromise is the essence of government, as multiple interests often collide and impede the civil society to act in dynamics that represent only one actor. The role of politicians is to mediate and to find solutions, and whenever they fail, as in Lebanon presently the interests of the collectivity will be endangered.

 

The hope for Lebanon in light of the Iranian charm offensive is to form a cabinet soon that will tackle major issues such as; neutral stance, dilution of the bifurcate divergence into a colorful and multifaceted cooperation, economic recovery, social crisis, security environment, strategic depth, constitutional reforms, start ups and job creation.

 

Definitely the challenge for the US in view of the looming deadline of the new fiscal year is to find a line of balance, where a reasonable raise of the public debt will be approved, together to an adjustment in expenditure in the federal budget that will not nullify food stamps.

 

It goes without saying that the market already accepted lady vice chairman, as a successor to Mr. Bernanke, where a predictable and gradual taper will be applied starting October, in an attentive effort to gather a pace between national interests “at large” and international markets performance.

 

As already described in a previous contribute, the national interests in our modern era are better defined “at large”, rather than in a thin prism of local and condensed view. The collectivity belonging to any nation is better served, whenever a wise and methodical process of understanding, is applied to geography, history, economics and to the international dynamics.

 

Analysts are elaborating about the last Russian diplomatic approach to the Syrian CW, the effective resolution of this file peacefully and the ramification of a political solution. It is reasonable to expect inspectors to arrive in Syria by the end of October, and that the process of political negotiation will begin in January, based on the principle of a new Syrian national accord that will pave the way for a transitional government.

 

The upcoming three months might reveal pivotal for the life line extended by the Iranian Republican Guards Council & the Supreme Leader, to the new Iranian president. Observers are considering that Mr. Rouhani doesn’t have much time ahead and that his space to maneuver is limited. I tend to differ on this, simply because the new president is the only asset in place for the option of a negotiated approach, that will avoid the climate of confrontation, be it through sanctions or a military engagement.

 

Hence I consider the Iranian president there to stay for long inn diplomacy and therefore the investment on shaking hands with him is not sufficient. The US approach should be, as a hosting player to the UN forum, to deliver much honor and welcoming.

 

I consider that in this particular momentum in international relations there are no two nations on earth that can benefit more from a rapprochement more than Iran and the US.

 

The principle to be enunciated is to accept the peaceful nuclear research in Iran as per international protocols, while ensuring the security of the state of Israel unconditionally, to permit this state to eliminate its own WMD, once peace treaties are in place accepting Israel as a final nation.

 

There is a concrete possibility that the decade 2014-2024 will be of enormous enhancement for the living conditions in the ME, where negotiations will succeed to deliver.

 

Thank you,