Tags: israel | iran | oil

Iran: Israel Increasing Tensions and Oil Prices

Saturday, 21 Jun 2008 11:37 AM

By Stewart Stogel

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NEW YORK -- Iran's mission to the United Nations issued a terse reaction late Friday evening to an earlier New York Times story reporting that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) had recently engaged in a practice drill aimed at hitting Tehran's nuclear facilities.

"Such scare tactics by Israel which punctuate the recent history of the Middle East are the hard core of the continued crisis and tensions in the region and beyond.....These misguided policies simply exacerbate regional tensions and trigger skyrocketing energy prices..." was the lead to the statement given to Newsmax by Mohammad Mohammadi the spokesman for Iran's UN ambassador Mohammad Khazaee.

Israel's UN mission, closed for the Sabbath had no comment on the Iranian statement.

On Friday, The New York Times reported that on June 6, 100 IAF F-15's and F-16's conducted a series of "practice" drills over the Mediterranean Sea which would prepare them for an attack on Iran should Jerusalem give a green light.

In its reaction to the Times' report, Iran's UN mission strongly hinted that the ultimate victims of any Israeli attack would be the US consumer:

"These misguided policies simply exacerbate regional tensions, trigger skyrocketing energy prices and impact the global and US economy."

Coincidentally, on Friday, oil finished trading in NYC up $2.69 to close at $134.62 a barrel an overall increase of just over 2% for the week.

In its statement, the Iranians continued to insist that their nuclear activities are not weapon related, but peaceful in nature:

"Iran's nuclear program is completely peaceful, legal and monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA, the UN's atomic watchdog)....the latest IAEA report repeatedly stresses that there is no evidence of non-peaceful diversion"

On Friday, Mohamed ElBaradei, the IAEA chief, reportedly threatened to resign if Israel were to give a green light for a military campaign against Iran.

Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov also weighed in. Lavrov told reporters in Moscow that Russia "was still waiting" to see proof that Iran's current nuclear program has been diverted for any military use.

Washington and Jerusalem had no reaction to The New York Times report and Lavrov's or ElBaradei's statements.

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