Please General Salehi, I Don’t Want to Go

The Iranians are losing their water lately.  With impending sanctions already imposing acute strains on the Iranian economy–as evidenced by the sharp decline in the Iranian rial–and with their primary ally in the Middle East–Syria–tottering from domestic insurrection, the Iranian regime is engaged in a lot of chest thumping: firing off missiles, holding maneuvers to practice shutting the Straits of Hormuz, etc. Sort of like North Korea, only with kabob instead of kimchee.  (Or maybe kookoo!)

Today’s Iranian icky thump was to warn the US Navy not to send the carrier Stennis back through the Straits.

Well, chess was supposedly invented in Iran, but they apparently forgot how to play if this is any indication.

There is no way the US can cave to this threat.  And there is no way the Iranians can back it up.

The Iranians are always announcing this miracle weapon and that, but if you follow it you’ll know that said miracle weapons are almost always one-off prototypes that never make it to serial production, and even those that are produced are usually farcical stitch-up jobs (like the “new” domestic fighter that is a warmed over F-5 design that was obsolete in the early 1970s).

The Iranians should probably consider a little local history.  Like in 1981 and 1989, when Khadafy tried to enforce his declaration of sovereignty over the Gulf of Sidra by sending aircraft to intercept US F-14s from American carriers that Reagan had sent into the Gulf in response to Khadafy’s declaration.   The result kinda sucked for 4 Libyan pilots. Two Su-22s were splashed in ‘81, and 2 Mig-23s bought it in ‘89.

The Iranians have less air capability than the Libyans did 30 years ago, and the US Navy has substantially more on a single carrier than it did then.  Do the math.

Or even closer to home, during Operation Praying Mantis in 1988, the US Navy smacked around the Iranians after an Iranian mine holed a US destroyer (the Samuel Roberts).  Again, the mismatch in capability has only grown.

So watch the Stennis cruise right back through the straits, and watch the Iranians stomp their little feet.  For if they try to do more than that, the results will not be pretty–for them.

The only suspense is how long it will take RoPaul to leap to the Iranian’s defense. He has already declared that sanctions are an act of war, and that Iran’s quest for nukes is A-OK because without them they are like Rodney Dangerfield, and get no respect.

Since he’s a little involved in Iowa today, my entry into the RoPaul Iran Water Carrier Pool is  4 January 2012.

And in the irony department, Zero Hedge and Infowars are flipping out because they can’t get updates on the positions of US carrier battle groups from Stratfor (h/t R). I guess the US Navy is now Anonymous.

In closing a little reminder of why I wouldn’t want my “leadership” making threats, if I were an Iranian pilot:

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About Craig Pirrong 238 Articles

Affiliation: University of Houston

Dr Pirrong is Professor of Finance, and Energy Markets Director for the Global Energy Management Institute at the Bauer College of Business of the University of Houston. He was previously Watson Family Professor of Commodity and Financial Risk Management at Oklahoma State University, and a faculty member at the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago, and Washington University.

Professor Pirrong's research focuses on the organization of financial exchanges, derivatives clearing, competition between exchanges, commodity markets, derivatives market manipulation, the relation between market fundamentals and commodity price dynamics, and the implications of this relation for the pricing of commodity derivatives. He has published 30 articles in professional publications, is the author of three books, and has consulted widely, primarily on commodity and market manipulation-related issues.

He holds a Ph.D. in business economics from the University of Chicago.

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