Saturday, May 25, 2024

So, What’s in it for Iran?

Except for one unfortunate Arab child, who was hit in the head by falling shrapnel, the Iran-Israeli tit-for-tat turned out to be a win-win-win.

From the beginning, the entire incident didn’t pass the sniff test. If you’ll recall, Iran allegedly launched 3000 missiles, drones and cruise missiles at Israel, but all of them, that’s right, all of them, were intercepted by Israeli, U.S., U.K. or Jordanian air defenses.

After an unusually long period of war-room contemplation, Israel responded several days later with an air-launched missile attack inside Iran on the Isfahan province, which is home to a major military base and several nuclear facilities. Miraculously, as was the case with the strike on Israel, no one was killed or injured. In fact, not a single building was destroyed on either side.


So, what was the end net result of the exchange of weaponry that destroyed nothing? Interestingly, the rhetoric coming from both Iran and Israel remained unusually subdued after the attacks. Multiple times, Iran announced that the military operation was “concluded.” Even after Israel counterattacked, Iran issued a murky statement that referenced “suspicious objects” that were taken down by their defense systems.

While there may not have been any winners or losers on the battlefield, as I predicted in an article published immediately after Iran’s attack, there would be some big time financial beneficiaries in the aftermath.

Let’s run down the list of lucky winners:

Joe Biden: Running, er, shuffling through the White House and Capitol Hill, Slow Joe sounded almost giddy in the wake of the Iranian attack. He demanded Congress immediately pass the stalled Ukraine-Israel aid package, and riding the momentum of the moment, it looks like he’s succeeded.

The big prize is the $60 billion Biden will use to prop up a war that Ukraine is destined to lose. Given his access to intelligence, Biden surely knows the proxy war against Russia is unwinnable, but it’s essential the Ukrainian military doesn’t collapse until after the election. The $60 billion in new armaments virtually assures the conflict will continue well into 2025 before Ukraine eventually runs out of soldiers. Then, Biden will either retreat, or NATO will be drawn into a hot war with Russia. Neocons on both sides of the aisle can only hope.

Israel: Israel receives another $14 billion in the deal, although it’s hard to understand why. They haven’t suffered any significant loss of military hardware in the Gaza operation, and surely, the U.S. should not be expected to foot the bill for the Hamas extermination, right? Sure, Israel fired a few missiles and drones into Iranian dirt, but c’mon, $14 billion? Tell me where I can buy into that kind of action.

U.S. defense contractors: Perhaps the most joyous group are the defense contractors, including Raytheon, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, among others. The day before the attack, Raytheon’s stock closed at $89. Today, it closed at $101. How about a 13% gain in 10 days while the broader market declined? That’s the kind of stock picking reserved for experts like Nancy Pelosi’s husband.

As a side note, notice I didn’t name Ukraine as a winner. That’s because this infusion of new weapons will do nothing to influence the ultimate outcome of the war, which will result in ceding land to Russia one way or another. Instead, the new weapons will only prolong the suffering, death and destruction the Ukrainian people continue to endure.

 The Nagging Question: What About Iran?

The only player in the destruction-less exchange who doesn’t ostensibly benefit is Iran. That remains a head scratcher, but rest assured, the bounty will be revealed sometime down the road, long after the memory of the brief exchange has faded from the headlines. Yeah, Joe threw some meaningless sanctions at Iran after the attack, but pardon my skepticism, there’s got to be something more underhanded and sinister lurking in the shadows. Some kind of shady quid pro quo Biden is known for.

Maybe he restarts the nuke talks with Iran and provides the Ayatollah’s with a pathway towards a functional nuclear weapons arsenal. Maybe he agrees to buy oil at elevated prices to replenish the strategic reserve, which will raise the international price. Maybe he hands over more cash. Or, perhaps it was Joe calling in his marker in return for the $70 billion Iran has made during his reign. It may be overt or covert, but rest assured Iran will get rewarded for its timing and restraint.

I’m sure this article will be immediately stamped with the “right wing conspiracy” label upon publication, but I promise you that sometime in the future when you least expect it, you’ll read about an inexplicable perk or benefit the U.S. is giving to Iran.

Remember this piece during that “Ah-ha.” moment.