You’ve probably all heard about the Iranian kidnapping/capture of 15 British sailors. Why would they do that? Assuming that they’re not just (a) exercising a bad habit of holding hostages as a foreign policy tool, or (B) trying to take the heat off their nuclear proliferation, or (C) trying to staunch the flow of defectors, what might they be up to?
If you follow the oil markets, you’ll note that this event has brought oil prices back up. After falling for several months, they are back up over $60 a barrel. When oil was getting cheaper Iran (and some other OPEC types) wanted to institute production cuts so the price would go back up. Saudi Arabia and others who were njto friendly to Iran decided otherwise. So what do you do if you need high oil prices to fund your nuclear aspirations and prop up your ramshackle economy? Why, the answer is obvious: create a crisis that strike fear into the hearts of the oil traders. They’ll take the prices back up for you and you won’t even have to cut production. Ka-ching.