Category: Gog-Ezekiel 38 & 39

Israel Is Right Now Negotiating ‘Historic Pact’ With Arab Gulf States That Will Provide ‘Peace And Safety’ In Unprecedented End Times Alliance

While Israel seeks to widen its diplomatic relations with states in the region beyond its two full peace partners Egypt and Jordan, the non-aggression pact initiative stems from Israel’s recognition that full relations with the Gulf states may not be possible unless or until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved, the TV report noted. The deal would constitute a “historic” document, putting an end to the state of conflict between these Gulf states and Israel, the report said. The draft clauses reportedly include commitments to develop “friendly relations and cooperation” in accordance with the UN charter and international law; to prevent hostility or incitement to hostility against each other; and to eschew any military or security alliance with other parties against each other.

by Geoffrey Grider October 5, 2019

Israel is reportedly negotiating with several Gulf states on a “non-aggression pact” between them as they face off against an increasingly emboldened Iran.

This is obviously not the covenant that Daniel 9:27 talks about, but it could absolutely be the first step in setting the table for the final peace pact under Antichrist in the time of Jacob’s trouble. At the very least, it’s breathtaking to see movement after so long a time of inactivity, and when you consider the scope of what such a pact would entail, the implications are far-reaching and highly prophetic in nature.

“For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2,3 (KJV)

When you read the article below from the Times of Israel, look carefully at the section I have broken out in quote formatting. The part that says “the non-aggression pact initiative stems from Israel’s recognition that full relations with the Gulf states may not be possible unless or until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved” shows you exactly where we are at on the Bible timeline. The only question is how much of this will we get to see come to fruition before the Rapture takes place.

“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Daniel 9:27 (KJV)

They are calling it an “historic peace pact” and not only is it historic, I will go one step further and say, if they can pull it off, it is prophetic as well. If they can pull this off, we will be halfway to the Daniel 9 prophecy, and a kitten’s whisker away from the fulfillment of Titus 2:13 (KJV). If you love end times Bible prophecy, the video at the bottom of this article will blow you away, especially when Katz quotes Isaiah.

Israel and Gulf states working on ‘historic pact’ to end conflict between them

FROM THE TIMES OF ISRAEL: The deal, which Channel 12 news described as potentially “historic,” aims to put an end to the state of conflict between the Gulf states and Israel, and reportedly provides for friendly relations, cooperation in a variety of fields, and no war or incitement against each other.

Advancing the Israeli initiative, Foreign Minister Israel Katz met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last month with several foreign ministers from Arab Gulf states, Channel 12 news reported Saturday night. There was no immediate comment from the Foreign Ministry, but Katz himself on September 23 tweeted that he had held talks with an unnamed counterpart from an Arab country with which Israel does not have formal relations, and said they discussed “ways to deal with the Iranian threat” and a process for boosting “civilian cooperation.”

Katz, who is leading the effort with the backing of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, agreed with his Gulf Arab interlocutors during “a series of meetings” to set up working teams to take the non-aggression pact forward, the TV report said. He presented his Gulf counterparts with a draft text of the intended pact, which was drawn up by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the TV report said. It reportedly highlights the opportunity to advance common interests in the context of the threat posed by Iran, and is drafted in accordance with principles of international law.

Katz is also reported to have discussed the intended pact with the Trump administration outgoing special envoy for the peace process, Jason Greenblatt.

While Israel seeks to widen its diplomatic relations with states in the region beyond its two full peace partners Egypt and Jordan, the non-aggression pact initiative stems from Israel’s recognition that full relations with the Gulf states may not be possible unless or until the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved, the TV report noted. The deal would constitute a “historic” document, putting an end to the state of conflict between these Gulf states and Israel, the report said.

The draft clauses reportedly include commitments to develop “friendly relations and cooperation” in accordance with the UN charter and international law; to prevent hostility or incitement to hostility against each other; and to eschew any military or security alliance with other parties against each other.

Among other elements, the TV report said, the draft text specifies cooperation in the fight against terror, and in advancing economic interests.

Katz attended the General Assembly on behalf of Netanyahu, who remained in Israel as he seeks to negotiate a majority coalition. The prime minister had planned to attend the UN gathering and meet on the sidelines with US President Donald Trump, who had said earlier last month that he intended to discuss a possible US-Israel Mutual Defense pact.

At the UN on September 23, Katz held what he said at the time was “a first and fascinating meeting yesterday with one of the Arab foreign ministers.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10120

MBS Warns War with Iran Could Collapse Global Economy

And yet, the Pentagon still has plans to wipe the Islamic Republic off the map.

Sep 30

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is warning that a war with Iran would have disastrous consequences for the entire world.

In his long-awaited interview with “60 Minutes,” the de facto Saudi ruler insists the rest of the world must “take a strong and firm action to deter Iran, but conceded:

“The region represents about 30 percent of the world’s energy supplies, about 20 percent of global trade passages, about 4 percent of the world GDP. Imagine all of these three things stop. This means a total collapse of the global economy, and not just Saudi Arabia or the Middle East countries … Oil supplies will be disrupted and oil prices will jump to unimaginably high numbers that we haven’t seen in our lifetimes.”

MbS told “60 Minutes” correspondent Norah O’Donnell that the “political and peaceful solution” would be much preferable to a military solution. He agreed that President Donald Trump should sit down with his Iranian counterpart—but he noted that it is the Iranians who don’t want to talk at this point.

The quest for a political and diplomatic solution to the Iran crisis seems to have rankled Israel. Following Sunday’s CBS broadcast, DEBKAfile ran a report with the headline “Crack in the anti-Iran front: U.S. persuades Saudis to engage Tehran in regional deals.”

The report notes that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he has received “messages from Saudi Arabia.” His spokesman refused to divulge the content of those messages, or how they were delivered, but he also added:

“If Saudi Arabia is really pursuing a change of behavior, Iran welcomes that.”

The report also notes that Saudi Arabia was persuaded by both President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to not respond militarily to the Saudi Aramco attack that has been blamed on Tehran. Riyadh also joined the diplomatic effort to urge Rouhani to meet with the president on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last week.

It also states:

“Our sources add exclusively that even though the Trump-Rouhani summit at UN Center appeared last week to have fallen through, contacts continue and the two sides appear to be looking for a venue acceptable to both. The main obstacle for now is that the US president has no wish to travel outside America, while Rouhani is reluctant to pay another visit to the US after the US Assembly session. With the summit location still up in the air, the Saudi crown prince’s role is still undecided. However, the comment coming on Tuesday from the Iranian president’s office sounded like a strong signal of positive acceptance of the Saudi feelers for negotiations to center on the topics at issue: the Yemen war and the situation in Syria and Iraq.

“These initial Saudi overtures towards Iran under US auspices are ominous tidings for Israel and its diplomatic, military and intelligence strategy with regard to Iran. The anti-Iran axis set up between Washington, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi is now on the line. Its collapse would leave Israel high and dry on its own against the mortal threat posed by Iran. Tehran, despite Israel’s long efforts, is cementing its military grip on Syria and Iraq. Dramatizing the abiding threat to Israel on Tuesday, Sept. 30, Iran’s Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani informed his senior commanders: ‘The Islamic Republic has prepared the capability to annihilate Israel and this regime must be wiped off the world’s geographic history.’”

A top commander of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps has made the most overt threat yet. Deputy Commander for Operations Abbas Nilforoushan told Radio Farda:

“If Israel makes a strategic mistake, it has to collect bits and pieces of Tel Aviv from the lower depths of the Mediterranean Sea … Nothing will be left of Israel.

“We will perceive any mistake in the region as involvement in a war in the whole region. Any action to start a war in the region will flare up a fire that will burn those who have started the war.

“Israel is not in a position to threaten his country, because it has been encircled on all four sides …

“We will not let the enemies to face us at our borders. We will quickly drag the war to the bases and interests of the enemies anywhere they may happen to be.”

Meanwhile, leaked documents appear to detail a how a war on Iran has been on the Pentagon’s drawing board for more than ten years. Dr. Dan Plesch and Martin Butcher, who examined the blueprint on how the US attack would unfold, concluded the U.S. has made military preparations to destroy Iran’s weapons of mass destruction, nuclear energy, regime, armed forces, state apparatus, and economic infrastructure within days—if not hours.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10102

State media in Iran, Russia indicate growing Russia-Iran-Turkey alliance

It’s in media coverage in these countries, particularly the narratives of Press TV, RT and Sputnik that we can see the alliance emerge.

By Seth J. Frantzman

September 26, 2019 04:53

Iran’s Press TV tweeted in English on Wednesday with a quote from Turkey’s leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan: “Nuclear power should be forbidden for all or permissible for all.” Press TV included an image of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appearing to be sweating.

Iran’s message wasn’t a secret: the account tagged Erdogan and included the hashtag “#IsraelisExempt”. What is more secretive is the Iran-Turkey-Russia alliance that is emerging and illustrated via state-controlled media.

RT, a Russian television network, similarly highlights the greatness of Turkey and Iran as part of a campaign that clearly indicates Moscow’s support for the two. On Wednesday, it tweeted about Iran showcasing its drone expertise amid tensions in the Gulf. It also shared images from Erdogan’s speech in which he slammed Israel. Russian news agency Sputnik similarly highlighted comments by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday morning. “Turkey will probably never buy American aircraft again,” Sputnik noted as well.

A quick look at TRT and Al Jazeera, which reflect the views of governments in Ankara and Doha, did not reveal such strong praise for Russia and Iran. This means that in general, Tehran and Moscow appear to be using their media arms to curry favor with Turkey as part of a regional strategy aimed at a Turkey-Russia-Iran triumvirate or alliance. This alliance is positioned to upset the regional balance of power and has already been cemented through the Astana process to discuss Syria and the post-Syrian civil war era.

Initially, Russia and Iran were on one side of the Syrian civil war and Turkey on the other side, to the extent that in 2015, there were theories that they might come into conflict over Syria. But over time, things changed.

Turkey became closer to Russia – seeing a potential dealmaker that could be trusted, and finding a warm ear in Moscow when Turkey broached the subject of taking over parts of northern Syria, including Afrin. Moscow gave the green light over time, allowing Turkey to use Syria’s airspace and making sure the Syrian regime – a key ally of Russia – did not intervene. Turkey is now poised to seek to control a swath of Syria that could result in Turkish control of more than 30% of the country if Ankara gets everything it wants in eastern and northern Syria.

Meanwhile, Turkey and Iran grew closer economically, with Turkey seeking ways around US sanctions and seeking to boost trade to $30 billion from $10 billion in 2017. Turkey, Russia and Iran bond over Syria because they all oppose the US’s role. Turkey accuses the US of training terrorists in eastern Syria. Turkey, once opposed to Iran’s growing role in Iraq, has found accommodations with Tehran after an Iranian-backed Iraqi offensive into Kirkuk in the wake of the Kurdistan Regional Government referendum. Most importantly, Turkey is getting Russia’s S-400 – a deal that originated in 2017 and resulted in delivery of the system in the summer of 2019. It may go online in April 2020.

Turkey and Russia also work closely on TurkStream, the pipeline under the Black Sea that is linked to more muscular Turkish policies in the Mediterranean.

It’s in the media coverage by agencies and stations in these countries – particularly the narratives of Press TV, RT and Sputnik – that we can see the alliance emerge. These media share some basic features: criticism of the US and Israel, a clear editorial line towards praising Turkey and highlighting, with some glee, the growing divergence between Washington and Ankara.

Of course, Moscow and Tehran have different motives. Tehran wants Turkey as a market amid sanctions. It wants to use southern Syria as part of its land-bridge strategy to threaten Israel, necessitating some abeyance from Turkey. Russia wants Turkey to also smooth the way for things in northern Syria. That means that it doesn’t mind if Turkey re-settles refugees in eastern Syria, where the US and mostly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces are present.

This will kill two birds with one stone: it will weaken the SDF-US partnership while also moving the refugees away from Idlib. Russia’s goal is to break down the last extremist groups in Idlib. Turkey will be glad to see them go, because both Russia and Turkey want the last independent Syrian factions to evaporate, and that means defeating the SDF in the East and HTS in Idlib. It means neutralizing the last Syrian rebels by getting them to fight the SDF. Everyone gets something in this equation, except those Syrians who dared to join opposition groups.

From the Syrian regime’s perspective, this may be all a bit too much – watching its country partitioned and Moscow, Tehran and Ankara decide what is best for it. However, Syria doesn’t have much of a choice. For its part, the Syrian regime has been talking tough on the SDF more than in the past. But it must wonder if a growing Turkey-Russia-Iran alliance means permanent division of Syria into situation mirroring northern Cyprus while southern Syria is used by Iran to fight a clandestine war against Israel.

Walid Muallem, Syria’s foreign minister, says there won’t be foreign interference in Syria’s constitutional committee. Bashar al Assad met with Iran’s Ali Asghar Khaji, senior aid to Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif, and told him that the US was losing in Syria. Assad asked for some details about the recent tripartite meeting of Iran, Turkey and Russia regarding Syria. He wondered what they had decided about the country he claims to be president of.

He stressed the importance of Syrian-Iranian-Russian cooperation, according to Syrian state media SANA. Khaji smiled in return.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10090

Iran Threatens to Turn Israel into ‘dust in half a day’

By JNS September 23, 2019 , 3:40 pm

and Hashem your God delivers them to you and you defeat them, you must doom them to destruction: grant them no terms and give them no quarter. Deuteronomy 7:2 (The Israel Bible™)

Iran is no longer limited by its geographic borders, and has the ability to destroy Israel in “half a day,” said Iranian Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda on Friday.

Alamolhoda, the representative of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Khorasan Razavi province, said during a televised sermon on Friday that the Islamic Republic was no longer defined by its borders, as the Popular Mobilization Units in Iraq, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, the national front in Syria and Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Gaza “are Iran.”

He went on to state that if Iran’s borders were trespassed, Israel would be “turned to dust in half a day,” and confirmed that Iran played a role in the Sept. 14 drone and missile attack on the Abqaiq and Khurais oil fields in Saudi Arabia.

Alamolhoda: Today’s Iran is not just Iran. It is not limited by geographical borders. Today, the PMU in Iraq is Iran. Hezbollah in Lebanon is Iran. Ansar Allah [the Houthis] in Yemen is Iran. The national front in Syria is Iran. The Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Palestine are Iran. They have all become Iran. Iran is no longer just us. The sayyed of the Resistance [Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah] has announced that the resistance in the region has one imam and that this imam is the honorable leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution.

Today, Iran is the resistance in the region. This means that if you trespass our border, Israel will turn into dust in half a day.

Audience: Allah Akbar! Allah Akbar! Allah Akbar! Khamenei is the leader! Death to those who oppose the rule of the jurisprudent! Salutations upon the warriors of Islam! Peace be upon the martyrs! Death to America! Death to England! Death to the hypocrites and the infidels! Death to Israel!

Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda: Do you even understand where Iran is? Do you look to see where it is? Isn’t south Lebanon Iran? Isn’t Hezbollah Iran? The Yemeni-sent drones that caused such damage to Saudi Arabia—wasn’t Iran there? You say that [the drones] came from the north and not from the south. South or north—what difference does it make? Iran is both to your south and to your north.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10079

Iran Warns United States And Saudi Arabia To ‘Stay Away’ As They Display Their Khordad-3 Air Defense Missile System In Annual Military Parade

At the parade, the Islamic republic displayed the Khordad-3 air defence system that shot down a US drone in June. It also showcased the long-range, surface-to-air Bavar 373 missile that can travel more than 1,250 miles, bringing it in range of US bases in the region and arch-foe Israel. Saudi Arabia and the US accuse Iran of attacking Saudi oil facilities on September 14, the biggest such assault on the world’s top oil exporter.

by Geoffrey Grider September 22, 2019

Iran’s president has warned American and other foreign forces to “stay away” from the region, as Tehran paraded their Khordad-3 air defense long-range missile system capable of reaching American bases.

On one hand, the global community is long-used to hearing empty threats of war from Iran that almost never actually materialize, I get that. But to dismiss them as a ‘ mickey mouse’ country that we should just laugh off is foolish. No one was laughing back in June when Iran was able to successfully shoot from the sky a US RQ-4 Global Hawk spy drone that cost $125 million dollars. President Trump threatened Iran with ‘very severe consequences‘ but called off the attack at the last minute. And despite those very harsh sanctions, Iran has only grown bolder as evidenced in the recent proxy attack on the Saudi Aramco oil refinery.

“…and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” Genesis 16:11,12 (KJV)

Obviously, Iran is no match for the might of the United States military in head-on conflict, but look at Afghanistan. We have been fighting them for 20 years without victory, Iran looks at that and figures they’ll continue to run their mouth and roll the dice. So far it’s been a pretty good strategy for them. Iran has been quietly building their Khordad-3 air defense missile system, and to be quite honest, that’s no joke, either. The United States needs to take all threats from Tehran seriously. Because if we don’t, we’re going to get clipped.

Iran’s president warns America to ‘stay away’ as it unveils long range missiles that could strike US bases

FROM YAHOO NEWS: Hassan Rouhani said the presence of such troops in the Gulf has always brought “pain and misery”, in a speech made at an annual military parade to commemorate the war with Iraq. Mr. Rouhani spoke in response to an announcement made by the US on Friday that it was sending more troops to Saudi Arabia after an attack on Saudi oil facilities both nations blame on Iran.

“Wherever the Americans or our enemies have gone, there has been insecurity afterward,” the Iranian president said. “The farther you keep yourselves from our region and our nations, the more security there will be.”

At the parade, the Islamic republic displayed the Khordad-3 air defence system that shot down a US drone in June. It also showcased the long-range, surface-to-air Bavar 373 missile that can travel more than 1,250 miles, bringing it in range of US bases in the region and arch-foe Israel.

Saudi Arabia and the US accuse Iran of attacking Saudi oil facilities on September 14, the biggest such assault on the world’s top oil exporter.

Iran denies involvement in the attack, which was claimed by Yemen’s Houthi movement, a group aligned with Iran and currently fighting a Saudi-led alliance in the civil war. US President Donald Trump had said it would step up to protect Saudi but would take its cue from Saudi. Riyadh has said it has evidence Iranian missiles were used in last weekend’s attack and that they were launched from the north, but did not go so far as to say they came from Iranian territory.

Should the accusation be proven, it would mark such a serious escalation in the long-running conflict between Saudi and Iran that the former could be forced to retaliate.

“We hold Iran responsible because the missiles and the drones that were fired at Saudi Arabia were Iranian-built and Iranian-delivered,” Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said on Sunday. “But to launch an attack from your territory, if that is the case, puts us in a different category… this would be considered an act of war,” he told CNN.

Both sides are holding their nerve, hoping to make their case to the United Nations General Assembly later this week. Mr Rouhani, along with US sanctioned Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, will travel to New York on Monday, to present what he called a security plan for the Gulf.

“In this sensitive and important historical moment, we announce to our neighbours that we extend the hand of friendship and brotherhood to them,” he said. It is unclear what this would look like, with the president saying only that peace in the Strait of Hormuz could be achieved “in co-operation with various countries.”

The US has already formed its own maritime coalition in the Gulf to secure one of the world’s most vital oil trade routes with the UK, Saudi, Bahrain and even the UAE, which has tried to keep good relations with Tehran since the most recent tensions began

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10073

6 Of The Last 8 U.S. Recessions Were Preceded By Oil Price Spikes – Damage To Saudi Oil Industry Could Take “Months” To Repair

September 16, 2019 by Michael Snyder

When the price of oil rises dramatically, that tends to be really bad for the U.S. economy.  Because we are so spread out and goods are transported over such vast distances, our economy is particularly vulnerable to oil price shocks, and that is one reason why the events that we just witnessed in the Middle East are so alarming.  According to an article that was published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in 2007, five of the last seven U.S. recessions that had occurred up to that time “were preceded by considerable increases in oil prices”.  Since that article was published in 2007, the recession that began in 2008 hadn’t happened yet, and of course that recession was immediately preceded by the largest oil price spike in history.  So that means that six of the last eight U.S. recessions were preceded by oil price spikes, and now we may be facing another one.  It is being reported that it may take “months” for Saudi Arabia to fully repair the damage that was done to their oil industry, and that could fundamentally alter the balance of supply and demand in the global marketplace.

Yesterday, I discussed why high oil prices are so bad for our economy.  When the price of oil is too high, it can cause inflation and hurt economic growth simultaneously.  The article from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco that I mentioned in the last paragraph tried to explain why this happens in very basic economic terms

Oil price increases are generally thought to increase inflation and reduce economic growth. In terms of inflation, oil prices directly affect the prices of goods made with petroleum products. As mentioned above, oil prices indirectly affect costs such as transportation, manufacturing, and heating. The increase in these costs can in turn affect the prices of a variety of goods and services, as producers may pass production costs on to consumers. The extent to which oil price increases lead to consumption price increases depends on how important oil is for the production of a given type of good or service.

Oil price increases can also stifle the growth of the economy through their effect on the supply and demand for goods other than oil. Increases in oil prices can depress the supply of other goods because they increase the costs of producing them. In economics terminology, high oil prices can shift up the supply curve for the goods and services for which oil is an input.

Needless to say, the unprecedented attack on Saudi oil production facilities was going to cause the price of oil to rise substantially.  In fact, when global markets opened up on Sunday evening we witnessed quite a dramatic spike

In an extraordinary trading day, London’s Brent crude leaped almost $12 in the seconds after the open, the most in dollar terms since their launch in 1988. Prices subsequently pulled back some of that initial gain of almost 20%, but rallied again as traders waited in vain for an Aramco statement clarifying the scale of damage.

So where is the price of oil going from here?

One analyst quoted by Oilprice.com believes that we could soon see it hit $80 a barrel, and others believe that it could move up toward $100 a barrel not too long from now.

In the days ahead, global markets will be watching Saudi Arabia very carefully.  The longer it takes them to resume normal production levels, the higher the price of oil will go.

According to Bloomberg, one analyst is already publicly admitting that “full resumption could be weeks or even months away”…

All eyes are on how fast the kingdom can recover from the devastating strike, which knocked out roughly 5% of global supply and triggered a record surge in oil prices. Initially, it was said that significant volumes of crude could begin to flow again within days. While Aramco is still assessing the state of the plant and the scope of repairs, it currently believes less than half of the plant’s capacity can be restored quickly, said people familiar with the matter, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

”Damage to the Abqaiq facility is more severe than previously thought,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd. “While we still believe up to 50% of the 5.7 million barrels a day of output that has been disrupted could return fairly swiftly, full resumption could be weeks or even months away.”

That is really bad news, and that is assuming that there won’t be any more attacks like we just witnessed.

If there are more attacks, Saudi oil production could be far lower than normal for an extended period of time, and that would be catastrophic for the global economy.

Most Americans don’t realize this, but a lot of Saudi oil actually gets shipped to the west coast.  The following comes from Fox Business

Drivers in California, however, could be hit the hardest. Nearly half of what Saudi Arabia exports to the U.S. is sent to the West Coast, as reported by Reuters. In the year that ended in June, the West Coast imported an average of about 11.4 million barrels of Saudi crude every month – much of which went to California refineries.

The Golden State already has among the highest average gasoline prices in the country – at $3.63 per gallon as of Monday.

We are going to see higher gasoline prices right away, but in the short-term we should be able to handle them okay.

But if there are more attacks like the one we just saw, or if a major war breaks out in the Middle East, the price of gasoline could easily spike to levels that we have never seen in this country before.

The U.S. economy was already deeply struggling even before the attack in Saudi Arabia, and so this could definitely push us over the edge.  We should all be getting prepared for an extended economic downturn, because it looks like that is precisely what we could be facing.

Hopefully we won’t see any more attacks on oil production facilities, but the attack on Saturday clearly demonstrated how extremely vulnerable such facilities are to terror attacks.  And with Middle East tensions currently at an all-time high, USA Today is warning that our future “may well get much rockier soon”…

The new threat is tension among nations in the region, as well as the ability to attack based on new and relatively simple technology. Drones can be flown long distances carrying weapons just powerful enough to attack oil facilities. Middle East tensions are severe enough that attempts at similar attacks are not over.

Oil futures do not trade based on the present. They trade on forecasts about oil supply and demand in the future. The future looks rocky and may well get much rockier soon.

We are truly in uncharted territory, and we desperately need peace and calm to prevail in the Middle East.

Sadly, that is not likely to happen, and every new wave of violence is going to mean more economic pain for all of us.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10048

If You Think The Price Of Oil Is Skyrocketing Now, Just Wait Until The War Starts…

September 15, 2019 by Michael Snyder

In the aftermath of the most dramatic attack on Saudi oil facilities that we have ever seen, the price of oil has exploded higher.  The Wall Street Journal is calling this attack “the Big One”, and President Trump appears to be indicating that some sort of military retaliation is coming.  Needless to say, a direct military strike on Iran could spark a major war in the Middle East, and that would be absolutely devastating for the entire global economy.  Just about everything that we buy has to be moved, and moving stuff takes energy.  When the price of oil gets really high, that tends to create inflation because the price of oil is a factor in virtually everything that we buy.  In addition, a really high price for oil also tends to slow down economic activity, and this is something that we witnessed just prior to the financial crisis of 2008.  And if this crisis in the Middle East stretches over an extended period of time, it could ultimately result in a phenomenon known as “stagflation” where we have rapidly rising prices and weaker economic activity simultaneously.  The last time we experienced such a thing was in the 1970s, and nobody really remembers the U.S. economy of the 1970s favorably.

The damage caused by the “drone attacks” in Saudi Arabia was immense.  According to the Daily Mail, “huge plumes of black smoke” could be seen pouring out of a key Saudi oil facility…

Infernos raged at the plant in Abqaiq, Bugayg, and the country’s second largest oilfield in Khurais yesterday morning after Tehran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen fired a flurry of rockets.

Huge plumes of black smoke could be seen coming from the oil facility.

Houthi rebels in Yemen have publicly taken responsibility for the attacks, but they may or may not be telling the truth.

At this point, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is completely rejecting that explanation, and he is claiming that there is “no evidence the strikes had come from Yemen”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for coordinated strikes on the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, saying they marked an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.

The strikes shut down half of the kingdom’s crude production on Saturday, potentially roiling petroleum prices and demonstrating the power of Iran’s proxies.

Iran-allied Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen claimed credit for the attack, saying they sent 10 drones to strike at important facilities in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province. But Mr. Pompeo said there was no evidence the strikes had come from Yemen.

And according to Reuters, another unnamed “U.S. official” told them that the attacks came from “west-northwest of the targets”…

The U.S. official, who asked not to be named, said there were 19 points of impact in the attack on Saudi facilities and that evidence showed the launch area was west-northwest of the targets – the direction of Iran – not south from Yemen.

The official added that Saudi officials had indicated they had seen signs that cruise missiles were used in the attack, which is inconsistent with the Iran-aligned Houthi group’s claim that it conducted the attack with 10 drones.

Of course drones don’t have to travel in a straight line, and cruise missiles don’t either, and so we may never know for sure where the attacks originated.

But we do know that the Houthi rebels in Yemen are being backed by Iran, and we also know that the Shia militias in Iraq are also being backed by Iran.

So whether the attacks originated in Yemen, southern Iraq or Iran itself, it is not going to be too difficult for U.S. officials to place the blame on the Iranians, and we should expect some sort of military response.

In fact, President Trump posted the following message to Twitter just a little while ago

Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!

Of course U.S. airstrikes against Iran itself could ultimately spark World War 3, and most Americans are completely clueless that we could literally be on the precipice of a major war.

According to the Saudis, the equivalent of 5.7 million barrels a day of oil production were affected by the attacks.  Saudi Arabia typically produces about 9.8 million barrels a day, and so that is a really big deal.

When the markets reopened on Sunday night, oil futures exploded higher.  In fact, according to Zero Hedge this was the biggest jump ever…

With traders in a state of near-frenzy, with a subset of fintwit scrambling (and failing) to calculate what the limit move in oil would be (hint: there is none for Brent), moments ago brent reopened for trading in the aftermath of Saturday’s attack on the “world’s most important oil processing plant“, and exploded some 20% higher, to a high of $71.95 from the Friday $60.22 close, its biggest jump since futures started trading in 1988.

As I write this article, the price of Brent crude is currently sitting at $66.89, although at least one analyst is warning that the price of oil could soon shoot up to “as high as $100 per barrel” if the Saudis are not able to quickly resume their previous level of production…

The oil market will rally by $5-10 per barrel when it opens on Monday and may spike to as high as $100 per barrel if Saudi Arabia fails to quickly resume oil supply lost after attacks over the weekend, traders and analysts said.

Saudi officials have already told us that they anticipate that a third of the lost oil output will be restored on Monday.

But because of the extensive damage that has been done, restoring the remainder of the lost output could take “weeks” or even “months”.

In the short-term, President Trump has “authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve“, and that should help stabilize prices somewhat.

However, if a full-blown war with Iran erupts, nothing is going to be able to calm the markets.  In such a scenario, the price of oil could easily explode to a level that is four or five times higher than it is today, and that would essentially be the equivalent of slamming a baseball bat into the knees of the global economy.

The times that we are living in are about to become a whole lot more serious, but most Americans are not even paying attention to these absolutely critical global events.

In fact, even the mainstream media seems to believe that the new allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh are more important.

That is because they don’t understand what is really happening.

Trust me, keep a close eye on the Middle East, because things are about to start breaking loose there in a major way.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10042

Iran-Backed Militants Launch Drone Strike On Saudi Arabia’s Aramco Refineries Wiping Out Over Half Of The Kingdom’s Oil Refining Capabilities

Fires raged at the plant in Abqaiq, Bugayg, and the arab country’s second largest oilfield in Khurais this morning after mounting tensions between Riyadh and Tehran finally came to a head prompting Houthi rebels in Yemen to launch the flurry of rockets. A military spokesperson for these Yemeni rebels, who are locked into a bloody civil war, claimed responsibility for the strike on Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant Aramco.

by Geoffrey Grider September 14, 2019

Half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production power is feared to have been wiped out after Iran-backed militants turned two of the world’s most valuable refineries into infernos with a devastating drone strike.

Iran is fighting a proxy war on many fronts including Saudi Arabia and Israel, by supplying weapons and funding to Islamic terror groups in Yemen, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. These one-off type of attacks can be, as you can see here, devastatingly effective. In this recent drone strike attack on Saudi Arabia, it wiped out half of the kingdom’s production power to produce oil.

So it’s a good thing that the United States, due largely to the shale boom in the Permian Basin of West Texas, has just this month surpassed Saudi Arabia at now over 11 million barrels per day. The United States isn’t expected to cede its crown any time soon. The EIA expects US oil production to stay ahead of Russia and Saudi Arabia through 2019.

Attacks took place at 4.00 am at world’s largest oil processing plant Abqaiq

FROM DAILY MAIL UK: A eye-watering 5 million barrels per day of crude production has reportedly been destroyed – more than 50 per cent of the kingdom’s 9.65 million daily output which is relied upon around the globe. Fires raged at the plant in Abqaiq, Bugayg, and the arab country’s second largest oilfield in Khurais this morning after mounting tensions between Riyadh and Tehran finally came to a head prompting Houthi rebels in Yemen to launch the flurry of rockets.

A military spokesperson for these Yemeni rebels, who are locked into a bloody civil war, claimed responsibility for the strike on Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant Aramco.

The Houthi fighters have previously launched attacks over the border, hitting Shaybah oilfield with drones last month and two oil pumping stations in May. Both attacks caused fires but did not disrupt production.

The Saudi government has not yet officially confirmed the scale of the damage, by two well-connected sources told Reuters that 5 million barrels worth of daily production had been impacted.  Yahia Sarie announced that the Houthi’s were taking responsibility for the attacks on Saturday in a televised address carried by the Houthi’s Al-Masirah satellite news channel.

He said the Houthis sent 10 drones to attack an oil processing facility in Buqyaq and the Khurais oil field, warning that attacks by the rebels against the kingdom would only get worse if the war in Yemen continues.

Sarie said: ‘The only option for the Saudi government is to stop attacking us.’

Iran denies supplying the Houthis with weapons, although the UN, the West and Gulf Arab nations say Tehran does. Drone models nearly identical to those used by Iran have been used in the conflict in Yemen. The attacks highlight how the increasingly advanced weaponry of the Iran-linked Houthi rebels – from ballistic missiles to unmanned drones – poses a serious threat to oil installations in Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter.

The international energy watchdog said that the global oil markets are for now ‘well supplied with ample commercial stocks.’ The International Energy Agency said in a statement: ‘We are in contact with Saudi authorities as well as major producer and consumer nations.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10039

Netanyahu exposes previously unknown nuclear weapons site in Iran

Netanyahu said the facility was in a region of Iran called Abadeh. He showed satellite images of the site before July, 2019 after which Iran – somehow – discovered Israel had learned of the site.

By Herb Keinon

September 9, 2019 20:47

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed what he said was a newly discovered Iranian nuclear weapons development site at Abadeh, south of Isfahan, during a hastily called press conference Monday afternoon.

The prime minister showe satellite photos of the site taken in June, and then – after the Iranians discovered that the site had been uncovered – pictures from July showing their attempts to cover-up and destroy the site. “They destroyed the evidence, or at least tried to destroy the evidence,” he said.

Netanyahu, who spoke briefly in both Hebrew and English, said that he has a message “to the tyrants of Tehran.”

“Israel knows what you are doing, Israel knows when you are doing it, Israel knows where you are doing it,” he said. “We will continue to expose your lies. What you see is a consistent pattern of Iranian lies, deception and violations.”

The revelation comes a year after Netanyahu – during a speech at the UN – exposed what he called a “secret nuclear warehouse” in the Turquzabad neighborhood in Tehran for storing materials and equipment for Iran’s nuclear program, and a year and a half after he unveiled Iran’s secret nuclear archives that the Mossad spirited out of the country.

Netanyahu said the Abadeh site – where Iran “conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons” – was first exposed in the nuclear archives.

The prime minister called on the international community to “wake up” and “realize that Iran is systematically lying.” He called on the international community to “join President Trump’s sanctions to exert more pressure on Iran. The only way to stop Iran’s march to the bomb and its aggression in the region is pressure, pressure and more pressure.”

Netanyahu’s announcement came a few hours after IAEA’s acting director-general, Cornel Feruta, said at a meeting of the organization’s board of governors in Vienna that “time was of the essence” for Iran to explain how uranium particles were found at the Turquzabad site which Iran originally said was a carpet-cleaning facility.

Netanyahu said that the discovery of traces of uranium at the site,  and Iran’s refusal to provide an explanation to the IAEA, is a direct violation of the Non Proliferation Treaty which Iran has signed. The prime minister showed satellite images of how the Iranians tried to cover up the site with gravel.

As he left the podium in the Foreing Ministry, with pictures of the newly revealed site on a screen behind him, Netanyahu joked – in a reference to the controversy over placing cameras at polling places – “it is important that there are cameras everywhere.”

Netanyahu’s political opponents quickly accused Netanyahu of a cynical use of intelligence information to promote his election campaign.

“Netanyahu is again using intelligence information for his campaign propaganda,” Blue and White co-leader Yair Lapid said. “This is terrible national irresponsibility. Iranian nukes cannot be used as campaign antics.”

And the Democratic Union’s Ehud Barak dismissed Netanyahu’s statement eight days before the election as mere “election spin.”

Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office deflected those charges, saying that security officials recommended that Netanyahu deliver his statement immediately after Feruta’s comments in Vienna.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10036

Israel said again mulling raid on Iran; thinks Trump, unlike Obama, won’t oppose

NY Times exposé reveals extent of Netanyahu-Obama rift on stopping Iranian nukes; PM himself tells paper he’d ‘unequivocally’ have ordered strike in 2012 if cabinet had backed him

By Michael Bachner 4 September 2019, 4:13 pm 11

Israeli officials are currently considering the possibility of conducting a military strike on Iran, with or without the approval of the United States, The New York Times reported Wednesday. They believe US President Donald Trump could decide not to stand in the way of such an attack, unlike his predecessor Barack Obama, the paper reported Wednesday in an exposé that detailed the lows and highs of the Israel-US relationship in the face-off against the Islamic Republic over the past decade.

“Once again, more than a decade after they first raised the subject with American officials, Israeli officials have been considering the possibility of a unilateral strike against Iran,” said the report. “Unlike with Bush and Obama, there is greater confidence that Trump wouldn’t stand in the way.”

The report, “The Secret History of the Push to Strike Iran,” which focused on Israeli-US efforts to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons, did not specify which targets Israel was now said to be contemplating attacking. It noted that “hawks in Israel and America have spent more than a decade agitating for war against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program,” and asked: “Will Trump finally deliver?”

 “The threat of war could be a bluff, or an election ploy,” it added. “But it also represents a dangerous confluence of interests: an American president often reluctant to use military force and an Israeli prime minister looking to deal with unfinished business.”

“I think that it’s far more likely that Trump would give Netanyahu a green light to strike Iran than that Trump would strike himself,” the Obama administration’s ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro was quoted as saying. “But that, you know, is a big risk.”

Trump himself in June was “half an hour away” from approving a US strike on the Islamic Republic, reports said at the time.

“Trump’s last-minute decision to abort the attack in June led to a concern among Iran hawks in both Israel and the United States: that the president ultimately might not have the resolve to confront the threat with military force,” Wednesday’s piece said.

Jerusalem has been actively pushing and preparing for a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities for many years, and in 2012 came extremely close to giving the Israel Defense Forces a green light to carry that out, the NY Times said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was interviewed in August for the article, told the paper that he would “unequivocally” have approved the attack, but did not have the necessary cabinet support.

The report quoted dozens of current and former senior officials to describe how Netanyahu threatened the Obama administration with carrying out the strike. That pressure, according to some of those cited in the story, ironically pushed the US president to expedite the negotiations with Tehran that eventually yielded the 2015 nuclear deal. Thus Netanyahu, according to these sources, inadvertently pushed Obama to promote the agreement he loathes so much.

According to one Israeli intelligence official, “Netanyahu achieved exactly the opposite of what he wanted… By doing what he did, he promoted the deal that he fought against afterward.”

Other sources, however, told the paper that Israeli pressure did not play a significant role: “President Obama’s push for a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear challenge long predated Prime Minister Netanyahu’s saber-rattling,” it quoted Ned Price, spokesman for Obama’s National Security Council, saying. “Candidate Obama pledged in 2007 to seek the very type of diplomatic achievement he, together with many of our closest allies and partners, struck as president in 2015.”

The report said Washington had been closely monitoring Israeli activities at the height of Israel-Iran tensions in the Obama era, and that in the summer of 2012, American spy satellites “detected clusters of Israeli aircraft making what seemed to be early preparations for an attack.”

 “Israeli leaders had spent more than a year delivering ominous warnings to Washington that they might launch a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities — and that if they did, they would give the United States little warning and no chance to stop them,” the report said. “One former senior Israeli security official, looking back at that time, said that it wasn’t until then that he believed the prime minister was serious about striking Iran.”

Realizing the gravity of the moment, then-US secretary of defense Leon Panetta was said to make a rare decision to invite Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak to his Pentagon office and show him a “highly classified video.”

“In a desert in the American Southwest, the Pentagon had constructed an exact replica of the Fordo [fuel enrichment plant], and the video showed a test of the 30,000-pound [13,600 kilogram] massive ordnance penetrator, a bunker-busting weapon the [US] Air Force had designed to penetrate the most hardened of underground defenses. The bomb destroyed the mock-up in the desert. Barak was impressed,” the Times reported.

Concern in the White House over the potential Israeli strike also led it to send an official to Israel every several weeks to to “Bibisit” the Israeli leader and make sure he did not launch a strike on the Islamic Republic, the report said.

However, Israel kept preparing for the strike, which “came far closer to happening than has previously been reported.”

“[Israel’s] military and intelligence services had cut the time needed for the final preparations — for the attack and for the war that might ensue,” the report said.

“I went to bed every night, if I went to bed at all, with the phone close to my ear,” it quoted Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to Washington at the time, as saying. “I was ready to be called in by Israel and sent to the White House or the State Department to tell them we had attacked, or if they already knew from their own sources, straight to CNN.”

Netanyahu himself was quoted as saying the threat to attack Iran “was not a bluff — it was real. And only because it was real were the Americans truly worried about it.”

A satellite image from April 2, 2016, of the Fordo nuclear facility in Iran. (Google Earth)

The Times said Netanyahu at the time “pulled back from the brink only because he still could not get a majority of his cabinet to support him.” The Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday confirmed to The Times of Israel that Netanyahu was referring to the security cabinet, not the full cabinet.

“If I’d had a majority, I would have done it. Unequivocally,” Netanyahu was quoted as saying by the Times.

The timing was problematic as well, shortly before the 2012 US presidential elections. And after those elections the attack became impossible to approve because of a rift between Netanyahu and Barak, caused by a meeting the latter had with Obama’s former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel in an attempt to convince him to support Jerusalem’s move. Netanyahu received word of the undeclared meeting and believed Barak had been undermining him.

In October, the report said, the strike was called off. It quoted Barak as saying: “It is one thing to strike alone, and a totally different thing to draw the United States into a confrontation that it doesn’t want to be a part of.”

Among other claims made in the piece is that Netanyahu “became increasingly suspicious of his senior advisers” as he considered in attack seven years ago. “He now accuses [then Mossad chief, the late Meir] Dagan of leaking the attack plan to the CIA, ‘intending to disrupt it,’ a betrayal that to Netanyahu’s mind was ‘absolutely inconceivable.’ Within a year, the paper noted, Dagan, IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi, Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin, and national security adviser Uzi Arad, “were no longer in their posts.”

But “if Netanyahu hoped his handpicked replacements would be more compliant, however, he would soon be disappointed,” the report continued. Quoting three senior officials, it said “many others in the government,” including the new IDF chief Benny Gantz, “were also against the attack.” Gantz, who is Netanyahu’s main rival in the September 17 elections, was quoted telling the paper that his stance was a practical matter: “Even those who have not seen the intelligence understand that it would be a highly complicated affair and — if the impact it would have on other countries is taken into account — a strategic affair of the highest level,” Gantz said.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10026