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Markets Don’t Really Get Israel-Iran Tension: Pro

Real fear is growing that the war of words between Israel and Iran may soon become a war of another sort all together.

Israeli leaders appear to be preparing the country for war. New gas mask distribution centers have opened and a nationwide missile alert system has been tested. These and other developments have sparked conjecture that a strike may be imminent.

At issue is Iran’s nuclear program.

Israel contends that a nuclear-armed Iran poses too much of a threat to Israel’s survival for the nation to stand down. Iran has called for Israel's destruction calling the nation, an "insult to all humanity."

In a live interview on CNBC’s Fast Money, George Friedman, the founder and CEO of geopolitical analysis firm Stratfor tells us that as scary as those developments may sound - the chance of war is only 15%.

“Over the past few years Israel (tends to) ramp up rhetoric, talking about air strikes and carrying out war games at a time when there’s already pressure on Iran. The rhetoric adds to the pressure. But it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to see an attack.”

Time and again both sides claim victory in the war on words and the tension dies down. But that begs the question – why is oil spiking.

According to Friedman, it’s because speculators don’t understand how the Mideast works. But they will. He says investors will eventually learn to differentiate between rhetoric and a real escalation.

“As long as the markets take rhetoric as intention oil will go up – but you can’t judge risk by rhetoric – by that measure Israel would have attacked 3 years ago.”

All told, Friedman's commentary suggests the next big move in oil should be lower.

Posted by CNBC's Lee Brodie

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Trader disclosure: On August 21, 2012, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders; Josh Brown is long AAPL; Josh Brown is long DEM; Jon Najarian is long AAPL CALL SPREADS; Jon Najarian is long BAC CALL SPREADS; Jon Najarian is long JPM CALL SPREADS; Jon Najarian is long WFC CALL SPREADS; Jon Najarian is long GLD CALL SPREADS; Jon Najarian is long SBUX CALL SPREADS; Jon Najarian is long FB CALL SPREADS; Jon Najarian is long EEM CALL SPREADS; Jon Najarian is long GLUU; Jon Najarian is long CME; Jon Najarian is long CBOE; Jon Najarian is long STSI; Stephen Weiss is long JPM; Stephen Weiss is long AAPL; Stephen Weiss is long TBT; Stephen Weiss is long WLT; Joe Terranova is long VRTS; Joe Terranova is long MCD; Joe Terranova is long SBUX; Joe Terranova is long WFM; Joe Terranova is long AAPL; Joe Terranova is long CSTR; Joe Terranova is long CHKP; Joe Terranova is long EMC; Joe Terranova is long NXPI; Joe Terranova is long SEPT. XLF $15 CALLS; Joe Terranova is long AAPL $640 PUTS

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