$150 Oil Watch: Iran Edition
Gee, that didn't go very well now, did it?
Iran has increased support for militia groups in Iraq in recent months, the US ambassador in Baghdad has said.
Ryan Crocker spoke after meeting his Iranian counterpart for rare talks on Iraq's security crisis, the second direct meeting in almost three decades.
I thought Crocker was supposed to be one of these "realists" not in the thrall of Vice President Cheney. But with a quote like this, you gotta wonder:
"What we have been seeing on the ground over the last couple of months [in Iraq] represents an escalation [by Iran], not a de-escalation," he said.
Couple this with the news a few days ago that Cheney has regained the president's ear when it comes to the tug-of-war within the administration on Iran (and it's increasingly obvious that Condi Rice, no matter her personal rapport with Bush, is becoming ever more marginalized on nearly every issue), and the prospect of a military confrontation driving oil to $150 is looking a lot more likely than it did the last time the U.S. and Iranian ambassadors met on Memorial Day.
Then we add this to the mix:
Vice President Cheney is losing a trusted aide: David Wurmser, Cheney's chief adviser on Middle East affairs and perhaps the Bush administration's most radical hawk. According to multiple sources, Wurmser will leave the office of the vice president (OVP) in August for the private sector, where he will start a risk-consulting business.
It was Wurmser who let it be known around Washington a while back that Cheney was disenchanted with the president's seemingly-dovish turn on Iran, and that the veep might force the president's hand by egging on the Israelis to bomb Iran's nuclear sites, touching off a conflict that would inevitably draw in the United States.
But if the president has now had a change of heart, is Wurmser leaving the administration confident that his work is done?
Update: Mish Shedlock sees my $150 and rasises me $50 in today's Whiskey shot.