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New US Middle East Policy

The US policy in the Middle East will become more anti-Iranian over the next couple of months.  The key date here is the Iran Nuclear Deal sign off that Trump will need to make in mid May.

Here is a short overview of the how the key actors in the region are currently position and changes expected in the short term.

  1.  Saudi, Israeli, UAE, Jordanian and Egyptian Alliance:  this is against Iranian influence in the Middle East, especially in Syria etc.  The ‘Shia’ highway from Tehran to the Mediterranean is making Israel, Jordan and other countries in the region nervous.
  2. There is a key election in Iraq to that could decide the direction of that country.
  3. Turkey has achieved its domestic objectives in the Afrin, Syrian operation and looks increasing likely to start working more closely with the US on Syria.  Supporting this view is a last minute push for Turkey to abandon the S-400 missile purchase from Russia and a recent phone call by Trump to Macron insisting on closer cooperation with Turkey in Syria.
  4. The Kurdish leadership has made several critical mistakes in the past year and thus the idea of an independent country looks less likely.  The mistakes were the election in northern Iraq and granting oil rights to the Russians.   Although the recent appointment of Bolton as security adviser to Trump argues the opposite.  In the end, Turkey is very important to the US and I don’t see this scenario happening at this point.

Forecast:  a more aggressive foreign policy in Syria and the Middle East against Iranian interests.  Thus political risk in the price of oil would increase.  Perhaps we could be looking at $10 to $20 a barrel in political risk within the next few months.   This is based on possible military action by the US supported by the alliance mentioned above.