Somebody just asked if Russia will cut-off oil sales to the EU when the U.S. attacks Iran. They also asked about the impact of an expanded Gulf war on Apple computer sales. Two good questions, just a little unusual to see them from the same source. It was definitely an AAPL investor based outside of the U.S. Likely a Canadian or U.K. national.
Here is my response:
To begin with, a U.S. attack on Iran is a given. That is expected prior to the end of September, maybe in October. The only people that are not aware of this are U.S. civilians and folks without sufficient clearance. The rest of the world has been getting regular updates on the unprecedented Persian Gulf build-up nearly every day in print and on satellite dish.
It is likely to be one of those Clintonesque cruise missile burps, along with shots from unmanned Predator drones. Cheney can't get the cash or approval from Congress for a bigger effort. What has the crude market concerned is the Iranian reaction directed at Gulf oil tanker traffic and terminals. U.S. commanders claim to have any Iranian response covered but you know one or two tankers will definitely burn.
The Chinese have been hacking U.S. Secretary of Defense Gates PCs,along with French, German and UK defense systems, just to pick up any chatter they could. China drinks a lot of Iranian crude you know.
The Russians are mixed about this. They stand to make billions on the short term sale of crude while the Gulf becomes a playground for weapons systems. Russia will never, ever cut-off any market when the price is so high. Have you ever heard of a market closing when customers are lined up out the door and willing to pay top dollar? Hell no! Smart business people stay open later and open earlier in those conditions.
iPods and iPhones will still be under Christmas trees no matter what happens. Part of the recent blip in INTC shares is due to chips going in to Macbooks and some other devices I cannot determine right now. Is there an INTC ship in the iPhone or new iPods? I really don't know where those extra INTC chips are going. Maybe weapons systems for the build up.
If you are concerned about the upcoming attack on Iran you can write your Senator or Congressman but they really don't care. They spent the day in Washington bashing Iran along with General Petraeus. War is a sport for millionaires and billionaires who could care less about the millions that might die as "collateral damage."
Links: New York Times article
2007 BBC article
The Herald UK article
2006 BBC article
I wish I had more domestic U.S. links to include but the U.S. press has chosen not to pursue this terrible possibility.