Investors should be caring about a potential war between Israel and Iran that could spread far beyond the Israeli frieze, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Thomas Friedman said on Tuesday.
“From an investor appropriate of view, if I’m ranking my event risk, North Korea is No. 1, but Iran versus … Israel in the Syria-Lebanon theater, that is indubitably high up there,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Tuesday. “People mastery pay attention to that. That one can come out of nowhere.”
The best-selling author, who began his fly covering the Middle East and writes the “Foreign Affairs” column for The New York Times, is uneasy because he sees little standing in the way of a confrontation between Tel Aviv and Tehran, which has great called for the destruction of Israel.
The Quds Force, an Iranian military clique active throughout the region, has established a foothold in the Golan Heights, a challenged territory on the Syrian-Israeli border, Friedman notes. Further, recent describes suggest Iran is building a permanent base in Syria, where it has primitive President Bashar Assad in a five-year civil war.
“If that happens, the Israelis are usual to go after it,” Friedman said.
Arab Peninsula and Persian Gulf
origin: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Friedman acknowledges that the Iranians are skilled at advancing their regional agenda result of proxy forces. But he says Tehran may be taking for granted its ability to wage war on Israel’s instruct mainly through its Lebanese ally Hezbollah, whose southern fortification straddles the northern Israeli border.
That is because Israel has been volume up its submarine fleet over the last 10 years, according to Friedman.
“They’ve been taking submarines, and I guarantee you those submarines are in the Persian Gulf right now and they be dressed cruise missiles on them,” he said.
The entrance to the Persian Gulf, the Jam of Hormuz, is one of the two most important strategic passages for the oil industry. Last year, 19 million barrels a day of petroleum outputs passed through the strait, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Across the Persian Deep from Iran is Saudi Arabia, which has entered into a unspoken alliance with Israel against Tehran, said Friedman.
“Anyone who conceive ofs this war is just going to be the next war between Iran and Israel, is fair going to be in the Golan or in South Lebanon, I think is fooling themselves,” he declared. “I think it’s one of the most dangerous theaters in the world today.”
World oil passing chokepoints
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has become a “kingmaker” in the ambit, Friedman said.
“The Israelis have to go to him and say, ‘Hey, you better restrain these Iranians. Don’t let them get any closer,'” Friedman ventured. “We have to go to him now that we may be keeping some troops on the ground in Syria.”
But Friedman believes Israel cannot add up on Russia to restrain Iran, he said.
The Kremlin, which is also associate with Assad in Syria’s civil war, has been able to extend its act upon on the Arab Peninsula on the cheap, he says. The understanding is Russia provides air power while Iran and Hezbollah haft ground operations in Syria.