BERKELEY, Calif. (MarketWatch)
Commentary: Internet interruption in the Middle East looks fishy
Nobody knows what caused the cut cables in the Mediterranean that interrupted Internet service to parts of the Middle East last week, but there are now conspiracy theories galore written by bloggers and pundits.
Some say it will benefit terrorists and Iran somehow. In fact, the cut cables — originally blamed on ships dragging anchors — look more like a ploy by some intelligence agency to disrupt Iranian commerce, specifically an emerging oil bourse that the Iranians have been quietly establishing and hoped to roll out fully in the next 60 days.
This concept seems a little farfetched until you look at the details which were provided to me by one of my readers, Martin Kuplens-Ewart who has been following the story from the outset. He notes: “there is a substantial event that has effectively been killed by the loss of connectivity: the launch of the Iranian Oil Bourse.
“A marketplace for oil, gas, and various petrochemicals, the Iranian Oil Bourse would trade exclusively in non-dollars and probably substantial negative impact to the U.S. economy and financial system. The bourse was scheduled for launch this week (between Feb. 1 and 11. With complete elimination of Internet connectivity to the country, this launch is now impossible and unlikely to be achievable before month’s end (given the estimate 10-14 days for repairs to fiber-optic cables).”
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