Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that he will make a statement at 8 p.m. Tel Aviv time tonight on a “significant development” regarding the Iranian nuclear pact. (As best as I can do the conversions, 8 p.m. in Tel Aviv is 1 p.m. in New York.) Israeli news sources are saying that the government has obtained documents that government sources say prove Iran has misled the world about its nuclear program. U.S. President Donald Trump faces a May 12 deadline for deciding if the United States will pull out of the international agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. The accord lifts restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear activities beginning in 2025, and Trump has warned he’ll withdraw unless the deal is revised to bar Iran from ever developing nuclear arms.
The New York Times reports, citing an unnamed Israeli military official, that on April 9 Israel carried out a strike on an air base near Damascus that was said to house an Iranian military drone program.
On Sunday new U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a visit to Jerusalem that the U.S. will pull out of the “flawed” 2015 deal if it can’t be fixed.
So far U.S. allies who signed the deal have stressed that they intend to stick with the deal. Iran has said that it isn’t isn’t interested in changing it.
So far today oil markets aren’t too ruffled by the news. U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate was up 0.66% as of 12:40 p.m. New York time and the International Brent benchmark was ahead 0.67%. I would note, however that these price gains are up from a 0.25% move in West Texas Intermediate and a 0.35% increase in Brent as of 11:40 a.m. New York time