The world economy would bear substantial costs if the United States took steps to significantly escalate the conflict with Iran over its controversial nuclear program, according to the findings of a Federation of American Scientists’ (FAS) special report released here Friday.
Based on consultations with a group of nine bipartisan economic and national security experts, the findings showed the effects of U.S. escalatory action against Iran could range from 64 billion to 1.7 trillion dollars in losses for the world economy over the initial three-month term.
The least likely scenario of de-escalation, which would require U.S. unilateral steps showing it was willing to make concessions to resolve the standoff, would result in an estimated global economic benefit of 60 billion dollars.
“The study’s findings suggest that there are potential costs to any number of U.S.-led actions and, in general, the more severe the action, the greater the possible costs,” Mark Jansson, FAS’s special projects director, told IPS.
“That being said, even among experts, there is tremendous uncertainty about what might happen at the higher end of the escalation ladder,” added Jansson, the second author of the report after Charles P. Blair, an FAS senior fellow on state and non-state threats.
The six plausible scenarios of U.S.-led actions against Iran included isolation and a Gulf blockade, which would include U.S. moves to “curtail any exports of refined oil products, natural gas, energy equipment and services”, the banning of the Iranian energy sector worldwide (incurring an estimated global economic cost of 325 billion dollars), and a comprehensive bombing campaign that would also target Iran’s ability to retaliate (incurring an estimated global ...