Some analysts are arguing that Friday's $10.75 rise in oil prices was caused by Israeli saber-rattling against Iran. For example, The Hindu of India stated:
The Israeli Transport Minister’s threat that a military attack on Iran could become inevitable has pushed oil prices to record levels.
Oil prices breached the $139 a barrel mark after Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz said on Friday an attack on Iran was “unavoidable” as sanctions had failed to prevent Tehran from developing its nuclear capability.
Leaving aside the question of whether that's an accurate explanation of Friday's events, I'm wondering about the more general theoretical question. Could a government or a politician make money in the financial markets by threatening war in the Gulf?
If you knew that, say, a deputy prime minister of a regional power would make militarily threatening statements on Friday, but then lower the heat later, could you make a near guaranteed profit on oil futures? If so, how much could you make? How often could you get away with it before enough people would figure it out that you couldn't do it anymore?