When it comes to U.S. policy toward Iran, irony is the name of the game. Where to begin? The increasingly fierce sanctions that the Obama administration is seeking to impose on that country’s oil business will undoubtedly cause further problems for its economy and further pain to ordinary Iranians. But they are likely to be splendid news for a few other countries that Washington might not be quite so eager to favor.
Take China, which already buys 22% of Iran’s oil. With its energy-ravenous economy, it is likely, in the long run, to buy more, not less Iranian oil, and — thanks to the new sanctions — at what might turn out to be bargain basement prices. Or consider Russia once the Eurozone is without Iranian oil. That giant energy producer is likely to find itself with a larger market share of European energy needs at higher prices. The Saudis, who want high oil prices to fund an expensive payoff to their people to avoid an Arab Spring, are likely to be delighted. And Iraq, with its porous border, its thriving black market in Iranian oil, and its Shiite government in Baghdad, will be pleased to help Iran avoid sanctions. (And thank you, America, for that invasion!)
Who may suffer, other than Iranians? In the long run, the shaky economies of Italy, Greece, and Spain, long dependent on Iranian oil, potentially raising further problems for an already roiling Eurozone. And don’t forget the U.S. economy, or your own pocketbook, if gas prices go up, or even President Obama, if his bet on oil sanctions turns out to be an economic disaster in an election year.
Bill Bard says:
Lucid take on the Fuck up in the Iran debacle. Simplified for Simpletons.