Tim Pearce, DCNF
A senior Iranian oil official is warning the Trump administration against tapping into U.S. oil reserves when Iranian petroleum is readily available, Bloomberg reports.
President Donald Trump is weighing the risk of selling off 5 million to 30 million barrels of crude oil from the United States’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Selling of reserve oil would stabilize or lower the price of fuel in time for midterms when Republicans are nervous rising gas prices may swing some elections for the Democrats. The SPR currently holds about 660 million barrels of crude oil.
“My advice to you, Mr. President, is to avoid touching the SPR – to cool down and give up sanctioning Iranian oil,” Iranian oil official Hossein Kazempour Ardebili told the White House in an email, according to Bloomberg. Kazempour represents Iran in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), an international oil cartel.
The White House announced in May it would pull the U.S. out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal negotiated under former-President Barack Obama. The Trump administration is now working to cut off all Iranian oil exports from the U.S. and allied nations by Nov. 4. The price of crude has risen on fears the world’s oil supply will tighten without Iran’s exports, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The U.S.-led boycott on Iranian crude will have “many repercussions,” Kazempour warned the White House.
“If we in Iran were to stop our exports for just one month to show what it can bring to the world economy, you would have thought twice,” Kazempour said, according to Bloomberg. “But we are a civilized nation, and a responsible government.”
Trump has previously blamed OPEC, which Iran is a key player in, of artificially raising the price of oil worldwide by instituting cutbacks in production among all of OPEC’s member countries and a few others, including Russia.
The oil conglomerate agreed in September 2016 to cut oil production in order to deal with a global oil glut. The cartel announced it would modestly increaseoil production again in June.
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