Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Western sanctions tighten squeeze on Iran oil exports...But Obama can Grant Waivers if Voters Backlash on Oil Prices gets to Much

(Reuters) - Western trade sanctions against Iran are strangling its oil exports even before they go into effect, a U.S. advisory body has found, amid warnings that any shortages will only push up crude prices and strain a weak global economy.

With crude prices trading around 10-month highs and limited spare production capacity worldwide, the United States may offer Iran's biggest customers waivers from the oil sanctions, which take effect June 28.

Iran is the world's fifth largest oil exporter and the second-biggest producer in OPEC after Saudi Arabia.

It's biggest customers, including China, Japan and India have become tangled up in U.S.-led sanctions aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions, but which have also revived fears of a global recession.

High crude prices present a major challenge for politicians seeking re-election, including for U.S. President Barack Obama, who may face a backlash from voters paying a U.S. gasoline price that is climbing towards record levels of $4 a gallon.

Obama, however, can grant waivers if doing so would be deemed in the nation's interest. Read More