U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry this week held two high-profile meetings, one with his counterpart from Saudi Arabia and the other with his Russian counterpart. These meeting were an attempt ensure ample supply of crude oil after sanctions against Iran come into effect in November.
Perry praised OPEC as a whole and Russia as its partner for responding to higher prices by increasing production, even using the word “admiration” as something the cartel and Russia deserved for their efforts to keep oil prices under control.
The talks are the latest stage in Washington’s preparation for the sanctions whose purpose is to cripple the Iranian economy to an extent that would lead to a regime change - although observers familiar with Iranian politics have warned this is an unlikely outcome.
Yet it has become clear that there is as much to be lost from these sanctions as—hypothetically—to be gained. Prices at the pump in the U.S. are climbing higher ahead of the November 4 deadline before the sanctions kick in and this is not something the Trump Administration wants ahead of the November midterm elections.
That’s why the administration has been—on the one hand--very actively trying to convince Iran’s biggest trading partners to drop its crude, and, on the other, seeking to ensure there will be enough oil even when Iran’s exports slump.
The situation is particularly interesting with regard to Russia.…