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What's Driving Rumors Of A New Iran Nuclear Deal?

Oil markets very briefly (and dramatically) reacted to rumors this week that an Iranian nuclear deal is back on the table. For some reason, even a whisper of this sends oil prices spiraling down on the notion that millions of barrels of Iranian oil will very suddenly be flooding the market. A report suggested that Washington would ease Iranian sanctions in return for an Iranian reduction in uranium enrichment. Of course, the report was then denied as false and misleading by both Washington and Tehran, but it did seem to suggest that not only OPEC can play the game of smoke and mirrors with oil prices.

While the official word is that there is no deal in the works, the rumors (or exaggerations) came out of Oman, where Tehran has confirmed that it had indirect talks with Washington in May. Mixed messages abound here, which is par for the course in an unofficial negotiation. Following the later-denied reports, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a statement suggesting that he would support a nuclear agreement with the West but also suggested that nothing would be tweaked in the current nuclear regime to make that happen.

This should all be viewed from the regional-relations perspective and the recent development that has seen Iran become emboldened by the restoration of diplomatic relations with the Saudis. This has, in turn, put Israel on edge (more so than its usual panic). Israel on edge is dangerous, though geopolitical talking heads appear…

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