Iran can be seen as a break, at least as far as the U.S. is concerned. Yesterday, Sigal Mandelker, undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, told reporters in Singapore that Washington added "intense pressure" on Iran this week.
"It's very important that these countries [Malaysia, Singapore, and others] have important visibility into the different ways The Iranian regime uses the international community in connection with shipment of oil, ”Mandelker said. She added that she would stress the inherent risks in dealing with Iran in meetings over coming days with government officials in Malaysia, Singapore, and India.
In just the last week, we took action against nuclear scientists and agencies and other key personnel involved with the Iranian regime's past nuclear weapons entities, ”Mandelker said. “We are making radioactive to the international community.”
She added that action taken so far this week was also against a network involved in a Iranian sanctions evasion scheme, which includes Iran, the UA, and Turkey-based front companies . She added that was also bringing "maximum pressure" on the Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro. Trump's bulldog foreign policy approach
Mendelker's comments come at a precarious time for President Donald Trump. On the one hand, he has been successful using a tougher stance internationally than any of his predecessors dating back to the Reagan administration from 1
Trump's tough trade actions against China, for example, which has had sought bipartisan support in Washington, is bearing fruit and forcing. In Venezuela, tough trump action and fresh sanctions are hitting the government of Nicolas Maduro, particularly its ability to earn petrodollars, most likely ushering in its demise. Trump's Iran policy is also based on Iran's currency and economy, which is the most popular unrest, especially among younger Iranians. Related: China's Mad Scramble To Boost Domestic Oil Production
On the other hand, these foreign policy decisions could also support the president as the 2020 election cycle nears. Due to Trump's tough stance against Iran and Venezuela, both major OPEC producers, ongoing support under oil prices is persisting. The loss of Iranian and Venezuelan barrels from global markets, along with the success of the current OPEC + oil output deal is driving up oil prices near $ 70 / barrel – a price point that Riyadh has indicated it is comfortable with. On Friday morning, oil prices for both London-traded global benchmark Brent, and US benchmark, NYMEX-traded West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were on track to post their largest first quarter in a decade, during the onset of the global financial crisis. During the first quarter of 2009, both oil benchmarks gained around 40 percent.
WTI futures were $ 59.56 / barrel at 0211 GMT, up 26 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last settlement. WTI futures are set to rise for a fourth straight week and are set for a first-quarter gain of 31 percent. Burned crude oil futures, for their part, were up 30 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $ 68.12 / barrel. Brent futures are increasing by 1.7 percent for the week and are set to climb by 27 percent for the first quarter.
Trump's murky waters
to higher gasoline prices, putting the president in the crosshairs of voters, particularly swing voters or those undecided, that could vote their pocketbooks next year instead of party loyalty. The national average price of gas hit $ 2.69 on Thursday, up 28 cents from a month ago and up 9 cents from a week ago, according to AAA. California has the highest average price in the nation at $ 3.57, according to AAA. Alabama is the cheapest at $ 2.41. Related: IMO2020: Can We Expect Extreme Price Shocks? Moreover, RBOB gasoline futures are surging 42 percent so far this year, a development that has prompted the president once again to turn to influence OPEC production. On Thursday, Trump tweeted “Very important that OPEC increase the flow of oil. World markets are fragile, price of oil getting too high. Thank you! ”
However, it is uniquely that OPEC, more than OPEC's de facto leader Saudi Arabia, will comply with Trump's tweets for mercy in global oil markets any time soon. The last time the Saudi complied with the president's wishes, both via Twitter, they were caught flat-footed when he issued several waivers for Iranian oil – a development that still disapproves of the Saudis. This time, the president may be on his own when trying to sway global oil markets, and that proposition is not for Trump supporters as 2020 near
By Tim Daiss for Oilprice.com
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