CNBC’s Quick: Biden Has Allowed Iranian Oil to Be Sold to Keep Oil Prices from Rising

On Monday’s broadcast of CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” co-host Becky Quick stated that while the U.S. has sanctions on Iran, the Biden administration has “acknowledged that they’re going to continue to allow” Iranian oil to be sold elsewhere because they don’t want oil prices to go up.

CNBC Contributor and Global Head of Commodity Strategy for RBC Capital Markets Helima Croft said, “Iranian exports have grown this year. They have grown significantly. So, is the Biden administration going to come under increasing pressure to tighten the Iran sanctions? Now, Amos Hochstein was out basically saying that we’re going to have tougher enforcement, but what are those Iran numbers going to actually look like? That’s a very important wild card, I think, for next year, in terms of market balances.”

Later, Quick stated, “Look, with the Iranian sanctions, though, let’s just be clear, the United States has said, okay, we have these sanctions, but it’s basically been acknowledged that they’re going to continue to allow that oil to be sold elsewhere, because they don’t want — the United States politicians don’t want oil prices going up either, because it really ticks off voters to be paying more at the pump, especially in an election year.”

Croft responded, “Well, Becky, that’s a great question, because you are seeing action from the United States Congress to tighten those sanctions up. You had broad bipartisan support for a bill that just passed the House of Representatives, that would not only mandate stricter enforcement, but also target foreign ports that are taking Iranian cargo. So, I do think you’re seeing new pressure from Congress to tighten up these sanctions…we don’t know the degree of support in the White House for this, Amos Hochstein has said they’re going to tighten them up. But the question is, are we going to see the full 700,000 off the market? How much do we see in terms of rigorous enforcement from this administration? Because you’re right, they don’t want higher oil prices, but, again, I don’t think they want to be accused of allowing Iran a free hand to support groups across the Middle East that have caused so much turmoil.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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