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The United States is planning to announce new sanctions on Iran’s oil sales as early as today, according to a tweet by Bloomberg TV’s Annmarie Hordern.
“The sanctions will focus on entities facilitating the oil trade, and will be part of a broader plan to set up sanctions on the regime in the coming weeks,” Hordern said on Thursday afternoon.
For months now, a new nuclear deal with Iran has kept the market on edge and has been routinely touted as “imminent.” A deal, however, has yet to be struck. In just the last couple of weeks, the hope of reaching a deal seemed less certain.
Reaching a new nuclear deal with Iran could send oil prices plummeting, with Iran finding it easier to export more oil barrels without the current sanctions. A new round of sanctions from the United States on Iran’s oil exports—what one would assume could be secondary sanctions on those helping to facilitate Iran’s oil trade—would likely have the opposite effect on oil prices.
While the United States prepares to announce additional sanctions on Iran’s oil sales—the announcement alone which would certainly send prices upwards to some degree—it is sending the clear message to the U.S. oil and gas industry that gasoline prices are still too high.
On Wednesday evening, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said that gasoline prices should be 30 cents lower than they are currently. “Prices at the pump should be falling, not rising. Companies need to fix this,” Granholm said in a Tweet.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.