Could Barack Obama petro-blackmail Iran on its nuclear ambitions? Former State Department official Orde Kittrie thinks so. Despite abundant crude oil, limited refining capacity forces Iran to import 40% of its gasoline, Kittrie explains in the Wall Street Journal. And though none of its main suppliers are based in the US, four of the five companies are European; perhaps the new president should test his diplomatic skills on persuading them to boycott.
Some receive money directly from the US government, while others are building facilities on US soil. Plus, the US can likely convince their home countries to apply pressure, too. With Iranian economists complaining about weak existing sanctions, ratcheting up the price of gas “could be a game-changer,” Kittrie argues. “It may be our best remaining hope of peacefully” stopping Iran’s nuclear program.