Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Oil Policy

(Washington Institute for Near East Policy) Simon Henderson - During the past three months, world prices for oil have steadily increased, leading to predictions that the $100 per barrel level will soon be breached. In the past, Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, has used its market strength to influence prices. A particular challenge for the U.S. is that rising oil prices undermine policy on Iran, where sanctions are intended to cause lower oil revenues. Yet figures released last month by the U.S. Department of Energy show that Iran's January-November 2010 revenues were $64 billion, an increase of $11 billion over the full-year 2009 figure. An additional problem is that Iran has been chosen by OPEC members for the cartel's 2011 presidency.

2011-01-13 09:13:32

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