The head of global commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, Helima Croft, has suggested that Washington is likely to increase crude oil sanctions against Tehran due to Iran’s alleged support for the Palestinian militant group Hamas. In an interview with CNBC, Croft stated that the West and the Biden administration would consider curtailing Iranian energy exports as a retaliatory measure, at the very least.
This comes in the midst of US Senator Lindsey Graham warning Tehran that the American military could target its oil industry if there is any escalation in the Middle East. Graham plans to propose a resolution on this matter, expressing concerns that the Tehran-backed Lebanese Shia group, Hezbollah, may enter the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
Croft emphasized the question of whether Iran should be allowed to enable groups like Hamas. She estimated that Iranian oil exports are nearing levels observed prior to 2018, when the Trump administration imposed restrictive measures. Therefore, she projected that the Biden administration would tighten sanctions, which could soon come into effect.
Previously, President Biden warned Iran to exercise caution but admitted that there is currently no clear evidence that Iran aided Hamas in its attack on Israel.
Meanwhile, the Middle East has been engulfed in a new wave of violence since October 7 when Hamas launched an unexpected assault on Israel. The resulting fighting has led to thousands of deaths, with Israel retaliating by bombarding Gaza. Save the Children, a UK-based aid group, reported that at least 5,087 people, including 2,055 children, have been killed in Israel’s siege of the enclave, according to figures from the Hamas-operated Health Ministry in Gaza.
In related news, there are concerns that the Israel-Hamas conflict could potentially drive oil prices to $150 per barrel. For more stories on the economy and finance, visit RT’s business section.
Overall, it appears that Washington is considering tightening crude oil sanctions against Tehran in response to Iran’s alleged support for Hamas. The possibility of the Biden administration curbing Iranian energy exports is being discussed, particularly in light of concerns over Hezbollah’s involvement in the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Helima Croft’s comments reflect the need to scrutinize Iran’s facilitation of groups like Hamas, and the potential tightening of sanctions in the near future. President Biden has urged caution to Iran but acknowledged the absence of concrete evidence implicating Iran in the attack. The ongoing violence in the Middle East has resulted in thousands of deaths, with Israel’s bombardment of Gaza in retaliation for Hamas’ assault. The situation remains extremely volatile, with fears of escalating oil prices in the midst of the conflict.