Wednesday 26 June 2024

Biden Goes Soft On Adversaries To Keep Gas Prices ‘Stable’ As Election Looms: Report

 The Biden administration, intent on preventing gas prices from rising and jeopardizing President Joe Biden’s re-election chances, is reportedly going soft on its enemies, including Russia and Iran, in order to keep the oil flowing.

“The president has wanted to do everything that he could to make sure that American consumers have the lowest price possible at the pump, as it affects families’ daily lives,” a senior administration official told the Wall Street Journal.

The outlet reported that the “Biden administration wants to keep gas prices stable ahead of the election,” leading “to softer-than-expected sanctions on major oil producers,” citing multiple sources.

“Nothing terrifies an American president more than a gasoline pump price spike,” Bob McNally, president of consulting firm Rapidan Energy Group, stated. “They will go to great lengths to prevent this, especially in an election year.”

On Tuesday, the Biden administration’s Treasury Department implemented sanctions targeting a “shadow banking” network “used by Iran’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to gain illicit access to the international financial system implanted new sanctions on Iran,” the Treasury Department announced, adding:

The MODAFL Supply Division uses exchange houses in Iran that manage numerous cover companies registered in permissive jurisdictions such as Hong Kong or the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to launder the revenue generated through foreign commercial activity, including oil sales conducted by U.S.-designated MODAFL affiliate Shara Thunder, into clean foreign currency. 

“The United States is taking action against a vast shadow banking system used by Iran’s military to launder billions of dollars of oil proceeds and other illicit revenue,” Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo stated. “We have sanctioned hundreds of targets involved in Iran’s illicit oil and petrochemical-related activity since President Biden took office, and we will continue to pursue those who seek to finance Iran’s destabilizing terrorist activities. We continue to work with allies and partners, as well as the global financial industry, to increase vigilance against the movement of funds supporting terrorism.”


But Homayoun Falakshahi, an oil analyst at Kpler, asserted that the sanctions would not have any significant impact on oil markets, saying, “It will be limited and temporary. It’s a question of forming new shell companies and rearranging the supply chain.”

Vis-à-vis Russia, the Journal pointed out, “When the Treasury department hit Moscow with a wave of sanctions on June 12 over the Ukraine war, it targeted banks but left the country’s oil industry largely untouched.”

The Journal noted that when the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Russia’s state tanker owner, Sovcomflot, it exempted 77 of Sovcomflot’s 91 ships, according to Kpler. “When the Treasury department hit Moscow with a wave of sanctions on June 12 over the Ukraine war, it targeted banks but left the country’s oil industry largely untouched,” the Journal noted.

U.S. officials have communicated with commodity traders “to apply for special licenses to ship Venezuelan oil and approved individual applications, according to administration officials,” the Journal reported.

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