The US may turn a blind eye to Iranian oil, says Vitol exec

The US may turn a blind eye to Iranian oil, says Vitol exec
FILE PHOTO: Storage tanks are seen at Marathon Petroleum’s Los Angeles Refinery, which processes domestic & imported crude oil into California Air Resources Board (CARB), gasoline, diesel fuel, and other petroleum products, in Carson, California, U.S., March 11, 2022. REUTERS/Bing Guan

Gas prices are going up all over the world, and the US is looking for places other than Russia to get that extra fuel. One potential source could be Iran – a country that the US has imposed sanctions against.

Up until now, much of the discussion has hinged around the Iran Nuclear Deal, which basically would be an agreement that the US lift some sanctions on Iran in exchange for Iran slowing down or giving up its nuclear program. But, talks between Iran and other world powers have been on the back burner since March.

But the head of Vitol’s Asia branch, Mike Muller, said the US might look to even turn a blind eye to waiting for a deal with Iran because of the political pressure caused by high gas prices.

Key comments:

“Uncle Sam might just allow a little bit more of that oil to flow,” said Mike Muller, head of Vitol’s Asia branch, on a podcast. “If the midterms are dominated by the need to get gas prices lower in America, turning a somewhat greater blind eye to the sanctioned barrels flowing out is probably something you might expect to see. US intervention in these flows has always been pretty sparse.”

“It’s a tale of two worlds,” Muller said. “The affluent world is going to have their holidays and burn jet fuel. But the impact elsewhere is a lot more profound. The divide between the prosperous and the countries that have a lower ability to pay for commodities is becoming extremely stark.”