U.S. Oil Production Boosts Iran Sanctions

Council for a Secure America Board Member Martin Frost attended a conference sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center on June 12th in Washington, DC. The subject of the forum was “The Geopolitical Impacts of the U.S. Tight Oil Boom: Implications for OPEC and the U.S. Strategic Posture.” Among the featured speakers were Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize winning author of major books on American Energy, and Carlos Pascual, Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

Here is his report:
Both Yergin and Ambassador Pascual made the point that increased domestic U.S. production of oil has directly affected the success of international sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. These sanctions are a major part of efforts to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon that could threaten the existence of Israel and alter the balance of power in the Middle East. They pointed out that increases in U.S. oil production in states such as North Dakota and Texas have largely offset the 1.5 million barrels a day in Iranian exports lost because of sanctions on Iran. Increases in U.S. domestic production have decreased our country’s need to import oil and have helped stabilize world oil prices.

Yergin and Pascual largely repeated statements they had previously made in an interview with NBC News which appeared earlier this year on NBC’s open channel blog.

“What this has taught us, and helped underscore, is that within the world we live in today, hard security issues and energy policy issues have become fundamentally intertwined,” Pascual told NBC.

“The increase in U.S. oil production has already had an impact: Sanctions wouldn’t have been effective without U.S. oil production…We’ve added (within the last year) almost as much as Iran was exporting before sanctions,” Yergin told NBC.