This afternoon, one of my correspondents asked me the following question:
What’s your put on the new Iranian agreement, can the weapon program be capped and verification assured?
Here was my response:
I am happy that there is an interim agreement. It indicates that some people are starting to recognize that Iran is probably telling the truth when it says that it wants to maintain the capability to enrich uranium to provide an independent capability to provide fuel for a growing domestic nuclear energy program. It will be a great benefit to all of us if tensions ease and Iran regains its ability to engage in international business, especially exporting oil and gas.
By my calculations, the world has been paying an Iranian sanctions premium of at least $15 per barrel of oil for at least the past six months and perhaps even the past year. That has resulted in enormous financial benefits for a few and an economy slowing cost for all of the rest of us. (As an example, the Iranian sanctions premium has provided an additional $120 million per day to Saudi Arabia, based on its recent export figure of 7.8 million barrels per day.)
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