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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 8th June 2018 > Crude Gesture

Crude Gesture

U.S. sanctions on Iran are driving up oil prices around the globe—and helping Vladimir Putin



WHEN PRESIDENT DONALD Trump declared in May that he was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, he vowed to reimpose some of “the strongest sanctions that we’ve ever put on a country.” Among the biggest targets: Iran’s booming oil fields, an economic engine that fuels Europe and Asia with 4 million barrels of crude a day. But as Tehran and other world leaders recoiled, one country celebrated: Russia.

The reason? Supply and demand. The new sanctions will likely remove a million barrels of Iranian oil a day from world markets once the restrictions fully kick in this fall, and few are in a better position to reap the benefits of the resulting price surge than the Kremlin. Russia is the world’s biggest energy exporter, but for the past four years, sagging oil prices have severely hurt the country’s economy, leading to budget deficits and austerity plans. Trump’s actions could reverse that.

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Once hailed as a heroine of human rights, Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi is now being condemned for mistreating Muslims.