Could Donald Trump’s move on the Iran deal have been done to spike oil prices to save the Russian economy? We can’t know the answer to that question, because Trump’s motives are not clear. However we do know with certainty that Russia’s economy has been in deep trouble because of low oil prices. We also know that Trump’s Iran move is having a direct impact on current and future oil prices as well.
Crude oil futures have jumped from $26 at the time of Trump’s election to $77 today. Bank of American says that oil prices are headed to $100 a barrel.
This means that Donald Trump’s gift to Putin and Russia could be over $750 million per day, or over $270 billion per year.
Not only that, but a recent show on Russian state media (RT) seems to indicate that this was possibly the gift that Putin has wanted all along.
Russia’s economy has been in trouble and this has caused domestic problems for Putin. The two RT hosts say that the cost will be 8 trillion rubles ($127 billion) for Russia to implement the new programs that Putin has promised. But with the Russian government having big cash flow problems for years, where could they possible get this kind of money?
As one of the hosts says: “Looks like we found it. Trump is withdrawing US from the Iran nuclear deal. Oil prices should go up, which is good for us.”
President Trump had previously certified that Iran was in compliance with the nuclear deal, but he still threatened to end the agreement if it wasn’t expanded to include items unrelated to Iran’s nuclear program and “strengthened” in unspecified ways. This made no sense. Why would he end an agreement that appeared to be working?
Then Trump increased his warnings that he would end the deal. Over the past few months he has continually expressed his intent to walk away. The more Trump talked about leaving, the more fears of new conflicts in the Middle East began to increase oil prices.
It is now very clear that what Trump has done is a massive boost in income for Russia that will not only bolster the economy but probably save Putin’s job. Nothing else Trump has done has had or will have such a profound impact on Russia, or provide as great a benefit to Vladimir Putin.
What’s scary is that in addition to leaving the nuclear deal with Iran there is one more thing Trump could do to help Putin and Russia even more: he could start a shooting war between Iran and Israel. Well, he wouldn’t have to start it so much as encourage Israel to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, which they’ve been wanting to do for years.
If Israel attacks Iran with Trump’s backing and support, then oil prices may go through the roof. This would mean hundreds of billions of new income for Putin and his oligarch cronies, which would strengthen their standing at home and in the world community.
Rising oil prices will hit American consumers hard. It could cost tens of thousands of jobs and cause new inflation that will hurt everybody. Trump’s leaving the Iran deal shows the world that America does not stand behind the deals it has made with other countries.
Is it possible that Putin wanted Trump in the White House just to accomplish these things? If Russia is strengthened and America is weakened, then Putin wins. And that could have been his plan all along.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.
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