Obama Faces Tough Call on Iran Oil Sanctions
By Roberta Rampton and Timothy Gardner
(Reuters) – Just weeks after the election, President Barack Obama will be faced with a pivotal decision on oil sanctions on Iran, in which he will have to balance the need to stay tough on Tehran without pushing oil prices too high.
In considering whether to extend a new series of six-month exemptions to Washington’s oil sanctions, the administration must decide whether China, India, South Korea and other nations have done enough to wean themselves from Iranian oil.
Forcing cuts that are too aggressive could fuel a new rally in oil prices, benefiting Iran and hurting allies. Accepting meager cuts risks criticism from Congress and Israel.
The sanctions are aimed at slashing Iran’s oil revenues to pressure it to stop efforts to enrich uranium to levels that could be used in weapons. Tehran has said its nuclear program is strictly for civilian purposes.
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