US President Barrack Obama has blamed rising oil prices on tensions with Iran, as America is hit with high gas prices and the government is forced to use its reserves, Press TV reports.
“Obama is trying to sweep everything under the carpet and say, well, the situation with Iran has led to such high prices,” said Nader Mokhtari, columnist and political commentator, on Friday.
Obama made the anti-Iran comments in response to Republican criticism of his energy policies, adding that demand from China, India and other emerging economies, as well as Wall Street speculation, has contributed to soaring prices at the pump.
Mokhtari added that Obama is avoiding the genuine problems within the US economy, focusing instead on his reelection campaign in the upcoming presidential elections.
“And so he's gone back to the old technique of blaming foreign factors for his failure; but his slippery little friends in AIPAC I'm sure put him up to this and they are also hoping that keeping the market indices high just long enough for him to get through the elections to get him reelected,” Mokhtari added.
Gasoline prices have reached nine month highs, rising nearly 9 cents in the past week to an average of USD 3.61 a gallon, and are expected to rise further toward the four dollar mark.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in April, rose 64 cents to more than USD 180. The price of Brent crude rose USD 1.85 on Friday to settle near a 10-month high of USD 125.47 a barrel, the highest since April 29.
The hike in oil prices was triggered when Iran threatened last week to cut oil exports to six European Union states if they fail to sign long-term deals with Tehran.
On February 19, Iran’s Oil Ministry announced that it had cut oil exports to British and French firms.
On December 31, 2011, the United States imposed new sanctions against Iran, with the European Union later following suit, aimed at limiting Iran’s oil and financial sectors including its Central Bank.
“[Iran’s reaction was] unexpected and that is why Obama is going out now with a failure of his economic policy; he's now trying to place the blame on Iran. Iran doesn't supply the US with oil,” Mokhtari concluded.