Liberal politicians and media pundits have suggested that America should defund Russia’s energy industry — by purchasing oil from Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism that calls America “the great Satan.” [bold, links added]
A Biden administration Cabinet official, multiple MSNBC hosts, and America’s taxpayer-subsidized public radio network have all suggested this novel solution in less than a week.
“Could the president possibly consider authorizing the Keystone XL pipeline, working something out with Iran?” MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle asked Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday night’s episode of “The 11th Hour.”
“Look, the president has said that all options are on the table,” replied Buttigieg, a former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
“But we also need to make sure we’re not galloping after permanent solutions to immediate short-term problems,” he said, possibly out of concern that reviving the U.S. energy sector may retard the Biden administration’s attempt to force Americans into relying on renewable energy sources.
Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) blasted Buttigieg’s response as “a word salad of bureaucratic BS. The left-wing in Washington is doubling down on energy illiteracy instead of learning more about real energy security solutions.”
On Thursday, the idea was repeated by Ruhle’s MSNBC colleague Chris Hayes, the host of “All In,” which airs at 8 p.m. Eastern, opposite “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
Hayes retweeted a message from Ryan Cooper, editor of the left-wing magazine The American Prospect, who said, “Iran has 103 million barrels of oil loaded up on tankers and ready to go.”
Cooper then tagged President Joe Biden. Hayes amplified the message, adding, “If you’re a) devoted to cutting off Russia’s oil revenues and b) worried about inflation and spiking oil prices, this is one possible solution…”
Cooper later replied to Hayes by noting that his plan would see Iran “sticking it to the [U.S.-based] private equity frackers who are raking in fat profits!”
“Actually, giving billions to American-murdering terrorists is a really bad idea,” retorted Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). Another commenter asked Cooper, “Is not having a soul a prerequisite for shilling for the leading terrorist state in the world?”
The State Department, which designated Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1984, said the fundamentalist Islamic theocracy “continued its terrorist-related activity in 2020, including support for Hizballah, Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza, and various terrorist and militant groups in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere throughout the Middle East.”
After mentioning ways U.S. oil companies could increase the production of domestic crude on Sunday’s “All Things Considered,” reporter Camila Domonoske said, “Last but not least, there’s the possibility of a new nuclear deal with Iran. Iran’s a major oil producer that’s been under U.S. sanctions. If there’s a breakthrough and all that oil comes back on markets, prices could come down.”
Although these comments were couched as ways to deflate Moscow’s aims, reports surfaced this week that Iran and China have allegedly helped Iranian mullahs evade U.S. sanctions.
Two Russian tankers, Pegas and Linda, “have been ferrying illicit Iranian crude oil in recent months, a move experts see as a scheme to evade U.S. sanctions and signal an increase in Tehran-Moscow relations,” reported the Washington Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo on Thursday, relying on information provided by United Against Nuclear Iran.
“Illicit Iranian oil shipments jumped by 40 percent in 2021, with China, the United Arab Emirates, Syria, Venezuela, and Russia being the largest importers.”
Russia “has joined its ally China in participating in Iranian sanctions-busting schemes to smuggle crude oil and gas,” said UANI, implying that purchasing Iranian oil would reward Russia’s geostrategic aims, not punish them.
The notion of having Americans become more dependent on Iranian oil conflicts sharply with Republican proposals to secure U.S. energy independence by increasing fossil fuel exploration.
Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) counseled Buttigieg that “[u]sing North American oil to decouple economic dependency on the resources of hostile nations is a long-term solution.”
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