Analysts warn of cost of Iranian sanctions

April 6, 2012 at 7:29 AM

WASHINGTON, April 6 (UPI) -- Sanctions on the Iranian energy sector are affecting gasoline prices and a sanctions opponent said it's unfair for U.S. leaders not to inform the public.

The United States and European Union have placed sanctions on the Iranian energy sector and its central bank to pressure Tehran to abandon its nuclear research program.

Lucian Pugliaresit, president of the Energy Policy Research Foundation, which has headquarters in Washington, told The Christian Science Monitor the sanctions mean about 300,000 barrels of Iranian oil exports are off the global market.

He estimates that shortage translated to a $10 increase in the price per barrel of crude oil, which means about a 25 cent increase in the price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the United States.

Gasoline prices in the United States moved close to a $4 per gallon average in recent weeks.

Bill Reinsch, president of sanctions opponent National Foreign Trade Council, told the Monitor it's unfair for political leaders not to relay that information the public.

"It's a legitimate argument to say the benefits of the aim of these sanctions, convincing Iran not to build nuclear weapons, outweigh the economic costs," he said. "What is not acceptable is to pretend there are no costs, or to ignore them."

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