Trump seeks to break "script"
For the first time in 50 years or more, the United States government can stand up to rogue oil-rich countries like Iran without having to worry about domestic gasoline prices here doubling or tripling in price at the pump as a result, or having a gasoline shortage scare as a result.
Thank goodness, the U.S. is now producing twice the amount of oil it was in 2010.
The latest reports show the U.S. producing 12.4 million barrels of refined oil per day, about twice the 6 million barrels the country was producing a decade ago.
You can say this about President Donald Trump – he has worked diligently to increase U.S. oil production because it is good for the U.S. economy and also because it is good for the U.S. government to be able to negotiate with rogue oil-rich countries like Iran from a position of strength and confidence, not weakness, like so many U.S. presidents before him.
The previous script of negotiations with Iran went something like this:
1. The U.S. complains that Iran is misbehaving again – providing support to terrorists in the Middle East - and says we’re not going to stand for it.
2. Iran lowers its oil production for the world market, sending gasoline prices up, up, up.
3. The U.S. government agrees to give mountains of money to Iran, if it will just behave, and ramp up oil production again so gas prices in the U.S. will go back down.
4. Iran agrees to accept the mountain of money and ramps up oil production. Gas prices go back down. Later, the U.S. learns that the money it gave to Iran is being used to fund terroristic attacks again and the script is repeated.
This script of negotiations with Iran has been repeated many times and all with the same outcomes, until the U.S. elected President Trump.
The current situation with Iran being blamed for shooting down a U.S. drone plane that was keeping an eye on Iranian military movements would have been enough in previous years to set the same old negotiation script in motion. But not with President Trump in office.
Iran is upset with Trump for scrapping the nuclear deal that the U.S. approved when President Barack Obama was in office. At that time, the U.S. agreed to wave the economic sanctions that were crippling Iran’s economy in exchange for Iran agreeing to get rid of its nuclear fuel. A United Nations nuclear agency monitored whether Iran was complying. Sometimes it did, sometimes we weren’t sure. The U.S. agreed to allow Iran to have nuclear fuel sometime in the future. The chants of “Death to America!’’ continued in Iran.
Besides shooting down a U.S. drone, Iran also recently damaged four oil ships in the Persian Gulf, two of which belonged to Saudi Arabia. President Trump then slapped some more economic sanctions on Iran’s leaders.
President Trump says the U.S. is not seeking war with the Iranian regime but is “fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces,’’ he said.
Trump is from a long line of U.S. presidents that have all said Iran should not be allowed to become a nuclear military power, but he is the first U.S. president, I believe, to negotiate with Iran from a position of strength. Let’s hope for better outcomes than we’ve had before.