Politics & Policy

U.S. Oil Production Allows America to Crack Down on Iran

Pumpjacks in an oil field in Midland, Texas. (Nick Oxford/Reuters)
Energy independence supports our foreign-policy imperatives in the Middle East.

Yet again, we have witnessed a heinous display of the anti-Semitism that has plagued the Jewish community throughout history. America cannot sit silently and allow anti-Semitism to prevail, be it domestically or internationally. While the act of terror in Pittsburgh was that of a domestic white supremacist, anti-Semitism remains a global issue. Iran perpetuates the virulent rhetoric that has fueled this global scourge, and its rogue actions pose a threat to the United States and its allies.

Anti-Semitism is not solely a Jewish issue or an Israeli issue. It is also an American issue. America must hold Iran accountable for its bad behavior. Iran must pay for its constant attempts to destabilize the Middle East. Its nuclear ambitions, its proxy wars in Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen, and its financing of terrorism through groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas are a threat to the entire region.

Before the American energy renaissance, any suggestion of upheaval in the Middle East sent oil prices skyrocketing. Sanctions against a leading oil producer such as Iran were guaranteed to add several dollars to the global price of crude.

Times have changed. The Trump administration’s looming imposition of sanctions against Iran has hardly caused a financial ripple in the oil market. Fortunately, this November, America will reinstate oil sanctions on Iran and thereby diminish Tehran’s ability to fund its hegemonic goals and impose its extremist ideology. The sanctions facing Iran are warranted, given its position as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. Iran continues to incite violence against the United States, Israel, and other countries while repressing its own citizens.

The United States will no longer be held hostage to rogue states. Because of increases in U.S. oil-production capacity, the decision to enforce and augment the sanctions will not be as disruptive to oil markets as it would have been in the past. America’s status as a geopolitical powerhouse is enhanced as it grows into an energy exporter.

The global market’s pending loss of oil from Iran is an opportunity for American producers to become a supplier to the world. The United States can use the energy it produces domestically to ensure that its national-security concerns are met without harming American consumers. American energy independence will remind the world that it will no longer have to deal with wild price fluctuations spurred by unrest in the Middle East. The United States is capable of providing enough oil to help stabilize the global market, no matter what happens in countries such as Iran.

The deal arranged by the previous administration removed sanctions against Iran without offering any long-lasting solutions to the problems caused by this rogue nation. Making matters worse, that deal also funded Iran, allowing the regime to finance global terrorism, including the wars in Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. Even so, Iran violated the terms of that agreement, so the sanctions imposed by the current administration are justified on those grounds as well.

The geopolitics of the Middle East are changing. Historic alliances are shifting, as nations move to protect themselves against the looming existential threat posed by Iran. The only constant is that Israel remains America’s closest friend in the region. Israel and America stay linked through their shared democratic values and common interests.

It is incumbent on the United States to stand up for our allies in the Middle East. America is no longer beholden to past realities to keep the oil market in check. No longer is it the case that the flow of oil to the United States will be stifled if the Strait of Hormuz is shut down.

It is vital for America to continue growing its domestic energy production. American energy independence will guard against potential supply disruptions that could threaten its security and economy and global markets and impact our allies abroad. The American energy revolution will not only be beneficial to America. It will also provide support and stability for the world economy. It is imperative for America to be the standard-bearer for freedom, and our country must take all measures to ensure that anti-Semitism and terror are eradicated worldwide.

Fred Zeidman serves as co-chairman of the Council for a Secure America and as chairman emeritus of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He also serves as chairman of Gordian Group. Harold Hamm serves as co-chairman of the Council for a Secure America and as chairman of the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance. He also serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Continental Resources.

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