The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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Richard is quite right to identify the present oil crisis as affecting the politics of sanctions against Iraq.
I think that an informed view from within the industry would be very helpful, but in the interim I would just like to clarify that I originally suggested that dropping sanctions on Iraq would not affect oil _supply_, not that it would definitely leave oil _prices_ unaffected.
The two questions before us are:
1) How much would the price of oil change in the short-term if sanctions were lifted (which could well be translated as 'how much would oil speculators/investors/oil companies react to such announcement')
2) How much would this anticipated price change affect US/UK sanctions policy. (Here of course we would have to model what US/UK decisionmakers would anticipate in terms of price changes, not our own estimates of the scale of such changes.)
My guess on both questions is 'virtually not at all', but like Richard I am just guessing.
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