NBC News: Oil to $300-$400 a Barrel if Iran Attacked

     The consequences of a military attack on Iran to thwart its nuclear intentions could have a devastating economic impact.


     NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel warned on the July 1 “NBC Nightly News” an attack by Israel could send oil prices soaring – sending gas prices into territories never imagined.


     “I asked an oil analyst that very question,” Engel said. “He said, ‘The price of a barrel of oil: Name your price – $300-$400 a barrel.’”


     What would oil at those levels mean? A June 11 Time magazine story by Robert Baer put the price of a gallon of gas at $12 if oil goes to $300 a barrel.  In May, Robert Hirsch, Management Information Services Senior Energy Advisor, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” the oil at those prices could mean $15-a-gallon gas.


     “[T]he prices that we’re paying at the pump today are, I think, going to be ‘the good old days,’ because others who watch this very closely forecast that we’re going to be hitting $12 and $15 per gallon,” Hirsch said.


     Engel maintained Iran could disrupt oil shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, induce Iranian-back militias to destabilize Iraq and Iran’s allies in Lebanon and in the Gaza Strip could threaten Israel. That would create “a line of fire from Tehran all the way to Jerusalem” according to Engel.


     Engel’s doom-and-gloom prognosis of “name your price” oil comes a nearly two months after White House Counselor Ed Gillespie sent a scathing letter to NBC admonishing Engel’s network for “deceptively editing” an interview Engel conducted with Bush. The White House claimed Engel mischaracterized Bush’s stance on the interview with its editing process.


     “NBC’s selective editing of the President’s response is clearly intended to give viewers the impression that he agreed with Engel’s characterization of his remarks when he explicitly challenged it,” Gillespie wrote in a letter dated May 19. “Furthermore, omitted the references to al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas and ignored the clarifying point in the President’s follow-up response that U.S. policy is to require Iran to suspend its nuclear enrichment program before coming to the table, not that ‘negotiating with Iran is pointless’ and amounts to ‘appeasement.’”