"It would be silly if we waited until things were not available," said a veteran energy trader at a U.S. hedge fund, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect his business relationships. He said traders have become convinced that military conflict between the United States and Iran is inevitable. He added, "People react to perceptions of what will happen. That's not idle speculation."
Menzie Chinn provides some analysis and offers this thought:
Of course, if one believes these threats are necessary, then the higher oil price is the price of pursuing our foreign policy. If one believes that Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons is off by many years, then the pursuit of this diplomacy via threats is a costly diversion. Or it's even counterproductive. Indeed, with each dollar's increase in the price of a barrel of oil, an additional $3.7 billion is transferred (on an annualized basis) to the oil exporting countries (including Iran, Russia, Venezeula, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States).
Menzie has a point – but let me suggest that this is the price of a really bad foreign policy.