Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Iran Vows To Bust U.S. Sanctions

Iran Vows To Bust US Crude Sanctions

Tehran officials have vowed that White House plans for taking Iran's oil exports down to zero will never materialize, as the Islamic Republic, along with its regional allies and crude customers - most notably China - plan to bust US sanctions. 

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told parliament on Tuesday: the “U.S. dream to cut Iran’s crude exports to zero won’t be fulfilled,” according to Bloomberg. The minister also said, “We will act wholeheartedly to break the U.S. sanctions,” and cited export deals with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq and Turkey.

He described the US gamble to end the waiver program by bringing the full force of the "oil weapon" as a "big mistake" — referencing the fragility of the market and inflated claims of regional countries to have more reserves than what they actually do. 
Meanwhile, oil prices hit nearly six month highs on Tuesday following Monday's announcement by Trump that the US will end sanctions waivers to a handful of countries that import Iranian oil.

A number of prominent Middle East analysts have questioned the political impact of a complete cut-off of Iranian energy exports to Iraq, especially considering the upcoming hot Iraqi summer is ripe for political instability (similar to events the prior summer). Iraq imports roughly 1.5 billion standard cubic feet of Iranian gas per day, for example, via pipelines in the south and east, which feed several power stations. Iran is also a big supplier of Iraq's electricity.

Last summer's power shortages in Iraq sparked massive protests especially in the south, leading to in some cases protesters storming western-operated oil facilities, and further leading to outrage over government corruption and continued foreign presence on Iraqi soil. 

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