Ex­pert: Iran able to sell oil by­pass­ing US sanc­tions

Iran Daily - - Domestic Economy -

Rus­sia could help Iran evade US sanc­tions by buy­ing up Ira­nian oil and re­selling it as its own, an ex­pert in en­ergy poli­cies and strate­gies told Az­ernews.

Luis Co­las­ante was talk­ing about the pos­si­ble ways of by­pass­ing US sanc­tions to en­sure Ira­nian oil sup­plies to the global mar­ket.

Co­las­ante noted that Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion is restor­ing sanc­tions lifted un­der the 2015 nu­clear deal in a bid to pres­sure the Is­lamic Repub­lic.

“Th­ese sanc­tions will hit the Ira­nian oil sec­tor, banks, and ship­ping, and will make it dif­fi­cult to do busi­ness with them. The US is bet­ting that eco­nomic pres­sure will force Iran to change its tune and agree to a new, much more re­stric­tive nu­clear deal than the one reached in 2015 be­tween Tehran and the six world pow­ers,” said the ex­pert.

He pointed out that Iran’s oil ex­ports have fallen since the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced in mid-year the reim­po­si­tion of sanc­tions on Iran.

“But the ex­emp­tions granted to Iran’s big­gest oil cus­tomers — China, In­dia, South Korea, Ja­pan, Italy, Greece, Tai­wan and Turkey — al­low them to im­port at least some oil for an­other six months more. This group of eight buy­ers im­ported over 80 per­cent of Iran’s roughly 2.6 mil­lion bar­rels per day of oil ex­ports last year. Only China, In­dia and Ja­pan im­ported around 1.6 mil­lion bar­rels per day,” said the en­ergy ex­pert.

Co­las­ante said that the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion fears that Rus­sia could help Tehran evade US sanc­tions by buy­ing up Ira­nian oil and re­selling it as its own.

He noted that Rus­sia can pur­chase Ira­nian oil for do­mes­tic use, thus buy­ing Ira­nian oil at pref­er­en­tial prices and ex­port its in­ter­nal pro­duc­tion.

“But at the end, Rus­sia doesn’t need to im­port oil from any coun­try. Even in the last five months, Rus­sian pro­duc­tion has in­creased by 400,000 bar­rels per day and the coun­try has the ca­pac­ity to in­crease it by an­other 300,000 bar­rels per day,” the ex­pert said.

The US in­tro­duced a sec­ond pack­age of uni­lat­eral sanc­tions against Tehran aimed at restrict­ing the ex­port of Ira­nian oil on Novem­ber 5. More than 700 in­di­vid­u­als and le­gal en­ti­ties, ships and air­crafts of Iran fell un­der the new US sanc­tions.

This is the sec­ond wave of sanc­tions im­posed by the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion since May this year.

De­spite the de­sire to re­duce the sup­ply of Ira­nian oil to the world mar­ket to zero, Wash­ing­ton nev­er­the­less went for re­lief for a num­ber of coun­tries pur­chas­ing en­ergy from Iran, in­clud­ing Italy, Greece, Turkey, In­dia, China, South Korea, Ja­pan and Tai­wan.

In 2012, the Ira­nian gov­ern­ment ceased, in re­sponse to sanc­tions by West­ern coun­tries, the sale of oil to the US and the UK, and from the be­gin­ning of 2013 to the EU.

In 2016 the US au­thor­i­ties an­nounced the lift of sanc­tions from 59 in­di­vid­u­als (cit­i­zens of Iran and other coun­tries), 385 en­ter­prises, 77 planes and 227 ships.

In 2018, the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion re­stored sanc­tions against Iran.

Trump also re­ported the restora­tion of all sanc­tions against Iran, in­clud­ing sec­ondary ones, that is, in re­la­tion to other coun­tries do­ing busi­ness with Iran.

From Au­gust 7, 2018, the up­dated Block­ing Statute en­tered into force in the EU, the pro­vi­sions of which are aimed at pro­tect­ing Eu­ro­pean com­pa­nies from the in­flu­ence of US ex­trater­ri­to­rial sanc­tions.

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