Will Washington Reimpose Sanctions on Iranian Oil and Gas?
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Post-JCPOA sanctions imposed by the Obama and Trump administrations flagrantly violated Iranian nuclear deal terms.
New ones targeting its oil and gas exports would deprive the country of billions of dollars in revenues.
Bipartisan hostility toward Iran is intense. Last month, Trump decertified the JCPOA nuclear deal - falsely accusing the country of not living up to its spirit, a bald-faced lie, ignoring the IAEA affirming it's fully complying with its obligations.
Trump turned truth on its head, saying "(w)e will not continue down the path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror and the very real threat of Iran's nuclear breakout." No such threats exist. America and its rogue allies pose the only ones.
He announced tough (illegal) sanctions on Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), falsely accusing it of supporting terrorism.
Congressional members now have 60 days (until mid-December) to decide whether to reimpose new sanctions on Iran harsh enough to kill the JCPOA.
Trump urged tough action, saying "if we are not able to reach a solution…then the agreement will be terminated."
If sanctions are imposed on Iranian oil and gas exports, its economy will be severely harmed if European and Asian countries go along - other than China and perhaps Japan, continuing to buy Iranian oil.
European P5+1 countries France, Britain and Germany agreed about Iranian compliance with JCPOA terms, strongly opposing Trump's intent to weaken or kill the deal.
If they refuse to go along with unfairly imposed US sanctions, along with China and other countries, their effect would be muted.
Europe, China, Japan and South Korea are the main buyers of Iranian oil.
Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy director Jason Bordoff believes it's unlikely to "see the the kind of impact - sanctions and one million barrels coming off the market - that we saw" pre-JCPOA.
Iranian oil minister Bijan Zangeneh said his country's oil supply to the market is up to 2.5 million barrels a day…"
"(T)he (unlikely) removal of this amount would definitely affect the market," referring to a possible US boycott.
Trump's remarks so far had no impact on Iranian oil and gas exports. Zangeneh said 60% of oil shipments go to Asian countries, about 40% to European ones.
Last month, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said "(t)he United States has had a policy of imposing sanctions on Iran for the past 40 years. Basically, they have immunized us to US sanctions."
Washington "is addicted to sanctions." US officials "should have learned by now (they) don't work."
Zarif blasted Trump for threatening to walk away from the internationally agreed on nuclear deal, permitting Congress to reimpose sanctions as tough as pre-JCPOA.
His remarks and actions also threaten "peace and security in the region," Zarif stressed, adding:
"The nuclear deal is the result of 10 years of posturing and two years of negotiations. Unfortunately, this administration is going back to posturing."
Walking away from the deal, along with sanctioning Iranian oil and gas exports, would be more proof that Washington can never be trusted.
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