Trump Regime's Anti-Iran Agenda Likely to Fail
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
The Islamic Republic long ago learned how to partially mitigate the effects of harsh US policies. It likely prepared well in advance to deal with Trump regime toughness.
Enduring unacceptable US sanctions for decades taught Iran how to cope. Washington failed to replace its sovereign independence with pro-Western puppet rule - its key objective.
Trump regime illegal reimposition of harsh nuclear-related sanctions prohibited by the JCPOA is largely opposed by the world community.
Eight nations were granted temporary waivers to keep purchasing Iranian oil. They'll likely become permanent next year.
They include the top five purchasers of Iranian oil and related products - including China, India, South Korea, Japan and Italy. Turkey and Iraq were also granted waivers, along with at least one other unnamed country, perhaps more to follow.
In response to softened Trump regime policy, energy analyst Peter Kiernan said the following:
"The reported awarding of waivers by the US for up to eight countries to continue buying Iranian oil, on the basis that they reduce volumes, shows that in the short term at least the Trump administration has set aside the goal of trying to cut Iran's oil exports to zero."
According to OilPrice.com, "(c)onvincing countries to zero out imports from Iran was always going to be tricky. On the one hand, even if the Trump administration had a free hand, it would be technically difficult to achieve," adding:
"Iran continues to discount its crude, offer cargoes in barter deals, use currencies other than the US dollar, and otherwise ship oil using a variety of furtive means. Iran was always going to be able to maintain some level of exports."
"More importantly…the oil market is…too tight to zero out Iranian supply…The room to maneuver for the White House is…pretty thin."
Without Iranian crude, prices would spike sharply, what oil consuming nations don't want, including the US.
According to Bloomberg, Trump regime "strongest sanctions in history" on Iran "aren't living up to the hype," the White House pursuing a softer approach than earlier signaled, adding:
"With countries that have already cut their purchases to zero now being granted waivers to buy Iran's oil, the country's exports may well go up, not down, in November" and thereafter.
So far, Trump regime sanctions on Iran are no tougher than Obama's. The outcome White House hardliners sought isn't likely to go according to plan.
According to the Japan Times, "(i)n spite of August claims from Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, that oil-buying waivers would be 'few and far between,' at least eight modern, developed nations will continue their purchase of Tehran's oil output unabated."
If sales are made in petrodollars, payments will be held in purchasing countries' escrow accounts - a reason for Iran to circumvent dollar transactions.
Last April, Iranian Press TV said Tehran was preparing to sell oil in euros, quoting Central Bank of Iran governor Valiollah Seif, saying the following:
"Changing the reporting currency of the country is very serious…This will be reasonable because it will have a primary effect on the economy," adding:
"An approval (to bypass dollar transactions by switching to the euro) will be adopted by the government soon and will be officially announced to the public accordingly."
Around the same time, state media reported that Iran will start trading oil in euros, avoiding dollar transactions.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei welcomed the change, saying "the dollar has no place in our transactions today."
Brussels reportedly agreed with the policy change. To what extent it'll work depends on whether oil purchasing companies go along ahead.
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