Why The Iran Nuclear Deal Still Matters for Europe

◢ The JCPOA continues to hang together—but only just. There are growing indications of signatory states’ fatigue and frustration in attempting to prevent the collapse of the JCPOA, following the US withdrawal from it last May. In this climate, it is important for the deal’s stakeholders to remember why it remains valuable

The Economic War Iran Faces is Bigger Than it Thinks

◢ On the third anniversary of the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the fortieth anniversary of the Islamic Republic, the era of hope ushered in by the election of Hassan Rouhani and the implementation of the nuclear deal seems a lifetime ago. Iran remains in compliance with the agreement, but begrudgingly. Europe looks impotent in the face of U.S. sanctions. But Iran’s economic war isn't just a fight against sanctions. Iran is the frontline of an intensifying economic war between the US, Europe, China, and Russia.

Iran Oil Exports: 8 Waivers and the OPEC Meeting

◢ Iran’s oil exports are likely to remain limited in 2019, with significant negative impact on Iran’s economy. Last month, the Trump administration reimposed sanctions on Iran’s energy sector as part of its ‘maximum pressure’ campaign against. But it nevertheless sought to prevent an unhelpful spike in oil prices ahead of the midterm elections. As a result the United States issued eight waivers to importers of Iranian oil:.

Iran Budget Under Scrutiny As Oil Revenues Fall

◢ Next week, President Hassan Rouhani will submit a budget proposal for the forthcoming Persian year (covering March 2019-2020). Currently, the Rouhani administration has few options as it seeks to avoid a budget deficit. Yet the political tradeoffs required when devising a budget under sanctions may prove more difficult to manage than the economic challenges.

Californian Farmers Waged 'War' on Iranian Pistachios and Won

◢ A forthcoming documentary by journalist Yasha Levine and filmmaker Roman Wernham explores the fiercely political and highly lucrative world of pistachio farming in California. Their reporting focuses on Stewart and Lynda Resnick, a billionaire couple who stumbled into pistachio farming fifty years ago as a safe haven from high inflation and taxes, only to become power-brokers on issues ranging from Californian water supplies to US sanctions on Iran.

For Iranian Passengers, Old Planes and Few Parts Make Air Travel 5.5 More Times Deadly

◢ Statistically speaking, air travel in Iran is still safe. This is in large part due to the efforts of Iranian pilots and maintenance crews to keep aircraft operable despite limited resources. But even if the overall risk of an accident remains statistically low, the risk still far exceeds expected levels. Looking to an “exposure based” measure, flying in Iran is on average 5.5 times more deadly than flying in the rest of the world.

For Iran’s Economy, the Price of a Car Matters More Than the Price of Oil

◢ The combination of reimposed sanctions, a slowing economy, and a devalued currency have put Iran’s automotive sector under severe pressure With nearly 1 million jobs linked to the automotive industry, the price of a new car could be even more important than the price of oil for the Iranian economy. In an interview with Bourse & Bazaar, Saeed Madani, the former CEO of SAIPA, warned that price controls are squeezing state-owned automakers.

America’s Latest Wave of Iran Sanctions: An Explainer

◢ On 5 November, the Trump administration’s latest and most significant wave of sanctions against Iran came into effect. The US Treasury has issued a list of more than 700 Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) and Blocked Persons, which includes roughly 300 entities that did not feature in Obama-era sanctions. The new sanctions impact Iran’s oil and transportation industries and banking sector in important ways.

China Unexpectedly Gambles on European Mechanism to Sustain Iran Trade

◢ China has halted its financial transactions with Iran as part of an unexpected gamble on the future of its trading relationship with the Islamic Republic. According to Majid Reza Hariri, deputy president of the Iran-China Chamber of Commerce, China is hoping to sustain its trade with Iran without putting its financial system in the crosshairs of US authorities by joining the special purpose vehicle being devised by Europe for this purpose.

Parsian Bank CEO: US Treasury Made ‘Mistake’ in Iran Sanctions Designation

◢ In an exclusive interview with Bourse & Bazaar, CEO of Iran’s Parsian Bank, which was sanctioned last week by the US Treasury, has described the designation of the bank as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) a “mistake.” The move against one of Iran’s leading private sector banks by has many in Iran’s banking sector worried about the ongoing viability of humanitarian trade.

Under Trump, US Sale of Medical Goods to Iran Down Nearly 40%

◢ With just two weeks until Trump reimposes secondary sanctions on Iran, administration officials are under increasing pressure to prove that the returning sanctions will not adversely impact humanitarian trade. Looking to US Census Bureau export data, a clear pattern emerges—the export of humanitarian goods like food and medicine remains significantly lower than average monthly values registered during the Obama years.

Iran’s Oil Exports Rise Month-to-Month Ahead of Sanctions Deadline

◢ A new report from TankerTrackers.com indicates that Iran exported an average 2.2 million bpd of crude oil in the first two weeks of October, a 10 percent rise from the September average. October’s higher export volumes could reflect long-standing customers buying more oil ahead of planned reductions in November, when sanctions are expected to prevent many refiners from taking Iranian crude.

New Sanctions on Iran’s Parsian Bank Threaten Humanitarian Trade

◢ On Tuesday, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) applied new sanctions on “at least 20 corporations and financial institutions” associated with Bonyad Taavon Basij. While the designation of bonyads has been a common feature of US sanctions policy for over a decade, yesterday’s action reflects a significant break with sanctions policy under the Obama administration. Included among the targeted entities is Parsian Bank, one of Iran’s leading private sector banks and a vital conduit for trade with Europe, especially humanitarian trade.

Bankless Task: Can Europe Stay Connected to Iran?

◢ With US sanctions on Iran’s banking sector due to come into effect soon, European countries are now considering measures that would facilitate trade transactions with Iran through a new legal and institutional structure. European governments have been reviewing this legal entity, known as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), for months. The timing of this public announcement suggests that they have a degree of confidence that the SPV can become operational, and that Europe can use the model to showcase its ability to deliver on its commitments.