All tagged sanctions

China Restarts Purchases of Iranian Oil, Bucking Trump’s Sanctions

◢ On the same day that Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif traveled to Beijing for talks on "regional and international issues,” the Chinese oil tanker PACIFIC BRAVO began to head east, having loaded approximately 2 million barrels of Iranian oil from the Soroosh and Kharg terminals in the Persian Gulf over the past few days, according to analysis provided by TankerTrackers.com.

Iran’s Resistance Economy Is Kicking In

◢ The appointment of a new CEO at Iran Air exemplifies Iran’s renewed reliance on what its Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has called a “resistance economy.” In order to overcome the restrictions imposed by sanctions, Iran will turn increasingly to a cadre of “resistance managers,” elevating individuals and empowering networks with unique capacities to keep Iran’s trade flowing under duress.

Iranians Forced to Forgo Meat Staples as Prices Soar

◢ Working class Iranians could look forward to a hearty meal of meat stew or kabob at least once a week. But with meat prices soaring to all-time highs, Iranians are having to cut back on their consumption in yet another example of falling living standards as Iran’s economy falters under the pressure of sanctions and mismanagement.

Europe Failed on Iran, but It’s Not Helpless

◢ Iran’s decision to scale down its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal abandoned by President Donald Trump signifies a serious foreign policy failure for the EU and its member states. They have acted too meekly and ineffectively in the face of unilateral U.S. sanctions, and this unnecessary softness may well come back to haunt them as the U.S. use of extraterritorial sanctions expands.

The US and the Iran Nuclear Deal: Rejoining Is Wiser than Destroying

◢ In a joint call coordinated by the Istituto Affari Internazionali and the European Leadership Network, Europe’s leading policy experts urge the United States to reenter the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in order to avoid a proliferation crisis in the Middle East, repair the transatlantic relationship, restore respect in international law and multilateral diplomacy, and end the harms being inflicted on the Iranian people.

Europe Tries to Sidestep the U.S. Finance System

◢ The standoff between the Trump administration and Iran is escalating, and Europe is caught in the middle. Brussels and national governments in the U.K., France and Germany, meanwhile, have been criticized by Iran for their response to U.S. sanctions. Europeans “speak eloquently”, Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in February. “They also need to walk the walk.” But it would be wrong to dismiss Europe’s efforts as hopeless.

Sanctions Pressure Spurs Debate on Iran’s OPEC Membership

◢ Mohammed Barkindo, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), will arrive in Tehran tomorrow to visit an annual oil exhibition. Iran is one of the five founding members of OPEC, which is set to mark its 60 year anniversary. Despite this long history, the extraordinary challenges facing Iran’s oil industry have spurred industry leaders to debate three scenarios regarding Iran’s membership in OPEC. 

Putting Iranian People Before Non-Proliferation

◢ Until American policymakers can conceive of relations with Iran as something more than a set of tactical accommodations designed to address threat perceptions, they are unlikely to solve the question of Iranian proliferation decisively. It is discouraging to see Democratic candidates articulate their intentions towards Iran exclusively within the paradigm of the JCPOA and its ability to curtail Iran’s nuclear program.

Squeezing Gas Prices or Iran? Trump Must Choose

◢ The deadline for the US administration to decide whether to extend sanctions waivers granted to buyers of Iranian oil is now less than a month away, and President Donald Trump faces a tricky decision. He undoubtedly wants to increase pressure on the Persian Gulf nation, but in doing so he risks stoking oil prices and with them those all-important gas prices in swing states back home.

Here’s How the United States Can Help Iran's Flood Recovery

◢ In order improve preparedness for frequent earthquakes, floods, sandstorms, and heat-waves, Iran urgently needs to upgrade its surveying and monitoring technologies to better model and predict meteorological, hydrological, and geological events. The United States should create a new general license to remove the sanctions-related barriers to Iran’s acquisition of these much needed technologies.

Why China Isn’t Standing By Iran

◢ Last week, Iran’s economic minister was in Beijing for talks on bilateral trade and investment. An official readout of the discussions from China’s commerce ministry describes China and Iran as “comprehensive strategic partners.” Unfortunately for Iran, the data tells a different story from the official rhetoric.

Facing a Damaging Ban, Iran’s Crypto Community Seeks Policy Breakthrough

◢ A new draft framework put forward by the Central Bank of Iran proposes a ban on the use of global cryptocurrencies for payments within the country, disappointing members of Iran’s burgeoning “crypto” community. The central bank has given the community one month to offer feedback on the proposed rules and now members are hard at work trying to reach a consensus to solve a thorny problem of monetary policy.

The United States and Iran are in a Quantum War

◢ It took just under an hour for staff at Israel’s Government Press Office to delete a tweet that suggested that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had finally decided to wage war on Iran. The conflict Iran faces today is neither a hot war nor a cold war. It is a quantum war—a superimposition of two states of conflict. Put another way, depending on when you observe the facts, Iran is both at war and it is not.

Poll Shows Iranian Attitudes Towards Europe Becoming More Negative

◢ A new survey conducted by research firm IranPoll offers the first insights into Iranian public sentiment following the reimposition of US secondary sanctions on Iran. The new wave of polling helps confirm recent reporting from Iran that support for the JCPOA has fallen, with just 51 percent of respondents approving of the deal down from 55 percent in January 2018. For European policymakers, the new polling should offer a stark warning it must refocus its political and economic efforts to save the nuclear deal.