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The Biggest Losers From The Iran Sanctions

The 6-month waivers granted by the Trump Administration to eight jurisdictions expired this weekend and the White House has made all but clear that it intends not to prolong any of the concessions. This puts Washington on a collision course with Tehran and complicated matters for the 5 countries which did avail themselves of their waivers and kept on buying Iranian crude (China, India, South Korea, Japan, Turkey). And it is not only geographic proximity that matters but also a very favorable price – for instance, India will have a hell of a time finding a similarly cheap source of crude unless Saudi Arabia eases its pricing and production policy.

As the endgame edges closer, let’s look at the developments of the past 6 months and assess where would a US „full-sanctions” course leave the relevant countries. It seems that Iran’s political elite still did not formulate a coherent course on how to counter American geopolitical pressure. Cognizant of Europe’s tacit backing which nevertheless (and they know it) will never translate into anything tangible on the geopolitical arena, Iran is shying away from an equally aggressive answer, despite making repeated claims about shutting down the Hormuz Strait. Recent statements from State Secretary Pompeo about calls for a regime collapse „coming from the Iranian people themselves” are pushing the Ayatollah to react assertively, yet the full conviction is still not there.

If you…




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