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As we all know by now, at the end of 2011 President Obama signed an act to impose trade sanctions on Iran in an effort to force economic pressure on the Persian nation with the hope that they will halt their nuclear enrichment program. The sanctions will punish any foreign financial institution which conducts transactions with Iran for its crude oil by cutting off that institution from the US financial system. The sanctions officially take effect on the 28th of June this year.
China is Tehran’s largest customer, investor, and trading partner, and will find it impossible to significantly reduce that position enough to earn a waiver from the US sanctions. Geopolitically it backs Iran, but its economy is also heavily reliant upon the US economy; it cannot afford to halt all trade with Iran, nor be banned from the US financial system.
China is very much stuck between a rock and a hard place … but maybe they have a chance at escape.
They could avoid the US sanctions completely by bartering oil from Iran. In fact they have already started by trading some Chinese products for Iranian oil. Iran has been accepting, Chinese washing machines, refrigerators, toys, clothes, cosmetics, and toiletries; but Iran needs cash as well. Unable to financially trade with Iran that is impossible, but gold offers the next best thing, and that is why in February Tehran announced that they would start to accept gold as payment for its oil.
Last year, China imported $21.7 billion in Iranian oil and exported $14.8 billion in goods and services, and as the sanctions start to take effect Beijing will likely use gold to make up the difference.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com
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James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…
China and India will do as they will regardless of US wishjes, sanctions, invasions and occupations. About time the US realised it doesn't run the show any longer.
The best way for Iran to demonstrate this to the world will be if it responds to a US aircampaign (should the US/WEst be unwise enough to start one) not by blocking the Straits as everyone expects, but simply by 'carrying on business as usual'.
If Iran's facilities are buried deep enough and protected well enough then they will suffer minimal damage from an aircampaign. And it would have to be an air CAMPAIGN, not just a single strike. So the US not just Israel would have to carry it out.
Such a campaign might disrupt/degrade Iran's conventinoal capabilities and her infrastructure, for a while. But Iran is simply too big and too geographically difficult/complex to 'invade just like that'. even with 125,000 pairs of US boots on the ground. (Iraq 25 million, Iran 70+million...!). Even if the US just occupied the coastal areas/Khuzestan they'd be on a hiding to nothing... Haven't they had enough of occupying and of unwinnable counter-insurgencies?
If Iran were to carry on as normaql, she would be acting responsibly to her Indian and Chinese customers and allies, despite the West's best efforts to prevent her. No Straits blockage just defying Washington much as Britain defied Berlin during the blitz. That would make Iran lots of friends in Asia and leave the West in a quandry. By far the best outcome in fact.
And what of her nuclear programme? Well she could reply to critics; 'when the AEA is allowed to inspect Dimona in Israel (and pigs may fly...) and report on this, then Iran may see fit to come to terms. Until then...' Sanctions and airstrikes will not prevent Iran doing what she has a right to do. Or her clients for that matter.
Washington and the West, wake up and smell the coffee its your brand new future shining through the window...