Iran’s oil sales are an important part of the sanctions pressuring the Iranians to make concessions on their nuclear program, but how much longer will that continue? If it’s up to the Americans, it’s going just fine as work continues on a final Iran nuclear deal. But the Iranians don’t care what the Americans think.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh was quoted by the Fars News Agency as saying, “Tehran will do its best to increase its oil exports and will not wait for a US permission to do that.”
Along those lines, the Fars report cited a Korean statement that showed Iranian oil exports to South Korea doubled in February 2014 compared to February last year. Fars said that the Korea National Oil Corp (KNOC) showed that South Korea imported over 8 million barrels from Iran during February.
But despite such news, the official US line is that Iran’s rising oil exports still haven’t risen enough to threaten the sanctions plan. In comments released by the State Department, a Senior Administration Official said, “In terms of the oil exports, as we have always said, we expect there to be fluctuations. They go up and down month to month.
“What we care about is the aggregate over the period of time that’s agreed to. We have had teams talk to each of the remaining importers of Iranian oil, and we feel comfortable that in fact, they will meet the target that we have, and there’s nothing to lead us to believe otherwise at this time. We, of course, keep continuous eye on this and in continuous discussion with all of the importers.”
So despite the questions, the US is feeling good about the success of their sanctions. Not that Iran cares what the Americans think.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, April 7, 2014)