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Iran Oil Exports to Asia Rush Ahead of Impending Sanctions
14 May 2018, 04:21 | Austin Hogan
Oil Market May Get Blindsided by Iran Deal
As Iran reconsiders its commitment to the deal that no longer protects it from USA sanctions, Jubeir toldCNN, "I believe that if Iran restarts its enrichment program beyond what it has right now that should trigger the snapback provision and cause all the other P5 [U.N. Security Council's five permanent members] countries to abandon the deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran".
Last night Trump described the deal, signed by his predecessor President Obama and the other permanent members of the UN Security Council - UK, France, China and Russian Federation - as well as Germany, as "decaying" and "rotten".
Fortunately, the Obama-era sanctions that Trump has moved to reimpose have some lesser-known safety valves should oil markets later overheat as a result of the Iran decision. Iran's decision depends on the readiness and ability of the other signatories - Britain, France, Germany and Russian Federation - to also stand up to the United States.
Under the new sanctions, the United States will begin blocking new deals with Iran immediately, but will provide leniency toward firms with existing commercial agreements if they demonstrate that they are reducing their involvement with Iran over a 180-day "wind-down" period.
In a phone call dominated by Iran, the Prime Minister and President agreed to hold talks between the United Kingdom and U.S. governments on the effect ofsanctions on British companies. Iran has maintained its nuclear activities were only for peaceful purposes and the International Atomic Energy Agency has verified its compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement, but the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia have remained suspicious. "The president took a decision, but it does not bind his European partners", the official said. "Europe and China will not fight against the US sanctions". In exchange, Iran required that all global sanctions against them be lifted.
Japan was a first - and fast - mover on reducing Iranian oil imports in 2012, after the United States tightened sanctions. "Contacts with American authorities are ongoing".
At the Board of Governors meeting in March, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano had said Iran was abiding by the deal and IAEA inspectors had been given access to all sites and locations, upon request.
"These people are being lost in the shuffle", Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post reporter imprisoned in Iran for about 18 months, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer after Trump announced his decision. Some analysts and European Union officials and diplomats also questioned why North Korea would ever agree to a deal with Trump to limit its own nuclear weapons program given that Washington was not necessarily committed to its global agreements from one administration to the next.
Senator John Boozman also supports the President's decision to exit the Iran nuclear agreement.
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Fellow for the Middle East at Rice University's Baker Institute assessed that there likely would be "jubilation" in both Saudi Arabia and the UAE because "the Trump administration - or at least the White House - has now come round to their thinking on Iran's threat to regional security".
Airbus, which is subject to the US license because of its use of American-made parts in its aircraft, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
In that case, the terms of the deal allow for reimposition of sanctions "but these provisions would not apply with retroactive effect to contracts signed between any party and Iran or Iranian individuals and entities" while the JCPOA was in effect. "They agreed for talks to take place between our teams".
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