March 30, 2012

Barack Obama ratchets up pressure on Iran as he tightens oil sanctions

America moved to ratchet up the economic pressure on Iran after President Barack Obama promised to slap sanctions on foreign banks involved in financing crude oil purchases from Tehran.

In a move that risks infuriating China and Russia and punishing even friendly countries that buy oil from Iran, such as Turkey and India, President Obama said he would move to exclude Iran's trading partners from the US financial system.

Senior Obama administration officials said the decision represented "the strongest pressure we've had in place to date" to affect Iran's pursuit of a nuclear programme.

The legislation requires President Obama to produce a determination that the supply of oil to the world market would not be sharply reduced by the measure.

"There is a sufficient supply of petroleum and petroleum products from countries other than Iran to permit a significant reduction in the volume of petroleum and petroleum products purchased from Iran by or through foreign financial institutions," a presidential order said.

The move represents a significant blow against Iran's attempts to defy UN, US and EU sanctions imposed against its nuclear programme, designed to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon.

China and Russia have criticised EU and US attempts to mount an oil embargo against Iran as superseding UN sanctions. However the EU and US are now implementing measures to drastically cut Iran's overseas exports by June.

The US legislation will essentially force companies around the world to choose between trade with the US and buying Iranian oil.

Oil and gas form the backbone of the Iranian economy and are vital to the survival of the Islamic regime, which has been in power since a 1979 revolution. Iran's energy industry accounts for 70 per cent of its budget revenues. US officials said they would not speculate on the policy's impact on oil prices.

There are already signs that countries are moving to avoid US sanctions.

A day after Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, visited Tehran, Turkey said it would cut its imports from Iran by a fifth. Banks financing Tupras, the Turkish oil refining giant, could face penalties.

Iran has been badly affected by tighter sanctions on finance, insurance, shipping and energy.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, Swift, expelled Iran's central bank and more than 20 other Iranian banks this month, making it almost impossible for Iran to complete large international fund transfers.

Michael Lo, an oil industry analyst at BNP Paribas, said Iran's exports were set to fall by up to 700,000 barrels per day as result of the US move.

Some countries have moved to sustain imports from Iran by bartering foodstuffs or processing payments in local currencies through domestic banks.

India, the second-biggest importer of Iran's oil, has set up a rupee account at a state-owned bank to settle as much as much as 45 per cent of its bill, according to Indian officials. China has also bartered produce.

The decision comes as a result of a law passed in December, mandating the President to decide every six months whether there are sufficient levels of non-Iranian oil to allow significant cuts in imports from Iran without damaging the global economy.

The sanctions bill allows the US government to grant waivers to nations that have significantly reduced purchases of Iranian oil.

The State Department announced that it would grant waivers to Japan and 10 EU countries, including Britain, because of steps they have already taken to cut back on Iranian oil.

A senior Obama administration official said that the other 12 countries that buy Iranian oil – including South Korea, India and Turkey – still have "an opportunity" to avoid sanctions by cutting their imports.

But the squeeze on Iran has not yet forced the Islamic regime to scale back its nuclear activities.

Russia yesterday conceded that Iran was continuing to violate UN sanctions by expanding its nuclear production at an "alarming" rate.


  1. and where did you get this B.S form ;"Russia yesterday conceded that Iran was continuing to violate UN sanctions by expanding its nuclear production at an "alarming" rate."

  2. This is what the United States did to Iraq before destroying that country and killing millions. I wonder how low can Americans get to allow their corrupt governments to slip into barbarism.

  3. Who the F does this man think he is?!!!
    And, if I lived next door to Israel I'd be within my "existential' rights to build nuclear toys, too.

  4. This move will ultimately backfire on the US and break it's already ruptured economy.

  5. The peacemaker in Action ?

  6. And the sanctions on Israel begin .... when? Israel has 2-400 nukes made of material stolen from America. Israel never signed the NPT or allowed any inspections. Israel whose entire existence consists of hating everybody whom it ever encountered. Israel sits picking scabs from Ancient Egypt, to Babylon, to Europe. Israel sits and THREATENS to annihilate the ENTIRE EARTH with It's "Samson Option".
    Israel's "claim" to Palestine is based entirely on War Crimes and GENOCIDE.
    It is UNFAIR and WRONG to compare Israel to the Nazis.
    The CORRECT comparison is Nazis to Israelis:
    The Nazis copied the Jewish "Manual" point by point
    Numbers c.5 v.2-4
    Leviticus c.20 v.13 well, really the whole chapter
    Exodus c.32 v.27
    Numbers c.11 v.1-2
    Numbers c.16 all
    Numbers c.21 v.5-6
    Numbers v.26 v.10
    KILL anyone who engages in "DIVERSITY" or "INTEGRATION"
    Numbers v25 v.4-8
    Deuteronomy c.14 v.2
    Numbers c.21 v.03 Canaanites
    Numbers c.21 v.24 Amorites
    Numbers c.21 v.33-35 Bashan
    Numbers c.31 all Midianites
    Numbers c.32 v. more Amorites
    Deuteronomy c.2 v.34 People of Heshbon
    Deuteronomy c.3 v.6 really the whole chapter. threescore cities
    Joshua c.12 A list of victims of Israeli GENOCIDE
    Where are THEIR "holocaust" Memorials!
    Numbers c.21 v.25
    Numbers c.32 v.39
    Numbers c.33 v.53
    (just to name a FEW)
    Numbers c.33 v.31-34
    Deuteronomy c.7 v.2
    Deuteronomy c.12 v.28-30
    Deuteronomy c.20 v.11-16
    Deuteronomy c.2 v.2
    Deuteronomy c.7 v.1
    Jews SELF-anointed "The CHOSEN People of GOD"
    Nazis SELF-anointed "The GENETICALLY CHOSEN People of God".

  7. I say bring it on America! It'a a significant boost to your own destruction.

  8. Big Deal
    Obama has already lost. He can go ahead and cut off financials to select countries. News to President Obama. They have already left. Russia, China, India, Brazil, Africa, Syria,Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan have already left the table. They are trading their own currencies with each other and are using the Chinese remembi as a backing currency.

    The President can take any stand he likes and blow as much smoke as he likes but the truth of the matter is the American Dollar is done. When the countries above start asking for their money back from the American debt they bought what exactly is the American Government going to do. Promise Euros,,, they are back by American debt as well. Offer American assets,,,, All of the industries, natural resources, and public companies are privately owned. The U.S. has nothing to sell but debt, which has been sold so many times no one knows who really owns what and of course this is backed by the American tax payer who is on the hook for this mess.

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