May 18, 2013
U.S. Tightens Sanctions on Iran
Posted on Feb 7, 2013
The West escalated the economic war against Tehran on Wednesday, imposing a new set of restrictions intended to deter the country’s nuclear ambitions by forcing it into what amounts to a form of barter trade for oil, The New York Times reports.
The U.S. did this by deciding that payments for oil deliveries can no longer be sent to accounts inside Iran. The nation’s oil revenue is “the country’s economic lifeblood.” But sanctions, which have cut off international financial transactions, cost the country $4 billion to $8 billion monthly in European oil contracts, doubled prices and crashed the currency, have so far failed to “set off price riots or serious opposition to the Iranian government.”
The sanctions on financial transactions have forced the country to engage in undesirable oil-for-goods barter trade with its biggest customers, China and India, whose imports are prominently displayed in stores and pharmacies across the country.
The U.S. is also deciding who gets to continue buying Iranian oil and how. From now on, China, Japan, South Korea and India, among others, must deposit their diminishing oil deliveries into local bank accounts, which Iran can use only to buy goods within that country. The rule is intended to keep money from moving into Iran.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
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