September 01, 2023 | Claire Jungman and Daniel Roth
This month, Iran’s oil exports reached levels not seen since 2017. During the first 20 days of August, Iran dispatched an average of two million barrels of oil daily. This marks a substantial increase of more than 30% compared to previous months. The key to understanding this oil export surge lies in the relaxation of sanctions enforcement by the Biden administration, particularly to China. This approach has opened avenues for Iran to revive and significantly increase its exports.
The Biden Administration’s recent deal to free five Iranian-American hostages held by Iran is symptomatic. This agreement involves releasing an unknown number of Iranian agents or sanctions violators held in U.S. jails, along with the release of over $6 billion of Iranian assets frozen by South Korea. This deal rewards the regime for its hostile actions and could incentivize Tehran, and even other outlaw regimes, to take more hostages in the future.