One of Iran’s biggest oil customers is buying more U.S. crude as President Donald Trump sticks to his pledge to squeeze the Persian Gulf nation’s energy trade. State-run refiner Indian Oil Corp., which had been buying U.S. crude in the spot market, signed a term tender to purchase American oil for delivery every month between November and January, according to Finance Director Arun Kumar Sharma.
The Trump administration forecasts that it will persuade countries to cut Iranian oil imports by as much as 1 million barrels a day when it reimposes energy sanctions in early November, according to two people familiar with the administration’s efforts to choke off Tehran’s crude sales. The assessment forecasts a range of likely cuts of 700,000 to 1 million barrels a day -- a significant reduction for the Islamic Republic but short of the announced U.S. goal of halting all sales of Iranian crude.
On May 8, 2018, President Donald J. Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear agreement, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with Iran. Effective immediately, U.S. nuclear sanctions on Iran were reinstated and the President warned that "any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States”... In response to these developments, companies around the world that had resumed trade and investment with Iran following the JCPOA began to reverse course. The following table, which relies on news media, tracks these responses.
SANCTIONS, BUSINESS RISKS, & OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS
The Swiss government regrets the “deteriorating” situation regarding sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran, but recommends Swiss firms pursue their business relations with the Islamic Republic on an informed basis, it said on Thursday.
German companies are increasingly suffering from U.S. President Donald Trump's policy of sanctions - including those against Iran - and the tariffs he is pursuing in an escalating trade war with China, business associations said on Thursday.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s comments that his country would abide by US sanctions has taken Iranian media by surprise.
If they play their hand well, Trump officials can secure large reductions in Iran’s oil exports. But doing so requires the administration to navigate both complex global oil markets and a multilevel diplomatic game involving both governments and global companies.
Restricted oil and gas export opportunities will have a significant impact on the plans of the Iranian government to increase revenues, which the country’s sixth 5-year Development Plan heavily relies on. Sanctions will also majorly hamper the National Iranian Oil Company’s development plans to increase oil and gas production.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu says his country is resolved to expand ties with Iran despite US threats to punish governments that violate recently-restored economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
A price war is brewing between top oil producers in the Middle East, and the U.S. may be at the heart of it.
Iran and North Korea are growing their stockpile of ballistic missiles, including long-range missiles capable of striking U.S. assets, American allies, and even the continental United States, according to new congressional reports that shine a light on efforts by these rogue nations to advance their military capabilities.
PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS
Three human rights organizations have urged Iranian authorities to stop "harassing and threatening" the families of activists and journalists as a tactic to silence dissent and criticism.
Amnesty International (AI) has called on Iran to release peaceful protesters following a wave of arrests over demonstrations against the Islamic Republic’s dire economic conditions and its foreign military interventions.
US sanctions on Tehran came into effect on August 7 amid Iranian fury over their deteriorating economy. But will pressure from the street be enough to destabilise the Ayatollah's regime?
A semi-official Iranian news agency is quoting an aide to the country’s president as saying that he doesn’t see “any reason” for talks between Donald Trump and Hassan Rouhani at the next United Nations General Assembly.
MILITARY/INTELLIGENCE MATTERS & PROXY WARS
Iran has threatened to block access to the world's busiest oil route in response to U.S. sanctions designed to reduce the revolutionary Shiite Muslim power's petroleum exports to zero. While there has been no indication that Iran was prepared to go through with the warning, such a move would likely be catastrophic for the region and global energy prices.
IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS
Former hard-line Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has asked President Hassan Rouhani to resign.
IRANIAN REGIONAL AGGRESSION
Reports have started circulating about an intention to establish a NATO-style security and military strategic alliance between the US, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan to confront the danger represented in the Iranian expansion in the region. This alliance, according to the news, is likely to be announced by mid-October.
NORTH KOREA & IRAN
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told North Korea's foreign minister that the United States cannot be trusted, Tehran's state media said, as the United States seeks a deal to rein in the North's nuclear and missile programs. North Korea for its part denounced the United States for its "outdated acting script" in pressuring the North with continued sanctions, but said it was still prepared to meet its obligations after a historic North Korea-U.S. summit in Singapore in June.
RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN.
As Syria’s war enters what could be its last and most dangerous stretch, the Syrian government and its allies will have to contend for the first time with the presence of foreign troops in the quest to bring the rest of the country back under President Bashar al-Assad’s control… Iran has… entrenched its forces and allied militias alongside loyalist Syrian troops across government-held territory, stirring deep concern for Israel.
The parliamentary bloc of Lebanon’s Hezbollah group said on Thursday that delay in forming a new government risked Lebanon sliding “towards tension.”
The indebted nation could benefit financially from legalizing cannabis. But legalization could create complications for Hezbollah, which draws recruits from Lebanon's poor hashish-growing region.