March 01, 2023 | Claire Jungman and Daniel Roth
Now more than halfway through President Biden’s four-year term, we are still left to wonder if the Administration will seriously address the biggest single sanction-busting scheme happening right under its nose – Iranian oil exports to China. At the current trajectory, China will have imported 1.2 billion barrels of Iranian oil during the Biden presidency, worth in the region of $100 billion. In fact, recent higher figures suggest the total figure will be closer to 1.3 billion come January 2025. Surely there has never been a more flagrant, long-term, and lucrative example of U.S. sanctions abuse.
It must be granted that the United States is plowing its own lonely furrow on this issue. Notwithstanding the Administration’s repeated line that “our Allies and partners” are back on-side, Washington has had zero support on this from the E-3 countries. Neither Britain, France, nor Germany have shown the slightest hint they are willing to take that crucial step of ‘snapping-back’ oil sanctions, as senior officials, as well as the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, continue to hope for a return to the JCPOA.