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October 10, 2018 9:47 am

US Sanctions Hurt Iranian Efforts to Export Natural Gas

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet meeting with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran on Aug. 29, 2018. Photo: Official Website / Handout via Reuters. – Amid current and upcoming US sanctions on Iran, the regime is struggling to survive increasing prices over natural gas.

With the second round of sanctions slated to take effect on Nov. 4, the Trump administration’s decision to bar Iranian crude exports has led to a 29 percent decrease in oil shipments in the past few months, contributing to an increase in natural gas prices above $80 per barrel.

“The difficulty in getting gas from Iran now is linked to the issue of transferring money to Iran because of the American sanctions,” Sadoun Shehan, the deputy head of media at Iraq’s electricity ministry, told The Wall Street Journal. “[This has] prevented any money transfer from Iraqi banks, especially in US dollars, to Iran.”

US National Security Advisor John Bolton said in August that American sanctions could cause for there to be zero Iranian oil exports.

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“Even at the peak of the oil sanctions prior to the nuclear deal, the oil market never experienced the predicated spikes that sanction skeptics initially feared,” Iran expert Behnam Ben Taleblu told JNS in August.

“If Saudi Arabia maximized its swing production alongside a large increase in US exports, it’s possible to get much closer to zero than analysts ever expected,” said Richard Goldberg, who, while working in Congress, was the lead Republican negotiator for a few rounds of sanctions targeting the Iranian economy. “The administration still needs to be proactive in reassuring the market with public statements about increased production offsetting the loss.”

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