JCPOA

  • Iran’s Strategy to Tackle Sanctions: Pre-selling Oil

    Iran’s vice president, Eshaq Jahangiri, announced July 8 that any powerful country that is willing to work with Iran can pre-purchase Iranian oil. Iran is actively trying to convince its traditional costumers to purchase its oil for future deliveries in return for investment, goods or services in advance. Pre-selling oil is designed to get around US sanctions while building leverage for Iran in the short and long-term.

    This method can help Iran access the credit it needs for investment, goods and services. It could also be used as a floating credit in INSTEX, the trading vehicle set up by the European Union (EU) to keep Iran in compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). EU countries have all halted their oil

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  • INSTEX: More About Politics Than Economics?

    Ever since the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018, the European Union (EU) has emphasized its sovereignty regarding both commercial and political relations with Iran, insisting that it could continue trade under the framework of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Despite that, trade has cratered and a mechanism—the Instrument for Supporting Trade Exchanges (INSTEX)—expressly created to keep up commercial ties has not yet been implemented.

    When INSTEX was announced on January 31, Per Fischer, the former head of financial institutions at Commerzbank, was appointed as its president. The INSTEX supervisory board includes Simon McDonald, the UK Permanent...

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  • How US Sanctions Hinder Iranians’ Access to Medicine

    The United States has over the past four decades imposed a wide range of economic sanctions to punish Iran for a number of undesired policies. While Trump administration officials continue to insist that food and medicine are exempt from US sanctions, and that sanctions do not hurt the Iranian people, evidence suggests that unilateral sanctions are collectively punishing the Iranian population by denying them adequate and reliable access to medicine. 

    The US has nominally exempted humanitarian goods from its economic sanctions. However, limitations on trade, the unwillingness of financial institutions to process transactions related to Iran, as well as the Iranian government’s misguided policies, have resulted in staggering prices and shortages of medicine. Compounded together, these issues...

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  • US Oil Embargo Stalls Iran-India Energy Relations

    Before the Trump administration decided to target Tehran’s oil exports, Iran and India experienced a positive trend in relations.

    India was Iran’s second largest oil customer, importing 457,000 barrels of oil a day before the US withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018. Last November, India was one of eight countries that received a six-month waiver to continue importing Iranian oil; it bought 300,000 barrels per day during this period. In April, however, the Trump administration did not renew the waivers. India announced on May 24 that it would abide by US sanctions and stop all such imports.

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  • Russia Is a Clear Winner in US-Iran Tensions

    Current tensions in the Persian Gulf are undoubtedly disturbing. Even if war is averted, the region faces a number of negative consequences, including lower investment and tourism as well as rising economic distress in an atmosphere of crisis and uncertainty.

    However, every conflict also has its beneficiaries. In the case of the US and Iran, the clearest winner is Russia. 

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  • A Week of Looming Conflict Between the United States and Iran

    May 8 was the first anniversary of US President Donald Trump’s exit from the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The Islamic Republic marked the occasion by announcing that it would defy the JCPOA’s limits on the amounts of enriched uranium and heavy water in its inventory. 

    Iranian President Rouhani issued an ultimatum to the European signatories of the JCPOA to assist Tehran with exporting its oil and normalizing its access to the global banking system within sixty days, or else Iran would take further actions. On the same day, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said that Tehran could dismiss the...

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  • On Iran, Europeans Caught Between Multilateral and Transatlantic Realities

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced on May 8 that Iran may reduce its compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) if the non-US parties to the deal don’t find a way to provide Tehran with promised economic benefits.

    In response, the European Union and foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany expressed their continued support for the JCPOA but warned Iran not to carry out its ultimatum to disregard selected limitations to its nuclear program.

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  • Iran Withdraws From Certain Aspects of the Nuclear Agreement

    A year after the United States withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and six months after it re-imposed sanctions, Iran has said it would reduce its compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement in sixty days unless the remaining parties take concrete steps to continue trade with Iran. The decision was announced by President Hassan Rouhani in a televised speech on May 8. Rouhani said, “We felt that the nuclear deal needs a surgery and the painkiller pills of the last year have been ineffective … This surgery is for saving the deal, not destroying it.”

    The Iranian president warned that Europe has sixty days to prevent US sanctions from impacting Iran’s banking and oil sectors. The news was formally relayed to the remaining signatories of JCPOA: Britain,...

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  • Is Iran Running Out of Patience With Nuclear Agreements?

    Ever since the Trump administration came to office, it has been applying pressure on Iran without provoking a new proliferation crisis. But the days of Donald Trump having his baklava, so to speak, and eating it too may be drawing to a close.

    In a series of public and private appearances last week in New York—on the sidelines of a UN preparatory meeting for a 2020 review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)—Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif made clear that Iran’s patience with the Trump administration and the international community may be coming to an end. 

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  • Try Taming Rather Than Laming Iran’s Missile Program

    From its early days, the Trump administration has sought to isolate and weaken the Islamic Republic of Iran, using Iran’s missile and space launch programs as a key justification. 

    In addition to withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018, expanding extensive trade sanctions, and severely restricting travel to the US by Iranians, the Trump White House “has also accelerated a secret American program to sabotage Iran’s missiles and rockets,” according to a recent report in The New York Times

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