Mohsen Tavakol

  • Iran’s Crude Oil Exports: What Minimum Is Enough to Stay Afloat?

    With the US aiming to bring Iran’s petroleum exports to a complete stop through imposed sanctions, and Iran’s dependence on petroleum revenues, the Iranian government will do its utmost to secure the minimum required oil exports. But, what is that minimum? In order to perhaps find an answer, one needs to understand current Iranian macroeconomics.

    Crude oil exports is one of the main revenue sources of the Iranian government, as well as a major contributing engine for developing the country’s infrastructure and economy. Yet, only 17 percent of the Iranian GDP in 2018 and 30 percent of the government’s fiscal budget for the Iranian year 2019-2020 depend on petroleum exports.

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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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  • Iran’s Private Sector: Stuck in the Middle

    The Iranian economy and population are every day feeling the painful effects of US-driven financial pressure aimed at blocking any kind of economic interaction between foreign and Iranian banks and businesses.

    The sanctions’ political aim is to make it harder for the Iranian government to govern and reach its political, military and economic ambitions. But in reality, the sanctions do more harm to the already struggling private sector, which employs a large part of the Iranian workforce, and consequently to average Iranians.

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