The Iranian regime’s oil sector should be targeted for sanctions: WSJ Commentary

“The Iranian energy industry is now in a slow-motion death spiral” and to accelerate its demise, the Obama administration should adopt further punitive measures pertaining to it, a commentary published in the Wall Street Journal said on Monday.

Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and head of the foundation’s Iran Energy Project, said in the opinion piece that, “The Reserve Bank of India has opened up a major new front in the global effort to tighten the economic screws on Tehran” and “blocked domestic buyers of Iranian oil from making payments through the Asian Clearing Union.”

He added, “While oil sales to India can still clear through commercial banks, they will be more transparent, subjecting them to scrutiny under financial sanctions laws enacted by the U.S., the European Union and a range of Asian countries. And many international banks will not get involved at all, given the potential penalties.”
“This has Tehran worried: Crude oil sales are the lifeblood of the regime’s power, constituting 80 percent of Iran’s export earnings and 24 percent of its GDP. Tehran has reacted angrily.”

“The Iranian energy industry is now in a slow-motion death spiral. To accelerate its demise, the Obama administration should take a number of other steps,” including greatly intensifying the “hassle factor” in buying Iranian crude, the  commentary suggested.

Mr. Dubowitz added, “Iranian crude oil sanctions are the next logical step-especially after the U.S., EU, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and Canada have targeted energy investment in, and technology transfer to, the Iranian energy industry, and Washington has cracked down on Iran’s refined petroleum imports.”



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