Trump Regime to Impose Illegal Sanctions on Buyers of Iranian Oil
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
No nations should observe what’s flagrantly illegal. Security Council members alone may impose sanctions on nations, not individual countries on others — a longstanding US abuse of power.
The way to defeat weaponized US sanctions is by refusing to observe them. With few exceptions, world community timidity overrides doing the right thing, why the US gets away with collectively punishing people of targeted nations — a high crime gone unpunished.
In April, Pompeo said US sanctions on nations buying Iranian oil are coming. Warning allies and adversaries alike, he said if they buy it after waivers expire on May 2, they’ll be sanctioned, adding:
“(A)ny nation or entity interacting with Iran should do its diligence and err on the side of caution. The risks are simply not going to be worth the benefits.”
Iran long ago developed ways to circumvent US sanctions. Oil sales continue though in reduced amounts, the Trump regime failing to halt them as Pompeo threatened.
Iran warned that if it’s unable to sell oil, it’ll prevent other nations from shipping it through the Strait of Hormuz.
It’s called the world’s most important oil transit chokepoint, over 20% of world oil passing through it daily, about 21 million barrels a day last year.
On Friday, neocon Trump regime envoy for regime change in Iran Brian Hook said US sanctions will be imposed on buyers of Iranian crude.
“There are right now no oil waivers in place. We will sanction any illicit purchases (sic) of Iranian crude oil,” he roared.
He responded to TankersTrackers.com data, showing vessels with Iranian oil headed for China directly or through third countries.
The Iranian oil tanker Salina docked at China’s Jinxi Refining and Chemical Complex near Beijing this week, other shipments going through Indonesia and other Asian countries.
The Bourse & Bazaar website, tracking economic developments in Iran, reported that the National Iranian Tanker Company Suezmax docked in Jinzhou near Beijing on June 20, other oil shipments continuing.
Reducing its exports to zero is a scheme doomed to fail. Russia, China, Turkey, and other countries maintain political, economic, financial, and trade ties to Iran.
Weeks earlier, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing opposes unilateral US sanctions, adding:
“We urge the US to conscientiously respect China’s interests and concerns and not to take mistaken actions that would hurt China’s interests.”
“Meanwhile China will continue to maintain the legitimate interests of our companies…(N)ormal energy cooperation” with Iran is legal and will continue.
Russia is refining Iranian oil for export, aiming to keep its shipments to world markets flowing.
In Osaka, Japan for G20 summit discussions, Trump said he’s in “no rush” to step back from heightened US/Iran tensions, risking potentially devastating war if he OKs aggression on the country.
Separately, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi warned that JCPOA Joint Commission discussions ongoing in Vienna “could be the last opportunity for the remaining signatories of the JCPOA to…seek how they can implement their commitments toward Iran” as required under the deal, adding:
“We hope that the remaining members of the JCPOA, in spite of the slogans they have chanted and the good statements they have issued, will take a practical and effective step this time to persuade Iran to fulfill its obligations.”
“If the Europeans take a step and operationalize (the) Instex (financial transactions mechanism bypassing the dollar), it should meet our needs.” It must permit Iranian oil sales to European markets.
“But if we realize that this is a commonplace and superficial mechanism, Iran will definitely not accept it and will firmly take the second step at the set time” — reducing its JCPOA commitments.
Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif notified EU political chief Federica Mogherini that it reserves the right to suspend its obligations under the deal if European countries continue failing to fulfill their own.
Tehran will no longer accept “artificial” actions. Saving the JCPOA requires the EU to back its rhetoric with policies required under the agreement — what it failed to so far.
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