A European Union oil embargo on Iran, pushed stringently by the United States, is likely to be delayed for six months to let economically troubled countries such as Greece, Italy and Spain find alternative supplies, according to an EU official.
The harsh sanctions on Iran’s oil industry is widely expected to have crippling effects on the economy and thus the well-being of ordinary Iranians who rely on the country’s natural resource market to spur economic growth. Many have pointed to similar sanctions regimes heaped on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq during the 1990s, which left the country destitute and led to hundreds of thousands of deaths.
But the other side of that coin is that countries in the EU, many of whom are facing severe economic crises and whom rely heavily on Iranian imported oil, are being pressured to impose additional self-inflicted economic pain on their own countries by abiding by U.S. demands to ban Iranian oil.
The Obama administration has been sending teams of consultants around the world to give advice on managing the supply and demand of oil, as if they know better than the market.
The sanctions are supposedly aimed at curbing Iran’s alleged ambitions to attain nuclear weapons, an ambition Iran denies they harbor. There is no evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, and the opinion of theU.S. intelligence community, the Obama administration, and the latest IAEA report is that Iran’s enrichment is so far civilian in nature.