Greece is pleading with its allies in the European Union to ease the forthcoming complete ban on Iranian-imported oil, complicating a U.S.-led international sanctions regime aimed at crippling Iran’s economy and political leadership.
EU diplomats are confident that the measure to phase in a total embargo on Iranian oil will be agreed to on Monday, but the move would seriously harm the struggling economies of of Europe like Greece, Italy, Spain, and others who rely on Iranian oil.
The EU has been struggling with the question of whether to impose additional self-inflicted economic pain by cutting off a significant source of oil, primarily for the politics of the U.S. and Iran. The Obama administration has also been pressuring Asian allies like South Korea to participate in the sanctions, despite self-interested concerns for their own economic well-being.
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.