Last week, US State Department officials announced that they are pushing nations to bring down purchases of Iranian oil to zero. With the US pulling out of the P5+1 nuclear deal, they are trying to restore a ban on Iran exports.
Iran, however, says that they intend to try to circumvent the US ban with new rules to make it easier to export oil. This will include allowing private companies to directly export the oil. Officials say they are determined to keep the oil flowing.
The US “down to zero” plan rests heavily on banning India and China from buying from the Iranians, and while Indian companies have suggested they will dial it back, China remains in the nuclear deal and almost certainly won’t give in to US demands.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says he believes the US sanctions are intended to turn the public against the government, and won’t succeed. This has historically been the case, as heavy US sanctions have tended to weaken private companies and forced the population to be more reliant on the government for basic needs.