Trump strike on Iran, Russia and Venezuela
On April 22, our state Department intends to announce a complete ban on the purchase of oil from Iran. This was reported by the Washington Post, then the information was confirmed by Reuters and the Associated Press.
We are talking about eight countries that buy oil from Tehran, and which Washington does not subject to sanctions for this — China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy, and Greece. In November 2018, after the withdrawal from the international nuclear deal with Iran, the US imposed sanctions against third countries for the purchase of Iranian oil. The Donald trump administration granted special exemptions to only eight countries, allowing them to temporarily import oil from Iran within six months, until May 2, 2019.
And now the «hour X» has come: it became known that the white house does not intend to extend the exclusion regime. As Assistant Secretary of state for energy Frank Fannon previously stated, «our goal is to bring Iranian exports to zero as soon as possible.»Let us explain: the US is seeking Tehran’s renunciation of the nuclear program and the cessation of support for militants in the Middle East. What is symptomatic, the issue of lifting exceptions to anti-Iranian sanctions in the White House is engaged in «hawk» — national security adviser John Bolton.
Note that Iran’s oil exports are declining rapidly. Thus, Italy, Greece, and Taiwan refused to purchase oil from the Islamic Republic almost since the introduction of us sanctions. As a result, Iranian supplies decreased by 2.5 million barrels per day to 1.1 million barrels in March 2019. In April, they fell even more — to 1 million, according to Definitive Eikon.
Now the most aggressive scenario involves a complete ban on the purchase of Iranian oil. However, according to experts, its probability is small. This would lead to an increase in oil prices, and a barrel above $ 70 does not suit trump. It is no coincidence that in one of the tweets at the beginning of the year, us President mentioned that the decline in oil prices has a positive impact on the American economy.
But no matter how events unfolded, Iran in the hands of the US has become a strategic tool for manipulating the oil market. At the same time, Tehran’s position is not enviable.
And without new sanctions, the Islamic Republic is going through hard times. According to the IMF, inflation in recent months has accelerated in the country to 30% (the real exchange rate has lost half its value since the beginning of the year), and budget revenues continue to decline. Only according to the official forecast, the government lays the reduction of budget revenues by almost 4% in 2019. The new package of sanctions will only exacerbate Tehran’s economic isolation.
Yes, most likely, Iran will continue to adhere to a tough political position of «insubordination» of the United States, drawing support from available resources in the country. But how big these resources are is an open question.
In our history with Iran, it is important to remember that Washington puts Moscow and Tehran on the same Board. At the end of March, it became known that America, having dealt with Iran, is preparing to inflict a new sanctions strike on Russia. According to Bloomberg, sanctions are again planned to be introduced in connection with the case of Skripal. According to the Agency, us officials in the state and Treasury departments have already «checked sanctions against Russia, and are waiting for the approval of the White House.»
— The United States against Iran is pursuing the policy that Israel needs, — said the leading expert of the Center for military and political studies of MGIMO, doctor of political science Mikhail Alexandrov. — Trump was originally a representative of the Pro-Israeli lobby, which has already been written a lot, and now also conducts a line to support Israel. And the main foreign policy enemy of Israel is Iran. Therefore, Washington is looking for a variety of means to reject Tehran, weaken, force it to curtail its foreign policy.
«SP»: — the US expects to change the regime in Iran with the help of sanctions?
— I do not think that the bet is on an internal uprising in Iran, although, probably, the Americans also have such hopes. But still, the main task is to force Iran to surrender.
In particular, to ensure that he renounced his policy towards Israel, from supporting the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon and the supply of weapons, from the deployment of Iranian troops in Syria, from actions in Yemen against Saudi Arabia. Because, in the end, any strengthening of Iran in the Middle East is unprofitable for Israel.
That is why the US is holding on to the anti-Iranian line, and its pressure on Tehran will only increase.
What is the right thing for Russia to do in such a situation?
— We need to support Iran for the simple reason that Tehran is the center of power in the Middle East, which limits the influence of the United States.
Let me remind you that Iran has seriously helped us in Syria to deal with Pro-American terrorists — I mean ISIS*, Jabhat al-Nusra** and terrorist organizations that have spun off from it. Tehran has helped a lot on the ground, putting the infantry, so we have solved the strategic task — to gain a foothold in Syria. I think if we acted alone, without the help of Iran, we would not have succeeded.
In General, the restriction of us influence in the Persian Gulf, in the Arabian Peninsula — it’s all Iran. Which, for example, supports the Houthis against Saudi Arabia, forcing the Saudis to seek our support, and, consequently, to limit anti-Russian activities, which they have been actively engaged in since the days of Afghanistan.
So Iran is very important to us. Not to mention the fact that Iran is such a pillar that blocks the spread of instability in the Transcaucasus: Azerbaijan, Armenia, and further to our North Caucasus, as well as to Central Asia — Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.
In addition, Iran limits the ability of the United States in Afghanistan: the Americans there are clamped on all sides, and it does not give them the opportunity to turn around too much. That is, to increase the military presence, to shift the activity of terrorists in Central Asia — the Americans do not succeed.
That is, we should support Iran in every way?
— Yes, to create the conditions for the existence of the sanctions regime. I note that something is being done for this purpose: we have established trade with Iran in national currencies, there are some agreements on oil offsetting: they supply it to us by the swap, and we supply it to the West.
I think the new sanctions will further limit the flow of Iranian oil to the world market. But this will only lead to an increase in the price of «black gold». It will turn out that the US will win in one aspect, slightly clinging to Iran, and lose with another, because they improve the positions of Russia and Venezuela.
This is a situation in which the tail pull — nose bogged down. Americans do not have enough resources to act on all fronts — and for us, it is very good. Russia is currently in a state of tactical partnership with Iran, — said the Dean of the faculty of sociology and political science of the Financial University under the government of the Russian Federation Alexander Shatilov. — So Moscow, in varying degrees, it is worth keeping in common with the Iran front. Moreover, an extremely interesting link between China, Iran, and Russia is emerging. As you know, Iran sells its oil, mainly in China — and I do not think that in the current situation, the Chinese will go on about the United States.
In addition, restrictions on oil supplies provoke an increase in prices on the world market — which is beneficial to us. Especially as long as the US will arrange a showdown with China and Iran, we will be able to patch up some of their holes — use the time to strengthen their positions.
It is clear that the United States is quite unceremoniously putting pressure on its opponents, and against Russia can tighten sanctions. But I think we are better prepared for this than Iran — economically, technologically and even morally. We’re not new to feuding with the US.
But it is not necessary and delusions: Americans politically and economically create tension around the Russian borders — outbid friendly Russian regimes. We see how Russia’s positions in Armenia, Kazakhstan and Belarus are weakening. In addition, the US is leading a slow but faithful preparation of public opinion through the «fifth column» in the Russian elite to the «transit of power.» This implies the curtailment of the foreign policy that took place after Vladimir Putin’s Munich speech in 2007.
So if the «sovereign» Russian elite will rest on its laurels, and do not perceive us sanctions as a serious threat, we can get a new 1991.
Economic news: Belarus has restricted the export of petroleum products due to the quality of Russian raw materials
* «Islamic state» (ISIL, IG) was recognized as a terrorist organization by the decision of the Supreme court of the Russian Federation of December 29, 2014, and its activities in Russia are prohibited.
** The Jabhat al-nusra Group was recognized as a terrorist organization by the decision of the Supreme court of the Russian Federation of December 29, 2014, and its activities in Russia are prohibited.