In 2010, according to The NY Times, more than 10,000 licenses were awarded to American businesses, allowing them to do business with Iran and other nations who sponsor terror.
Back in March, the NY Times reported that Barack Obama excluded Japan and 10 European nations (Belgium, Britain, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain) from the sanctions that punish countries for buying oil from Iran. Hillary Clinton said that theses countries had agreed to cut imports, which has proven effective.
Foreign Policy Magazine announced that seven more countries (India, Malaysia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan) will be exempted. China is not excluded yet but the United States is in talks with them. If China agrees to cut imports, they will undoubtedly be exempt.
The law they are exempted from has been a source of contention with allies of the United States. Starting June 28th, the U.S. will penalize foreign financial institutions over transactions with Iran’s central bank, which handles oil exports.
The idea of the law is to put pressure on Iran’s clerical regime who are building a nuclear bomb.
Hillary Clinton said,
“By reducing Iran’s oil sales, we are sending a decisive message to Iran’s leaders: until they take concrete actions to satisfy the concerns of the international community, they will continue to face increasing isolation and pressure.”
Diluting the sanctions by excluding countries renders the law increasingly more ineffective. Meanwhile, the UN’s nuclear watchdog (the IAEA) and Iran failed on Friday to agree on a deal allowing greater access to Tehran’s contested nuclear program.
Oil prices have gone down from $100 to $83 a barrel, partly because of the sanctions.
One bit of good news is a new pipeline to bypass the Straits of Hormuz. That will also bring down costs, hurting Iran.