Waivers were granted to eight major customers of Iran that will allow them to continue importing oil as long as they are phasing them out, reassuring the oil traders that the world won’t end for at least a few more months. And while many allied governments have said they won’t accommodate U.S. sanctions, oil companies under their jurisdictions have indicated they will do not wish to risk legal problems and so will simply avoid doing business with Iran.
Earlier sanctions against Iran were relatively effective, with production declining by about 1 mb/d, but implied exports remained at roughly 1.5 mb/d. This was despite the participation of most of the major governments in the world, and highlights the limits of sanctions that are not enforced by military means. (As sanctions against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq were.)
Unilateral sanctions have a long, largely dismal history. U.S. sanctions against Cuba were primarily successful in that they gave the regime way to rationalize their dismal economic performance which resulted from their socialist economics, thereby prolonging the country’s pain. Sanctions by some oil exporters against Israel have had a fairly minor effect, showing that even a combined effort by major suppliers can be ineffective.
Of course, embargoes have sometimes resulted in military conflict, whether intentionally or not. Athens’ embargo of Megara in 432 B.C. was a primary reason for the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War and the U.S.-U.K. oil embargo against Japan in 1941 led that nation to initiate warfare with the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Raed more: Forbes
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