Iran Oil Sales May Outstrip Sanctions Cap for Fifth Month

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
March 27, 2014, 8:34 a.m.

Ir­an ap­pears poised for a fifth month to sell more oil than the av­er­age it is per­mit­ted to ex­port un­der a short-term nuc­le­ar deal, Re­u­ters re­ports.

An in­dustry ob­serv­er said Ir­an has sent out oil at an over­all pace of 1.3 mil­lion bar­rels a day this month, the news agency said on Wed­nes­day. However, the na­tion agreed not to av­er­age more than 1 mil­lion bar­rels in sales each day for the six-month dur­a­tion of the atom­ic ac­cord that took ef­fect on Jan. 20.

The lim­its are in­ten­ded to help pres­sure Tehran to ac­cept re­stric­tions on its nuc­le­ar pro­gram, which Wash­ing­ton and oth­er West­ern cap­it­als con­sider a po­ten­tial vehicle for achiev­ing a nuc­le­ar-weapons cap­ab­il­ity.

Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials ex­pect Ir­an to cut its pet­ro­leum sales in com­ing months to bring its av­er­age ex­ports down to the cap it ac­cep­ted in Novem­ber, ac­cord­ing to Re­u­ters.

Still, ad­voc­ates of strin­gent eco­nom­ic pen­al­ties said Ir­an’s bur­geon­ing oil sales show that the in­ter­im ac­cord has loosened fin­an­cial re­stric­tions on the coun­try more than ne­go­ti­at­ors in­ten­ded. Tehran in­sists its nuc­le­ar pro­gram is peace­ful, but agreed to lim­it the atom­ic ef­fort in re­turn for sanc­tions curbs un­der the agree­ment with China, France, Ger­many, Rus­sia, the United King­dom and the United States.

“Ir­an will have to re­duce ex­ports by over 40 per­cent over the next three months in or­der not to ex­ceed the av­er­age of last year,” said Tim Wilson, an ana­lyst with the pro-sanc­tions Found­a­tion for De­fense of Demo­cra­cies. Tehran sold an av­er­age of 1.1 mil­lion bar­rels of oil each day in 2013.

Mean­while, a high-level Ir­a­ni­an gov­ern­ment in­sider said his na­tion in­tends to boost its pur­chases of gas­ol­ine with­in the next 12 months, Re­u­ters re­por­ted in a dif­fer­ent art­icle. U.S. eco­nom­ic pen­al­ties have sep­ar­ately tar­geted Ir­an’s abil­ity to ob­tain gas from abroad.

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