Heavy U.S. and European Union sanctions aimed at curbing Iran's nuclear program are starting to affect how Iran stores oil, according to a Tuesday report from Reuters.
Additionally, AFP indicated on Tuesday that restrictions on Iranian shipping and financial institutions are fundamentally forcing the country to reconsider how it exports oil. All of these sanctions may not soften the Iranian stance on nuclear power, the Christian Science Monitor reported on Tuesday, as the country is using PowerPoint slides to bolster its claim of legitimate grounds for uranium enrichment.
Here are further details regarding the sanctions impacting Iran and the Middle Eastern nation's nuclear ambitions.
Iran following NPT rules, it says: During a presentation given at the last P5+1 (the U.S., U.K., China, Russia, France and Germany) group meeting in Moscow, the Iranians tried to use several slides to show that they were simply following the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) while enriching uranium.
Iran presented its case last month, arguing that the primary enrichment location at Fordow was "facing constant threats, (so) we need a back up facility to safeguard our enrichment activities," according to the Christian Science Monitor. The P5+1, for their part, countered that all guarantees for the NPT were nullified by reported violations of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, and that Fordow must be shut down, along with a halt to enrichment activities.
Iran out of room for oil storage: The Reuters report indicated that oil sales have fallen by half of last year's sales, forcing both land and shipboard storage of oil to reach critical capacity levels.
Complicating matters worse, Iran has had to resort to using its own fleet to ship oil due to a European Union prohibition on insurers and reinsurers in Europe against carrying Iranian crude, the AFP reported. With a section of its own fleet in the Gulf filled with stored oil, the insurance prohibition coupled with the E.U.'s own sanctions against buying oil has severely impacted Iran's ability to export.
Country forced to be creative: According to the Associated Press, Iran has attempted to circumvent some of the financial, insurance, and sales sanctions issues by creating a private oil export group. Iranian officials are hoping that by doing so, they may be able to avoid sanctions targeting larger distribution channels.
The AFP noted that Tanzania may have reflagged six Iranian tankers to help the country with its shipments, while Japan passed a law allowing Iran to reinsure up to $7.6 billion worth of Iranian crude. China and India permit Iranian sales directly through its own Iranian-insured fleet.
Shawn Humphrey is a former contributor to The Flint Journal and an amateur Africanist, focusing his personal studies on human rights and political issues on the continent.
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