Analysis

Iran: Exemptions Threaten to Cripple New Iran Sanctions
President Barack Obama speaks about the Defense Strategic Review and the new Iran sanctions during a press briefing at the Pentagon, January 5, 2012. (LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
January 11, 2012
| Security
| Middle East and North Africa
Summary
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The United States and the European Union are preparing to implement new rounds of sanctions that aim to put a chokehold on Iran’s central bank, depriving it of its oil revenue. There are signs, however, that the Obama administration is losing its nerve amid opposition to the sanctions from China, Japan, South Korea, India and Turkey -- all of which rely heavily on Tehran’s oil exports.

A new round of U.S. sanctions were signed into law by President Barak Obama on December 31 and will be slowly implemented over the next six months, taking full effect in June. Under the new U.S. law, companies are banned from any transactions with Iran’s central bank through which the majority of Tehran’s oil revenues must pass, prohibiting refineries around the world from purchasing Iranian oil. The 27 EU member nations have also agreed in principle to ban Iranian oil imports and are expected to approve the sanction’s specific stipulations later this month.

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