Europe's Losing Game - by Stephen Lendman
America's oil embargo on Iran will fail.
Partnering with America has consequences. Europe's paying by shooting itself in the foot.
On January 23, EU representative for foreign and security affairs, Catherine Ashton, broke the news. She announced an "unprecedented" anti-Iranian oil embargo, effective July 1 and immediately from new contracts.
The ban covers crude oil, petroleum and petrochemical products, oil related business, equipment and technology, selling Tehran refined products, new investments, and dealing with its central bank.
Europe buys up to 20% of its oil from Iran. Ending it means greater strain on economically stressed countries. Making up lost volume won't be easy. Putting lipstick on this pig doesn't wash.
Alternatives are few and far between. Claiming Saudi Arabia can compensate is false. Iran's reserves are third largest globally. No combination of Gulf states can replace its shipments.
Seyyed Emad Hosseini , Iran Majlis (parliament) Energy Committee spokesman said:
Iran's "powerful and oil sanctions imposed by European countries will only harm the European Union because Iran can easily prove its oil supremacy in the Middle East region."
MP Nasser Soudani said "Europe will burn in the fire of Iran's oil wells....the structure of (Europe's) refineries is compatible with Iran's oil," so what's their alternative.
Moreover, expect oil prices to spike. Economic damage will follow. Weak EU nations will crater. Policy makers behind this scheme should be fired and replaced.
It gets worse. On January 28, Soudani said Iran's Majlis (parliament) Energy Committee finalized a bill to "halt all oil exports to European countries as long as they continue to ban oil imports from Iran."
Moreover, another clause forbids importing goods from countries imposing sanctions. If adopted, EU oil shipments may end in days. Vital supplies will be lost. Rogue EU countries will be left high and around 20% dry.
Sanctions cut both ways. Iran's extracting its own price. Going along with America is misguided. Policy makers in other countries know better. China's Foreign Ministry said "blindly pressur(ing) and impos(ing) sanctions on Iran are not constructive approaches."
Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said: