Unresolved Iran Nuclear Talks
Talks are a charade.
by Stephen Lendman
Multiple rounds have been held. Istanbul technical talks just concluded.
Breakthroughs haven't happened. How can they when Washington blocks them.
Nuclear talks are a subterfuge. Washington, European nations and Israel know Iran's program is peaceful and legitimate.
Yet the charade continues. Effective July 1, harsh new sanctions were imposed. They include an EU ban on Iranian oil imports and insurance for tankers carrying its oil.
The London-based International Group of P&I (property and indemnity insurance) Clubs covers about 95% of world tankers.
On June 28, Congress imposed harsh penalties on foreign companies trading with Iran's central bank. They include blocking their access to America's financial system and US banks.
Sanctions bite. To what degree is hard to determine precisely. Washington claims they're working. Iran's First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi dismissed them as futile, saying:
"The sanctions not only fail to impede the progress of the Iranian nation, but they also lay the ground for self-sufficiency and development."
On June 30, Iran's Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi said Tehran is fully prepared to counter efforts to curtail its oil exports.
London-based Middle East Institute Director Hassan Hakimian says Iran's economy is doing better than commonly believed. At the same time, it remains to be seen what impact sanctions will have going forward.
Iran may find innovative ways of shielding itself from their worst effects, he added. "Iran has been expecting (new) sanctions for quite a while, so (it's) better prepared than most people might realize."
Enormous foreign reserves were accumulated. Estimates are around $150 billion or more. In addition, Iran has billions of dollars in gold.
Its ability to import shouldn't be underestimated. Its oil is highly valued. Nations like China, India and others eagerly buy it. How oil exports are impacted going forward bear watching.