Iran Circumvents Crude Shipping and Purchasing Bans

By Stephen Levy

Iran has been selling crude oil furtively to dodge U.S. and EU sanctions, Reuters reports, as the U.S. considers more sanctions. In alliance with Emirati companies, Iran has been disguising its crude oil by mixing it with other fuels, distributing at distant locations, and even using false documents. In a sign of the relative effectiveness of the sanctions, however, few large companies and traders have participated in those efforts, and Iran has had to sell the fuel at a significant discount. The U.S. has confirmed that it is investigating with the Emirati government, but it remains to be seen if any traders will be sanctioned. The sanctions have served better as a deterrent than a punishment, and if the U.S. views the negotiations as close to ending, it might consider moderating its response.