Analysis & Opinions - The Hill

Ending Oil Waivers Hurts Iranians, and Won't Budge Their Government

| Apr. 26, 2019

This week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the end of the waivers granted to buyers of Iranian oil. While the administration claims the United States has no intention of overthrowing the Islamic republic or hurting Iranians, their actions say otherwise. The "maximum pressure" campaign seems intended to provoke Iran to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal and squeeze the country economically without regard for ordinary Iranians. This will achieve the opposite of U.S. and European objectives.

When President Trump renewed all sanctions on Iran, he gave eight international buyers of Iranian oil six months to draw down purchases to zero. The waiver system ensured Iran's revenue from oil would go into escrow accounts and be used for the purchase of food and medicine. As a result, ending these waivers will scarcely affect the government's budget in Tehran, but it will ensure that Iran's access to foreign currency — fundamental to its ability to purchase food and medicine — is severely hampered. This targets the Iranian public directly....

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Esfandiary, Dina and Rouzbeh Parsi.“Ending Oil Waivers Hurts Iranians, and Won't Budge Their Government.” The Hill, April 26, 2019.