Who Can Enforce Iran Sanctions?

By
Monday, August 03, 2009 at 10:05 am

It sounds pretty simple: if negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program stall/don’t restart/break down, put together a sanctions package on Iran’s oil imports. (Yes, Iran has the world’s second-or-third proven highest oil reserves, but it still imports gasoline.) But here’s the soft underbelly, reports David Sanger at The New York Times:

But enforcing what would amount to a gasoline embargo has long been considered risky and extremely difficult; it would require the participation of Russia and China, among others that profit from trade with Iran. Iran has threatened to respond by cutting off oil exports and closing shipping traffic through the Strait of Hormuz, at a moment that the world economy is highly vulnerable.

Why would Russia and China agree to such a package? And why would, say, the United Nations agree to a move that would push the Iranians to dare the international community to confront it militarily over a global economic chokepoint? The smart people quoted in Sanger’s piece make the case for the sanctions by saying that the Iranian regime is more vulnerable to sanctions now, after the theft of the June 12 elections exposed popular anger and antipathy toward it, but not how to make those sanctions feasible.

Follow Spencer Ackerman on Twitter


Categories & Tags: National Security| Obama| | | | | |

Comments

3 Comments

Maybe China And Russia Will Go Along With It If We Give Them A Pony « Around The Sphere
Pingback posted August 3, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

[...] Spencer Ackerman: Why would Russia and China agree to such a package? And why would, say, the United Nations agree to a move that would push the Iranians to dare the international community to confront it militarily over a global economic chokepoint? The smart people quoted in Sanger’s piece make the case for the sanctions by saying that the Iranian regime is more vulnerable to sanctions now, after the theft of the June 12 elections exposed popular anger and antipathy toward it, but not how to make those sanctions feasible. [...]


lizzieb23
Comment posted August 3, 2009 @ 2:30 pm

Gee, the Iranians insist on keeping their right to manufacuture their own nuclear reactor fuel because they are concerned about politically-motivated energy cutoffs and sanctions … and here we are, proving them right by threatening to cut off their energy imports.


Joe Mills
Comment posted August 7, 2009 @ 3:57 pm

Robert Naiman's article in The Huffington Post is interesting and covers why a gas embargo on Iran is a bad idea. In addition to lack of support, which is covered here, he also mentions increased gas prices in the U.S. (which would have political implications for Obama) and a possible Iran retaliation by stopping its oil exports to the West.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/mr-…


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.