The number of countries was mentioned earlier on Tuesday, as Washington announced a penalty waiver for Japan and 10 EU counties which complied with American demands and reduced their purchases. However, the names of the countries were not given.
Also targeted by possible financial sanctions are Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Turkey.
US President Barack Obama may order banks based in those countries and involved in oil trade with Iran to be cut off America’s financial system. On the other hand, he may exempt some of them from sanctions, if US national security demands it. So America’s allies like South Korea or Pakistan may dodge repercussions.
The US is campaigning to cripple Iranian oil export as part of pressuring it into stopping uranium enrichment. In January the EU joined the sanctions with a six-month grace period, while Japan adopted a policy to reduce imports from Iran. Western countries say the Islamic Republic may be trying to build a nuclear weapon under the guise of its civilian nuclear program.
Tehran rejects the allegations. Some counties including UN Security Council members Russia and China say no evidence of such intension is available and oppose economic sanctions against Iran, saying they fail to resolve the problem.
The uncertainty of the situation over Iran has resulted in world oil price gradually climbing over the months. The IMF warned this week that if the flow of crude from the country is abruptly cut, the resulting price shock would deal a serious blow to the global economy.
- War with Iran to cause 30% oil price shock – IMF – RT (rt.com)
- * US exempts 11 states from Iran sanctions; China, India excluded (chindia-alert.org)
Iran ‘denintely’ shutting down Strait of Hormuz if EU bans oil
Tensions in the Gulf could reach a breaking point as a senior Iranian official said Iran would “definitely” close the Strait of Hormuz if an EU oil embargo disrupted the export of crude oil, the semi-official Fars news agency reports.
With Washington’s decision to deploy a second carrier strike group in the Gulf, the prospect of all-out war in the region is becoming increasingly likely.
- Iran threatens to stop Gulf oil if sanctions widened (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Iran: Highlights and Developments 1/22 (showdownmideast.com)