The European Union, with Germany and France leading is working with Tehran to lessen the pain of the “maximum pressure” being exerted by the US with a goal to reduce its experts in crude oil to zero, adding pressure to its collapsing economy. The EU is urging Iran to stay in compliance with an international nuclear deal as it prepares to riposte to the US, in an effort to elevate the temperature of the war of words.
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Iran is a crude oil exporter but has seen its monthly volume drop from 2.4 million barrels to 1.4 million over the past two years – the US is now canceling waivers to eight countries who import crude from Iran. This is another effort to move Iran to exporting zero oil products, which is likely a deathblow to its economy which is currently running at 40 percent inflation. Note that the Iranian economy was at minus three percent GDP growth last year and will likely move to minus 6 percent this year. Ali Akbar Salami, one of Iran’s Vice Presidents and head of the state atomic energy organization, has said that Iran would ramp up uranium enrichment if the accord collapsed.
There are now discussions underway to left sanctions under the nuclear deal. Iran has expressed dissatisfaction with the EU and it not standing up to US pressure. The Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, said that he is considering bypassing sanctions and dealing with Russia and China directly.