USA resume sanctions against Iran, taken in 2015. 9 the main issues about the new wave of restrictive measures — a review of RBC
USA imposes sanctions against Iran. What?
USA does not enter, but simply renews sanctions taken against Iran after the nuclear agreement in 2015. First, warning of the restrictions comes into effect on 6 August. The second, more serious, wave of sanctions, including restriction on imports of Iranian oil, is expected on 4 November.
How does the production of Persian carpets in Iran
The first wave of sanctions will not affect Iran’s oil sector. While restrictions will apply to the next trade commodity positions, as well as some operations with the dollar and the Iranian Rial. The US Treasury Department would back restrictions on trade in gold and other precious metals, as well as the purchase or sale of aluminum, steel, coal and software for industrial production. The United States also withdraw permission for the import of Iranian carpets and foodstuffs and impose sanctions against the Iranian car industry.
In addition to resume restrictions on purchase of dollars by the Iranian government, on transactions for the purchase and sale of the Iranian Rial, as well as on media content and account management in the Iranian currency outside of Iran. Limited and operations with a sovereign debt of Iran.
November 4 will back sanctions against Iranian oil companies and oil traders — National Iranian oil company (National Iranian Oil Company, NIOC), its subsidiary Naftiran Intertrade Company (NICO) and the National Iranian tanker company (National Iranian Tanker Company, NITC). Will again prohibited the purchase of oil, petroleum products and petrochemical products from Iran.
In November, the sanctions will be imposed against the Iranian port operators and enterprises in the shipbuilding industry, including the shipping of Iranian state-owned Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and of the company South Shipping Line Iran (SSL), as well as their branches and subsidiaries.
In addition to resume restrictions on transactions financial institutions with the National Bank of Iran. There will be restrictions on the provision of Iranian companies insurance and reinsurance.
Why is the US return of sanctions?
In may 2018, the US President, Donald trump has announced the release of Washington from a Joint comprehensive plan of action (SVPD) is the so-called nuclear deal. It was concluded between Iran and the six countries (United States, great Britain, Russia, France, China and Germany) and included the abolition of numerous sanctions against Iran in exchange for limiting nuclear programs of this country. According to trump, Iran has not abandoned plans to develop nuclear weapons, is an aggressive foreign policy and supported the terrorist movement. The nuclear deal was concluded, when the US President was a precursor to the trump Barack Obama.
Donald trump always criticized prisoner under Obama SVPD. Even during his election campaign he promised to withdraw from the deal, which he called a “disgrace” and “worst deal” ever a prisoner of the United States.
About the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal Donald trump announced may 8, 2018, promising to impose unprecedented sanctions against Tehran.
The agreement was signed by Iran and the Group of six (Russia, Britain, China, USA, France and Germany), it was supported by the European Union. Arrangements were enshrined in a resolution of the UN Security Council.
The document’s signing was preceded by negotiations, which lasted more than ten years. In accordance with the agreement, Tehran agreed to limit its nuclear program, but retained the right to develop peaceful nuclear energy, in return he was acquitted of the international sanctions imposed against it by the USA, the European Union and the United Nations before the signing of the AGREEMENT.
In particular, Tehran has pledged to have no more than 300 kg of enriched to 3.67% uranium for 15 years and preserve the function of uranium enrichment for the one object — its uranium enrichment plant in Natanz. In addition, Iran allowed the IAEA experts to monitor the production of uranium concentrate and its reserves for 25 years.
The main complaint of the American President:
- the agreement does not prevent the possibility of Iran developing nuclear weapons, but only delayed for a short time this process;
- Iran’s behavior does not meet the “spirit of the deal”, as it does not fulfill all terms of the agreement, for example, among other things, does not allow full inspection of its nuclear facilities;
- Iran continues to test ballistic missiles that threaten Israel, the main ally of Washington in the middle East. Iran has refused to curtail the rocket program. According to President Rouhani that Iran is “built, builds and will build the missile” in self-defense;
- foreign policy of Iran. Trump accuses the Iranian leadership, “mode fanatics”, spreading chaos and death around the world and funding terrorists. Among Tehran’s support of terrorist groups, the us President called “al-Qaeda” and “Taliban” (both a terrorist organization banned in Russia), the armed Shiite movement “Hezbollah” in Lebanon and the Islamic resistance movement (Hamas) in Palestine;
- the presence of Iranian military in Iraq and Syria. In the past loyal to Tehran the formation of the fighting on the side of President Bashar al-Assad. According to trump, Iran is only fueling the civil war in these countries and also in Yemen;
- Tehran alleged transfers of technology to the DPRK and organizing cyber attacks against the U.S. and its allies. Two weeks after exiting the deal, the US announced a new strategy on Iran, promised sanctions “at the highest level” and the unprecedented economic pressure on the country. It is not only the renewal of the old sanctions, but also the introduction of new. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo then said that the goal of Washington to force Tehran to change its foreign policy with the selected “unacceptable and unproductive ways”. Otherwise, the Secretary said, Tehran will hardly be able to “keep their economy alive.”
Will affect whether Russia’s sanctions against Iran?
From a political point of view for Russia, which actively participated in negotiating the nuclear deal with Iran, it is important to maintain AGREEMENT. This plan, as noted by the Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov, allows you to “firmly and securely” to ensure the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Some Russian companies, in particular, “RUSAL” and automakers can benefit from the sanctions of the United States.
According to the head of the Russian foreign Ministry, Sergei Lavrov, to jeopardize such an important agreement as SVPD, is “inconsiderate and dangerous”. Moscow believes that the nuclear deal has greatly weaken the political and military tensions in the region, and U.S. actions are aimed only to politicize the situation around Tehran.
Iran is also an ally of Russia in the Syrian conflict: both countries are fighting on the side of government forces against terrorist groups. Joint efforts between Tehran and Moscow and Ankara at the end of 2016 was launched the so-called Astana the process to resolve the conflict in Syria. The three countries having the greatest influence on the parties to the conflict, were the guarantors of the truce between the Syrian army and the moderate armed opposition and created four zones of de-escalation in Syria.
According to the Russian export centre (REC), the trade turnover of Russia with Iran in 2017 amounted to $1.7 billion (on the basis of export from Russia), and in the first quarter of this year to $476 million Among goods in the export structure were the leaders of grain and ferrous metals.
“In our opinion, the US sanctions against Iran will not affect the volume of trade of the Islamic Republic with Russia. We have built long-term cooperation in such sectors as the nuclear industry, agriculture, railway engineering,” — said RBC group managing Director of the export center for client work Nikita Gusakov.
Director of group of companies “Resonanace” Alexander Sharov believes that Russian companies could benefit from sanctions against Iran: the country will take many raw material suppliers and manufacturers. According to him, UC Rusal indirectly supplied to Iran about 300 thousand tons of aluminium, mainly for the production of cans under Coca-Cola. “Now UC Rusal itself under sanctions and begins delivery of aluminium directly,” he says. In the January prospect of the aluminum company of the bonds provided that the supply to Iran was minimal. According to analysts, REC, Iran self-sufficient in aluminium.
Russian steel producers — Severstal and MMK — halted deliveries to Iran because of U.S. sanctions, wrote Reuters in late July.
According to Sharova, the automakers GAZ and KAMAZ are looking forward to the departure of the Europeans from the Iranian market. 13 December 2016, Deputy head of the Ministry Georgy Kalamanov reported that three large Russian manufacturers — KAMAZ, GAZ and Sollers — able in 2017 to sign contracts for the localization of production in Iran. In March 2017, the President of GAZ group Vadim Sorokin confirmed that the automaker could localize production of vehicles in Iran in 2017.
The representative of the Gas declined to comment about further plans of the company in Iran. The representative of Sollers (UAZ controls) reported that currently, the UAZ is working with local partners the possibility of supply. In the case of sanctions from the United States UAZ will act “on the basis of limitations,” she said. But, according to her, the company may deliver to this country a few thousand cars a year, “if successful, work together with a local partner”.
The representative of KAMAZ told RBC that the company has no plans to work in Iran and no negotiations are underway.
According to the representative “Respectale”, a Russian company for the last three years supplied to Iran agricultural machinery and food processing equipment 300 mln. “the Islamic Republic is not the main direction of the supply for the domestic manufacturers of specialized equipment, but the market is very promising, with an attractive consumer sector,” he said. According to him, sanctions against Iran create complexity, but does not fundamentally hinder the development of export of specialized machines.
Balls also believes that because of U.S. sanctions Iran will continue to pay for the supply of Russian weapons the barter with precious metals that he receives from Turkey for oil.
Sanctions will accelerate the elimination of obstacles in Iran-Russia trade and investment such as problems in completing payment transactions, the lack of “green corridor” and the agreement on free trade area, the transition to trade in national currencies, told RBC Chairman of the Russian-Iranian business Council at chamber of Commerce and industry of Russia (Mr.) Vladimir Obydenov. In the framework of the program “oil in exchange for goods of” Russian farmers will come to the huge Iranian market is solvent. In addition, the Russian oil company with a profit to themselves supply Iranian oil to selected countries (India, Australia) faster and cheaper than from Russia. Iran, in turn, retrieves the appropriate products without spending the currency that he is in short supply, says Obydenov.
Sanctions can increase the proportion of “United aircraft Corporation” (UAC) in the Iranian market of medium-range Airliners — negotiating the supply to Iran of the first 40 units of Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ-100), said RBC of Obydenov.
How did you react to the sanctions the Iranian authorities?
Iran outraged by the conduct of Washington and its unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal. Tehran says it intends to continue to comply with the terms of the transaction together with the rest of the participants AGREEMENT. Authorities accuse the US of undermining international treaties and the failure to comply with obligations under the agreement. Iran has filed a lawsuit against US in the international court of justice.
Immediately after the US withdrawal from SVPD Rouhani said the decision of trump’s “the beginning of a psychological war” against Iran. However, the leader of Iran said that his country intends to withdraw from nuclear deal after Washington will remain committed to implementing the terms of the deal, if we can reach our goals with the other parties to the agreement. However, the Iranian leader said that he had asked enterprises involved in the nuclear programme of the country to be ready “when necessary” to resume work on uranium enrichment.
Since then, between the higher officials of the United States and Iran does not stop the verbal sparring. On July 22, President Rouhani has warned the United States on the outbreak of war with Tehran. “America must know that the truce with Iran is the mother of all cease-fires, and war is the mother of all wars,” he said on the state television. He suggested Trump “not to play with lion’s tail”, not to “regret it forever” about it.
Donald trump didn’t leave without attention the words of the Iranian leader and the next day addressed to the Iranian leader in a Twitter message, written in capital beeches: “never, NEVER AGAIN THREATEN the UNITED STATES, OR YOU will EXPERIENCE SUCH CONSEQUENCES, WHICH FEW have EXPERIENCED IN the ENTIRE PREVIOUS HISTORY. WE ARE NO LONGER THE COUNTRY THAT WILL TOLERATE YOUR CRAZY WORDS ABOUT VIOLENCE AND DEATH. BEWARE!”.
In response, Rouhani, speaking at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on July 25, I refer to these threats as groundless and unworthy of response, and the comments trump “cheap”. According to him, the U.S. attacks Iran intends to “react action”, namely to increase production and Iran’s exports.
Iran, on 16 July filed a lawsuit against the United States in the international court of justice in the Hague. Tehran indicates the violation by Washington of the 1955 Treaty on Amity, economic relations, and consular rights. US sanctions, including those that will be introduced, violate the Treaty, pointed out by the applicants.
With threats from Africa collapsed and the commander of the elite special forces “al-Quds” Islamic revolutionary guard Corps (IRGC) major General Qassem Soleimani. “A fan of gambling trump! <…> You can start the war but we will finish it. Go ask their predecessors. Stop trying to threaten us. We are ready to face you,” he said, stressing that war with Iran will destroy all owned by trump.
Can sanctions cause unrest in Iran?
The prospect of recovery of the us sanctions aggravated the economic and financial crisis in Iran. The national currency — the Rial — from April 2018 fell more than twice (at the exchange rate on the black market). The guard corps of the Islamic revolution urged the Iranian President to “revolutionary” action to prevent devaluation. The Central Bank the fall of the Rial explains, “the conspiracy of enemies”. Sanctions will slow and economic growth of Iran, expects the IMF will decrease investment, exports and capital outflows. However, many experts, including former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, are convinced that sanctions will not undermine the domestic political position of the Iranian authorities, on the contrary, forced the society to unite in the face of threats.
Protests against poor economic management not subside in Iran from December 2017. At the end of June 2018, a new wave of riots swept the country — the first protests were held in the cities of Abadan and khorramshahr in the province of Khuzestan in the South-West of the country. People were dissatisfied with the lack of drinking water in the background has engulfed the region a drought. A few days had closed the main market of Tehran, the Grand Bazaar and two other large shopping center, as the shopkeepers protested due to the weakening of the national currency and inflation growth.
On 1 August it became known that the Iranian Parliament was first summoned by President Hassan Rouhani to explain the economic situation in the country.
Shortly before the imposition of sanctions, the authorities have also replaced the Governor of the Central Bank of the country to improve the economic situation.
However, it is unlikely that U.S. attempts to achieve social tensions in Iran and thus trigger a regime change will be successful, says former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul at The Washington Post. In his opinion, Washington may achieve the opposite effect: the decision by trump to withdraw from the deal pushed even those who had been in opposition to the current government in Tehran to rally around the Iranian leadership due to growing external threats.
Even opponents of Rouhani from the conservative wing of the political establishment in Iran, which has always criticized the AGREEMENT, changed his rhetoric emphasized earlier in a conversation with RBC expert from the University of Shahid Beheshti (Tehran) Hamidreza Azizi. “They say that Iran is now in the midst of an economic war, so it is unwise to change the administration in such a critical situation,” — said the expert. Foreign exchange market has laid sanctions against Iran in their projections and reacts mostly on the tone of statements trump and Rouhani. From April 2018, the Rial, has lost about 50% of its value, and on Monday, July 30, his rate dropped to a historic low. The currency plunged on the black (free) market to 117 thousand rials per dollar, compared to 90 thousand riyals for the previous week (the official exchange rate to the dollar — 44,07 thousand riyals, but traders not in use). Because of this, an open letter to Hassan Rouhani even spoke of the Islamic revolutionary guard Corps — an elite special forces unit of the Iranian armed forces, which has nothing to do with the economy, and eliminate “subversive elements” in the country. “A unique and broad support that you had in recent weeks should not deter you to take revolutionary actions to control the [consumer] prices and prevent the monstrous growth of prices for foreign currencies and gold,” — said the head of the IRGC Mohammad Ali Jafari. However, Rial partially played the fall after trump announced readiness to meet with Rouhani.
Ordinary Iranians for protection against the depreciation of the Rial will be invested in various protective assets such as the dollar and gold, according to experts, a consultancy company Metals Focus. The Central Bank of Iran, meanwhile, the fall of the national currency explains the “conspiracy of the enemies in order to aggravate economic problems and cause public unrest”. Such accusations (they carry the death penalty) has been arrested 29 people.
The sanctions will affect the pace of economic growth of Iran. They will have a negative impact on exports, lower foreign direct investment and capital inflows, as well as insulate Iran from the global financial system, said the IMF experts. In the 2018/19 financial year (March 21 — March 20) economic growth will slow to 4% vs. 4.3% in the 2017/18 year, expects the IMF. As for the extraction of Iranian oil, sanctions on it will not affect, at least, it said the national Iranian oil company. To circumvent the embargo will allow granting private companies the right to export, I think the Iranian authorities.
Iran has threatened to restrict world trade in hydrocarbons, and closed for the passage of ships in the Strait of Hormuz. Than it threatens?
Tehran threatens to block the Strait of Hormuz and thereby to block all oil supplies from the Persian Gulf if the United States will restore sanctions against Iran and limit Iran’s oil exports. This statement was made by the Deputy commander of the Islamic revolutionary guard Corps in Tehran Ismail Kowsari in an interview US. Such threats from Iran sounded before, but have never been implemented. The United States promised to bring a Navy if Iran tries to disrupt shipping.
Now Iran allow the use of their territorial waters on a voluntary basis. Tehran, like Washington, have signed but not ratified the UN Convention on the law of the sea on transit passage of ships.
Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has supported the idea of closing the Strait of Hormuz for the countries — exporters of oil of the Persian Gulf. In response, the Pentagon stated that in this case, the U.S. Navy is ready to ensure freedom of navigation and commercial traffic through the Strait in accordance with international standards.
Threats to close the Strait of Hormuz were heard from the Iranian leadership before, but was never implemented. This time Iran has thus reacted to the statement by the Director of the Department of policy planning of the U.S. Department of state Brian hook. He said that the United States intends using sanctions to cut Iran’s income from oil sales to zero, to increase the economic pressure on the country.
According to the International energy Agency, in may, Iran exported about 2.4 million bbl. of oil per day. Two-thirds of this amount was purchased by Asia and the rest of Europe. According to hook, plans to stop buying Iranian oil has already declared 50 organizations after consultation with the U.S. Treasury and the treasuries of the countries of Europe and Asia.
According to the Director of research VYGON Consulting Maria Belova, from possible blocking of the Strait can strongly hurt not the oil and gas market (through the Strait is transported 30% traded in the world market of liquefied natural gas). If for the transport of oil from the Persian Gulf there are other ways (two pipelines in Saudi Arabia, one in UAE and Iraq), the alternatives for transporting LNG is not.
What should Iran not to fall under the second “oil” — phase of the sanctions?
To avoid even more pressure from the US, Iran must agree to develop a new agreement. It is the intention of the Americans, will cover not only Tehran’s nuclear programme, but other aspects of foreign and domestic policy.
Washington does not want to peredogovarivatsya on the existing deal and insists on signing the words of the Secretary of state Pompeo, the “stronger” of the agreement. Only in this case Washington will be ready not only to remove all economic sanctions against Tehran, but even to restore diplomatic and commercial links and to share with Iran the latest technology. I agree the US and to support the modernization of the Iranian economy, and to help the country reintegrate into the global financial system.
The aim of the new document, according to trump, is to block Tehran any possible way to developing its own nuclear weapons. But Washington did not specify what additional conditions will be, from the point of view of the United States, a guarantee that Iran cannot develop nuclear weapons. In the new agreement Iran must commit itself to carry a 12 “basic requirements” of Washington. In regard to nuclear program of Iran, inter alia, should “halt the enrichment of uranium” and to ensure “unconditional access” to all facilities of the nuclear program throughout the country.
In addition, Washington demanded the release of all the detained American citizens and citizens of allies of the United States. Tehran must stop supporting the rebels-Houthis in Yemen and the Shiite movement “Hezbollah” in Lebanon, to withdraw all its forces from Syria and stop threatening Israel.
What the results previously led sanctions against Iran?
Since 1979, Iran has repeatedly threatened sanctions, the United States and European countries because of the seizure of the American Embassy, the Iran-Iraq war, supporting terrorists and developing nuclear weapons. In the end, sanctions have forced Iran to conclude a nuclear deal. But after signing the agreement, the US continued to attack the Iran.
For the first time, the United States imposed sanctions against Iran in 1979, after the incident with the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. A group of radical students took hostage 52 diplomats and demanded the extradition of the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, fled the country shortly before the Islamic revolution. Then Washington has banned citizens and U.S. companies to work in Iran or to establish joint ventures with Iranian companies, including the oil and gas industry. Were also frozen the gold reserves of Iran in U.S. banks.
Sanctions have been strengthened due to the outbreak in 1980 of the Iran-Iraq war: Washington has banned the international financial institutions to give out loans to Iran, including the Tehran was imposed arms embargo.
In 1996, the US on charges of supporting terrorism and extremism, as well as in the development of weapons of mass destruction have tightened sanctions against Iran until a complete embargo on bilateral trade with new limit spread including interbank activity, the export of Iranian equipment in the US and investment in the Iranian company. Restrictions on working with Iran for the first time touched and the energy companies of third countries, primarily European.
In the beginning 2000-x years, Europeans tried to negotiate with Iran on curbing its nuclear program. However, their efforts were not crowned with success: in 2005, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad decided to reopen a uranium enrichment program. In response, the US and Europe have developed a new sanctions against Iran in the UN Security Council — from 2006 to 2010 was adopted four resolutions. First and foremost they are concerned Iran’s access to nuclear and missile technologies and weapons. They also allowed and even encouraged individual States to impose their own sanctions against Iran in such areas as energy, financial services and transport. In addition, sanctions were imposed against organizations and individual figures of the Iranian Islamic revolutionary guard Corps.
In 2010, the United States stepped up pressure on Iran and imposed secondary sanctions, forcing foreign companies and banks to withdraw from Iran. Iranian oil exports fell significantly in the course of 2013-2015 due to the sanctions the U.S. and Europe that has hit the country’s economy and forced Iran to make concessions and conclude the AGREEMENT.
In August 2017 trump has signed the law “On countering the enemies of America by sanctions” (CAATSA), which allowed us to impose additional sanctions not only on Iran but also to Russia and the DPRK.
4 January 2018, the US Treasury Department has included in the sanctions list five of Iranian companies involved in Iran’s pursuit of ballistic missiles. They are all in the Iranian industrial group Shahid Bakeri.
What will happen to companies that will not stop cooperating with Iran?
For cooperation with Iran, U.S. citizens and companies could face both a fine and imprisonment (up to $1 million or 20 years imprisonment), and persons from other jurisdictions may face secondary sanctions. Bypass sanctions are possible, but dangerous, the only legal possibility is to obtain a special license, which the U.S. Treasury issues individually. To protect your company from the sanctions the EU is already trying.
The sanctions laws of the United States divides the company into American and non-American. For all non-us persons the sanctions are the same and do not depend on their jurisdiction. U.S. persons for violations of the sanctions law threatens punishment of direct action (fines and criminal liability), and the rest — the inclusion in the sanctions list of SDN, explains partner at Herbert Smith Freehills Alexei Panich.
Civil penalty for violation of sanctions against Iran for the American individuals — penalty in the amount of up to $250 thousand for each violation (it should be twice the amount of the prohibited transaction). Criminal penalties for U.S. individuals for willful violation — a fine of up to $1 million and up to 20 years in prison.
Fines (such as when civil punishment) can be and the financial institution, in case any person who controls the company or owns it, violates the ban on participation in transactions with the Islamic revolutionary guard Corps (if the institution is aware of that breach).
Bypass sanctions are possible, but it is still a violation, that allows, first, face sanctions, and, secondly, intermediary company, explains RBC Alexei Panich. In addition, U.S. law enforcement will check and American face on awareness of a possible violation of the sanctions, he adds. But there is a chance the company will be able to obtain a special license to be exempt from sanctions, said the head of the U.S. Treasury Steven Mnuchin. Each application is considered separately.
To protect their companies from U.S. sanctions, the EU intends. In mid-may, the European Commission has used a so-called blocking order prohibiting working with Iran European companies to comply with US sanctions. To ensure financial channels between Iran and Europe, the government of France, the UK, Germany, Austria, and Sweden to discuss the opening of the accounts of the Central Bank of Iran in their Central banks. India agreed to the opening of the country branch of the Iranian Bank Pasargad.