Nesta segunda-feira (23/05), os Estados Unidos suspenderam o embargo à venda de armas para o Vietnã. Anúncio se deu durante visita do presidente dos EUA, Barack Obama, ao país. A restrição de vendas de armas vigorou por cerca de 50 anos. A suspensão do embargo, segundo oficiais estadunidenses, faz parte do caminho da normalização das relações com o Vietnã. Obama também deve promover o Acordo de Parceria Transpacífico na região (TPP, em inglês).
Conforme matéria da revista Foreign Policy, os Estados Unidos devem remover o embargo de armas em voga contra o Vietnã desde a guerra entre os dois países, finda em 1975. Ainda que o embargo tenha se flexibilizado há dois anos para permitir a venda de armamentos relacionados à “segurança marítima”, o seu fim oficial permitiria que Hanói comprasse artigos estadunidenses de alta tecnologia tais como radares e aeronaves de monitoramento. Medida serviria para reaproximar ambos em um contexto de crescente disputa entre EUA e China no pacífico ocidental. Entretanto, ainda há forte oposição interna nos EUA, que reclamam da situação dos direitos humanos no Vietnã principalmente.
Na sexta-feira (18/09), os Estados Unidos anunciaram uma série de medidas que aliviam o embargo econômico a Cuba. Com as mudanças, serão simplificados procedimentos para o turismo, investimentos em telefonia e internet e transferências de dinheiro para a ilha. Apesar de Havana já ter anunciado um embaixador para os Estados Unidos, Washington ainda não escolheu um representante para o país caribenho.
Neste domingo (20/07), Estados Unidos e Cuba oficialmente reabriram suas embaixadas em Havana e Washington, respectivamente, oficializando a reaproximação das relações diplomáticas sete meses após o início histórico desse processo, depois de 54 anos de distanciamento. Contudo, Raúl Castro, presidente de Cuba, insistiu no fim do embargo imposto ao seu país em 1962 pelos EUA, além da devolução do território cubano ocupado pela base naval de Guantánamo.
Oficiais da Marinha dos Estados Unidos disseram que o porta-aviões USS Theodore Roosevelt foi enviado para o Golfo de Aden para interceptar eventuais carregamentos de armas do Irã para os rebeldes Houthis no Iêmen. Já há outras nove belonaves estadunidenses nos mares ao redor do país prontos para implementar o embargo de armas aprovado pelo Conselho de Segurança da ONU na semana passada. Contudo, a Marinha dos EUA não participa do bloqueio naval completo imposto pela Arábia Saudita e sua coalizão árabe.
Os liberais dos Estados Unidos vêm justificando o acordo com Cuba com base no argumento de que a abertura ajudaria a transformar o regime da ilha caribenha. Contudo, Gordon Adams argumenta que a história mostra que o discurso excepcionalista em Washington não encontra respaldo na realidade. Os Estados Unidos não têm prerrogativa alguma para definir regimes políticos de outros países e deveria justificar a reaproximação com Cuba apenas pelo bom senso político e efeitos socioeconômicos para a região.
Pela 23ª vez consecutiva, desde 1992, a Assembleia Geral da ONU se manifestou condenando o embargo dos Estados Unidos a Cuba. Governos afirmaram que, mesmo com bloqueio, Cuba mantém um “espírito de solidariedade internacional”, citando como exemplo o envio de equipes médicas para os países afetados pelo ebola. Somente EUA e Israel foram contra resolução.
Em editorial, o New York Times defende uma aproximação dos Estados Unidos com Cuba e o fim do embargo à ilha. O comitê editorial do jornal argumenta que as desavenças da época da Crise dos Mísseis de 1962 já não fazem mais sentido quase 25 anos após o fim da Guerra Fria, e que não se aproximar da ilha pode ser perder espaço para seus competidores internacionais.
Recentemente, os Estados Unidos levantaram o embargo de venda de armas ao Vietnã, melhorando a relação entre os dois países. Truong-Minh Vu analisa as consequências deste avanço na relação bilateral entre os países para a política externa vientamita e suas relações com a China.
Conforme análise de M. K. Bhadrakumar, a Ásia Meridional está pronta para que haja um realinhamento estratégico. Fim do embargo russo à venda de armas para o Paquistão sinaliza uma mudança geopolítica na região, bem como a maior aproximação da Índia com os Estados Unidos.
A Rússia pôs fim ao embargo de venda de armas e sistemas bélicos ao Paquistão e anunciou que planeja vender helicópteros de ataque a Islamabade.
US oil sanctions failed – Iran’s VP
Russia Today – 23/03/2012
The Iranian Vice President has downplayed sanctions against the Islamic Republic, saying an embargo on Tehran’s oil sector has been defeated “in practice.” The remark came a few days after the US exempted 11 countries from being sanctioned.
Mohammad-Reza Mir-Tajeddini told reporters that “in a clear retreat, the US exempted 11 countries from oil sanctions against Iran. The hostile US policy of imposing sanctions on the Iranian oil sector is, undoubtedly, a failure.”
This was in response to a move by Washington, which had earlier announced that Japan and 10 member states of the European Union were going to be exempt from being penalized for importing Iranian oil.
However, the Islamic Republic’s biggest buyers – China, India and South Korea – are still on the list. China alone receives about 22 per cent of Iran’s oil exports.
Vice President Mir-Tajeddini reiterated Iran’s position as one of the world’s largest oil suppliers and said no sanctions could impact its economic development.
The fact that Washington decided to give some of Iran’s buyers the go-ahead to import its oil may appear to support the VP’s statements. But in reality, the EU is imposing sanctions of its own on the Islamic Republic, with an oil purchase ban being put in effect on July 1st. Japan has cut its imports by 20 per cent. So what Iran is choosing to interpret as failure may be merely a strategic move from the US.
Middle East expert Professor Seyed Mohammad Marandi, however, believes that for now Iran is only benefitting from the penalties. While the US and its allies are trying to pressure Tehran, they are hurting themselves more. (mais…)
SWIFT reaction: Iran ‘will retaliate’, closing Hormuz Strait
Russia Today – 19/03/2012
Tehran’s threats to block the Strait of Hormuz in response to sanctions are not mere words, warned Iran’s senior spokesman on sanctions. As long as the West ignores international law to promote its interests, Iran will retaliate, he said.
Closing the strait would be a response equal to the West’s unlawful severing of Iran from global commerce, believes Iran’s senior spokesman on Western sanctions and former intelligence minister Ali Falahian.
“I suggest that the West take seriously our threat to close the Strait of Hormuz,” he said on Sunday, as cited by the Israeli-based news website DEBKAfile.
It is not the first time Iran has threatened to cut the world off from sources of oil in the Persian Gulf, though this time Iran might not be bluffing. According to DEBKAfile’s military sources, Iran has sufficient military resources to block the strategic strait as well as paths to the region’s oil export terminals. Some 17 per cent of the world’s oil supply passes through the Strait of Hormuz, and Iran is believed to be capable of mining the whole waterway within a relatively short amount of time.
Some regional players believe at this point a military confrontation in the Gulf is almost inevitable. (mais…)
US could punish India for buying Iranian oil
Russia Today – 15/03/2012
The White House could impose sanctions on India if the country fails to meet the US demand to cut oil imports from Iran. As the US is trying to deprive Tehran of its leading source of revenue, India continues to resist US pressure.
President Obama could be forced to bar access to the US banking system for any Indian bank processing oil payments through the Iranian Central Bank, anonymous US officials told Bloomberg.
India, one of the most important US allies in Asia, has rebelled against American pressure to cut oil imports. Washington, followed by the EU, imposed sanctions on Tehran in an attempt to force the Islamic republic to give up its nuclear program.
Last year India was the fourth largest buyer of Iranian oil behind China, the EU (being the second largest buyer collectively) and Japan. It purchases around 12 per cent of all its crude from IRI (a transaction that is worth around $12 billion each year) and it still hasn’t asked its refiners to stop purchasing crude. (mais…)
Putin critics say U.S. should open trade with Russia
Reuters / Gleb Bryanski – 12/02/2012
Several leaders of Russia’s fragmented opposition urged the United States on Monday to remove a largely symbolic Cold War trade provision, in a rare display of unity.
They included anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny and other organizers of demonstrations against Vladimir Putin who recognize the need to refocus their protest movement away from the street after his election as president but have found a common policy agenda elusive.
In an open letter they criticized U.S. politicians who say the repeal of the Jackson-Vanik amendment, a 1974 legal provision that still affects trade with Moscow, would benefit only Putin and his “cronies” and that its removal should be tied to an improvement in Russia’s human rights record.
“We, leading figures of the Russian political opposition, strongly stand behind efforts to remove Russia from the provisions of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment,” the letter said.
“Although there are obvious problems with democracy and human rights in modern Russia, the persistence on the books of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment does not help to solve them at all.” (mais…)
Won’t hesitate to use force to defend US – Obama on Iran
RT – 05/03/2012
The US President said his country will do everything it takes to defend national interests, and that a military attack to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons is possible.
Addressing the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee’s policy conference, Obama quoted Roosevelt and said he would “speak softly, but carry a big stick”. At the same time, however, the President appealed to the powerful lobbying group, calling for more time to allow sanctions to further isolate the Islamic Republic.
Israeli president Shimon Peres,who spoke before Obama, said that a nuclear Iran would be a menace to the world, not just to Israel’s security. The US leader echoed those statements – but still called for calm, saying “For the sake of Israel’s security, America’s security and the peace and security of the world, now is not the time for bluster. Now is the time to let our increased pressure sink in, and to sustain the broad international coalition that we have built.” (mais…)
Strait of Hormuz: Iran’s disruptive military options
IISS – Fevereiro/2012
Could Iran shut the Strait of Hormuz, or significantly hinder traffic passing through it? A recent decision by the European Union to impose a total embargo on the purchase of Iranian oil has prompted threats from Tehran to close the world’s most important oil chokepoint. However, an assessment of military capabilities deployed in the area, and of probable tactics, suggests that Iran would find it difficult or unpalatable to cause major disruption.
According to the United States Energy Information Administration, 17 million barrels of oil passed through the strait every day in 2011, or about 35% of all seaborne traded oil. Iran itself is heavily dependent on oil flowing through the strait: approximately 70% of the government’s revenues come from oil exports, all of which currently transit the strait. Iran has no pipelines to its Indian Ocean ports or to countries to its east.
In late 2011 and early 2012, the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy conducted Velayat-90, a series of exercises that focused on sea denial. Although Iran possesses capabilities that could, at least temporarily, disrupt shipping, it seems unlikely that it would be able to close the strait for a prolonged period. (mais…)
Iran ready to be paid in gold, national currencies for oil
Russia Today – 29/02/2012
Tehran announced Tuesday that it is ready to receive payment for oil supplies in gold as well as the national currencies of importer countries. That’s according to Mahmoud Bahmani, Governor of the Central Bank of Iran.
In trade operations with foreign countries Iran does not limit itself to dollars, and any state is free to use its own currency, Bahmani is quoted as saying by Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency. He also added that if any client state wants to pay in gold, Iran would accept it without hesitation.
In 2012 the US toughened sanctions against the country that attempt to obstruct the activities of the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Washington warned that sanctions would also be applied against international banks that use US dollars in deals with Iran. As a result, countries that buy Iranian oil have faced the problem of how to pay for it. Now, the Islamic country is working to accommodate its clients through the offer to accept their national currencies.
Last week India angered the US by continuing to import oil from Iran, while Washington is trying by any and all means to persuade the country take its oil needs elsewhere. The US is expected to make every effort to find alternate suppliers for Iran. (mais…)
Petróleo de NY fecha acima dos US$ 109 pela primeira vez em nove meses
Info Money – 24/02/2012
Os principais contratos de petróleo fecharam em alta nesta sexta-feira (24), com a cotação de Nova York ultrapassando US$ 109,00 pela primeira vez em nove meses. O Irã foi a principal referência nesta sessão, após a AIEA (Agência Internacional de Energia Atômica) divulgar um relatório revelando que o país avançou nitidamente com o seu polêmico programa de enriquecimento de urânio.
A AIEA também notificou no documento o fracasso de sua missão em Teerã nesta semana para tentar obter uma resposta do Irã às acusações de que estaria buscando desenvolver armas nucleares. O revés nas negociações entre a agência e o governo iraniano aumentou as preocupações de que as crescentes tensões entre o Irã e o Ocidente culminem em conflito, levando as cotações da commodity a acumularem fortes ganhos na semana, fechando todos os dias no campo positivo.
A cotação do barril do petróleo Brent, negociado no mercado de Londres, fechou a US$ 125,33 no pregão desta sexta-feira, alta de 1,19% em relação ao último fechamento. Já o contrato com vencimento em abril, que apresenta maior liquidez no mercado de Nova York, fechou cotado a US$ 109,77 por barril, configurando uma alta de 1,80% frente ao fechamento anterior. (mais…)
IAEA again fails to reach nuclear agreement with Iran
Russia Today – 22/02/2012
After two days of talks on Iran’s nuclear program, UN nuclear experts have left Tehran without reaching a deal, adding to growing tensions after an Iranian general warned of a pre-emptive strike against any nation that threatens Iran.
The International Atomic Energy Agency also said that Iran had barred its inspectors from visiting a key military site in Parchin, which it suspects could have been the site of high-explosives tests related to nuclear weapons. IAEA chief Yukiya Amano expressed his disappointment at the development. “We engaged in a constructive spirit, but no agreement was reached,” he said. The high-level team of inspectors left Tehran late on Tuesday.
“Intensive efforts were made to reach agreement on a document facilitating the clarification of unresolved issues in connection with Iran’s nuclear program, particularly those relating to possible military dimensions,” a statement from the UN nuclear watchdog issued early on Wednesday read. “Unfortunately, agreement was not reached on this document.”
The first round of negotiations with the Iranian government in January also failed to bring about any deal.
Iran’s envoy to IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltani, summed up the results of the two-day visit as “extremely intensive” and promised the sides will continue to conduct negotiations on bilateral co-operation. (mais…)
Top UN inspectors in Iran talks on atom bomb accusations
Reuters / Parisa Hafezi – 20/02/2012
Senior U.N. inspectors arrived in Iran on Monday to push for transparency about its disputed nuclear program and several European states halted purchases of Iranian oil as part of Western moves to pile pressure on a defiant Tehran.
Iran denies Western accusations that it is covertly seeking the means to build nuclear weapons and has again vowed no nuclear retreat in recent weeks, but also voiced willingness to resume negotiations with world powers without preconditions.
The five-member International Atomic Energy Agency team, led by chief IAEA inspector Herman Nackaerts, planned two days of meetings in another attempt to get answers from Iran regarding intelligence suggesting its declared civilian nuclear energy program is a facade for researching ways to make atom bombs.
Nackaerts said on departure from Vienna that he wanted “concrete results” from the talks. His delegation was expected to seek, among other things, to question Iranian nuclear scientists and visit the Parchin military base believed to have been used for high-explosive tests relevant to nuclear warheads.
But Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi dampened speculation about increased IAEA access when he told the student news agency ISNA that the agency officials would not be going to any nuclear sites. “No. Their work has just begun,” Salehi said. (mais…)
Pakistan allies with Iran against US
Russia Today – 17/02/2012
Pakistan has pledged to support Iran if the US launches a military attack against the Islamic Republic. The Pakistani president assured the Iranian leader that his country’s territory will not be used as a launch pad for such an assault.
Should the United Stated decide to attack Iran, Pakistan will not support the move and will not allow the US to use its local airbases for military operations, the Pakistani leader Asif Ali Zardari said on Friday.
His assurances of support came during a meeting of the leaders of Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan in Islamabad. The talks are seen as Pakistan’s way of sending a message of defiance to the US.
Relations between Pakistan and the US are at an all-time low, after a November US air strike on a Pakistani border post killed 24 troops who were mistaken for Taliban militants. It took the Pentagon a month to reluctantly admit their part of the blame for the deadly mistake and offer apologies.
But even without military facilities on Pakistani soil, Washington and its allies already have more than enough military force accumulated in the region to unleash full-scale war on Iran. (mais…)
US military intelligence: ‘Iran won’t start the war’
Russia Today – 17/02/2012
In a briefing over the escalating hostilities between the US and Iran, American intelligence officials say it is unlikely that Iran will initiate any military action against the United States.
If and when the US does launch a strike on Iran, however, the consequences could be catastrophic.
Speaking from Washington, DC this week, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess said an attack at the hands of Iran is unlikely, unless, of course, the US acts first. Burgess also added that, despite increased sanctions imposed by the US and a build up of American military forces surrounding the country, Iran is unlikely to halt the nuclear program that has become the cause of international concern.
“Iran today has the technical, scientific and industrial capability to eventually produce nuclear weapons. While international pressure against Iran has increased, including through sanctions, we assess that Tehran is not close to agreeing to abandoning its nuclear program,” Burgess said. (mais…)
United States Imposes New Sanctions on Iran
RIA Novosti – 17/02/2012
The United States on Thursday extended its sanctions against Iran, the State Department reported.
“Today the United States government took three separate sanctions actions against Iran’s primary intelligence agency, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS),” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
“MOIS was designated for its involvement in the commission of serious human rights abuses against the Iranian people, as well as its support to terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas,” she said.
“It was also designated under a separate executive order for its support to the Syrian regime in brutally repressing the Syrian people. We have imposed visa and financial sanctions on the MOIS for its commission of serious human rights abuses in its own country,” Nuland said.
She said the sanctions expose the MOIS activities and encouraged all U.S. partners to “take similar actions in response to the MOIS involvement in illicit conduct.” (mais…)
Turkey stays loyal to Tehran, does not plan to cut oil imports
Russia Today – 15/02/2012
Turkey has no plans to consider alternative oil suppliers, and will continue to import fuel from Iran. Ankara officials disapprove of the EU and US embargo against Tehran, which they see as ‘Western economic bullying.’
Ankara will remain a rare loyal customer of Tehran “unless the UN endorses the EU and US oil embargo,” Turkish and Saudi sources told Reuters. The prospects of United Nations supporting the oil embargo seem improbable as Russia and China, who have a veto power, insist on peaceful resolution of the conflict. China is also being the largest buyer of Iranian crude.
Turkey’s loyalty will help Iran to avoid major losses from reduced sales of crude after the European Union banned Iranian oil imports from July 2012. Major Asian customers are likely to follow under pressure from Washington.
The decision came after a Turkish delegation travelled to the Saudi capital Riyadh over the weekend and decided against requesting additional supplies from the country. Saudi Arabia is the only producer in the world with spare volume on offer to replace Iranian production.
In January, the two largest buyers of Iranian oil, China and India, have also tried to protect themselves from US sanctions targeting countries that trade with Iran. India has confirmed it is going to pay for Iranian oil with gold, not dollars, and China might follow that example one way or another. (mais…)
Índia ignora sanções e explora novos negócios no Irã
Último Segundo, por The New York Times / Rick Gladstone – 15/03/2012
A Índia se mostrou um fator surpresa que pode atrapalhar os esforços do Ocidente para isolar o governo iraniano. O país anunciou que deve enviar uma grande delegação de comércio para o Irã dentro de algumas semanas para explorar as oportunidades criadas pelas sanções americanas e europeias, que estão prejudicando cada vez mais a economia.
O comunicado da delegação comercial coincidiu com novos relatos de que a Índia, uma importante consumidora do petróleo iraniano, tinha passado a China pela primeira vez como a principal consumidora do petróleo iraniano. Isso prejudica os esforços dos Estados Unidos em convencer outros países a não procurar o Irã como fonte para suas necessidades de energia, podendo ser alvo de punição sob a nova lei americana de sanções.
O comunicado também aconteceu antes de uma visita à Índia de Herman Van Rompuy, o presidente da União Europeia, citado em uma entrevista ao The Times of India dizendo que pretendia pedir a ajuda do governo indiano para pressionar o Irã a desistir de seu programa nuclear.
Não ficou claro se Rompuy já sabia, na época da entrevista, que o secretário de Comércio da Índia, Rahul Khullar, estava prestes a anunciar um grande impulso econômico com o Irã, que poderia ajudar a neutralizar os efeitos das sanções que Rompuy tem ajudado a promover.
“Iremos montar uma missão que deve ir ao Irã no final do mês para promover nossas próprias exportações”, disse Khullar a repórteres em Nova Délhi, segundo relatos de indianos e ocidentais sobre sua participação em uma entrevista coletiva. “Uma grande delegação visitará o país.”
Khullar disse que a Índia está honrando as quatro rodadas de sanções da ONU destinadas a dissuadir o Irã de seu programa de enriquecimento de urânio. Essas sanções, disse ele aos repórteres, não se aplicam a “um vasto conjunto de produtos que a Índia pode exportar para o Irã”.
Mesmo que os Estados Unidos e a União Europeia queiram evitar fazer negócios com o Irã, disse Khullar, “por que a Índia deve seguir o mesmo exemplo?”
As sanções americanas e europeias estão destinadas principalmente ao banco central do Irã e à indústria do petróleo. Mas elas começaram a provocar a escassez de alimentos, inflação e problemas de pagamento no Irã para uma variedade de outras mercadorias por impedir que o país faça contratos de seguro, transporte e financiamento para suas importações.
A atitude da Índia foi bem recebida pelo Irã, que nega as acusações ocidentais de que seus esforços de enriquecimento de urânio são uma maneira de esconder um programa de armas. O governo iraniano chamou as sanções de uma tentativa de intimidar o povo a abandonar o seu direito legítimo de possuir energia nuclear para fins pacíficos.
Iranian navy shadows USS Abraham Lincoln through Hormuz Strait
Russia Today – 14/02/2012
Iranian patrol boats and planes have trailed the American aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln as it passed through the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday.
Iran’s navy never approached the battle group closer than half a mile, making a point to stay in the Iranian waters. Radar operators also revealed an Iranian drone and surveillance helicopter zooming in the Persian country’s airspace near the strategic strait. A patrol plane buzzed over the Lincoln, said Rear Adm. Troy Shoemaker, commander of the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Force.
“We would do the same things off the coast of the United States… It’s more than reasonable. We’re operating in their backyard,” he said.
Flanked by several choppers and enforced by the cruiser USS Cape St. George and destroyer USS Sterett, the American battle group passed the narrow strait without incident, reports the Associated Press.
This is the second time the US warship crosses the strait in recent weeks. The Abraham Lincoln, which carries dozens of F/A-18 strike fighters and other planes, entered the Gulf in January, despite Iran’s earlier warning to the US to stay out. Washington says that on Thursday the warship starts aiding the NATO mission in Afghanistan. (mais…)
Turkish diplomat: Iran is ready to cut a deal
The Washington Post / Joby Warrick, Karen DeYoung – 10/02/2012
Turkey’s top diplomat said Friday that Iran is ready to negotiate an end to the standoff with Western powers over its nuclear program, suggesting that the controversy could be resolved quickly if the deep distrust between the two sides could be overcome.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also criticized economic sanctions against Iran as ineffective and warned that any military strike against the country’s nuclear facilities would inflame the region while doing little to curb Iran’s ambitions. Israeli and U.S. officials have not ruled out military options to impede Iran’s progress.
“I am telling you, a military strike is a disaster,” Davutoglu told a gathering at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank. “It should not be an option.”
Davutoglu, in Washington to consult with the Obama administration on the Syrian and Iranian crises, said he perceived a new willingness among Iran’s leaders to cut a deal on limits to its nuclear program. Talks between Iran and the “P5-plus-1” powers — the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany — have been frozen for more than a year.
Turkey has sought to play a mediating role in the dispute, and two years ago it sought to help broker a deal in which Iran would give up nearly all of its stockpile of enriched uranium in return for fuel rods for its medical research reactor. Iran initially accepted the deal but then reneged. (mais…)
Asia giants join Iran diplomacy as sanctions hurt trade
Reuters / Michael Martina, Michael Hogan – 10/02/2012
China said on Friday it would send a senior official to Tehran to discuss Iran’s nuclear standoff with the West, and India indicated it would also weigh in, as Asia’s two giants seek to head off new sanctions already playing havoc with trade.
New financial sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union are making it difficult for Iran to pay for staple food and other imports, causing hardship for its 74 million people with just weeks to go before an election.
Commodities traders revealed this week that Iran has resorted to barter trade – swapping gold bullion in overseas vaults or tankerloads of oil for food – to avoid payments problems in international banks over sanctions.
On the streets of Iran, prices for food in dollar terms have doubled or tripled in recent months.
In the latest evidence of trade disruption, metal traders said Iran’s imports of steel for construction had collapsed because sanctions prevent buyers from obtaining the currency needed to purchase it.
The International Energy Agency, which monitors oil markets for developed countries, said on Friday EU oil sanctions and U.S. financial measures due to take effect over the course of the next several months were already hitting global trade flows. (mais…)
EU Pushes India to Sway Iran into Resuming Nuke Talks
RIA Novosti – 10/02/2012
The European Union has asked New Delhi to use its influence to draw Iran back into talks over its disputed nuclear ambitions, Indian TV channels said on Friday.
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy expressed his concern about Iran’s nuclear ambitions at an EU-India summit in New Delhi.
The call came after New Delhi announced earlier this month it would send a large business delegation to Tehran to exploit trade opportunities created by the United States and European sanctions.
President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso said on Friday the EU and India were close to reaching an agreement on a long-delayed free trade pact.
Van Rompuy said India and the European Union disagreed on the issue of sanctions against Iran, but that both wanted talks to resume on the nuclear issue. (mais…)