“Declines in Iran’s gasoline import dependence could nullify new sanctions”

“Declines in Iran’s gasoline import dependence could nullify new sanctions”
August 11-17, 2009
     Spiegel reports that Germany and the EU are considering stopping all gasoline exports to Iran and adding restrictions on shipping and air traffic to and from Iran. Insurance firms may be forced to cease providing insurance for shipments to and from Iran. Unnamed German diplomats have indicated that if the additional sanctions cannot be passed through the UN Security council, the EU and the US would impose “very strict sanctions” on their own (Spiegel).
     Gal Luft argues that Iran’s dependence on gasoline imports (widely believed to be 40%, or 30% according to Spiegel) has been overestimated and is actually declining. According to Luft, President Ahmadinejad’s efforts to expand Iran’s refinery infrastructure will double the country’s refining capacity in 3-5 years and help allow gasoline dependence to fall below 25% later this year and down to 15% over the next year, leading to self-sufficiency for gasoline by 2012. Luft adds that sanctions would have little effect on refinery construction projects, particularly as China remains a reliable partner. As Tehran is initiating a shift away from gasoline toward natural gas, Luft argues that the US should derail Iran’s recent pipeline deals with Pakistan and Turkmenistan (Foreign Policy).
Spiegel | Foreign Policy

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