US sanctions on Iran: double-edged sword

(VOVWORLD) - 6 months after re-imposing sanctions on Iran’s crude oil, US President Donald Trump on Monday took a stronger step by ending exemptions from sanctions for 8 countries still buying oil from Iran, including India, China, Japan, and South Korea. As from May, these countries must stop importing crude oil from Iran or face US sanctions themselves. 

US sanctions on Iran: double-edged sword  - ảnh 1 An Iranian oil field in Khark island offshore the Persian Gulf (Photo: AFP/VNA)

The new decision shows Washington’s determination to maintain and expand its economic pressure on Iran to bring Iran's oil exports to zero. Iran will no longer earn 50 billion USD from its annual oil exports. The US believes that without economic capability, Tehran must abandon its nuclear and missile program and what the US calls Iran’s involvement in conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

However, Washington’s strong measure is predicted to trigger an oil price hike, not to mention the possibility that Iran might block the Hormuz Strait, through which 30% of all seaborne-traded crude oil is transited.

Will the decision of bringing Iran's oil exports to zero be tough enough to make Iran return to the negotiating table and sign a better nuclear deal with the US?