Circumventing their own sanctions: US expands exports to Iran

Sputnik – Despite the re-imposition of sanctions against Iran, the US has significantly increased its exports of goods and services to the republic. This has been proven by data from the US Department of Economics and Statistics.

As of October, the report says that US exports to Iran have increased almost sevenfold and amounted to $109.2 million, while in October 2017, exports to the Islamic Republic were only $16.1 million.

Sputnik has spoken to Peyman Moulavi, Secretary General of the Association of Iranian Economists, and Alexander Azadegan, Iranian political analyst based in the USA, professor of geopolitics at the University of California, and chief editor of ImperiaNews, to find out which products the US may send to Iran, as well as how they can be purchased taking into account the absence of diplomatic relations between Tehran and Washington.

According to Moulavi, the volume of these exports is not really significant for the country’s economy:

“Certainly, there is a chance that with the strengthening of sanctions, some American goods will be imported to Iran through other countries. $109 million is not big money for the Iranian economy. I don’t know which US products are exported to Iran. These could be goods that are not sanctioned, such as medical equipment or medicines”.

Speaking about how the US sends goods to Iran and makes calculations under the sanctions regime, Moulavi noted that he doesn’t know all the details of that.

“Over the past 40 years, since the first anti-Iranian sanctions, Iran has exported a significant number of goods to the United States. The US was also exporting certain goods until the sanctions reached their peak; then the number of goods decreased due to transaction problems”.

As Alexander Azadegan told Sputnik, the majority of transactions between Iran and the US are carried out through intermediaries:

“Most of the imported goods are related to technology. Of course, there is no direct trade. Iran imports some US goods through Dubai, Oman, and other countries. Moreover, oil is also traded indirectly. We heard that Iran sells oil to the United States; most transactions are carried out through intermediaries”.

The expert noted that in Oman, Iran’s national currency was being converted into US dollars.

“This mediation had to do not only with currency conversion but also with transactions with various goods that Iran was importing”, Azadegan concluded.