26 June 2018   Leave a comment

The US State Department has warned buyers of oil that they will face penalties if they buy Iranian oil.  In 2017, Iran sold about 2 million barrels of oil a day to consumers in Europe and Asia, and oil prices in the US spiked by nearly 4% when news of the announcement spread.  It remains to be seen if oil producers like Saudi Arabia will be able to make up the difference in order to reduce prices.  But, since the US announcement is predicated on its departure from the Iranian nuclear deal–a decision not shared by any of the other partners to the deal–we need to wait to see if Europe and Asia decide not to follow the US lead.  The main sanction the US can impose is to prevent international banks from participating in the financial clearing system known as SWIFT.  We will be able to tell what happens as we track the behavior of gasoline prices.


Reuters has conducted an intensive investigation of the behavior of Myanmar troops toward the Royingha who were forced to leave the country or face death.  The Royingha are a Muslim ethnic group who have lived the the western province of Rakhine for centuries.  But the Buddhist majority in Myanmar regards them as invaders from Bangladesh and have refused to grant them citizenship.  The reports of rape, murder, and pillage have been rife since the expulsions began in August of 2017, but the Myanmar government and military have denied the reports.  But the European Union has imposed sanctions on Myanmar and finally it fired the general in charge of the atrocities.  By and large, however, the response of the international community to these horrors has been tepid.

Posted June 26, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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