8 November 2018   Leave a comment

We are finally getting some more information about the US sanctions on Iran which were imposed on Monday.  First, the US has apparently granted waivers to 8 countries to continue to import Iranian oil.  Those countries are China, India, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Greece, Taiwan and Turkey and they collectively account for 80% of Iranian exports.  The waivers are good for 180 days and can be extended.  Thus, the sanctions will probably have little effect after December (imports were reduced by these countries in anticipation of the sanctions, but will go up now that the waivers have been granted).  Second, there is good evidence that many countries do not intend to honor the sanctions or will seek to evade them.  Third, Iranian oil tankers have turned off their maritime transponders so that they cannot be tracked.  Turning off the transponders vitiates the insurance on the tankers so there are increased risks to Iran by this tactic, but it will make it more difficult for the US to identify who is buying Iranian oil.


As the economic and political situation in Venezuela continues to deteriorate, almost 3 million Venezuelans have left the country.  Most of the refugees have gone to neighboring countries, putting a genuine strain on the resources available to shelter refugees properly.  According to The Guardian:

“UN data in September showed 2.6 million had fled to neighbouring countries, but regional governments are struggling to cope with the humanitarian and political fallout from one of the largest mass migrations in Latin American history.

“’The main increases continue to be reported in Colombia and Peru,’ Spindler [UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR)] said.

“Colombia is sheltering 1 million Venezuelans. About 3,000 more arrive each day, and the Bogotá government says 4 million could be living there by 2021, costing it nearly $9bn.”

For perspective, one should compare the anxiety in the US over a group of refugees numbering around 3,000 coming through Mexico.  What if there were 3,000 coming every day?

Posted November 8, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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