For the Iranian regime, oil sales have provided a lifeline over years of sanctions. The mullahs have continued to fund their efforts through illegal sales of oil, often in violation of the sanctions. Their biggest customers were willing to defy the sanctions at the time, but it appears that many countries are opting to step away from Iranian oil and find alternative solutions to care for their energy needs.
There also appears to be evidence that the regime is increasing cyberattacks, particularly targeting Mideast energy companies and those attacks are expected to increase.
The newest round of sanctions comes as the U.S. pulls out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with energy sanctions being
Slight rise is not a cure
In the first part of September, the Iranian oil exports rose by 200,000 bpd in comparison to the first half of August. However, historically, these numbers are still well below the typical output of the regime. Critics argue that some countries are buying to build up their stock before the sanctions come into effect in November.
Even India, who is the second-biggest exporter of Iranian oil, is expected to reduce its oil purchases in compliance with the U.S. sanctions. The Trump administration has indicated that it will not be offering waivers to allies as was done in the past.
The goal of the Trump administration is to bring Iranian oil sales to zero. By doing so, they hope to bring the regime to the negotiation table. Members of the Iranian government have called out the U.S., saying Iran will not negotiate with them because they do not comply with their treaties. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also has claimed that the U.S. is addicted to sanctions.
Yet for all the tough talk of the regime, the reality is that the regime is dealing with intense civil unrest. The Iranian people are struggling to find the basic necessities, while members of the regime continue to use corruption to line their pockets. Poverty is becoming the new normal.
Regime increases repressive measures
In light of the increasing struggles of the Iranian people, the protests and demonstrations have increased. The regime has also increased the number of arrests in an attempt to stop these events and gatherings.
Despite these efforts, the Iranian resistance believes in a democratic and free Iran. They are willing to continue the struggle against the regime, while building support within the international community. Plus, with the U.S. making it difficult for foreign companies to do business in Iran, the resistance is able to capitalize on the civil unrest brewing in Iran.
Now the question is how much longer the regime will be able to contain the Iranian people and their desire for freedom.