As the Obama administration continues to alienate our traditional allies, his stock phrase for allies who are “punching above their weight” has become who is “punching below the belt”. India, South Korea and Japan have done end runs on the US oil embargo of Iran. These countries understand that their actions will be ignored as Obama concentrates on building the new Muslim caliphate in the Middle East and Northern Africa. As gold is starting to replace the USD to purchase oil on the world market, the future of our dollar remaining the world’s reserve currency is diminishing. Just another consequence of Socialism mixed with Islam in the White House.
A senior official in Tokyo announced Wednesday, May 23, that the Japanese government will seek parliamentary approval for a bill allowing Japanese firms to insure tankers carrying Iranian oil to Asia if European insurers refused to do so. The new law would apply to 16 Iranian tankers in the first stage.
This decision means that any intention to stiffen the oil embargo against Iran, as Israel had expected, was virtually voided even before the resumed nuclear talks ended between the six powers and Iran in Baghdad. Instead of taking place under the shadow of tougher sanctions, the oil embargo had begun falling apart and a major disincentive for Iran to continue its drive for a nuclear bomb was fading.
Still, without any real grounds, European coordinator Catherine Ashton and IAEA head Yukiya Amano were openly optimistic about the outcome of the current round of talks. In this, they backed US President Barack Obama’s expectation of successful negotiations with Iran and his advocacy of continuing diplomacy in contrast to his earlier remarks this month that the window for negotiations was closing.
India’s decision to walk out of step with the international community on Iran isn’t just a slap in the face for the U.S. – it raises questions about its ability to lead.
The Indian government’s ill-advised statement last week that it will continue to purchase oil from Iran is a major setback for the U.S. attempt to isolate the Iranian government over the nuclear issue.
The New York Times reported recently that Indian authorities are actively aiding Indian firms to avoid current sanctions by advising them to pay for Iranian oil in Indian rupees. It may go even further by agreeing to barter deals with Iran – all to circumvent the sanctions regime carefully constructed by the U.S. and its friends and allies. According to theTimes, India now has the dubious distinction of being the leading importer of Iranian oil.
This is bitterly disappointing news for those of us who have championed a close relationship with India. And, it represents a real setback in the attempt by the last three American Presidents to establish a close and strategic partnership with successive Indian governments.
A South Korean official said Tuesday that media reports this week that suggested South Korea would stop importing crude oil from Iran in the next couple of months regardless of whether cutting off such imports are requested by the U.S. and the European Union “aren’t factual.”
South Korea is “doing its best” to obtain an exemption from Iran-related U.S. sanctions and to gain access to the EU’s insurance services for oil shipments from the Islamic Republic after July 1, when EU sanctions are due to start, said the official, who didn’t want to be named.
The U.S. has exempted nearly a dozen countries from sanctions on Iran in return for significant reductions in their imports of Iranian crude. South Korea would prefer to cut Iranian imports and receive an exemption from the U.S., as neighboring Japan has done, than to completely halt shipments of Iranian crude, which may be problematic given that Iran supplies around a tenth of South Korea’s crude requirement.