Entries in Embargo (4)


Report: Oil Embargo Is Killing Iran's Economy

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The White House is right in its contention that sanctions against Iran to convince Tehran to give up its nuclear program is at least hurting the country economically, an analysis by Bloomberg shows.

Since international sanctions that ban the purchase and transport of Iranian oil started one month ago, Iran has lost an estimated $133 million in oil sales per day.

Overall, its oil exports have fallen more than 50 percent to 1.2 million barrels a day.  Should the boycott last an entire year, Iran stands to lose $48 billion or about 10 percent of its entire economy.

More advantageous for the White House, especially because it's an election year, is that the oil embargo is not affecting gasoline prices at home.

That's in a large part due to increased shipments by the Saudis, more domestic output and a slowdown in the global economy.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Afghanistan Wants to Import Iranian Oil Despite US Embargo

Comstock/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- The U.S. effort to force Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions may have hit a bump in the road because of Afghanistan.

President Obama is attempting to pressure Tehran with tougher sanctions that include curbing oil imports from Iran that many of Washington's allies have agreed to go along with.  The penalties include punishing foreign banks that import Iranian oil.

However, Afghanistan is asking the White House if it can be given special dispensation from the sanctions.

Afghanistan's minister of commerce and industries says that his country is in a unique position because it imports 50 percent of its oil from Iran with other energy fuels, mostly natural gas, coming from Russia and other countries.

The U.S. may have to give in to Kabul's request since it desperately wants Afghanistan to become more self-sufficient in order to facilitate the eventual military withdrawal planned for 2014.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


European Union Implements Ban on Iranian Oil; IAEA to Visit Iran

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BRUSSELS, Belgium) -- In response to growing concerns over Iran's nuclear program, the European Union announced on Monday that it is banning new imports of Iranian crude oil and petroleum products.

Existing contracts on imports, the EU said in a statement, will be allowed to run until July 1.

The latest sanction adds to a string of restrictions already imposed on Iran by the West. The U.S. and its allies began to take action against Iran after a study by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in November found that the country has exceeded fears on just how far its come along with its nuclear ambitions.

Along with the oil embargo, the EU said it, "froze the assets of the Iranian central bank," outlawed the "export of key equipment and technology" to Iran, and forbade, "trade in gold, precious metals and diamonds with Iranian public bodies and the central bank."

The EU implemented these new sanctions in an effort to, "target the sources of finance" for Iran's nuclear program.

On another note, the IAEA announced on Monday that a team of its experts will visit Iran from Jan. 29 to Jan. 31.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama: The US Is 'Open to a New Relationship with Cuba'

The White House/Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama said Tuesday that the United States is “open to a new relationship with Cuba if the Cuban government starts taking the proper steps to open up its own country.
“As long as I’m President I will always be prepared to change our Cuba policy if and when we start seeing a serious intention on the part of the Cuban government to provide liberty for its people,” the president said in a roundtable discussion on Hispanic issues.
Obama cited the steps that his administration has taken to “send a signal that we’re prepared to show flexibility and not be stuck in a Cold War mentality dating back to when I was born,” including changes to remittance laws and laws that relate to educational travel.
“What we haven’t seen is the kind of genuine spirit of transformation inside of Cuba that would justify us eliminating the embargo,” he said.
In order to fully engage, the president stressed that the U.S. needs to “see a signal back from the Cuban government,” such as the release of political prisoners or the ability for people to express their opinions and petition their government.
As for U.S. immigration, Obama expressed frustration with the perception that he could be doing more on his own to fix the system, which he reiterated was a top priority.
“This notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. We are doing everything we can administratively. But the fact of the matter is there are laws on the books that I have to enforce,” Obama said. “I think there’s been a great disservice done to the cause of getting the DREAM Act passed and getting comprehensive immigration passed by perpetrating the notion that somehow, by myself, I can go and do these things. It’s just not true.”
The president went on to point a finger at Republicans, saying they have stalled comprehensive immigration reform. “In the past we've seen bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reform. Unfortunately, over the last several years what you’ve seen is the Republican Party move away from support of comprehensive immigration reform,” he said.
“We live in a democracy. You have to pass bills through the legislature, and then I can sign it. And if all the attention is focused away from the legislative process, then that is going to lead to a constant dead-end. We have to recognize how the system works, and then apply pressure to those places where votes can be gotten and, ultimately, we can get this thing solved.  And nobody will be a stronger advocate for making that happen than me,” the president said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio