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HomeWorld USRussia avoids world sanctions by learning from Iran: 'coalition of convenience'

Russia avoids world sanctions by learning from Iran: ‘coalition of convenience’

This week, the United States imposed new sanctions on entities based in Russia and other countries to limit Moscow’s access to finance and products supporting its invasion of Ukraine.

Companies based in Kyrgyzstan, the United Arab Emirates and Serbia face charges of aiding Russia’s war effort.

“They are creating their own alternative alliance network in the world,” said Daniel Fried, a former ambassador to Poland. “With the exception of China, Russia’s friends are outside the world, in general. Iran is certainly helping Russia. It’s an alliance of convenience.”

Iran has aided Russia’s war effort by providing drones. Both countries are also trying to ease economic pressures caused by sanctions and have recently linked their banking systems.

A look at US sanctions on Russia, Iran, from Obama to Biden years

US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Daniel Fried speaks to the press in Vienna on June 12, 2007. (Samuel Kobani/AFP via Getty Images)

“You see the Russians starting to adopt some of the tactics perfected by the Iranians, as well as deepening their political, economic and security ties with Tehran,” said Behnam Ben-Talblo, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “Iran has a master class in sanctions that it is currently helping to teach the Russian Federation.”

Iran’s main source of income is from oil exports. Since the US reimposed economic sanctions, Iran has turned to illegal smuggling to maintain that income. Despite the added pressure, its production has reached a new high.

“While these sanctions are on the books, the problem here is that they are not being actively enforced. This lack of proactive enforcement, along with diplomacy and a public desire for de-escalation with Iran, is encouraging more risk-averse actors to buy more Iranian oil,” Taleblu said.

Iran Oil and Gas

Persian Gulf Star Company operates a gas condensate refinery in Bandar Abbas, Iran. Iran’s main source of income is oil exports. (Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Iran disguises itself by changing the names of its ships while at sea. It changes identification codes to avoid international tracking systems. It has also made separate ship-to-ship transfers to secretly deliver its oil to tankers owned by other countries, including China and Syria.

“Iran already had a diverse, illegal shipping network,” Taleblu said. “Iran also has a large money-laundering network to help bring back some of that revenue. So, it’s an adaptive adversary.”

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Iran’s shadow banking system has protected Iranian entities from doing business with foreign customers under sanctions. The US has recently announced sanctions against this financial network.

Ships in Qashm

A photo taken on April 29, 2023 shows a ship sailing past the Iranian Gulf island of Qeshm. (Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images)

“Iran thumbs its nose at U.S. sanctions, at our allies, and continues to work to undermine and destroy the state of Israel,” Rep. Mike Lawler, RN.Y. said

“We need to be very united, together with our allies, to push back vocally against what Iran is doing, whether it’s producing and expanding petroleum or trying to weaken sanctions.”

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The United States first imposed an embargo on Iranian oil imports in 1979 in response to the Iranian hostage crisis. Since then, additional sanctions have been added and removed as Iran has tried to work around the next move by the United States and allies.

“You have to constantly tinker with it, because any time you put a rule in place, which is a sanction, people try to figure out what the loopholes are and how to work against it,” said De Fla representative Jared Moskowitz. “I think both sanctions on Russia and sanctions on the Iranian regime are equally important with what’s going on in Ukraine.”

Mike Lawler

Rep. Mike Lawler, RN.Y., outside the U.S. Capitol on January 3, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Iran’s response to sanctions has been aggressive. According to the US Navy, the government has harassed, attacked or seized about 20 internationally flagged merchant ships in recent years. Its dangers at sea are even greater.

“These threats are almost as old as the Islamic Republic itself. Iran has long viewed oil as a weapon, and has been threatened for more than a decade or two that if it can export oil, no other state in the region can export oil peacefully.” Taleblu said.

Despite the government’s efforts to influence the oil market, the impact of sanctions continues. Inflation is close to 40 percent. It also has a trade deficit of $6.5 billion for non-oil trade. The country’s currency has also weakened.

“If they weren’t working, neither country would ask them to disappear,” Moskowitz said. “We must continue to pressure Iran with sanctions and let it run its course.”

Navy sub

A naval submarine transits the Suez Canal on April 7, 2023. (U.S. Navy via AP)

Russia’s economy has had its own struggles. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, its GDP is projected to decline by 2.1 percent in 2022. The OECD predicts that Russia’s economy will shrink by another 2.5 percent this year.

“The purpose of these sanctions is primarily to force economic pressure and behavioral change,” Lawler said. “In the case of Russia, I don’t think they anticipated the unifying blow that would come from their attack on Ukraine.”

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Experts believe that Iran and Russia have found ways to avoid sanctions, but the pressure on their economies is still mounting.

“You’ll never be 100% efficient. That’s the bad news. The good news is that you don’t have to be. You don’t have to be tight-lipped in your restrictions. The purpose of restrictions is to create economic stress. You can be imperfect and still cause economic stress,” Freud said. “Cheating doesn’t mean sanctions don’t work.”

Source by [Fox News]



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