According to the Wall Street Journal, “observers expected American energy production to reach a plateau. A lack of pipeline capacity was expected to constrain output in the Permian Basin through 2020. Instead, shippers found ways to use existing pipelines more efficiently, and new pipelines were constructed faster than expected.
U.S. crude-oil production is expected to average 12.1 million barrels a day in 2019, 28% higher than in 2017. Surging production has roiled world energy markets.”
Iran is the loser of this newfound energy production. The Journal’s article outlines that the economic windfall that the regime believed would come from the nuclear deal was largely offset by the sharp price spiral of oil in 2016. Now. in 2018, rising American output is doing the same thing.
Financial profits from black market sales of Iranian oil are unlikely to materialize, as shown by the spotty sales on the bourse created by the Iranian government.
Iran’s hopes that countries opposed to the U.S., such as China, would continue to buy Iranian oil are being dashed by falling oil prices.
Oil was predicted to hit $100 per barrel just a few months ago, but instead the global benchmark has fallen to $50 per barrel.A record oil production by Iran’s regional opponent Saudi Arabia raised production to an all-time high in November, pumping 11.3 million barrels per day.
Predictions that the regime would weather the economic crises are becoming harder to believe.The barter agreement system being proposed to allow Iran to sell oil in exchange for goods, thereby avoiding U.S. secondary sanctions on currency exchange seems less likely. Still, the regime may resort to such tactics as fraud, smuggling, or having Iranian tankers turn off position signals in an effort towards stealth.
These measures will not benefit the Iranian people, but will be used to fund various terrorist actions abroad and proxy wars, as well as its loyal groups such as Hezbollah.
The Iran lobby makes an argument against these sanctions.
“The theory behind it is, you make the population so miserable that they will rise up against the government,” said Trita Parsi, founder of the National Iranian American Council.
However, the Iranian people are already rising up. Throughout Iran the people are making their voices heard — merchants are protesting in the markets, truckers have stopped driving, and teachers have stopped teaching classes. The regime has resorted to violence and intimidation in an effort to suppress the dissent.
Nothing will alter the trajectory of the Iranian regime under these sanctions, as this U.S. administration is committed to pushing the regime back to the bargaining table. It means to address nuclear weapons as well as Iran’s destabilizing influence throughout the region, its support for terrorism, and its dismal human rights record.
As well, the Iranian people are willing to defy their own government and these protests come from all parts of Iranian society, including the poor and working class.