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News > U.S.

US Sanctions On Iran Aggravate the Global Energy Crisis

  • Crude oil pouring out of a barrel

    Crude oil pouring out of a barrel | Photo: Twitter/ @SpiroSpianada

Published 18 October 2021

Iran can increase its oil exports by 1.5 million barrels per day in less than six months if the sanctions are lifted, which would contribute to the reduction of international prices.

As the world is facing a grave energy crisis caused by growing demand for fossil fuels, the U.S. sanctions on Iran have hindered an alleviation of the crisis.


EU's Tehran Envoy Talks Potential Lifting of Sanctions on Iran

With major economies slowly recovering from the pandemic, the previous harsh winter having depleted Europe's gas reserves and cold days ahead, global demand for energy has shot up and commodity prices are consequently going up. In Europe, gas prices are at record levels. Britain is one of the hardest-hit countries due to the dwindling North Sea supplies and its limited gas storage. Spain and France are seeing surges in electricity prices and other commodity prices. Meanwhile, gas prices are soaring in the United States amid a sudden increase in the price of oil.

A real solution to the energy crisis is still not in sight. Although Russia has promised to increase exports, the remaining major fossil fuel suppliers currently seem either unable or unwilling to make a significant contribution to the alleviation of the crisis. The global energy market needs new blood, analysts have said.

Iran has abundant hydrocarbon resources. It held 32 trillion cubic meters of proven gas reserves as of 2019, ranking second in the world and accounting for about 16 percent of the global natural gas reserves. This nation held 156 billion barrels of proven oil reserves as of 2019, ranking fourth in the world and accounting for about 9 percent of the entire global oil reserves. Iran, located along the International North-South Transport Corridor and having access to the high seas, Europe through Turkey and Central Asia, can also be a source of rather cheap energy owing to its geographical position, said observers.

Prior to Washington's withdrawal in 2018 from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and the reimposition of the unilateral sanctions mainly targeting the oil and gas sector, Iran used to pump about 2.8 million barrels per day of crude oil into the global market. Iran is also exporting gas to some neighboring countries, including Turkey and Iraq, and can be a reliable supplier to Europe as well as the rest of the world in the long run. Iranian energy expert Morteza Behrouzi said that Iran can increase its oil exports by 1.5 million barrels per day in less than six months if the sanctions are lifted, which can create a win-win situation.

The U.S. sanctions on Iran have, however, deprived the world of the boon as they have denied this Islamic nation access to billions of dollars in annual revenues, thus creating a zero-sum game. Earlier, Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji said that the U.S. and some European countries have hindered Iran from exporting oil for many years, and Iran is not the only one paying the price. This unilateral policy also has a negative impact on the American and European people.

Speaking after a key meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries  (OPEC), he said that "Iran is ready to resolve the ongoing fuel crisis in the world and make up for the shortages." To that end, he advised the Western decision-makers "to learn the lesson and help with the crisis" by lifting the unlawful and unjust sanctions on Iran.


Javad Owji
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