In Iran, sanctions aim at shipping lifeline
Washington Post / Thomas Erdbrink and Joby Warrick,

After two years of failed efforts to entice Iran with diplomatic carrots, the Obama administration is quietly toasting successes at using economic sticks. A series of U.S. and international sanctions imposed over the past year have slowly undermined Iran’s ability to conduct trade by targeting the country’s access to international banking, insurers and transportation companies. Like Maersk, some firms voluntarily cut ties with Iranian companies that U.S. officials say are front operations for the Revolutionary Guard.

At the same time, the United States has backed international efforts to lower global petroleum prices, bringing the collateral benefit of stripping Iran of revenue that it has used to offset the economic costs of sanctions.

From 2005, when Ahmadinejad came to power, until last year, Iran took in nearly $500 billion in total oil revenue, more than the combined earnings of all previous Iranian governments since the 1979 revolution.

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