Though the stock market opened lower on Monday, that route was short lived thanks to the surging price of oil and gas. The US President, Donald Trump, sought to cut off Iran’s top income producing commodity, oil. In fact, any U.S. ally that continues to do importation of Iranian oil would receive a swift sanction by the U.S.
So, What Does This Mean For The Rest Of The World?
Sanctions are set to hit at the beginning of May. Furthermore, there will be no exceptions to these sanctions either. Previously there were certain exemptions for countries like China, Japan, South Korea and others that imported oil from Iran, in 2018.
“The goal remains simple: to deprive the outlaw regime of the funds it has used to destabilize the Middle East for decades.”Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
Backlash Against The United States
Of course, there was immediate backlash from the rest of the world. China, for instance, took a hard line against the news. With concern over Beijing/Washington relations, this could escalate things to another tipping point ahead of any negotiations on trade.
A spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry said that the United States was going above its jurisdiction. Furthermore, the spokesperson, Geng Shuang, explained that the People’s Republic and its business (with Iran) are clear and transparent. Of course, they would say this based on the fact that China is one of the biggest buyers of oil from Iran.
Other countries also hit back at these statements from the U.S. President. Turkey, for instance, said that it was being “meddled with” on a different front. Foreign Minister of Turkey, Mevlut Cavusoglu explained that this move could be seen as an attempt to negatively impact Turkey’s business with its neighboring countries.
Something Else Behind The Scenes?
Rumors began buzzing after the fact. Some even cited that this move could be an attempt by the U.S. to support an exiled Iranian group known as MEK (Mujahedin-e-Khalq). Those close to the situation like Mike Pompeo (Secretary of State) refuted these rumors, however.
“We’re supporting the Iranian people, not any particular group.”Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary Of State
This move by the U.S. is said to be a small part of a much bigger plan. The administration is putting “maximum pressure” to confine Iran’s regime and slow its economic growth.
“The Trump Administration pushback against the Iranian regime has been effective and will pay dividends over time. This is the clearest signal yet that if you do business with the Iranian regime you will NOT do business with America,” tweeted Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
The May 2 deadline should give these “allies” time to readjust their sources of oil imports. But as with anything, time will tell.