Skip to comments.OPEC Data Highlights Iran's Vulnerability to Oil Sanctions
Posted on 08/05/2012 3:00:16 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Iran's leaders have repeatedly claimed that sanctions against its oil exports, aimed at pressuring it over its nuclear program, will harm the West more than they harm the Islamic Republic.
Data published by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries late Monday show how hollow that claim may be.
Last year, before any direct oil sanctions were imposed on Iran, the country generated 88% of its export earnings from oil. Yet its significant contribution to national income belied the apparent weakness of Iran's oil industry.
Iran's crude oil exports fell 12.5% in 2011, faster than any other country apart from Libya, which was in a state of civil war for much of the year, according to OPEC's annual statistical bulletin.
This pushed Iran two places down the pecking order of OPEC exporters, to fourth place.
Its share of total OPEC exports, which underpins any country's influence in the group, fell to its lowest level since 1981, when the country was still in the grip of revolutionary turmoil.
All this happened before the toughest-ever sanctions, aimed directly at Iran's oil exports, were agreed by the U.S. and the European Union at the start of this year.
In fact, Western sanctions have long had a deleterious effect on Iran's oil industry.
(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.wsj.com ...