Iran Private Exporters to Sell Oil to Prevent Sanctions
US Treasury’s Undersecretary David Cohen who supervises the Iran sanctions portfolio said today that he was skeptical that Iran could find an alternative payment system to its central bank.
"It's fair to say that we are going to be very skeptical about efforts to develop alternative payment methods," Cohen said. "Our presumption going in is anyone buying oil from Iran is ultimately paying the central bank of Iran, even if there is some intermediary step," he added [Reuters, 10 May].
Cohen made the remarks while discussing sanctions against Iran at the Center for Strategic and International in Washington.
The current sanctions that will go into full effect on 1 July is designed to limit Iran’s oil exports by stopping financial institutions from conducting oil transactions with Iran's central bank. On Wednesday, Iran announced that it will authorize the country’s private exporters to sell up to 20 percent of its crude exports by finding ways to avoid routing payments through the central bank. Cohen’s remarks were in response to Iran’s latest action to avoid sanctions.