Iran, Venezuela, China, Oil and Trump

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Found this wryly dry opinion piece this morning.  A slightly less deadly serious take on topics that are frequently discussed on this forum.

Iran, Venezuela, China, Oil and Trump

Ever wonder why Venezuela and Iran haven’t strangled under the weight of sanctions? China, and to a lesser extent, India, are buying their oil, that’s why. Note below, China hasn’t cut back on Iranian oil imports since the sanctions.

iran-oil-exports-1.jpg.ed3e669b07b81289a6b7b339b4c68d2e.jpg

Some articles state that the opposition to Venezuela’s President Maduro just needs to hang tough and go for the long haul. Ha. Venezuelan oil sales are going up, and that’s all she wrote, at least if oil continues to be sold.

Bloomberg reported in early November, citing shipping data, that Venezuela had loaded almost 11 million barrels of crude in just the first 11 days of the month, which was more than twice as much as it did in the same period last month. Most of the oil seemed to have gone to India and China, with half of the vessels transporting it turning their transponders off to avoid detection.

Why Venezuela’s Production Rebound Is So Significant For Oil Markets

Trump had already lost interest in Venezuela, likely because the opposition lacked the juice to make a change without major support. I think we’ll continue to hear very little about Venezuela. Back to the more interesting Iran.

During Trump’s speech about Iran and their bombs that didn’t kill anyone, I heard an emphasis when Trump said ‘China’ which sent off spider senses. Also, note he brings up ‘nuclear ambitions.’

Iran must abandon its nuclear ambitions and end its support for terrorism. The time has come for the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China to recognize this reality.

Trump’s 1/8/2020 speech; chicago.suntimes.com

There hasn’t been any news on dead General Qasem Soleimani having been involved in the nuclear side of things Iran. Whatever smoke and mirrors or flash-bangs occur, Iranian nuclear weapons are Trump’s main concern and they should be. He’s not making a secret of it, either. These were his first words in that same speech, even before he said ‘Good morning.’

As long as I am President of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.

Opening sentence of Trump’s 1/8/2020 speech

What might China’s continued support of Iran mean to the U.S.-China trade deal? I don’t know. Just yesterday: China’s economy czar will visit Washington next week for the signing of an interim trade deal, the government said…

Four possibilities:

1. Nothing meaningful will happen in terms of China buying Iranian oil,

2. China will quietly slow down or stop buying the oil (this saves China embarrassment), or

3. A public issue is made about it and the trade deal falls apart. The trade deal is in parts, so another scenario,

4., is first item 1. (to aid both China and our farmers in terms of food transfer) for this ‘interim’ phase, but the next phase would be dependent on a reduction of Chinese purchases of Iranian oil, or some other, similar, combination.

If pressure is brought to bear on China about Iranian oil, it is even more likely nothing will be said about their buying Venezuelan oil. On the global stage, few things are as dangerous as a nuclear Iran, so that’s where the major focus will be. Paint Maduro as delighted.

Putin smirks in the shadows, gray eyes gleaming with possibilities.

From China’s perspective, it comes down to how much money China is saving by buying oil that is under sanctions, compared to the costs and benefits of the trade deal. We can’t know these things, but we can keep an eye on what happens next!

Meanwhile, congressional Democrats are taking action to support our military, Commander in Chief, and international security. Ha. Psych!

 

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