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India Rejects Trump’s Economic War on Iran

The Trump administration wants increased economic pressure on Iran, but one of Iran’s most important trading partners won’t be cooperating:

President Donald Trump may have ordered the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran, but one of Asia’s biggest oil importers — and a strategic partner of the U.S. — plans on ignoring them.

India, a long-time buyer of oil from both Iran and Venezuela, only complies with United Nations-mandated sanctions and not those imposed by one country on another, said foreign minister Sushma Swaraj at a press conference in New Delhi on Monday.

The U.S. had previously been able to get India to reduce purchases of Iranian oil before the nuclear deal was concluded, but once the agreement was made and Iran was abiding by it India had no reason to continue this practice. Like many other states that do business with Iran, India obviously isn’t interested in helping American plans to strangle Iran’s economy and has strong incentives to ignore U.S. wishes. There is no global consensus in support for what the administration is trying to do, and there isn’t going to be one.

The Trump administration seeks to wageeconomic war on Iran, and it can certainly do some damage by scaring many Western companies into leaving Iran. As long as many of the major economic powers in Asia refuse to cooperate, the administration’s pressure campaign can’t work. The lack of international cooperation ensures that the administration’s attempt to dictate terms to Iran will fail.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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