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The ongoing international initiative to adopt new and tighten existing trade sanctions against Iran is presenting companies and financial institutions engaged in or facilitating business with Iran with significant challenges. The expressed purpose of the various national and international authorities imposing new sanctions is to curb any attempts by Iran to develop a nuclear weapons programme and to prevent its involvement in financing terrorism.
The sanctions are therefore primarily focused on restricting dealings in the energy sector, particularly in the oil, gas and nuclear industries, while also restricting investment and financing of certain enterprises in Iran. Iran is currently unable to meet its domestic fuel consumption due to a lack of sufficient refining facilities and has to import refined petroleum products. The new restrictions are intended to deprive Iran of such imports and stifle the improvement of related facilities in Iran. Nonetheless, the impact of the sanctions will also resonate in the international trade, shipping and financial sectors.