Publications: Papers

Strengthening Sanctions on Iran with Strategic Reserves (January 2012)


The United States has introduced new, draconian sanctions designed to prevent Iran from earning money from its crude oil exports. The sanctions will affect some oil-importing countries, most notably China, Japan, and South Korea. These nations will seek to purchase oil from other suppliers, principally Saudi Arabia.


The United States can assist the affected countries by selling oil from its strategic reserve, which now holds far more oil than required by treaty obligations. This strategic use of our SPR will increase the effectiveness of sanctions on Iran and ease the adjustment difficulties that confront our allies. The sales may also reduce any price pressure caused by removal of light Iranian crude from the market.


(Note: This paper is available on request.)