Latest update: 07/02/2012
Iran tuyên bố sẽ cấm xuất khẩu dầu sang EU đối lại những cấm vận mới của Hoa Kỳ
Iranian lawmakers (các nhà lập pháp) vowed Tuesday to ban crude oil exports to European nations, a day after US officials announced new sanctions aimed at disrupting financial transactions by Iran’s central bank and other institutions.
REUTERS – Iran castigated (đưa ra biện pháp trừng phạt) its U.S. adversary on Tuesday over new financial measures to disrupt (làm ngăn trở) Iranian commerce, and a default on payment (không chi trả được) for rice purchases highlighted the encroachment (tác động) of sanctions on the staples (mặt hàng thiết yếu) of everyday life.
Lawmakers in Tehran vowed to ban crude exports to European countries even before an EU oil embargo takes effect.
The U.S. sanctions, targeting Iran’s central bank and giving U.S. banks new powers to freeze Iranian government assets, were the latest in a tightening web of international measures aimed at forcing the Islamic Republic to scrap (tử bỏ, abandon) sensitive nuclear work.
“It is an antagonistic move, psychological warfare which has no impact… There is nothing new, it has been going on (từng diễn ra) for over 30 years,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, referring to three decades of U.S.-Iranian hostility (hoạt động thù địch).
Rice exporters said Iranian buyers had defaulted on payment (không thực hiện được việc trả tiền) for 200,000 tonnes of rice from their top supplier India in another sign that Western financial sanctions are playing havoc (gây tác hại ) with trade, even in one of Iran’s food staples (thực phẩm chủ lực).
While a plunging rial (đồng rial đang xuống giá) has made forward purchases costlier (đắt đỏ hơn), the sanctions are hampering (gây trở ngại, ngăn trở) Iranian traders who have previously used Dubai-based middlemen to keep paying Indian rice suppliers.
Bread and rice dominate the diet (thực đơn hàng ngày, usual food) of most Iranians, many of whom can no longer afford to buy meat, now selling for about $30 a kilogram in Tehran. Bread prices have tripled since December, while rice costs about $5 per kg. Iranians earn about $350 a month on average. Officials put the poverty line (giới hạn nghèo đói) at $800.
Grain ships (tàu chở ngũ cốc) are docked outside Iranian ports, traders are not booking fresh cargoes and exports of staples to Iran such as maize (bắp ngô) are falling as collecting payment from buyers gets harder.
Maize is used widely to feed livestock (cho gia súc ăn) and eventual shortages could force farmers into stress slaughter (giết mổ vì không tiếp tục nuôi được ?).
Iran imported 62 percent of its maize, 45 percent of its rice and 59 percent of its sugar in 2010-11, but only 3 percent of its wheat, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Tension with the West rose last month when the United States and the European Union targeted Iranian oil exports in their efforts to halt Tehran’s suspected quest for (tìm cách sở hữu) an atomic bomb.
Mehmanparast said the pressure would not deter (ngăn đe) Iran from pursuing a nuclear programme it says has only peaceful purposes. “Our history has shown that sanctions, which are totally illogical, have accelerated our nation’s progress,” he added.
A spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton blamed Tehran for any civilian suffering caused by sanctions.
“EU measures on Iranian oil are intended to affect the potential funding for the nuclear programme. Unintended (không chủ định) consequences on the civilian population are therefore the result of policy choices by the government,” Michael Mann said.
He said EU measures did not target civilians, citing the partial designation of Iran’s central bank as intended to let legitimate trade continue to avoid undue effects (hậu quả không mong đợi) on the people.
Reprisal sanctions – Trả đủa cấm vận
Iranian MPs promised to speed passage of a bill (thông qua một dự luật) to oblige the government to ban oil exports to some EU states well before the 25-nation bloc phases in (bắt đầu kế hoạch) its embargo in July.
“The draft bill has been almost finalised. It will oblige the government to immediately cut oil exports to the EU. The bill also will ban import of any goods from the EU,” lawmaker Parviz Sarvari told Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency.
Washington and its allies (các nước đồng minh) have been constricting (thu hẹp, làm giới hạn) Iran’s access to capital and oil revenues (thu nhập) to try to push it back into negotiations to resolve the nuclear stand-off (tình trạng giằng co).
Mehmanparast said Iran would soon write to the EU’s Ashton about resuming discussions with big powers, although he added that its rights to pursue peaceful nuclear research were “not negotiable”.
The last talks in January 2010 failed because of Iran’s refusal to halt its sensitive uranium enrichment work, as demanded by the U.N. Security Council and six world powers (nước lớn, siêu cường).
Washington and Israel have not ruled out (loại trừ) military action if diplomacy (biện pháp ngoại giao) fails to resolve Iran’s nuclear row (tranh cãi).
Iran has warned of a “painful” answer, saying it would hit Israel and U.S. bases (căn cứ, cơ sở) in the Gulf as well as block (phong tỏa) the vital (huyết mạch)Gulf oil shipping route through the Strait of Hormuz.
The measures authorised by Obama on Sunday are likely to slow Iran’s trade with Asia by making payments more difficult, traders said on Tuesday, although the more determined can still find a route (con đường, giải pháp) through Middle Eastern intermediaries (bên trung gian).
U.S. sanctions now encompass (bao trùm) all Iran’s financial institutions (thiết chế hay tổ chức tài chính) and oblige financial bodies (các tổ chức tài chính) doing business in the United States to block and freeze (ngăn chặn và đóng băng) transactions with a suspected link to (nếu nghi ngờ có liên quan) Iran. Previous sanctions had only required American banks to reject those transactions (từ chối các giao dịch này).
Trade headaches – Chuyện nhức đầu về thương mại
Asian importers of Iranian crude (dầu thô), fuel oil and iron ore (quặng sắt) will find the measures snarl (làm rắc rối khó khăn) payment further. Iran will have to accept more settlement in illiquid currencies, raising costs and piling pressure on its rial (đồng tiền Iran).
On Jan. 26, Iran announced an 8 percent devaluation (giảm giá) of the rial and said it would enforce (thực thi) a single exchange rate, aiming to stamp out (dập tắt) a black market where the dollar’s value has soared (tăng vụt) due to fears over new sanctions imposed by the West.
“Iranian cargoes I can get, that’s not a problem. But how to pay is a problem,” said an iron ore trader in New Delhi.
Vijay Setia, president of the All India Rice Exporters’ Association (Hiệp hội Xuất khẩu Gạo toàn Ấn), said the Iranian default had prompted him to ask the Indian government to step in. “It is a serious issue and we do not rule out (không thể loại trừ) further payment defaults by Iran,” he said.
Setia said India should not send any more rice to Iran on credit, adding that suppliers in Thailand, Vietnam and Pakistan had already stopped doing so.
Iranian fuel oil shipments through Singapore are slowing (bị chậm lại) as sanctions worries deter (làm e ngại) traders, while some Iranian iron ore exporters are accelerating loadings to China for fear of more difficulty procuring (tìm thuê) ships and payment later this month.
Iran’s economy is already so weakened that its oil exports are more valuable than its imports of food and consumer goods, making it difficult to offset its exports by paying for imports.