Jan 13, 2020 06:20 UTC
  • Traders dismiss US bans enacted after flare-up of tensions with Iran

Iranian traders say a new round of American sanctions enacted following a recent flare-up of tensions between the two countries would fail to impact a current growth in Iran's mining and metals sector.

“The new round of sanctions would not cause any substantial change in the conditions of steel manufacturers and other targeted industries,” said Bahador Ehramian, a board member at the Iranian Steel Producers Association (ISPA), on Sunday.

“It is because the US has already included Iran’s entire (metals) industry in the sphere of its sanctions,” Ehramian told the IRNA agency.

Washington imposed a series of wide-ranging bans on Iran’s trade of metals in May 2019, exactly a year after it decided to pull out of a major nuclear deal between Iran and international powers.

The metals trade bans came on top of a series of harsh sanctions imposed on Iran’s sale of oil and gas which has traditionally accounted for the bulk of the country’s revenues over the years.

However, numerous reports and studies have shown that unlike the oil sanctions, the bans on metals have largely failed to halt Iran’s growing export of various mining products as cargoes are normally shipped through third countries, making it difficult for the US to spot the origin of the shipments.

A recent report by Iran’s ministry of industries showed that steel exports had surged by nearly a quarter year on year between March and November 2019 to reach 7.8 million tons or $3 billion in value terms.

US President Donald Trump said earlier this week that he would impose a new series of tough sanctions on Iran after the Iranian military fired missiles at US bases in Iraq in response to the US assassination of an Iranian military commander on January 3.

However, traders said the new bans, which mostly target major Iranian steel companies, were nothing to worry about.