President Joe Biden’s expected revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement will enable Iranian oil barrels to reach the global market when prices are at their highest level in two years due to demand recovery from the pandemic.
Former President Donald Trump did not fulfill his promise of “maximum pressure” to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero after scrapping the Obama administration’s nuclear deal. But his harsh sanctions deeply bruised Iran’s economy, even if the penalties failed to inspire Tehran to come back to the table to negotiate a new deal that would also curb its ballistic missile programs and support of militants across the Middle East as Trump had hoped.
Iran has now demanded U.S. sanctions relief on oil exports ahead of its resumed compliance with the original nuclear deal, should negotiators reach a truce to restore it during talks in Vienna.
“The biggest driver of Iran participating in negotiations again is getting oil back on the water and oil money unfrozen in banks,” said Scott Modell, managing director of Rapidan Energy, a research group. “That starts right away, should there be an agreement.”
The Biden administration, meanwhile, is expected to deliver on lifting sanctions.