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In broader terms, the Goreh-Jask pipeline will allow Iran to freely ship at least 1 million bpd of its own crude oil anywhere in the world (most notably, China, in the short-term) whilst at the same time allowing it to disrupt all other oil supplies that transit through the Strait of Hormuz (around 35 percent of the world’s total). “Even before US sanctions were re-introduced, the Kharg terminal [accounting for around 90 percent of all of Iranian oil export loadings, with the remaining loads going through terminals on Lavan and Sirri] was not ideal for use by tankers,” the Iran source underlined.
“The extreme narrowness of the Strait of Hormuz means that they have to travel very slowly through it, so pushing up the transit costs, delaying revenue streams, and making easy targets for even simple attacks,” he said. “Conversely, Iran wants to be able to use the threat – or reality – of closing the Strait of Hormuz for political reasons without also completing destroying its own oil exports revenue stream,” he added. “This is why, if anything, the Goreh-Jask pipeline is likely to be completed before the official deadline of 20 March ,” he concluded.
Moreover, the ability to add yet another dimension to Iran’s current playbook of sanctions-busting activity will be in line with the supportive views of senior Iranian politicians for these activities. Back in December 2018 at the Doha Forum, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Zarif, stated that: “If there is an art that we have perfected in Iran, [that] we can teach to others for a price, it is the art of evading sanctions.” And within just the last couple of weeks, Iran’s Petroleum Minister himself, Bijan Zangeneh, added a little detail to one such tried-and-trusted method: “What we export is not under Iran’s name. The documents are changed over and over, as well as [the] specifications.”