Post by Carole Nakhle

The lifting of economic and trade sanctions in relation to Iran’s nuclear programme means that the Islamic Republic should be able to export its oil freely to a wide range of customers, just as it did before the imposition of sanctions. Since Iran was not a negligible producer, other producers fear that the timing of its comeback to the market is bad news, as it may lead to lower oil prices for longer, especially if OPEC sticks to its existing strategy. The key questions that the international community is subsequently debating are: will Iran flood the oil market and, more importantly, is it able to do so? As this article argues, the sanctions were only partially responsible for Iran’s energy problems, and their removal will not solve the country’s long standing impediments to production, which, in the absence of sound and robust reforms, will prohibit a rapid expansion in Iranian capacity, as they have done for decades now.

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