Iranian fuel and petrochemical exports have boomed in recent years despite stringent U.S. sanctions. This leaves Iran well placed to expand sales swiftly in Asia and Europe if Washington lifts its curbs. The United States imposed sanctions in 2018 on Iran’s oil and gas industry to choke off its main source of revenue in a dispute with Tehran over its nuclear work. The sanctions crippled crude exports but not sales of fuel and petrochemicals, which are harder to trace. Iran exported petrochemicals and petroleum products worth almost $20 billion in 2020, which were its main sources of revenue and twice the value of its crude exports. If the sanctions are lifted Iran is positioned well, as Iranian gasoline exports rose 600% year over year in 2020 to 180,000 b/d.
- Iran’s petrochemical, fuel sales boom as sanctions hit crude exports