Reuters reports today that U.S. exports to Iran are up nearly a third, despite the imposition of sanctions that have decimated the Iranian economy.
The most recent Census Bureau data shows that during the first eight months of 2012, exports to Iran are up to $199.5 million from $150.8 million a year earlier, almost half of which is comprised of grain exports.
So what’s responsible for the increase?
Grain exports, primarily.
Reuters notes that the value of grain exports to Iran comprises almost half of the value of all exports. What’s even more astonishing is that with the exception of $21 million worth of maize, the United States exported no wheat or grain products to Iran. Without grain sales, exports most likely would have fell in comparison to the previous year.
Milk and medical equipment exports.”continue to flow despite the sanctions and the payments difficulties.”
U.S. exports have not always been negatively affected by sanctions, at least in the short-term. Exports to Iran spiked to $683.2 million in 2008 — the highest figure in 16 years, despite two U.N. Security Council resolutions the same year and the continued imposition of Iran Sanctions Act of 2006.
This is how sanctions have affected U.S. experts since 1993:
Photo: Census Bureau Data
U.S. Imposed Sanctions: 1. March 15, 1995: Executive Order 12957 prohibits U.S. trade in Iran’s Oil Industry.2. May 6, 1995: Executive Order 12959 prohibits almost all U.S. trade with Iran.3. 1996: Iran and Libya Sanctions Act passed (renamed Iran Sanctions act September 2006).4. 2001: ILSA renewed5. June 28, 2005: Executive Order 13382 freezes assets of people connected with Iran’s nuclear program6. July 1, 2010: Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 signed into law.7. September 28, 2010: Executive Order 13553 blocks property of certain persons with respect to werious human rights abuses by the government of Iran8. May 23, 2011: Executive Order 13574 continues implementation of certain sanctions set forth in the Iran Sanctions Act of 19969. November 20, 2011: Executive Order 13590 imposes further sanctions related to the energy and petroleum sectors. U.N. Imposed Sanctions
1. July 31, 2006: U.N. Security Council Resolution 1696 demands that Iran suspend all enrichment- related activity or face sanctions 2. December 23, 2006: U.N. Security Council Resoultion 1737 imposes sanctions banning supply of nuclear related materials and technology and freezes assets of individuals and companies related to nuclear program. 3. March 24, 2007: U.N. Security Council Resolution 1747 expands asset freeze and imposes an arms embargo 4. March 3, 2008: U.N. Security Council Resolution 1803 extends asset freeze 5. September 27, 2008: U.N. Security Council Resolution 1835, no new sanctions imposed 6. June 9, 2010: U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929 imposes bans on financing or assistance related the sale of arms to Iran, freezes funds and assets of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution and Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, among other things