China stopped buying Iranian oil. This is reported by Russian and global media. It is unclear whether this is a temporary measure in light of the sharply aggravated relations with the United States or it is about a long term solution. With the end of 2018 to early 2019 may four largest buyer of Iranian oil in Asia — India, China, South Korea and Japan — maximizes the volume of imports from Iran, but by may of 2019 they stopped any purchases. The last was China. Iran in Asia exported over 1 million barrels per day while the average volume of exports of 1.4 million barrels (February 2019). In fact, the cessation of purchases of Iranian oil in Asia means the collapse of the oil industry of Iran as a whole. While the Iranians occupy the free volume, using for this purpose including tankers, but it is clear that very soon the question will arise about the preservation of the wells.
Have an embargo on purchases of Iranian oil in addition to blockade of Iran there is another component — the market has come to a new equilibrium after the withdrawal of Iranian oil. In fact, the deficit almost immediately filled by third suppliers — Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States, therefore, the market reacted to events slowly and without sudden movements. Moreover, on termination of the procurement was known for six months or a trump imposed a ban in two stages, allowing until may 2019 to eight countries to buy Iranian oil without being subject to sanctions.
Edinstvnny scenario when the market can be derived from equilibrium — is a blockade of the Strait of Hormuz by Iran than the Iranian politicians and generals tirelessly to scare the whole world. But while this scenario seems very utopian — the best reason to war with Iran to come up with is simply impossible. And most importantly — it will be a question of local one-time operation, and full-scale use of force urgently set up a coalition with the obvious scenario — the defeat of the Iranian armed forces and taking control of the Strait of Hormuz including from Iran. To invade Iran under any scenario no one will, but limited war, in this case, it is quite real, and the chances of Iran to play even a draw virtually none. Actually, this is indirectly confirmed by the Iranian military, the frightening potential aggressors a kind of secret weapon. This is a tactic of the weak we will strike you, but do not say how. Just makes a strong argument in the visible range. With such initial conditions the probability of the blockade of the Strait of Hormuz is extremely low, although the States sent to the Persian Gulf gain. However, most likely, they just work out appropriate protocols, acting strictly in a planned manner provided in such cases.
Apparently, China is also skeptical about the capabilities of Iran to reverse the situation, for what reason decided not to go for more confrontation with the United States in a situation that seems quite clear. The situation for him is not too rosy, as the US sanctions affect two major oil suppliers to China — Venezuela and Iran, but so far it’s still not a reason to make the tough decisions.
In General, everything that happens makes war in the Persian Gulf is not very likely, although eliminating various excesses difficult. In Iran and the Arabian monarchies, and in the U.S. obviously there are forces that consider war as a perfectly valid scenario. Already taking place provocations like sabotage against tankers or pipelines, but they do not continue.
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