Despite the fact that Iran sits on some of the largest reserves of crude oil, Iran still import a third of its gasoline to keep up with domestic demand. This has to do with Iran's lack of oil refineries and growing population. So sanctions on gasoline is the Achilles' heel of Iran, and it could have devastating effects on the Iranian government. Any form of "crippling sanctions" against Iran will target Iran's gasoline imports. The only loophole is Russia. Moscow pursues its own interests and that is to keep the US bogged down in the Middle East while Russia reasserts its influence in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Unless the US can make concrete concession on Eurasia geopolitics, Russia will keep using Iran as a bargaining chip. To further complicate matters the Israelis view a military strike as the only real option, since Russia can prevent sanctions against Iran. A military strike against Iran would have to involve the Americans aswell. But a strike against Iran is not without its repercussions. Iranians can retaliate by blocking the Strait of Hormuz. So if the United States wants to impose sanctions against Iran, Washington will have to balance the interests of Moscow, Tel Aviv and Tehran.
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