But the Iranians are going them one better by discussing their own boycott of oil sales to Europe, meaning that shipments to Europe could stop immediately. To make matters worse for the European Union, some of the countries that are the most dependent on Iranian oil are also the European economies in the worst shape, namely Greece and Italy. The six-month phase-in was designed to put as little stress as possible on their economies, but if Iran halts shipments immediately, both countries will need to replace the volumes of missing Iranian crude on the more volatile, and more expensive, spot crude oil market, or face the prospect of massive fuel shortages; two conditions that could push their already teetering economies over the edge.
So far Iran has held off on making their embargo official, the Iranian parliament was suppose to debate the embargo bill last Sunday, but postponed action. Other Iranian officials though are saying that the European sanctions are not a question of if, but rather when. And in another blow to the US-led efforts, both China and India have publicly stated that they will be happy to buy up any excess Iranian crude leftover from the embargoed European sanctions. Both countries will likely force Iran to sell them crude oil at a discount, but vast sums of money will continue to flow into Iran, severely undermining the whole point of the US-led sanction regime.