After Russia’s President Putin sent his military into Ukraine in a clear violation of the country’s sovereignty, the White House released a statement that Russia now faces “greater political and economic isolation.” But how exactly would the United States enforce this?
The main method discussed in the news has been sanctioning Russia’s all-important energy sector. The problem is, many of America’s allies in Europe are heavily reliant on Russian gas and would be unwilling to accept any sanctions. Take Germany as an example. A whopping 40% of German gas comes from Russia. Without Europe, any potential bite in energy sanctions is significantly hampered.
This is what brings Iran into the picture. With 18% of the world’s proven gas reserves, Iran has the most proven natural gas reserves in the world. Iran already leads the world in the number of natural gas vehicles on the road, at about 3 million. This remarkable ranking is due to Iran’s realization that the country is overly-reliant on its oil sector after years of sanctions. At the same time, Tehran’s pollution problem is served well by having more natural gas vehicles on the road instead of gasoline powered ones.