Iran’s oil exports fell by over 1mn b/d from 2017 levels even prior to this week’s re-imposition of US sanctions. Issuing waivers to eight Iranian clients, US President Trump says he is going “easy” on Tehran for fear of higher oil prices. While plenty of governments have talked tough against the measures, they have failed to back this up with concrete actions.

The US on 5 November reimposed oil, shipping and banking sanctions against importers of Iranian oil,...