The United States has demanded that countries stop buying Iranian oil, or they'll face sanctions. Iran exports slightly more than a million barrels per day, with the majority going to China, India, South Korea Japan and Turkey. And some of those customers, especially China and Turkey are not happy.

The US says its efforts to impose a worldwide embargo on Iranian oil is already working. In the last 11 months, the Trump administration says, Iran has lost about $10bn in oil revenue.

The US imposed oil sanctions on Iran in May 2018, after it withdrew from what President Donald Trump called the "ineffective" Iran nuclear deal. The US wanted to cut off Iran's ability to support Hezbollah and Houthi fighters, as well as to send aid to governments in Syria and Venezuela.

Last fall, when oil supplies were tight, the US gave several countries permission to wrap up their existing Iranian oil purchases by no later than May 2. But now, the US says supplies are plentiful, and the remaining countries that currently import Iranian crude no longer have a reason to keep buying from Tehran, reports Al Jazeera's Rosiland Jordan from Washington. 

If you turn those taps off the Iranian market, the Iranian economy will suffer. Since those economic sanctions have been put back in place in May 2018, we've seen the Iranian riyal crumble like a biscuit.

Jameel Ahmad, global head of market research, FXTM

The US has reassured the market that any gap in global oil production will be quickly filled.

"There's enough oil from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Emirates that can supply that oil, but it'll take some time," according to Jameel Ahmad, global head of market research at FXTM.

Asked about the effect on Iran, Ahmad says, "If you turn those taps off the Iranian market, the Iranian economy will suffer. Since those economic sanctions have been put back in place in May 2018, we've seen the Iranian riyal crumble like a biscuit."

"Inflation has rocketed sky high. There's already pressures on the Iranian economy that's going to see a recession of at least four percent, according to the IMF in 2019. Now, that it has been confirmed that these waivers on Iranian export of oil will be turned off as of next month, we expect this recession to extend even further beyond four percent. The Iranian riyal will remain under pressure and it will also increase those Iranian inflationary pressures, which is very bad news indeed for the local consumers on the streets," says Ahmad.

"This is extremely bad news for the Turkish economy, for its markets and for its currency. It means that Turkey will now need to look for another supplier of oil at a time when its financial conditions are not that great."

"In my opinion, we'll see weakness in the Turkish lira, but there's other currencies and economies that'll benefit from this news, such as Russia and the Russian rouble."

Secret debt and Mozambique

Mozambique is one of the world's poorest countries. While it has a large pool of natural gas offshore, the country's been on the brink of financial collapse. Mozambique's economy has been reeling from a debt crisis triggered by more than a billion-dollars of hidden loans* that were never approved by its parliament.

"It's important to note these loans were issued by two London-based banks, so some of the bank officials involved and government officials involved are under investigation by US, Swiss, and Mozambique authorities," explains Sarah-Jayne Clifton, director at Jubilee Debt Campaign.

Secret Debt and Mozambique

"We're not opposed to debt. We think it can be useful for people and countries and businesses to spread the cost of payments for large purchases. The issue is if it's commissioned responsibly and spent responsibly, and for countries - whether it's invested productively in things which can generate sufficient cash to repay the debt."

"Unfortunately, in the case of Mozambique, this isn't what we saw. The secret loans you were talking about ... they weren't publicly disclosed to the people of Mozambique, and what we found out was a large amount of money's believed to have gone missing."

"This is a quite unique case in relation to Mozambique - but we're worried there are other cases like this but they haven't come to light yet because of the secrecy that there's around a lot of lending and borrowing," says Clifton. 

"There are two issues here ... There's the transparency and accountability, but there's also the wider structural issues which are pushing a lot of countries like Mozambique into debt crisis in the first place."

Also on this week's Counting the Cost:

Iraq symphony: Musicians and staff of Iraq's National Symphony Orchestra make an average of $800 a month, but they are locked in a pay dispute with the government. They haven't seen a paycheque so far this year, and some have left. Those who haven't say they'll continue to perform despite the odds, as Natasha Ghoneim reports from Baghdad.

Huawei: There's a battle over the next generation of mobile technology. On the one side, there's China's Huawei, loved for its phones but feared over a perceived threat of Chinese spying. And on the other side ate the likes of Australia, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, and the US who've all banned the company from their networks. In the US, there's a curious tale involving Huawei, a US startup, some so-called "unbreakable glass", and an FBI sting operation. John Hendren reports from Gurnee, Illinois.

*Editor's note: A previous version of this article incorrectly suggested that $2bn of loans has been hidden from the public. We would like to clarify some of the debt, $726.5m in bonds, had been approved by parliament.

Source: Al Jazeera