Two major US trading partners who simultaneously have maintained a trading relationship with Iran despite Washington demands to end it are smiling all the way to the bank.
In exchange for their fidelity to the Islamic Republic's petroleum resources China and India are reaping significant financial benefits in their purchases of the crude: In addition to getting a cut in the price Iran will be covering the costs of shipping the oil as well as insuring it.
According to Thomson Reuters Eikon shipping data, all 17 crude oil tankers from Iran to China in July were operated by the Iranian tanker company. To compare, the previous month, Chinese companies operated 8 out of 19 tankers that shipped oil from Iran to China.
European companies are backing out of deals previously signed with Iran rather than face America's wrath. But China and India have no such compunction about maintaining and even increasing their purchases of valued Iranian crude.
China has now become Iran's greatest consumer of its oil, with India a strong contender.