An article in the latest issue of the Journal of Turkish Weekly indicates that when it comes to metals and minerals exports, Iran is becoming a force to be reckoned with.
According to the piece, Iran has acquired the technology necessary to produce Antimony ingots – an indispensible component for many sectors, including the electronics, aerospace, chemical and high-tech industries. New production units are expected to exceed demand, which is estimated at “some 100 tons of antimony ingots annually,” with excess outputs to be exported.
Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that on the whole, resource-rich Iran has been drastically stepping up its mineral exploration efforts. With an estimated 4,000 industrial and mineral projects underway, the country is not only working to secure domestic supplies, it has also seen a 28 percent increase in mineral and industrial exports over last year.
While friends and foes are off to the races in the global resource wars, the U.S., hamstrung by outdated policies and regulatory red tape, is having problems to even get off the starting block. For U.S. policy makers, who are still far from formulating a critical minerals strategy or even agree on a coherent definition of what constitutes a critical mineral, these developments in Iran should be considered a geopolitical wake-up call of the highest order.