Third-world economies have no bottom, therefore sanctions are unlikely to be as hard hitting as most believe. There will always be another customer for oil.
Iran is the third-largest exporter of crude oil in the world, behind Saudi Arabia and Russia. Its economy relies heavily on oil exports. Recent Western sanctions have targeted Iran’s oil industry in hopes of pressuring Tehran to address international concerns about its nuclear program.
However, the effect of the sanctions could be limited if Iran’s top customers keep buying oil, or even increase their imports. According to tallies from June 2011, here are the top 5 importers of Iranian oil:
4. South Korea
Full article: What sanctions? Top five countries buying oil from Iran. (The Christian Science Monitor)