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New Iran Sanctions Encounter Senate Skepticism

“I know it's been noted...that we've been trying to hurt Iran's economy, but it hasn't stopped them."

by
Rodrigo Sermeño

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June 10, 2013 - 4:27 pm
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WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of senators remains unconvinced about the effectiveness of current sanctions against Iran, following a set of new restrictions unveiled by the Obama administration last week.

The Treasury Department announced Tuesday new sanctions on Iran, targeting a network of firms that U.S. officials said were front companies that earned billions of dollars in profits for Iran’s top leaders. This marks the fourth such measure in a week.

The Treasury Department identified 37 companies, including enterprises in South Africa, Croatia, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates, that it said operated ostensibly as private businesses directed by Iranian leaders to help evade existing U.S. and European sanctions.

These sanctions follow an executive order signed by President Obama on Monday authorizing further sanctions on foreign banks and financial institutions that make transactions in Iran’s currency, the rial, outside the country. The new rules, which will be effective July 1, also penalize the sale of goods and services to Iran’s auto industry, an important sector of the country’s economy.

“The steps taken today are part of President Obama’s commitment to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, by raising the cost of Iran’s defiance of the international community,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.

The Obama administration has introduced the series of new measures to step up the pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, which Iran insists is for peaceful purposes but Washington and other Western powers suspect is aimed at making weapons. The latest executive order is the ninth Obama has signed on Iran since the start of his presidency and the sixth in the last two years.

But the Obama administration’s efforts were not enough to convince lawmakers at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Tuesday about the impact of sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program.

Banking committee members Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) all expressed concern Tuesday that sanctions have yet to have an impact on Iran’s behavior.

“I know it’s been noted…that we’ve been trying to hurt Iran’s economy, but it hasn’t stopped them. And it looks they’re determined to move on which is something that we can’t tolerate in any way, shape or form,” Manchin said.

David Cohen, Treasury’s top terrorism and financial intelligence official, said that while the U.S. has not achieved its goal of convincing Tehran to the change the course of its nuclear program, the financial sanctions are having some impact. For instance, Cohen said, Iran requested sanctions relief at a negotiating session in Kazakhstan in April.

“As we have repeatedly made clear, Tehran faces a choice: it can address the call of the international community to give up its nuclear ambitions and be permitted to reintegrate itself diplomatically, economically and financially into the world community, or it can continue down its current path and face ever-growing pressure and isolation,” Cohen said.

Wendy Sherman, the undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, said that of the more than 20 countries that imported oil when the sanctions went into full effect, only a handful continue to do so today.

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All Comments   (8)
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The way to bring Iran to it's economic knees within weeks is to cut off it's gasoline supplies. They have one refinery, and import the rest. Cut off the supply and the economy will collapse within days.

Probably wouldn't hurt to sabotage the one refinery to help the process. No need to destroy it, just damage it enough to shut it down for a couple months.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali they are hosting the 'Miss World' contest . It is on in a 5 Star Hotel in Nusa Dua resort but the Indonesians have insisted that the contestants are not allowed to parade in bikinis. Meanwhile on the beaches just outside the venues windows hundreds if no thousands of holidaymakers are on the beach in BIKINIS , some even topless.
Muslim HYPOCRISY writ large.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
A German's View on Islam - it's well worth reading.
'Very few people were true Nazis,' he said, 'but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care.
I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come.
My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.'

We are told again and again by 'experts' and 'talking heads' that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace.
Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the spectre of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.

The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history.
It is the fanatics who march.
It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide.
It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave.
It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honour-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque.
It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals.
It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.

The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the 'silent majority,' is cowed and extraneous.
Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant.
China's huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people..

The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet.
And who can forget Rwanda , which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were 'peace loving'?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points:
Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence.
Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak up, because like my friend from Germany , they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.

Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.

Now Islamic prayers have been introduced into Toronto and other public schools in Ontario , and, yes, in Ottawa too while the Lord's Prayer was removed (due to being so offensive?) The Islamic way may be peaceful for the time being in our country until the fanatics move in.

In Australia , and indeed in many countries around the world, many of the most commonly consumed food items have the halal emblem on them.
Just look at the back of some of the most popular chocolate bars, and at other food items in your local supermarket.
Food on aircraft have the halal emblem, just to appease the privileged minority who are now rapidly expanding within the nation’s shores.

In the U.K, the Muslim communities refuse to integrate and there are now dozens of “no-go” zones within major cities across the country that the police force dare not intrude upon.
Sharia law prevails there, because the Muslim community in those areas refuse to acknowledge British law.

As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts - the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just deletes this email without sending it on, is contributing to the passiveness that allows the problems to expand.
So, extend yourself a bit and send this on and on and on! Let us hope that thousands, world-wide, read this and think about it, and they also continue to send it on - before it's too late.

And we are silent......
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
The sanctions have done NOTHING but hurt the average Iranian and Obama Inc knows this very well. This is where we are re Iran, courtesy of the Islamist-in-Chief's actions, or lack thereof - http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/04/04/israels-pre-emptive-window-re-iran-has-precipitously-closed-professor-louis-rene-beres-expounds-commentary-by-adina-kutnicki/

Whatever action will be taken has to be done in a few short weeks. The region is about to explode.

Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Economic and trade santions ONLY have some positive effect if there is global collusion in effecting and maintaining them. That, however, is never reality. There are always those nations and organizations globally, who will support the nation(s) being sanctioned. Likewise, trade and economic santions only hurt the common citizens and does NOT achieve the populist uprisings and overthrow of the governments our strategies hope for. The esssentially 65 year policies of post WWII have failed and today fails on an even greater scale -- especially in the Middle east. We've gone broke and in huge debt clingling to our failed global inititatives and policies post WWII.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well Zeke, you're partially correct about this. But economic sanctions seldom work even when there IS global collusion to enforce them. The sanctions imposed against Japan in 1939-41 are a perfect example of failure even when sanctions are enforced by all the major countries. Japan viewed economic sanctions as even more of a reason to go to war, even though that decision had already been taken when sanctions were applied by the US, Britain, and their trading partners. But the US hasn't gone broke because of it's foreign policy initiatives, and not all of them since 1945 have been failures.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry Gridley but ole trangbang68 every once in awhile releases his toddler behaviors and "Reports" several commentors comments to include mine so nobody can reply -- not saying you wanted to but.....
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't know of any globally backed sanctions having been implemented so I can't address your conclusions to the contrary.

"But the US hasn't gone broke because of it's foreign policy initiatives..."

I would differ as you know. Post WWII the U.S. and its 'principal' allies formulated the "New World Order" implementing it through the Communist Containment and Nation Building strategies. The UN with its global governance over world peace and conflict, governance of war in conjuntion with the Geneva's Convention. The establishment of a global humanitarian and war judicial court system The UN with its governance over global humaitarian issues. The UN with governance of initiatives over developing a global economy. The latter point brings us to the issue of economic demise for the U.S.

The U.S. took the lead in developing and establishing a global economy backed by the USD monetary system. In doing so, we began to run trade deficts with developing nations to get their global economies started and prop them up. We financed them directly or through the U.S. heavily financed IMF. Today, everyone of those nations can directly or indirectly influen the value of the USD monetary system, the competitiveness of the U.S. economies, the U.S. GDP and in fact the domestic and foreign relations policy making. Now, when theres a hiccup or the flu somewhere around the economic developed world we have to assemble and emergency meeting of the G8 or the G20 to try and figure out how to deal with what is now a global economic contagious disease. IF our $16 trillion dollar economy today was truly domestic generated, we would not be in the economic demise we are today. The global developing nations found a non competitive consumer supermarket in the U.S. You know the rest of the story! We're now left to devising unsustainable 'bubble economies' to generate domestic economic growth.

By the way Gridley, thanks for a civil response with some substance.
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
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