Obama: Iran Has Nuclear Rights; I Did Not Want to Sanction Its Bank
January 23, 2012 - 12:09 am
The threat by the Islamic regime in Iran to close down the Strait of Hormuz and of Revolutionary Guards Navy boats harassing U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf has caused President Obama to send secret messages to the regime stating his concerns over the closure of the strait and the possibility of an accidental war.
Since then, Iranian officials have been revealing the contents of President Obama’s letter to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, which indicates a deep desire by the U.S. president for a dialogue with the radical leaders of Iran. However, on Saturday, Iranian officials also claimed that an oral message by Obama delivered through the Swiss ambassador in Tehran is even more revealing than the letter delivered to the Iranian supreme leader.
According to Fars News Agency, which is close to the Revolutionary Guards, Hossein Ebrahimi, the vice chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, alleged that on Saturday in a meeting between Swiss Ambassador Livia Leu Agosti and Iranian Foreign Ministry officials, Agosti informed the Iranian officials that Obama recognizes Iran’s right of access to and use of nuclear technology.
Ebarhimi also disclosed another important point that the Swiss diplomat delivered: Obama said that “I didn’t want to impose sanctions on your central bank, but I had no options but to approve it since a Congress majority had approved the decision.”
Last month, the Obama administration pressed key Democrats on the defense bill conference committee to get their colleagues to water down the strong sanctions language against Iran, which passed the Senate by a 100-0 vote as part of the fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill. The administration, threatening a veto, managed to delay the implementation of sanctions and penalties from 60 to 180 days in the final draft, also allowing the president to waive those penalties for national security reasons or if it would harm the global economy.
President Obama boasted on Thursday that U.S.-led sanctions had reduced Iran’s economy to a “shambles,” defending his policy towards Iran following sharp Republican attacks.