Faster, Please!

Tough Talk (not!) from Treasury

Robert Kimmitt, the number two guy at the Treasury Department, has called for our allies to refrain from investing in Iran. It’s more a plea than an act of leadership, at least to judge from the article in the FT.

For those who think we’re gearing up for war with Iran, I think Kimmett’s language shows that quite the opposite is taking place. His big punch line, after all, is this:

Mr Kimmitt said foreign companies doing business with Iran faced unusual problems “because it’s very difficult to know whether the person you’re dealing with is, in fact, doing what he says, or could be connected, covertly or otherwise, with the [nuclear] proliferation programme”.

He said he was pleased with efforts in France, Germany, Italy and the UK to reduce export credits to Iran. Export credits, he said, “should not be used to subsidise the risks that Iran has brought on itself”.

But that’s not the point, which is that our money should not be used to finance acts of terror against us and our friends. “Subsidize the risks?” Pfui.