A Slap on the Mullahs’ Wrist

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The UN report also states that Iran has continued to advance its missile and nuclear capabilities by bypassing UN-imposed sanctions “across all areas, in particular the use of front companies, concealment methods in shipping, and financial transactions.”

For example, Iran has been trying to circumvent sanctions by purchasing foreign banks and money-exchange bureaus around the world.  Using these fronts, the Iranians launder money through intermediary banks in order to purchase blacklisted equipment.

To transfer that equipment, Iran then uses its fleet of cargo freighters, which are controlled by the state-owned IRISL shipping company. The UN report revealed that between 2008 and mid-2010, 76 out of 123 of these vessels was repainted and had their Farsi names replaced with English ones.

Of course, the ultimate goal of the sanctions is to force the Iranians to abandon their quest for nuclear weapons. Yet the Iranians remain undeterred from attaining that objective as recent events attest.

While nuclear-weapons material needs a uranium enrichment level of 90 percent, Iran has now claimed to hold 110 pounds of 20-percent enriched uranium. The news led Daryl Kimball, head of the Arms Control Association in Washington, to say Iran’s announcement “puts the world on notice” about its commitment to continuing its enrichment effort.

This revelation had been preceded days earlier by the declaration by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Iran “maintains its uranium enrichment and heavy water-related activities…and continues to test missiles and engage in prohibited procurement.” It was a statement that led the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization to call the IAEA’s accusations a pack of “lies,”

Still, this verbal volley did not dissuade Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi from indicating Iran’s willingness to participate in nuclear talks, “If they (West) are ready (for talks), we are ready.”

Salehi’s willingness to engage in continued talks may be rooted in the recent shifting of some Westerners in their perceptions over Iran’s nuclear program. In a recently released joint memo, a group of former European ambassadors stated that Iran’s nuclear activities are consistent with international law.

They noted that “nothing in international law or in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty forbids the enrichment of uranium” and that “the IAEA has never uncovered in Iran any attempted diversion of nuclear material to military use”

Of course, that view may very well constitute a minority opinion among Western leaders. However, it is fairly safe to say that a growing majority have come to realize the limited effect the continued wave of sanctions has had on Iran.

A small case in point is the recent announcement by the head of Iran’s Organization for Investment and Economic and Technical Assistance that 2010 saw the Islamic Republic reach its highest rate of direct foreign investment, breaking the previous record from 2009.

So, despite a fourth round of UN-imposed economic sanctions in June 2010 — which also included US and European Union unilateral sanctions against the energy and banking sectors of the Islamic Republic – Iran has not been moved from pursuing its deadly agenda.

Now, the US is trying the same tactic yet again to deter Iran’s rulers from torturing, jailing and killing their citizens. Unfortunately for those dissident Iranians, if past evidence of this approach is any indicator, their suffering will only continue.

Frank Crimi is a writer living in San Diego, California. You can read more of Frank’s work at his blog, www.politicallyunbalanced.com.

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  • StephenD

    Unless and until we can cut into their wallets they will keep to their agenda. Somehow, I don't think we're rightly concerned enough to bother. I bet we could stop Iran if we really wanted to. Perhaps support the uprising of its people against the regime? Oh yeah, we had a chance to do that. Libya is more important to our national interests I guess.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Great picture, the only things missing are the gallows, ropes and the Clintons,
    et. al……………………………………………………William

  • Wesley69

    Sanctions have failed to stop Iran as it pursues its nuclear ambitions. Until the US removes the threat, nuclear missiles will, in time, be aimed at European and US cities. This can ONLY be done by force of arms. Obama's appeasement of the Mullah's has only made them more determined because they sense American weakness.

    And Obama negotiated away the defensive missile shield in Europe. On whose side is this guy????

    • ObamaYoMoma

      Not that I’m a fan of Obama because I’m not, but GWB was equally as incompetent as Obama when it came to pathetically appeasing the ruling Mullahs of Iran, even as they were murdering our troops with impunity in Iraq and Afghanistan, where we were pursuing two fantasy-based nation-building missions that were destined to fail even before they were implemented.

      • Wesley69

        I agree with regard to the business of nation-building. Both Afghanistan and Iraq will revert to authoritarian rule. If we go to war, if we are attacked, we do not rebuild.

        As for GWB with Iran, he did try the sanction approach, but never took the military option off the table until Nancy Pelosi warned him he had better forget it. There was also a report, that has since proven false, that stated that the Iranians had abandoned their efforts to build a nuclear weapon. That took out whatever justification, GWB had for eliminating the threat.

  • scum

    Well, Frank, one could expect nothing less than that the Iranian military would seek to bolster it's arsenal, as have we since WWII. Moreover, do you have a better idea than sanctions? Inquiring minds might like to know.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    The reality has always been very obvious to me; if you want to stop the ruling Mullahs in Iran no amount of negotiations or sanctions will ever work to stop them. Indeed, there is only one way to take care of business and that is to obliterate the ruling Mullahs and their nuclear weapons program. Nevertheless, the US and the West has continued to apply leftwing fantasy based strategies to try to stop the ruling Mullahs and the direct result of this insane weakness has always been very predictable, as the Iranians have very successfully exploited our suicidal weakness to very significantly increased their defenses to the point that today their defenses are far more formable than it was just a few years ago. Thus, any action necessary to stop Iran today will cost us exponentially far more than it otherwise should have.

    The truth is American leadership since the end of the Reagan administration has been extremely incompetent and has miserably failed to keep America safe. Thus, even if we wake up before it is too late to prevent WWIII, it will still cost us far more to stop Iran than it needed to, but nevertheless these incompetent loons who pretended to be leaders will never ever be held responsible.

  • SAM000

    Sometime one action, one word, one right step can stop a costly war.

    I'm Iranian, we have an organized resistance, we are in war against the Mullahs from their start-up by Carter.

    The Resistance against the Mullahs has cost our Resistance more than 120,000 Martyrs.

    We had payed this very heavy price, BECAUSE USA had supported the Mullahs against the Iranians.

    Reagan and GWB appeased the Mullahs.
    Carter, Bush Father, Clinton, and OBAMA BACKED and HELPED and Supported materially ad Militarily the Mullahs against our people.

    Without the USA support, the Mullahs could never, never stay on power.

    So, what we need to stop immediately the Mullahs is the USA NEUTRALITY, this is the MINIMUM.

    Did you know that any armed RESISTANCE against the MULLAHS is tagged TERRORISM by your STATE DEPT.?

    This is a shame for your administration, I think.

    The EXISTENCE of the Mullahs depends on USA,

    The Sanctions is good, but, Obama had offered IRAQ in a GOLDEN PLATE to the Mullahs of Iran.
    Afghanistan is the second gift to the Mullahs,

    I had forgotten to start with LEBANON, Proxy of the Mullahs HEZBOLLAH is governing there from the last war of 2006.
    Your USA had betrayed his solid allied ISRAEL!!

  • SpiritOf1683

    As Islam is the solution to you, I suggest that you leave for Pakistan immediately where you belong. And the writer of that piece shows the appalling standards of education amongst Muslims as he/she believes the Gettysburg Address was in 1963, and like you, the writer belongs in Pakistan's Waziristan Province.