Watering Down the New Iran Sanctions Bill

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In many ways, it’s a shame because the sanctions that are already in place are beginning to affect the politics in Iran and are putting pressure on the leadership to deal with the rising desperation of ordinary people. Prices for some staples in Iran have tripled and severe restrictions have been placed on imported goods. The Iranian rial has lost half its value against the dollar. The official inflation rate is 21% but outside experts believe it to be much higher. Some of President Ahmadinejad’s political opponents are seeking to blame him for the economic troubles besetting the country. Speaker of the Majlis, Ali Larijani, said, “The country’s economic problems are only 20 percent due to the sanctions,” adding, “Unfortunately, the main origin of the inflation comes from the maladroit application of the plan to suppress subsidies.” Ahmadinejad has been phasing out subsidies for basics like meat, cooking oil, and medicine since 2010 but recently suspended the phase out.

Khamenei has even gone as far as pleading with the government to refrain from criticizing one another, while trying to gag the media and prevent them from showing the pain being experienced by ordinary citizens. In a sign of how bad things have become, much of the media is ignoring the government and running stories on how the sanctions are making life very difficult for the ordinary citizen.

In this sense only, the sanctions are “working.” But in the far more important area of forcing the Iranian government to deal with the world on its uranium enrichment program, it appears to have had the opposite effect. The official Fars News Agency reports that Supreme Leader Khamenei told the Iranian people, “The enemies explicitly say that by intensifying the pressure and the sanctions, they are seeking to force Iranian officials to reconsider their calculations.” He added, “In reality, we will not rethink our calculations, and we will continue to trod the path of the Iranian nation more resolutely.”

And President Ahmadinejad boasted that there are now 11,000 centrifuges working at their two known enrichment facilities in Nantanz and the Fordo, the underground fortified bunker outside of Qom. This represents a significant increase in the number of working centrifuges since the International Atomic Energy Agency checked last May. And Iran is still refusing permission for the IAEA to inspect the huge military installation in Parchin, outside Tehran. Western experts believe that activity at the base reflects the possibility that nuclear research — unmonitored and secret — is being conducted there.

Clearly, regardless of how tough sanctions are designed to be, it matters little where it counts: convincing the Iranians to seriously negotiate an end to their uranium enrichment activities.

To that end, the West is still giving it the old college try. Despite zero progress made in previous negotiating sessions, the P5 + 1 group of nations — United States, Britain, France, Russia, and China, plus Germany — are once again seeking a substantive meeting with Iran’s nuclear negotiators. Recent mid-level talks in Istanbul have resulted in an agreement for the EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to sit down with chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili. No date has been set, nor has an agenda been agreed upon. The phrase “As long as they’re talking, they’re not shooting at each other” is about the best one can say about the status of negotiations with Iran.

Israel has its own timetable and is obviously losing patience with the on-again-off-again negotiations. Defense Minister Ehud Barak recently said that a nuclear armed Iran would be more dangerous than efforts to prevent them from acquiring those arms:

I am well aware and have in-depth knowledge of the difficulties and the complexities involved in thwarting Iran’s reaching nuclear arms. But I have no doubt that dealing with that same threat once it ripens, if it ripens, will be vastly more complicated, dangerous and exacting in human lives and resources.

The political pressure placed on the regime by sanctions is still manageable. It would seem logical that increasing that pressure as much as possible in order to generate political unrest and put fear in the hearts of Iranian leaders would be a course of action short of war — something the president is constantly carping on.

But when the administration and the Democrats in the Senate undercut that strategy by weakening the very sanctions that might be a tipping point in Iran’s domestic politics, one can legitimately question the president’s commitment to preventing the Iranians from building a nuclear weapon. This is no time to play politics when the clock is ticking both on Iran’s ability to construct a weapon of mass destruction, and Israel’s probable response.

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  • ★FALCON★

    Sanctions are the hallmark of the political debating society known as the Democrats / Left. In other words – kick the ball down the road to a time when Iran will be much more dangerous and someone else will need to deal with it.

    • Looking4Sanity

      Isn't it amazing? Every time they are trusted with power, they cause a new and quagmire-like problem(s). Then they step aside and blame the opposition for what they have done…and people buy it hook, line and sinker every time! It doesn't speak well of the average American intellect, does it? Our problems go much deeper than mere politics!

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

        Children do the same thing, only they don't intentionally destroy the nation and endanger the world in the process.

        • Looking4Sanity

          Also, when children do it, their parents don't usually fall for it.

    • Jim_C

      Kind of like Republicans with the economy?

  • Steve Chavez

    "Specifically, the administration is seeking to weaken sanctions dealing with the insurance and banking industries — two high-powered lobbies in Washington — who stand to lose millions of dollars if the sanctions take effect." AH, FOR THE ALMIGHTY BUCK AND BANKS THAT THEY LOVE TO HATE. I surely hope the Occupy Wall Street crowd doesn't hear about this when the Obama and the Democrats are putting EVIL MONEY before stopping an EVIL REGIME'S INTENTIONS!

    These sanctions are toothless since the Democrats Russian and Chinese comrades veto any meaningful UN sanctions on Iran and now Syria, both proxies of Putin. Obama also doesn't want to antagonize his MASTERS AND WILL BEND OVER BACKWARDS TO LET PUTIN TAKE OVER THE MIDDLE EAST BY EVEN GIVING IRAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS which will end any plans of an Israeli attack just like China giving N. Korea their nukes to end plans of a S. Korean/U.S. invasion.

    The world is still dealing with Jimmy Carter's IRAN FOR FORTY YEARS and the world will be dealing with OBAMA'S ARAB SPRING/MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD FOR CENTURIES!

  • patriothere

    How do you expect to use diplomacy with iran when you pass more and more sanctions. The west is not serious in making peace. They are only interested in more and more war. More and more blood must be spilled to appease jehova. More and more blood must be spilled to appease yahweh.

    • Looking4Sanity

      Why don't you go preach your pacifist crap to the Jihadi Islamist crowd? Is there no depraved or perverted cause you are unwilling to endorse in the name of "peace"?!? Is there any avenue of attack you are unwilling to use in pursuit of bashing Christians and Jews?!?

      You are one sick, twisted individual.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      traitorhere,

      More and more blood must be spilled to appease the false prophet muhammed.

      That's why 17,000+ dead in Syria and the usual FAKE "anti-war" crowd are nowhere to be seen.

    • poppakap

      Neville Chamberlain couldn't have said it better. Nothing works better than appeasement!

      /s

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      Oh look, you snuck off and posted and comment where you didn't think I'd notice.

      Did Wee put you up to it while you were coordinating off forum?
      You two, do you really think he can coach you into being less lame as a paid hack for Iranian interests?

  • Ghostwriter

    idiothere,the Iranian mullahs don't care about world opinion. They're just a bunch of fanatics who want to kill people who aren't like them. Why don't you wake up and smell the jihad?

  • http://vnnforum.com DeShawn

    You jews blame the banking industry, but you CONTROL the banks and you know it! Don’t) pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining. No more jewish wars for israel!

    • reader

      Don't forget to check your morning drink – this is where the Jews usually pee to get one of yours.

    • UCSPanther

      You missed the 1930s by approximately 80 years, nazi.

    • effemall

      Nobody with any couth would pee on your leg. The appropriate thing is to pee in your eye and call it piss.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Dear DeSHlTler,

      FOAD.

    • kasandra

      Naw, we don't control the banks. But we do control the kosher delis. Put that in your pipe and smoke it (instead of whatever it is you're usually smoking).

    • BS77

      DeShawn is one of those rare individuals whose IQ is the same as his shoe size.

  • Phil

    Barclays Probed on £7bn Bailout by Wealthy Sheikhs
    July 28, 2012

    THE crisis at BARCLAYS got even WORSE yesterday — as it revealed regulators are probing its credit crunch bailout by wealthy Sheikhs.
    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/money/4

  • Phil

    Barclays is being investigated over £12billion of investment from Middle East royals that saved it from being nationalised.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2180016/B

  • effemall

    When it comes to appropriate action without the loss of lives of your own team, Israel has proved itself over and over again – Entebbe, Iraq and Syria. The free world is waiting for their performance in Iran and if there is a God then hopefully he'll help them.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    Obama, like other facist dictators likes to say one thing and do another.

    For any 'journalist' worth paying attention to, they understand with leadership you have to see what they do, not what they say.

  • weroinnm

    The Vetting: ‘Obama, Radical Islam and the Soros Connection’! http://wethepeopleusa.ning.com/profiles/blogs/the
    “Food For Thought”
    Semper Fi!

    • Phil

      If he never tore up his Communist party card….publicly..for all the world to see…then he is still a member.

  • kasandra

    "To that end, the West is still giving it the old college try." Sorry but I can't agree. On July 2, the Wall Street Journal reported that the administration has essentially waived the sanctions that are in place for all 20 of Iran's top 20 trading partners. That's not trying very hard at all, is it?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    What, did your mom sneak up behind me?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    Yes, facist dictator.
    He's attacked and imposed government control from the finance sector to the healthcare sector.

    He's ignore the constitution from lame duck appointments when 'he' decided congress really wasn't in session to the oil drilling freeze in the gulf.

    Besides, what would an iranian paid hack know or care about our president, even one that coves for iran and backs their minions in the arab spring?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    No, it wasn't you. I said it. And we know you have already admitted to being paid to be here.

    6 minutes ago @ Breitbart.com – Protests to greet Ahma… · 1 reply · 0 points
    I'm like jesus, I'm gonna chase you money changers out of the temple and out of town and of course out of this forum. Me and ohsoquiet and a few other REAL AMERICANS who are being PAID to be here like you Israeli PR men. I'm here to chase you filth out.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

    And you can't show where I was wrong.
    Personal attacks may be all you're able to manage.
    But you just can't get around the the facts as I laid them out, can you?