Saturday, May 05, 2012

The lengthening list of Iran sanctions

CFR has an article about the lengthening list of Iran sanctions.

September 2013: Who Is Ali Khamenei?: Khamenei bases such arguments partly on what he sees as two failed attempts by Iran to compromise with the United States. The first was during Khatami’s term as president, when the government suspended its uranium enrichment for two years as a trust-building measure. Khamenei believes the Western governments were not interested in trust building, only in making the pause in enrichment permanent. The two-year suspension resulted in no achievements for Iran -- not the lifting of sanctions, nor the release of frozen Iranian assets in the United States, nor any other reward. In a speech in January 2008, Khamenei noted,

Today, to whomever comes to us and says, “Sir, suspend temporarily,” we say, “We have already had a temporary suspension, for two years!” We had a two-year temporary suspension. How did it benefit us? . . . We, for our part, imagined that it was temporary and imagined that it was voluntary. Then, when we talked of resuming work, they started this media frenzy and tumult in political circles, saying, “Woe! Iran wants to end the suspension!” The suspension became a sacred issue that Iran had absolutely no right to approach. . . . Finally, they said, “This temporary suspension isn’t enough; you must completely pack the whole atomic project in.” This was a setback for us. [The Khatami government] accepted the retreat. But this retreat had a positive effect for us. We learned a lesson from that experience. World public opinion learned from the experience, too. . . . I said if this process of adding new demands is to go on, I will intervene. And I did. I said . . . we should go on the offensive [and resume enrichment].

Khamenei then went on to remind his audience that despite Khatami’s willingness to compromise, his kind words for Americans, his cooperation in toppling the Taliban and in the subsequent Bonn negotiations to install a pro-American government in Afghanistan, U.S. President George W. Bush had still included Iran in his “axis of evil.”

The second experience he draws on is Libya’s 2003 decision to give up its nuclear ambitions, which nevertheless did not prevent Muammar al-Qaddafi’s violent removal through NATO military involvement. “In Libya,” Khamenei said in his annual Iranian New Year speech in March 2011, “although Qaddafi had shown an anti-Western tendency during his first years in power, in later years, he performed a great service to the West. . . . This gentleman gathered up his nuclear program, . . . gave it to the Westerners, and said, ‘Take it away!’ . . . [Yet he was overthrown.]” Khamenei suspects that even if all of Iran’s nuclear facilities were closed down, or opened up to inspections and monitoring, Western governments would simply pocket the concessions and raise other issues -- such as terrorism, human rights, or Israel -- as excuses for maintaining their pressure and pursuing regime change. To Khamenei, when it comes to nuclear weapons, the Iraqi and Libyan cases teach the same lesson. Saddam and Qaddafi opened their facilities up to inspections by the West, ended up having no nuclear weapons, and were eventually attacked, deposed, and killed. Major compromises by Iran on the nuclear front without significant concessions by the West, he believes, could end up leading to similar consequences for the Iranian regime.

23 August 2013: The Realist Prism: Russia Sends Trial Balloons on Iran Sanctions Regime: Russia may become less cooperating in maintaining US sanctions.

20 August 2013: Obama Administration Has Options For Iran Sanctions Relief

Blocking medicine to Iran discusses how due to the US sanctions and the draconian fines for banks that ignore them only one (Turkish) bank is still prepared to facilitate the dollar payment of medicine imports in Iran - meaning that many transactions are blocked. Iran still has barter trade with mainly China and India but that allows it only to import medicine from those countries - what severely restricts the choices.

25 February 2013: The tail instructs the dog by Franklin Lamb tells about how Israeli lobbying fuels the sanctions against Iran and Syria.

23 December 2012: Why the US didn’t prosecute HSBC discusses why HSBC bank was fined for doing business with Iran but no criminal persecution was initiated. Basically, the fine was already power abuse. Criminal persecution would certainly have resulted in serious protests from Brittain, the home country of the bank. It might also weaken the position of the dollar as the world currency.

20 October 2012: Don't go Baghdad on Tehran reminds us how Saddam wanted to comply in order to get rid of the sanctions but stopped bothering after Albright had declared that her ultimate goal was regime change and that sanctions would not be abolished before Saddam had gone.

3 June 2012: This article ("Iranian Souq goes from busy to bare") tells how the Irian souq in Abu Dhabi is nearly empty nowadays because the visa of the Iranian business men who worked there have not been prolongated.

3 June 2012: This article (The arrogance of power) discusses how the US sabotaged the negotiations in May by refusing to do any concessions.

12 June 2012: The IAEA and Parchin: do the claims add up? by Robert Kelly of SIPRI says that the Parchin installation that the US is so eager to visit because it would have been used for research on a nuclear bomb seems rather unfit for that purpose.

America's Iran policy is looking more and more like its Cuba policy. Unfortunately it get getting some cooperation from the rest of the world in its madness.

14 June 2012: This article (Give Obama Elbow Room on Iran) claims that Obama is so obstructive in the negotiations because he is obstructed by Congress that has copied the hardline position of Netanyahu ("no enrichment at all"). To this comes the mistaken belief that sanctions might help to overthrow the Iranian regime. The article is written by Trita Parsi - president of the National Iranian American Council and the author of “A Single Roll of the Dice: Obama’s Diplomacy with Iran.”

Now it is more or less official that the US and Israel constructed the Stuxnet viris.

8 October 2012: This article (The rial world) discusses how the sanctions are doomed to fail because they can only be lifted "after the U.S. president certifies to Congress "that the government of Iran has: (1) released all political prisoners and detainees; (2) ceased its practices of violence and abuse of Iranian citizens engaging in peaceful political activity; (3) conducted a transparent investigation into the killings and abuse of peaceful political activists in Iran and prosecuted those responsible; and (4) made progress toward establishing an independent judiciary."

Why economic sanctions do not work by Robert Pape from 1997 is a the scientific standard argument against sanctions.

The heartrending story of anti-Iran sanctions gives an overview of sanctions from 1979 on.


Anonymous said...

It is sanity, not madness.

Anonymous said...

"America's Iran policy is looking more and more like its Cuba policy. Unfortunately it get getting some cooperation from the rest of the world in its madness."

Neither policy is madness.