Obama Playing Politics with Iran Sanctions
While most of the news media focused on President Obama’s decision Friday to step up sanctions on Iran and countries that buy oil from Iran, buried in the text of these stories was the decision to grant exemptions to 10 countries in the E.U. and Japan. The Administration stated that these exemptions were in response to those countries already reducing their oil purchases from Iran. The decision to grant exemptions was made public weeks ago, without much fanfare from the media.
While this may be an effort to not harm our allies with sanctions meant for Iran, it brings up the question whether President Obama is truly committed to stopping Iran’s nuclear work or simply playing election year politics. We must keep the pressure on and make our voices heard. No Nuclear Weapons for Iran.
If these exemptions really are part of an integrated strategy aimed at tightening the noose around Iran’s economy then it is fair to say that President Obama is keeping his word to implement the sanctions Congress passed last year over his objections. However, it is worth noting that the administration has a history of non-enforcement of sanctions on Iran as well as the possibility that such waivers will be used as a way to prolong negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. There is also the likelihood that the exemptions have more to do with a desire to stabilize oil prices than a campaign to force the ayatollahs to renounce their nuclear plans.
That said, as the New York Times notes, the real test of the administration’s intentions is whether it is prepared to apply the law to China and India, the nations that are the primary consumers of Iranian oil. China has already committed itself to buying more Iranian oil in the future.
Commentary Magazine, 3/21/12
This is the exact scenario we have been warning about. The fact that the Iranian nuclear crisis coincides with an election year is worrisome for many experts closely watching the situation unfold. That is why we must hold this President to his word he gave during the speech to AIPAC last month.
"Israel must always have the ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threat…no Israeli government can tolerate a nuclear weapon in the hands of a regime that denies the Holocaust, threatens to wipe Israel off the map and sponsors terrorist groups committed to Israel's destruction…A nuclear-armed Iran is completely counter to Israel's security interests. But it is also counter to the national security interests of the United States.”
President Obama Speech to AIPAC, 3/4/12
These words are true Mr. President, your actions since then make us wonder if you still believe them. Exemptions and waivers to the sanctions…Media leaks intended to undermine Israeli security and offensive capabilities while giving Iran valuable intelligence…these are NOT the actions of a leader intent on stopping a nuclear-armed.
'We the People' stand with Israel even if Obama does not!
We Stand With Israel firstname.lastname@example.org