Tag Archives: Iran sanctions

Obama Quietly Gives Waivers on Iran Sanctions Mandate

File this one under the “Obama says one thing, and then does another” file of 2012. From NightWatch,  we see that Hillary Clinton’s State Dept., along with President Obama have told another blatant lie to the American and world citizenry concerning the latest “get tough” Iran sanctions  announced with much fanfare back on Nov. 21st, 2011: (emphasis added)

The Obama administration on Tuesday exempted 10 European Union countries and Japan from US economic sanctions because they have significantly reduced their purchases of petroleum from Iran. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton granted waivers to Belgium, Britain, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Japan, meaning that banks and other financial institutions based there will not be hit with penalties under US law for a renewable period of 180 days.

Comment: The exemptions signify that the sanctions against Iran are somehow not aimed at key countries in economic duress and that depend on Iranian oil. This is a curious exemption because the termination of most international banking relations will make it difficult for the Europeans and the Japanese to pay for their oil.

Note: Britain is among the countries that will be allowed to continue to do business with Iran, despite the claimed Obama/Hillary “get tough” sanctions on Iran. This is astounding, in the fact that it was the British that initiated the new “get tough on Iran” policies recently. From the Iran Sanctions link above from Fox News we see the following info-bytes:

The British announced the first measures, declaring they would cut off all  financial ties with Iranian banks to stem the flow of funds for its nuclear and  ballistic missile programs. Britain’s new restrictions included an order that  its financial institutions cease doing business with all Iranian banks,  including the country’s Central Bank. The ban extends to all branches and  subsidiaries of Iranian banks, amounting to an unprecedented British attempt to  cut off an entire country’s banking industry off from the British financial  sector.

The sanctions are aimed at “preventing the Iranian  regime from acquiring nuclear weapons,” British Treasury chief George  Osborne said.

Once again, we see that the Obama administration, in conjunction with Hillary Clinton’s State Dept. propagandists had announced to the world new “get tough sanctions” against Iran to deter their efforts to secure nuclear weapons of mass destruction, yet have already given massive waivers that will allow the British, among other countries, to in fact…. continue to put money into the coffers of the totalitarian regime of Iran, thus allowing them to continue their pathway to effect their stated desires to wipe Israel off the map with nuclear bombs. These fake get tough sanctions on Iran prove once again that Barack Obama is as phony as a three-dollar-bill.

 

U.S. Navy Brushes Off Iranian Threats

In what the State Department and White House say is a result of Iran’s nuclear program, the U.S. rejected warnings from Iran to not return aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis to the Persian Gulf region. A U.S official told Fox News the Navy will “certainly not disrupt any of its planned movements based on this latest threat,” adding that Iran’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz or act outside recognized international law is “further evidence that Iran continues to operate outside the norms of most nations.”

According to the state-run news agency IRNA, Maj. Gen. Ataollah Salehi commander of Iran’s Army said “Iran will not repeat its warning … the enemy’s carrier has been moved to the Sea of Oman because of our drill. I recommend and emphasize to the American carrier not to return to the Persian Gulf….we are not in the habit of warning more than once.”

In an e-mailed statement yesterday George Little, a spokesman for the Pentagon said, “These are regularly scheduled movements in accordance with our longstanding commitments to the security and stability of the region and in support of ongoing operations,” Little said. “The deployment of U.S. military assets in the Persian Gulf region will continue as it has for decades.” He said the U.S. Navy is always vigilant and will work to “ensure the continued, safe flow of maritime traffic in waterways critical to global commerce.”

The latest Iranian threat comes at a time when sanctions are having an impact on its economy, and is facing political uncertainty with an election in March. It will be the first since a 2009 vote which started countrywide demonstrations. The U.S. and Europe have imposed the increased sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program, which Tehran says is peaceful only. Western countries are wary and believe the end result is to build an atomic bomb.

Jay Carney, White House spokesman, said in a CNN report, “I think it reflects the fact that Iran is in a position of weakness. It’s the latest round of Iranian threats, and it’s confirmation that Tehran is under increasing pressure for its continued failures to live up to its international obligation,” he said. “Iran is isolated and is seeking to divert attention from its behavior and domestic problems. This is simply a measure of the impact that sanctions have been having on Iran and the broad international support for… putting pressure on Iran and isolating Iran because of its refusal to live up to its international obligations.”

Iran Test Fires 'Long Range' Missile

On Monday, it was reported that Iran successfully tested a long range missile called the Ghader. It is believed to have a range of 120 miles and is considered to be a mid to short range weapon even though Iranians call it long range.

Rear Adm. Mahmoud Mousavi, of the Iranian Navy, told the official Islamic Republic News Agency, “We have test fired a long-range shore-to-sea missile called Qader [capable], which managed to successfully destroy predetermined targets in the gulf.” The test-firing of the missiles would take place during the last of the 10 days of Iranian war games in the Strait of Hormuz.

The Ghader, based on Chinese C-802 radar-evading missiles, is said to be entirely built in Iran. According to Wikipedia: Due to the Yingji-82 (C-802) missile’s small radar reflectivity, low attack flight path (only five to seven meters above the sea surface) and strong anti-jamming capability of its guidance system, target ships have a very small chance of intercepting the missile. The single shot hit probability of the Yingji-82 is estimated to be as high as 98%. The Yingji-82 can be launched from airplanes, surface ships, submarines, and land-based vehicles.

This is no doubt muscle flexing from Iran considering on Sunday they reversed their stance, after a week of threats to block the Straight of Hormuz and a day after President Obama signed into law a new round of sanctions meant to punish Iran for their nuclear program. Iran still denies Western accusations that it is trying to build nuclear weapons, claiming it needs nuclear technology to generate electricity.

According to a Reuters report, Iran has so far shown no willingness to change course on its nuclear program. However, on Saturday Iranian media reported that Saeed Jalili, their nuclear negotiator, would write to the EU foreign policy chief to say Tehran was ready for fresh talks on its nuclear program.

Iran Sanctions Bill Sits on Obama's Desk Despite More Aggressive Posturing by Iran

On Dec. 15th the U.S. Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, which included stiffer sanctions against Iran. The Iran sanctions measure, named the Kirk-Menendez amendment for its sponsors Senator Mark Kirk (R-illinois) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) strengthens existing sanctions and penalizes foreign banks for doing business with Iran. The sanctions are in direct response to reports that Iran has steadily ratcheted up it’s nuclear program towards the manufacturing of weapons that could enable them to wipe Israel off the map and/or start a war in the region that would disrupt oil supplies worldwide.

President Obama could be emboldening Iran even further by his dithering on signing this bill into law that would prevent foreign banks from doing any business with the Central Bank of Iran. The lack of a strong message from the U.S. now has the Iranian Navy doing military exercises in the Straight of Hormuz, which is the transportation route for as much as 1/3 of the oil supply coming out of the region. In an IBT article there is the mention of a possible war right in the title: If Iran Closes Strait of Hormuz, Will It Mean War?

We’ve heard rumblings from Iran before that the ill-eased country might close the Strait of Hormuz. But on Tuesday, Iran’s vice president gave a more meaningful warning, saying his country is ready to close the Strait of Hormuz if Western nations impose sanctions on its oil shipments.

Iran’s top Naval commander also threatened to close the straight on Iran’s English language Press TV Weds. Night, stating, “Closing the Strait of Hormuz for Iran’s armed forces is really easy … or, as Iranians say, it will be easier than drinking a glass of water,” said Commander Habibollah Sayyari. “But right now, we don’t need to shut it as we have the Sea of Oman under control, and we can control the transit.”

A spokesperson for the U.S. 5th fleet which is based in Bahrain countered those statements with a warning that any disruption will not be tolerated. Apparently, the U.S. 5th fleet means business, as today, Dec. 29th, Iran is claiming that the U.S. Aircraft carrier John Stennis and it’s accompanying battle group has, in fact, been spotted in the straight of Hormuz in the exercise zone where the Iranian Navy is currently operating.

In the meantime, President Obama is in Hawaii playing his 90th round of golf during his term as POTUS, while on a 17-day vacation. He could have signed the bill into law before leaving, but expressed reservations and demanded changes to the Iran sanctions amendment. Several changes were added to the bill to give the administration greater flexibility. And then there is this tidbit, that shows just how irrelevant the U.S. Congress has become, at least in the eyes of one Barack Hussein Obama.
The sanctions would not come into effect until six months after the bill is signed, and would allow the president to waive the penalties for national security reasons.

These changes to the Iran sanctions amendment that were demanded by President Obama,and which the U.S. Senate approved, now gives the President the authorization to refuse to enforce the sanctions all together, thereby once again usurping the power of the U.S. Congress and putting it into the hands of the President. Of course that whole conversation becomes moot, as while battleships are squaring off in the straight of Hormuz, threatening a major oil supply route for the entire western world, the NDAA and the Iran sanctions amendment within it… sit on the President’s desk unsigned. And recent polling shows that 47% of American voters today approve of Barack Obama’s dangerous dithering and proven incompetence in running this country. His refusal to take action against Iran, as shown here could very well end up in an interruption of 1/3 of the world’s oil supply, which would result in the “skyrocketing energy prices” he promised Americans when running for President in 2008. To top that off, Obama has now given himself the authority to nullify the Iran sanctions law passed by Congress, thanks to the U.S. Senate.

While Hillary Clinton’s State dept. says Irans threats to close the Straight of Hormuz contain an “element of bluster”, other experts say yes, Iran could very well close off the Strait of Hormuz. Short of all-out war, it’s one of the biggest weapons the country has in its arsenal. And Iran doesn’t appear afraid to use it. Yet war-like tactics would be required to close it, says one expert. Meanwhile Americans await President Obama’s return from his Hawaiian vacation to find out if he can make time to sign the NDAA that contains a strong message to Iran via the sanctions in it. While America needs a decisive President that will take action to prevent a worldwide interruption in oil supplies that will disrupt already distressed economies across the globe, Barack Obama once again seems content with just voting “present” as he mainly did during his short time as a U.S. Senator.