Congress, White House ramp up Iranian pressure
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
August 2nd, 2012
02:00 PM ET

Congress, White House ramp up Iranian pressure

By Jamie Crawford

With a new package of sanctions passed by Congress along with an executive order signed by President Barack Obama earlier this week, the United States is further tightening the screws on Iran amid persistent tension and concern over its nuclear program.

Congress passed legislation Wednesday evening that along with the White House's action "closes loopholes and stops the use of front companies or financial institutions to get around international sanctions," Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said in a statement released after its passage.

The new legislation aims to sanction banks, insurance companies and shippers that help Iran sell its oil by circumventing current sanctions, such as through the reflagging of Iranian ships. It puts virtually all of Iran's energy, financial and transportation sectors under U.S. sanctions.

In addition, the legislation seeks to prevent the return to Iran of any revenue from the purchase of Iranian oil that is legally allowed under existing sanctions.

"The bill sends a clear message to the Iranian regime that the U.S. is committed, through the use of sanctions, to preventing Iran from crossing the nuclear threshold," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement.

The legislation passed by unanimous consent in the Senate following a vote of 421-6 in the House. It passed the same day Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that the time to apply diplomatic and economic pressure on Iran, and persuade it to negotiate seriously over its nuclear program, was running out.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, announced its support of the legislation after its passage. "The maximum economic pressure must be exerted to persuade Tehran to change course," the group said in a written statement.

On Tuesday, the president signed an executive order against the Iranian energy and petrochemical sectors, seeking to prevent the establishment of payment mechanisms that could work around existing sanctions aimed at the Iranian energy sector that Obama signed into law earlier this year.

The United States, along with the other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, engaged in discussions with Iran earlier this year about a program many Western countries fear has a clandestine military dimension to it. Iran claims the program is only for medical and energy purposes.

Those talks have produced little tangible progress, and the status of future talks is uncertain.

The United States has already granted exceptions to current sanctions to all major importers of Iranian oil based on evidence that those countries had significantly reduced their purchases. Countries granted exceptions must demonstrate every 180 days their continued reduction of such purchases in order to avoid the trigger of U.S. sanctions.

The Treasury Department also announced sanctions this week against Chinese and Iraqi banks that "facilitated transactions worth millions of dollars" for Iranian banks already under sanctions.

The actions by the administration and Congress "work very well together," according to Mark Dubowitz, an expert on Iran sanctions with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington. By further restricting energy trade through Obama's executive order, "the legislation essentially kicks in by giving the president the authority to go after, really, any entity who is aiding and abetting Iran" through the purchase of its oil by working around existing sanctions Dubowitz said.

This week's actions come amid charges by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney that the administration is not doing enough to force Iran to change course on its disputed nuclear program.

In a conference call with reporters this week, Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security advisor for strategic communications, said he had not seen anything in regard to Romney's rhetoric on sanctions that differed much from the administration's approach.

"We have thrown the book at the Iranian government in terms of leaving no stone unturned in the sanctions regime," Rhodes said. "And we are determined and committed to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon."

Still, those like Dubowitz who follow the sanctions closely say more action can be taken to affect the Iranian calculus in regard to the West's demands that it come clean on its nuclear ambitions.

Dubowitz said action could be taken against purchasers of natural gas from Iran, which has the world's second largest reserves of that commodity, and there could be a complete designation of Iran's central bank as a zone of proliferation concern. That move would bar every financial transaction with the bank, with the exception of humanitarian goods, thereby setting up a de-facto trade embargo of the country.

"On the sanctions dial from zero to 10," Dubowitz said, "we are at seven or seven and a half. We need to get to 10."

The legislation now heads to the White House for Obama's signature.

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Filed under: Congress • Iran • Sanctions • Treasury
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Everett Wallace

    congress&white house you played the dangerous game of being unholy and tried to fight against HOLY and you lost. you say sanctions on iran but yet you celebrate ramadamed you stupid, thanx military for doing a little something and not listenning to these witches

    August 10, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  2. jay1776

    If Israel wants to deal with Iran let them it themselves and keep the US out of it.

    August 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Reply
    • Drone Away

      The .1% need another war to make their next several billion. Have no doubt, if it's not Iran, it will be somebody. War is justs too profitable for those in charge to leave the world in peace.

      August 3, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Israel DOES NOT want to "deal with Iran". Israel, however, will have no choice but to deal with Iran in case Iran will be allowed to acquire nukes. If it happens the people of Iran and the neighboring Arab states will press Iranian leaders to make true of their promises to "erase" Israel "from the map" and is these leaders will hesitate there will be no shortage of militant contenders who will declare the hesitant Iranian leaders "traitors" and "Zionist agents".

      If it happens Israel will have to deal with Iran but Israel does not have strategic bombers, aircraft carriers and millions of troops so Israeli options to deal with Iran are rather limited. It seems that in case Israel will be forced to deal with Iran the largest oil fields on the planet will be turned into a radioactive desert. Would YOU like to pay $50 or more for a gallon of gas (if you'll be able to find it, of course)?

      August 3, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  3. jimmy cracorn

    Propaganda lies Iran poses no threat to us. They surely aren't the ideal government but they can't hurt America. Don't be so gullible. Look up the military capability's and available man power money and equipment needed for war. It's about as lop sided as they come. Enough of our and their young people have died. 1 Vietnam a generation is enough.

    August 3, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      For starters, Iran CAN hurt America. Even Afghanistan could hurt America (remember 9/11?)... Further, America is not the ONLY country on this planet besides Iran.

      August 3, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  4. Someonewhoknowsalot

    hail to the chief!

    August 3, 2012 at 10:02 am | Reply
    • William F. Phuckley

      I'd sooner hail a cab.

      August 3, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Reply
  5. Dave

    Cheap oil is only for American Companises not for the american peoples period. no body talk about democracy in Saudi/ Kuwait?

    August 3, 2012 at 9:35 am | Reply
  6. keosaengsay

    if America can take Saddam Hussen by mistaken so I think America will doing again by what ever are peoples thinking , I have no doubt about that, so we should worrying about the innocent poeples arent you?.

    August 3, 2012 at 7:06 am | Reply
    • Thinker23

      People are thinking that Saddam Hussein was far from being innocent and that taking him out was far from being a mistake.

      August 3, 2012 at 7:28 am | Reply
    • Tony UK

      The US does not care about the innocent.If a dictator was in the middle of innocent people dumb yanks would open fire and spray and pray that one of the many bombs and bullets would hit the target.

      August 3, 2012 at 8:16 am | Reply
      • Hahahahahahahahahhaha

        But it's OK when we say your a$$es twice right? Hahahahahahahahahahahaha

        August 3, 2012 at 9:21 am |
      • William F. Phuckley

        Look up "No-Gun-Ri".

        August 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
      • CelestialOne

        Yup. Anything that moves the Yanks will shoot. And sometimes their own men. They called it friendly fire. Unfortunately it is not very friendly if you are on the receiving end. Sometimes they even shoot at phantoms in the dark like in the second Gulf of Tonklin incident and then claimed that the North Vietnamese were attacking them so they must of course retaliate and bomb the civilians in North Vietnam.

        August 3, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  7. Pharos

    Listen to the Iranian supporters squeal like little pigs.
    That's all they CAN do.

    August 3, 2012 at 4:54 am | Reply
    • DanRyanMan

      Yes We Can .......Withstand Sanction
      Forward ...... against Israel

      August 3, 2012 at 6:17 am | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Iran has two choices... One is to live in peace WITHOUT sanctions. The other is to have sanctions and then a war.

      It's up to the Iranian democratically elected leaders and their supporters to decide.

      August 3, 2012 at 6:33 am | Reply
      • highspeed

        Or to help China and Russia realize tbe evil goals of Israel, will lead to worked destruction.

        Moron, go back to your hasbara masters.

        August 3, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  8. Tonyproper

    It is time the leaders of nations understand this circlating reality that if the achievement of rigional sterbility is shifted to the future generation it takes blame to the memories of their ansestors think about the kind of life you want your future generation to live.

    August 3, 2012 at 4:11 am | Reply
  9. Tonyproper

    Evry reasnable one should know that iran is religous fanatics and are desperate to islamizing the entire midlaest for the purpose of mobilizing and lunching jihad campaign in the whole world via islamist extrimist (terorist organization), 'and that is why Israel has been their prime target' because Israel is a tangible obstacle they believe exist. China should go and read the hand writing on the sky because if it start they must be affected (this their vibrating economy will run down the drain), also with Russia and other stunch ally of iran. All this smoudle rattling is't for ABRAHAM'S wealth? But who is the legitimate disendant/heir of ABRAHAM? (Isaac or Ishmel?), but why all this factions not joining the united effort to eliminate the threat of escalating Isaac and Ishmel battle knowing full well that if you are not affected your mother, father, sister, brother may be affacted and when your loved one is a victim you will regret. Therefore if sanction or invasion can end the WMD development let it be pursued.

    August 3, 2012 at 3:44 am | Reply
  10. iR

    leave Iran alone, they are a proud civilization and they are treating Israel like it should be, Israel is UN backed occupation of Palestinian land. I think justice should start from giving the people of Palestine their land back

    August 3, 2012 at 1:34 am | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Leave Iran alone and it will start a nuclear war in the Middle East. The resulting world wide crisis will effectively end our civilization as we know it.

      August 3, 2012 at 6:27 am | Reply
      • RevWMcCall

        If a nuclear war gets started in the Middle East, the US will be to blame. And unfortunately, it will not be enough to make the people of the US realize that they have allowed insane people to take over their country. What it will take, only God knows. May He have mercy on us all.

        August 8, 2012 at 2:46 am |
  11. King of Men

    Someone should build a ramp up Mitt Rommel's @ss.

    August 2, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  12. OffTheWorldPolitics

    For all of you complaining about how how CIA overthrew Mossadeq and put the Shah in power just look at the Saudi royal family. They are doing quiet well... Maybe is Mossadeq didn't try to steal BP's engineering, and intellectual property the whole situation could have been avoided. If you do business with the west your expected to honor your agreements.

    August 2, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Reply
    • highspeed

      And Israel has honored agreements?


      August 2, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Reply
      • Thinker23

        Why don't you tell us which agreements Israel DOD NOT hold?

        August 3, 2012 at 6:28 am |
    • Diaspora

      BP had no right to Iranian oil concessions in the first place, it was obviously exploiting the Iranian people and Mossadegh would have none of that. He was completly justified in his nationalizing Iranian oil and remains a figure revered by virtually all Iranians today because of his heroic actions. The CIA's role in overthrowing him will forever remain a dark stain in American history.

      August 3, 2012 at 2:12 am | Reply
      • OffTheWorldPolitics

        I wont deny that the initial deal wasn't the best for the Iranian people, but Shah got 50/50 split on oil profits.

        August 3, 2012 at 8:26 am |
    • Diaspora

      Why would Iran want what the Saudis have? We were perfectly happy with the Mossadegh's democratic government.

      August 3, 2012 at 2:14 am | Reply
      • OffTheWorldPolitics

        I suppose you speak for all the Iranian people?? I won't deny that the initial deal for oil profits was not negotiated the best for the Iranian people. The problem was that Mosaddeq would not even acknowledge any renegotiation, instead preferring to steal (intellectual property) himself. Face it, oil is not worth a penny unless it can be pull out of the ground.

        August 3, 2012 at 8:33 am |
  13. Ande

    Keep it up till they comeback to zero

    August 2, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Reply
  14. ANOTHER WARNING based on hollow words of obama

    Whats obama going to do , pour bad paint on to the new oil Tankers Iran has ordered from China ?

    August 2, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  15. Noodles

    India is undermining American interests in Iran by double dealing and defying sanctions. For people who have seen Strait of Hormuz lately, smuggler ships are carrying trade freely.

    August 2, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Reply
    • Kakvotoiska

      Why would India not do business with whomever they want? How is it that the US would tell EVERYONE who they can talk to and do business with? What kind of world is this becoming, when one country can declare another an outlaw, simply for not following their orders?

      August 2, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Reply
      • RevWMcCall

        Excellent comment. The US must get over its belief in its own exceptionalism, or all of us will be destroyed in the whirlwind.

        August 8, 2012 at 2:49 am |
    • Diaspora


      August 3, 2012 at 2:54 am | Reply
  16. Michael Hughes

    Well, since Irans biggest customers are exempt from sanctions it doesnt mean a thing.

    August 2, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  17. Radgast

    too bad we burned much of our international currency with lies about Iraq, this is the best we will do unless we just outright go to war

    August 2, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Reply
  18. Jean

    Kent, as a US soldier you will bleed where, and for whomever, your Commander- in- Chief decides.
    Ryan, read a history book covering European/Asian history during the latter half of the 18th to the mid 20th Centuries. Then, try forming an argument based on something other than your own (abysmal) ignorance.
    Yes. I am American, and not at all stupid.
    Peace people.

    August 2, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Reply
    • cake

      go die of aids commie

      August 2, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Reply
      • Sodomite

        Such eloquence.

        August 2, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
      • eyemahippie

        Just because somebody tells you to read a book you call them a Commie and tell them to die of AIDS. And you prove their point – that Americans are AFRAID to emerge from the ignorance they have been programmed into since birth. GO back to the couch, and don't forget your Caca-Cola.

        August 8, 2012 at 2:52 am |
  19. OffTheWorldPolitics

    The Iranian people need to take responsibility for this ridiculous behavior. The whole world is not going to give into the demands of this regime because its threatens to cut off the straits of Hormuz. These people think they can act with impunity and the west must comply. Get real ayatollah...

    August 2, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Reply
    • highspeed

      You, and your Jewmasters, are ridiculous..........

      August 3, 2012 at 3:07 am | Reply
  20. Ryan

    I love reading these threads, as I am not an American I am not embarassed by the stupidity of them. The USA is the only country cowardly enough to drop such horrific bombs, and the second someone else down the totem pole thinks they too deserve WMD's it's time for sanctions and invasion!!! Remember ... They invaded Iraq for all the WMD's!!! How did that go

    August 2, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Reply
    • lois mellott

      Ryan: Get in line for those bombs from Iran when they get them they will use them. You can be first.

      August 2, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Reply
      • Diaspora

        That's not what practically every senior military advisor in the world has said. Our own Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in an interview with CNN that Iran was a "rational actor", which means that even if it had a nuke it wouldn't use it because of MAD.

        August 3, 2012 at 2:53 am |
    • Thinker23

      Diaspora... The 9/11 terrorists and their handlers and supporters knew perfectly well that they will be killed as a result of their actions. Nevertheless, they preferred to go ahead with their plans. Do you have any reasons to believe that Iranian leaders are any different?

      August 3, 2012 at 6:56 am | Reply
      • Diaspora

        The Iranian leadership is different because they're not Al Qaeda and trying to draw a remote comparison between the two, one a terrorist organization with around 500 operatives not affiliated with any government; two a government that rules the second largest, most populous, and wealthiest country in the Middle East is absurd.

        August 3, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
      • Thinker23

        Diaspora... For starters, in 2001 Al Qaeda was affiliated with the Taliban government of Afghanistan. Further, Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist organizations are affiliated with Iranian government today. Still further, you did not explain the reasons you believe that Al Qaeda-Afghanistan alliance was so different from the Hamas-Hezbollah-Iran alliance that the world can be assured that the latter will not try to destroy Israel contrary to its own promises. Care to elaborate?

        August 3, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  21. saeed

    USA and Britain are two loser bankrupt countries no Moore is needed to be said.

    August 2, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • cake

      go stone some women, primitive human.

      August 2, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Reply
    • Maggiemae

      part of the reason we're in financial trouble is all the money we give to other countries who have citizens like u who take our $ then do nothing but put us down. I'm so sick of all the hatred towards America in the comments all over this site. If we aren't helping u r country now, we probably assisted ur country in the past. U Islamic extremists danced in the streets on 9/11. Those who were involved in that massacre also contributed to our current financial woes. I was never a supporter of Bush and the War on Iraq. In fact like many Americans I was horrified about it. We're always there when natural disasters hit ur country. Just go away and leave us alone.

      August 2, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Reply
      • Rilski

        Go away? Your military is in our countries! You go away! We don't want your help! Go figure out your mess at home before you tell the rest of us how to live!
        When the muslims were killing Russian children, you didn't care. We don't care about 9.11. Your problem. You go away.

        August 2, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  22. Kent in Dallas TX

    King Abdullah is Saudi Arabia, who is the keeper of the Muslim holy places & the de facto leader of all Muslims, wants the US to "cut the head of the snake."

    August 2, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Reply
    • eyemahippie

      He also happens to be the US's boy. Proof of that is the fact that we're not at all worried about human rights or the rights of women in Saudi, and we're even willing to look the other way when they sponsor terrorism. Once we get our boy in place in Iran, that's how it'll be there too.

      Now you know the rules.

      August 8, 2012 at 2:56 am | Reply
  23. highspeed

    As an American soldier, I can day without a doubt that our brave men and women will no longer defend the security of an apartheid and racist nation.

    We will not bleed for Israel.

    August 2, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • rob

      it's a shame and disgrace that someone like you is a soldier in the US military. The Israeli so called regim is the only democracy in the region, just FYI. Honestly, I would be disgusted to serve with you.
      Nobody ask you to bleed. We don't need your favor. We kicked the Arabs' a$$ 7 times, and we never lost a war. learn your history!!!. Beside, by finishing off the so called "Iran" or whatever illegitimate country it is , we doing you a favor!!! peace out and do us a favor and discharge your a$$ from service because you are not worthy of being called a US soldier.

      August 2, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Reply
      • ar

        Get your history right:

        Iran(Persia) is legitimate country, its been in the Middle East for about 5000 years.

        Iran has been a country, and previously an empire before Moses imagined a burning bush in the desert and decided to have conversation with it.

        King Cyrus of Persia who is the only non-prophet that supposedly spoke to God, helped the Jews escape the first massacre from Babylonians.

        The holiest places of Judaism aside from the "Wall" and "Temple" are in Central Iran , the temple of Ester is in Iran.

        Get your geopolitics right:
        Iran's problem with Israel existed even during the Shah's time in the 1970's it has nothing to due with religion.

        The Shah got away with it because he was giving dirt cheap oil to the U.S. , hosting U.S. bases, and buying military equipment at any price.

        Iran's problem with Israel or actually any other country in that region is invitation & hosting of western militay bases, and interfereces in internal politics.

        get your Iranian politics right:

        Iran had a democratic government that was rational & freindly in 1953, read about Dr. Mossadeg & CIA takover of Iran.
        The only problem was that thwy wanted fair oil prices.

        August 2, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
      • Sodomite

        More self-righteous sanctimony from a neocon chickenhawk. It's a shame that your morbidly obese carcass will never see actual combat.

        August 2, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
      • Diaspora

        You see how disrespectfully these Israelis talk with our vets! And they think they deserve billions of U.S tax payer dollars when that money could be put to much better use improving our decaying infrastructure and funding our schools. AIPAC is responsible for all of this and now they are propelling America into a war with Iran. As if three trillion dollars on Iraq alone was not enough.

        August 3, 2012 at 2:47 am |
    • gab

      Fake American soldier that what you're, true american Soldier bleed for america, and not for any other country. Israel is the only country that never ask america to put boots on the ground. Israel took out Iraq and Syria nuclear plants i guess the world owes us a thank you note. You think Saddam wouldn't have used on USA troop in 1991? do you think the leader of Syria wouldn't use it now against its own people??? Iran having a nuke is a no no Israel can do it- its obama thats holding us back..... P.S If you were a soldier for the usa you would know what Isreal means to america with all it tech and medicine

      August 2, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Reply
      • ar

        Get your history right:

        Iran(Persia) is legitimate country, its been in the Middle East for about 5000 years.

        Iran has been a country, and previously an empire before Moses imagined a burning bush in the desert and decided to have conversation with it.

        King Cyrus of Persia who is the only non-prophet that supposedly spoke to God, helped the Jews escape the first massacre from Babylonians.

        The holiest places of Judaism aside from the "Wall" and "Temple" are in Central Iran , the temple of Ester is in Iran.

        Get your geopolitics right:
        Iran's problem with Israel existed even during the Shah's time in the 1970's it has nothing to due with religion.

        The Shah got away with it because he was giving dirt cheap oil to the U.S. , hosting U.S. bases, and buying military equipment at any price.

        Iran's problem with Israel or actually any other country in that region is invitation & hosting of western militay bases, and interfereces in internal politics.

        get your Iranian politics right:

        Iran had a democratic government that was rational & freindly in 1953, read about "Dr. Mossadeq , & Kermit Roosevlt CIA takover of Iran".

        The only problem was that they wanted fair oil prices.

        By the way Im Jewish,Iranian, And American, and dont want a war between these 2 great counteries.

        August 2, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  24. Kent in Dallas TX

    Fr33... & Daniel, you two are unbeievably stupid & ignorant. You could also be liars serving the most evil dictatorships since Nazi Germany.

    Iran helps prop up the Taliban, who treat their own wives & daughters like the German Nazis treated Jews & Roma/Gypsies.

    They also prop up Hezbollah, Hamas & Islamic Jihad, who deliberately get as many women & children killed as possible to make all Arabs hate Israel.

    August 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  25. Daniel

    Sanctions aren't going to do it. Iran is jerking our chain because we are letting them. They intend to build weapons. I think anyone with half a brain knows that. Someone is going to have to go in and get their hands dirty to clean this up. Otherwise those weapons will make it to terrorists and will be used against the free world. Governments just work around sanctions. Look at North Korea's history. When sanctions were put on Kim Jong-il he let his own people starve and directed all resources to the military.

    August 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Reply
    • ar

      Why is that the U.S. always needs an enemy to explain its foreign policy, its always someone jerking the chain

      Russia,China,France (to a point when they were U.N. veto power), Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, North Korea, Vitenam, Iran, next, next , next ,etc.

      Perpetual peace through perpetual war , the imagined enemy in order to justify the industerial military complex.

      The U.S. will go around pointing fingers at every country until ends of poiting a finger back at itself.

      By that time this great country (USA) will last place in everything in education, social programs, useful research, etc because we spent all the money picking fights , and building weapons we dont need.

      August 2, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Reply
    • ar

      Why is that the U.S. always needs an enemy to explain its foreign policy, its always someone jerking the chain

      Russia,China,France (to a point when they were U.N. veto power), Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, North Korea, Vitenam, Iran, next, next , next ,etc.

      Perpetual peace through perpetual war , the imagined enemy in order to justify the industerial military complex.

      The U.S. will go around pointing fingers at every country until ends of poiting a finger back at itself.

      By that time this great country (USA) will last place in everything in education, social programs, useful research, etc because we spent all the money picking fights , and building weapons we dont need.....

      August 2, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  26. PatMcCarth420

    I think that all this Iran garbage is exactly the same stuff they pulled with Iraq. Iran is not a threat to the U.S., Israel, or any of it's other neighbors. And if we are so worried about nukes falling into the wrong hands, why don't we go after Pakistan or any of the other countries that acquired nuclear weapons from the old Soviet system. Under the non-proliferation treaty, Iran has the RIGHT to seek nuclear energy and medical research. They have vowed not to enrich uranium above 20%. They don't have any intercontinental ballistic missiles, their Army and Navy are obsolete, and they can't even produce enough gasoline for themselves. The only reason they would want to acquire a nuclear weapon is to use as a deterrent to prevent the US from invading them. I think the real reason we want to attack them is to gain control of their resources and to also gain control of the Strait of Hormuz. And if we do attack them, China has repeatedly stated that they will consider it an act of war against China. China said they would retaliate, even if it means another world war. I strongly advise we rethink our foreign policy before we get to that point, which is inevitable if we continue down this road to disaster.

    August 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Reply
    • Paul

      Pat, you really can't compare Iraq and Iran. It's like comparing apples and oranges. First off, we didn't go to Iraq for their resources, that should be clear by now. The entire left wing " no war for oil" myth should be put to rest. It's about time that we realize that maybe, just maybe, our govt. officials were telling us the truth when they said they believed there were weapons of mass destruction. And maybe, just maybe, those weapons are going to be eventually found in Syria as many in the intelligence field summized when they could not find the weapons (remember, we know that he had chemical and bio weapons because prior US administrations sold it o him and he himself used it on his own people).

      Regarding Iran, there is no larger supporter of terror and terrorist activities throughout the world. Period. Iran, through their proxy groups like Hezbollah, and their direct support for Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and even links to al Qaeda ( even though truthfully I do not quite understand how they could support a pure Sunni group bent on their own destruction- but the links are there nn the less) support and conduct terror activities throughout the world. Iran is run by religious fanatics who openly call for and welcome the end of the world which, wouldn't you know it, start with the destruction of Jerusalem. Iran has a questionably elected president who travels around the world calling for the destruction of "the Zionist state" and supporting amd promulgating many of the lies told during Nazi Germany. Lastly, Iran plans on becoming the new power in the middle east. That is their goal and they are prepared to kill many people to accomplish that goal.

      Lastly, China isn't starting a war with the US. The people of Confuscious are way to smart for that and have never publicly stated that . . . .ever. Not to mention the fact that it would completely destroy their economy ( trade with America and that little American debt issue . . . .hello out there). Bottom line, Iran better stop rattling it's sword and acting like the big kid on the block . . . .because the big kid on the block will eventually start paying attention. And then, it will be over real quick. By by Iran govt.

      August 2, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Reply
      • Diaspora

        Oh please, the rattling is coming from both sides. The Iranian regime says what it has to to appease the ultra conservatives, we know this because immedietly following the very same rallies where regime officials have called for the "death of the Zionist state of Israel" there have been contrasting official assurances made by the regime that have declared in essence Iranian neutrality. Iran has proxy groups that resort to terrorism but you've neglected to mention that Israel also has similar groups operating in Iran such as the MEK and Jundallah. The U.S is also waging an unjust economic war against the Iranians, a war that does not harm the regime but actually strengthens it. Iran is partially responsible for exacerbating this situation but Israel and U.S are also largely responsible and both sides have to claim responsibility and move on if they hope to make any diplomatic progress.

        August 3, 2012 at 2:39 am |
    • iR

      go after Pakistan? ISAF/NATOR supplies go through Pakistan!

      August 3, 2012 at 1:22 am | Reply
  27. Fr33th1nk3r

    While I agree that Iran's claims of nuclear research for medical purposes are utterly ridiculous (you don't do medical research in hardened underground bunkers), as Americans, we have nobody but ourselves to blame for the awful relations we have with Iran today. In another timeline, we could be friends with iran– they are a proud people and easily the most progressive of the middleeastern or Arab nations. but when we start off by assasinating their rightful rulers, we cannot expect to develop a responsible interaction.

    August 2, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Reply
    • Trevor

      When you talk of "Iranians" who are you talking about? The segment of the population that is seeking democracy or the iron-fisted Mullahs that hold on to power through brutal repression (does the 2009 Iranian election debacle ring bell)? Seems to be quite a disconnect between the two, and there were an awful lot of people in Iran that would be quickly seek warmer relations with the West if it wasn't for the folks currently in power...these people certainly do not speak for the majority of the Iranian people...

      August 2, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Reply
      • iR

        please take your democracy somewhere else, Obama said before coming into power that he will close GTMO and now he just approved more funds, there are a lot of countries doing great without democracy, secondly as you said there is small portion that wants democracy in Iran, well buddy democracy is all about counting heads, and this head count is very small. So why does US have to do its crap for that small head count, what about the rest of the people who are cool with their regime.

        August 3, 2012 at 1:26 am |
      • Diaspora

        iR: You know little about the Iranian people by assuming that. The Iranian people want to reconciliate with the West and embrace a Western style democracy but Western governments are preventing this by waging an unjust economic war against the Iranian people. One which is riling up the people against the West and ironically bolstering the regime. The West is largely to blame for why we haven't seen a repeat of the 2009 protests, because now the pinch of these sanctions is truly being felt and the Iranian people are becoming increasingly hostile to the west.

        August 3, 2012 at 3:06 am |
    • ar

      best comment.

      If the U.S. wanted democratic Iran they should have not forced the Shah down the Iranians throats in 1953, when the people elected the democratic government, read about 1953 & Dr. Mossadeq.

      The U.S. cant make its mind between cheap oil & democracy.

      Democratic countries sell natural resources at fair market prices = expensive oil, and other resources.

      Dictators sell natural resources & give concessions at cheap prices in order to stsay in power= corruption,oppression, WMD's

      August 2, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  28. gabe

    Jeremy Bernstein of the New Yorker wrote an interesting e-single on Iran's developing nuclear program. Bernstein is a physicist, but it is more of a history of how we ended up in this situation. Worth reading, for those interested:

    August 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply

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