The Bush Administration imposed a slew on new sanctions against Iran today,emphasizing something I've said for some time...that relying on the UN to do anything is simply wishful thinking.
The sanctions were announced by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. They name Iran's Revolutionary Guard ( The Pasdaran) as a terrorist organization, and also take into account that financing for groups like the Revolutionary Guard and the Qods Force (not to mention Islamic Jihad, Hamas and Hezbollah) are a part of Iran's economy, and can't be separated out.
The Revolutionary Guard "is so deeply entrenched in Iran's economy, that it is increasingly likely that if you are doing business with Iran you are doing business with the IRGC," Paulson said.
Gee, I wonder how long it took him to figure that one out.
The banks involved in the sanctions are Bank Melli, Bank Mellat and Bank Saderat. The first two are being designated for helping finance Iran's proliferation program, and Saderat is being specially designated for financing terrorism. In addition, five Revolutionary Guard leaders are included under the new restrictions, as well as nine businesses and the Iranian Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics. There's supposed to be a list of proscribed individuals as well to be announced later.
The new sanctions essentially empower the United States to financially isolate a large part of Iran's military and business structure, as well as anyone inside or outside the US who does business with it. Or, in other words, foreign banks, individuals and businesses who do business with say, Bank Melli will be prohibited from doing business with US banks and businesses.
The hope, of course is that US allies in Europe and Asia will impose similar sanctions. "The international community's got to get a lot tougher if it's going to be resolved diplomatically," Rice said about Iran's suspected nuclear program.
While sanctions alone are not going to stop the mullahs from building nukes, and countries like Russia and China (or for that matter, Germany) are not going to go along, this will have a certain effect, given that the world's banking system runs through New York.
My only question is, why now? Why not three years ago?
Nevertheless, a step in the right direction.